What We Believe
COVENANT AND STATEMENT OF FAITH
SECTION 1 – MISSION STATEMENT:
Having been led, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also, engage to maintain family and secret devotions, to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling, and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
SECTION 2 - STATEMENT OF FAITH:
(A) THE HOLY SCRIPTURES:
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and fully inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, with God for its author, and salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.
(Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Psalm 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105,. 140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16, 36; Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 21:33, 24:44-46; John 5:39, 16:13-15, 17:17; Acts 2:16ff., 17:11; Rom. 15:4, 16:25-26; 2Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2, 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
There is one and only one living and true God. He is the supreme intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. Within God all things originate.
(1) God the Father:
God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
(Gen. 1:1, 2:7; Ex. 3:14, 6:2-3, 15:11ff; Lev. 22:2; Deut. 6:4, 32:6; 1 Chron. 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isa. 43:3-15, 64:8; Jer. 10:10, 17:13; Matt. 6:9ff, 7:11, 23:9, 18:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24, 5:26, 14:6-13, 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 4:6; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:6, 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7)
(2) God the Son:
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death on the cross, and the shedding of His blood He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.
(Gen. 18:1ff; Psalm 2:7ff, 110:1ff; Isa. 7:14-53; Matt. 1:18-23, 3:17, 8:29, 11:27, 14:33, 16:16,27 17:5,27, 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1, 3:11; Luke 1:35, 4:41, 22:70, 24:46; John 1:1-18,29, 10:30,38, 11:25-27, 12:44-50, 14:7-11, 16:15-16,28; Acts 1:9, 2:22-24, 7:55-56, 9:4-5,20;
Rom. 1:3-4, 3:23-26, 5:6-21, 8:1-3, 34, 10:4; 1 Cor. 1:30, 2:2, 8:6, 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1;20, 3:11, 4:7-10; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-22; 1 Thess. 4;14-18; 1 Tim. 2:5-6, 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1-3, 4:14-15, 7:14-28, 12:2, 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25, 3;22; 1 John 1:7-9, 3:2, 4;14-15, 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Rev. 1:15-16, 5:9-14, 12:10-11, 13:8, 19:16).
(3) God the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
(Gen. 1:2; Judg. 14:6; Job26:13; Psalm 51:11, 139:7ff; Isa. 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matt. 1:18, 3:16, 4:1, 12:28-32, 28:19; Mark 1:10-12; Luke 1:35, 4:1,18-19, 11:13, 12:12, 24:49; John 4:24, 14:16-17,26, 16:7-14; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4,38, 4:31, 5:3, 6:3, 7:55, 8:17-39, 1:44, 13:2, 15:28, 16:6, 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9-11, 14:16,26-27; 2 Cor. 2:10-14, 3;16, 12:3-11; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-13, 4;30, 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; 1 Tim. 3;16, 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:14, 3;16; Heb. 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13, 5;6-7; Rev. 1;10, 22:17).
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam=s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God, and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.
(Gen. 1:26-30, 2:5-7,18-22, 3:ff, 9:6; Psalm1:ff, 8:3-6, 32:1-5, 51;5; Isa. G:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26-27; Rom. 1:19-31, 3;10-18,23, 5;6,12,19, 6:6, 7:14-25, 8:14-18,29; 1 cor. 1:21-31, 15:19.21-22; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21, 3:9-11).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious Blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. It is being born again, having faith in the atoning death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(Gen. 3;15; Ex. 3:14-17, 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21, 4;17, 16;21-16, 27:22 to 28:6; Luke 1:68-69, 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 3:3-21, 36:5-24, 10:9,28-29, 15:1-16, 17:17; Acts 2:21, 4:12, 15:11,
16:30-31, 20:32; Rom. 1:16-18, 2:4, 3:23-25, 4:3ff, 5:8-10, 6;1-23, 8:1-18,29-39, 10:9-10,13,13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18,30, 6:19-20, 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; Gal. 2:20, 3:13, 5:22-25,
6:15; Eph. 1:17, 2:8-22, 4:11-16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22, 3;1ff, 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3, 5:8-9, 9:24-28, 11:1-12,8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 john 1:6 to 2:11; Rev. 3:20, 21:1 to 22:5).
We believe that justification is the perfect righteousness of God imputed to the believers in Christ Jesus.
(Acts 13:1 to 39:ff; Rom. 5:1-2).
(G.) ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF BELIEVERS:
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God=s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God=s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh.
(Psalm 89:ff; John 10:28-29, 5:24; Romans 8:35-39).
(H.) THE CHURCH:
We believe that the local church, headed by Christ, is a congregation of born again believers bound together in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; and that Jesus committed the ministry of the gospel to His church.
(Matt. 16:15-19, 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47, 5:11-14, 6:3-6, 13:1-3, 14:23-27, 15:1-30, 16:5, 20:28; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2, 3:16, 5:4-5, 7:17, 9:13-14; Eph. 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 3:8-11,21, 5:22-32; Phil. 1:ff; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15, 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Rev. 2-3; 21:2-3).
(I.) THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST:
We believe in that Ablessed hope,@ the personal, 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 Israel.
(Psalm 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6).
We believe that heaven is a literal place of pure delight and eternal joy prepared by God for all those who have been born again.
(John 14:1-6; Revelation 22:ff).
We believe that hell is a literal place of punishment for the lost (all of those that have not been born again), that they will be there until the great white throne judgement, and from there be sentenced to an Eternal Hell separated from god and all of mankind, and that A...death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.@ (Rev. 20:11-14)
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire.
(Isa. 14:12-17; Eph. 6:13-18; 1 John 4:4).
(M.) SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE:
We believe in the separation of church and state with each having definite and distinct spheres of responsibility. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than another. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men. And the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power. Every Christian church member should be a good citizen by being informed of the political issues and by exercising the right to vote his individual convictions.
We believe that the state should stay out of affairs of the church, but that the church members have a right as United States citizens, to participate in government offices. If elected by the people of the United States or an individual State, we believe it is our right, responsibility and privilege to hold these offices. We believe that the 14th Amendment was set up to keep the State out of the Church, but not the church member out of the State.
(Gen. 1:27, 2:7; Matt. 6:6-7,24, 16:26, 22:21; John 3:36; Acts 4:19-20; Rom. 61-2, 13:1-7; Gal. 5:1,13; Phil. 3:20; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17, 4:12-19).
(N.) HUMAN SEXUALITY:
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God=s gift of sex.
(Gen. 19:5, 13:ff, 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1, 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
(O.) DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE:
We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of adultery and/or fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the Church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon.
(Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6).
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable.
Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
(Q.) LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS:
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christians insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
(1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God=s wealth entrusted to him is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made.
(Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Mal. 3:ff; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
(S.) CHURCH AFFILIATION WITH ASSOCIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS:
This church is a free, autonomous, independent body congregational in nature with authority to determine for itself, free of any outside control, authority to determine for itself, free of any outside control, authority of power whether governmental or otherwise, the use of its property and all church policies. We recognize that there is mutual helpfulness in the association of churches who are in such agreement in faith and practice as to encourage the spirit of fellowship and good will. We also recognize that there have been devised, through voluntary cooperation of churches of like faith and order, organizations whose purpose it is to implement the missionary, educational, and benevolent interest and obligations of the individual Christian and his church family. Believing that the Catawba Valley River Association, the Baptist State Convention of N.C. and the Southern Baptist Convention are organizations which have their sole purpose the promotion and support of missions, education, and benevolence of the character and in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution and Articles of Faith of this church, we therefore agree to participate in these organizations through our duly elected messengers and our support of the causes which these organizations represent.