SCRIPTURE OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2023
statement of belief
Sanctification• Though we are declared positionally cleansed, conditionally we are the same. For this reason, we must undergo a process of cleansing that conforms us to the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit. This process is known as sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The act of cleansing takes place when we are restored to a right relationship with God. Glorification• The final state of humanity is to disrobe from mortality and to be robed with immortality (1 Corinthians 15:54). This is our ultimate state when we are changed with a twinkling of the eye! Ecclesiology: What we believe about the Church• We believe in the local church as the vehicle of expression of the Kingdom, or government, of God. Jesus is the founder and the head of the Church (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18).• We believe that every believer should be a part of a local church, which is governed by the structure God provides in Scripture (Hebrews 10:25).• We believe that the Church is comprised of believers (Colossians 1:24).• We believe that God takes care of the Church (Ephesians 5:29).• We believe that Christ is coming back for His Church (Ephesians 5:27).• We believe that the local church has a hierarchical structure: Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, and Teachers. These five offices govern the church with the assistance of the ministry of Deacons (Ephesians 4:11, Acts 6, Hebrews 13:17).• We believe that the local church should demonstrate and participate in the justice of God in its community (Luke 4:18, Isaiah 58:6-14).• We believe that the local church is the storehouse for the tithes and offerings of God (Malachi 3:10). Eschatology: What we believe about the End Times • We believe in the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, Revelations 4, 1 Corinthians 15).• We believe in the tribulation period based upon the book of Daniel (Daniel’s 70th week) and the book of Revelation.• We believe in the judgment of believers, not for eternity but for rewards, called the Bema (1 Corinthians 3:5-17, 1 Corinthians 5:10).• We believe in the Millennial Reign of Christ (Revelation 19).• We believe in the Great White Throne of Judgment for unbelievers (Revelation 20).• We believe in heaven as the eternal destination of the believer and hell and the Lake of Fire for the unbeliever (Matthew 5:3, Revelation 21:1, Luke 16:19-31, Revelation 20:14-15). Pneumatology: What we believe about the Holy Spirit • We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity (Acts 16:7, 1 Corinthians 6:11, John 14:26).• We believe in the pre-existence of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26).• We believe that the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament as mentioned in Scripture.• We believe that the Holy Spirit plays a part in the salvation of humanity (1 Corinthians 12:3).• We believe that the Holy Spirit is ultimately responsible for the writing of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21).• We believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent act after salvation for personal empowerment and a devotional gift (Acts 2:38, 8:14-17, 10:44-48).• We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers the church with gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Romans 12:6-8).• We believe that we are to have communion with the Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14). Trinitology: What we believe about the Trinity • We believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The three have distinct roles but are only one God.• We believe in a Triune Godhead. Though the word “Trinity” does not appear in Scripture, the concept does. In Genesis 1:1 & 26, the word used for God is “Elohim“, which is used to express plurality. This term is used throughout the Old Testament. The concept of the Trinity is supported in the New Testament in Matthew 3 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 along with salutations and doxologies that express a Trinitarian belief.
Anthropology: What we believe about Man• We believe that God has a purpose for all of humanity (Romans 8:32-37).• We believe that God has uniquely gifted everyone for ministry (Romans 11:29).• We believe that prayer is a key component to spiritual perpetuation.• We believe that man was created to praise God with singing, dancing, and on instruments (Psalm 150).• We believe that man is created with the ability to choose for himself, a concept that is demonstrated throughout Scripture. This is called free moral agency.• We believe Adam was the first man and from him, all others have come. He was created pure without sin but chose to sin, hence sin entered all of humanity (Genesis 3, Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23). He represented humanity as the federal and seminal head.• We believe in marriage as an institution planned by God for human fulfillment, reproduction, and to serve as a type of the church and Christ (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 3:16, Hebrews 13:4).• We believe that marriage is intended to be a lifetime commitment honored by all (Matthew 19:1-7). Divorce is not to be sought after, however, God does grant forgiveness for divorcees. Demonology: What we believe about Satan • We believe in a real devil and demons, sometimes referred to as fallen angels. The chief of demons or fallen angels is Satan (Job 1, Isaiah 14:12-14, 2 Corinthians 11:3).• We believe that ultimately the believer will triumph over the devil and his forces (Revelation 12:11, Romans 8:35-37, Luke 10:17).• We believe that every believer is in personal combat, consciously or not, with the forces of evil – Satan, demons, and fallen angels.• We believe that Christ defeated the forces of evil on the cross of Calvary, hence, the believer must stand against Satan in light of this victory (Colossians 2:15)