We celebrated the birth of our nation this week. It is important to celebrate July 4th to remind us of the cost of our freedoms. This is a good time for us to thank God for our blessings. We need to be thankful for all that is good about America.
God has certainly blessed the land that we call home. We can celebrate the freedom enjoyed by every American. While men and women gave their lives to ensure us of this freedom, we must never take them for granted. We have freedoms not known in many parts of the world.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
1. We believe that both the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and are inerrant in the original writings. They are supreme and final authority in faith and practice. (Psalm 138:2; Matthew 5:17-18; Mark 12:26, 36; Luke 24: 27, 44; John 5:39-47, , , ; Acts ; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Revelation 22:18-19)
2. We believe that the Bible is the authority for our lives that is sufficient to guide us in what we believe, how we live, and how this church functions. (Luke 6:46-49, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12, James 1:22)
3. We believe that there is only one true and living God existing in three persons- -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - -each a distinct Person, but all of one essence and all having the same nature, perfections, and attributes. (1 Timothy 2:5; Isaiah 45:5, 21; 2 Peter 1:17; John 1:1, 5:17, 8:58, 10:30-33, 20:28; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 1:8; John 14:16-17; Acts 5:3-4)
4. We believe that God is the sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe. We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Genesis 1:1-2; Ex. 20:11; Psalm 33:10-11, 66:7; Daniel 4:17; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 19:6)
5. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man. We believe Jesus lived a sinless and perfect life and He died for our sins according to the Scriptures. We believe He is our representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, His ascension into Heaven, and His present life and ministry as High Priest and Advocate. We believe He will someday literally, bodily, and visibly return to set up His kingdom on the earth. (Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:14-16)
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. We believe He is very God and is co-existent with the Father and the Son. We believe the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Supernatural Agent in the regeneration of the soul. We believe that the Holy Spirit baptizes each believer into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation. We believe He seals and indwells every Christian at the moment of salvation. The Spirit teaches, guides, comforts, empowers, and develops the character of Christ in believers as they are filled with and walk in the Holy Spirit. He equips the believer with spiritual gifts according to His will. These gifts must be used in accordance with Scripture. (John 14:16-17; 16:5-15; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:1-14:40; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 1:13-14, , )
7. We believe that Jesus Christ is man’s only hope of salvation from sin being the only mediator between God and man. We believe that all who receive Christ through genuine repentance and faith are born of the Holy Spirit and permanently become children of God with all of the blessings and responsibilities associated therein. (John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, 10:28; Acts 3:19; Romans 3:21-25, 5:1, 10:9-10, 13; Galatians 2:16-21, 3:10-14, 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:14, 2:8-10, 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; Jude 24) We are made right with God only on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:24-26, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
8. We believe that all men are created in the image of God and not evolved from a lower order of beings. However, all people are born in sin and are sinners by nature and conduct. Our sin has separated us from God and results in spiritual and physical death. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 59:2, 64:6; Romans 3:9-23, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3)
9. We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is built up by believers who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation. His church exists in autonomous local churches where His people gather together. The church is to fulfill the Great Commission until Christ’s return for us. We believe the local church observes two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that all who have received Christ as Savior and Lord should be baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; that baptism is by immersion in the likeness of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; and that the Lord’s Supper should be observed in remembrance of Him to show forth His death for our sins until He comes again. (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 2-3; Acts -38; -33; Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
11. We believe that it is the calling of every Christian to live a holy life, love God and other people, grow spiritually, use his or her God-given spiritual gifts for the glorification of Christ and edification of the body, and to be a witness for Christ in the world. (Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 1 Peter -16, -11; 2 Peter )
12. We believe in the reality of angels, who are spirits created by God. They continually worship and serve God and also minister to believers. We also believe in the reality of Satan and demons, who are fallen angels. However, we also believe that Christ defeated Satan on the cross and believers have authority over him today. (Isaiah 6; Hebrews 1; Genesis 3; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; 1 John 3:8; Jude 6; Revelation 12; 20:10)
13. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous, the eternal blessedness of the saved in heaven, and the eternal punishment of the lost in hell. (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; John 5:29; John 14:3; Acts , 24:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:13; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8)
14. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband and the wife are equal before God, since both are created in God’s image. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously and voluntarily to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. In other words, husbands and wives are equal persons with distinct, God-given roles. They are to work together to manage the household and nurture the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to raise their children with a godly example, loving discipline, wise teaching and training, and proper affection. Children are to honor and obey their parents. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 127; 139:13-16; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
15. We believe the Bible teaches a literal heaven and a literal hell. Those who are born again by faith in Christ will go to heaven. All those who refuse Christ as Savior and Lord will be cast into the lake of fire. The unrepentant will suffer eternal torment. The lost “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-44, 46; Luke 16:19-30; John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:14-15, 21:8)
16. We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord over everything. (Matthew 28:18, 1 Corinthians 15:27-28, Philippians 2:9-11, Colossians 1:18) We believe in that blessed hope, which is the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven year Tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of
CELEBRATING OUR FREEDOM
Biblical principles have guided our nation. Those principles are written in our history. They are declared in our monuments. Our biblical principles have separated America from other countries around the world.
We have the responsibility to defend our freedom the Founders of our nation made possible for us. We must defend our freedom not only from the enemies from without but also from the enemies of freedom from within. Because of freedom is being attacked today, Christians should be concerned about our religious freedom.
We need to ease our minds and think of all the things we have to enjoy in America. Exercising our rights will cause us to appreciate those freedoms and be more willing to defend them regardless of the cost.