Articles of Faith

As expressed by Odell Lee, elder

The Bible teaches us that God exists, that He is rewards those who seek him, and that without faith it is impossible to be pleasing to him: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He is the sole source of salvation for all people, whatever race, color, creed or culture. We believe the Bible’s testimony to be true that: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
Because of our conviction that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we believe that the Holy Bible contains God’s message for all time. As believers, we attempt to base every aspect of our lives, both public and private, on His will. We are to live as if Jesus will return in our life time.
We believe that we must confess our belief in God: “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 10:10-11). 
Because of our belief and faith that God is real, that He created us and the universe, and that He knows us better than we know ourselves, we desire to be obedient to his commands which are set down for us in Holy Scripture. We believe that God wants:  “all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), and we are persuaded that, in our heart of hearts, we all want to be saved.
Therefore, we must repent (turn away from our sins) and be baptized (immersed in water) into Christ: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39).
We are “buried with him (Jesus) through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin —   because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:4 -7)
Worshiping God is the most important thing we do. We know that God demands proper worship and that he seeks those who “believe that he is,” and will “worship him spirit and truth.” “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)
In order to deepen our faith, the Bible tells us that we must assemble together to encourage one another: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
We assemble on the First Day of the Week to worship God through praise, prayer, giving thanks, fellowship, singing, and edifying each other through preaching and teaching.  In memory of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world, we take communion each Sunday to show the Lord’s death until he comes again.

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23)  

In our lifestyle, we believe that we must be “imitators” of the life Jesus Christ in our behavior toward others: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:9-18)  

Finally, we are to share our faith with others: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The Bible teaches that in Christ Jesus we are all priests, a Holy Priesthood, and have the right to speak directly to God in prayer through his Son, Jesus Christ: As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)
  
There is no separate clergy in our congregation. We have chosen several men from our number to serve as spiritual leaders of the congregation.  They are called “elders” or “shepherds.” These men are selected according to the Biblical teachings set down in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.  They are to function as God’s shepherds of his congregation: “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:1)  

A number of men and women help our Shepherds by volunteering their time in various good works.
We have a preacher (or minister) to work with our congregation. The preacher and the church leaders are to use their talents to:  “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

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