Having been led, as we believe, by the 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, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We purpose, 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 (by faithful attendance), ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and personal devotion; to train our children in the Word of God; to seek the salvation of our family and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct; to avoid all gossip, and unrighteous anger; to abstain from all activities which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, cause stumbling to a fellow believer, or hinder in the winning of a soul to Christ; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the cause of Christ, our Savior; and to give Him preeminence in all things.
We further purpose 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 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 reconciliation without delay.
We moreover purpose that, when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church of like faith, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word. In the event there is no such church, with the Lord's help, we shall seek to establish one.
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict. We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ. Therefore, in response to God's love and in reliance on His grace, we commit ourselves to respond to conflict according to the following principles:
Luke 7:27-36; Galatians 5:19-26; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Romans 8:28, 29; James 1:2-4
Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will seek to please and honor God by depending on His wisdom, power, and love; by faithfully obeying His commands; and by seeking to maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude.
1 Corinthians 1:31; James 4:1-3; Psalm 37:1-6; Philippians 4:2-9; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Peter 2:12; John 14:15; James 3:17, 18; Romans 12:17-21; Mark 11:25
Get the log out of your own eye
Instead of attacking others or dwelling on their wrongs, we will take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts - confessing our sins, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused.
Matthew 7:3-5; 1 John 1:8, 9; Proverbs 28:13; Colossians 3:5-14; Luke 19:8
Go and show your brother his fault
Instead of pretending that conflict doesn't exist or talking about others behind their backs we will choose to talk directly and graciously with those whose offenses are sin issues. Disagreements based on personal preference will be overlooked. When a conflict with another Christian cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner.
Matthew 18:15-20; James 5:9; Proverbs 19:11; Galatians 6:1, 2; Ephesians 4:29; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Go and be reconciled
Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation - forgiving others as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences.
Matthew 6:12; Ephesians 4:1-3, 32; Matthew 7:12; Philippians 2:3, 4
By God's grace, we will apply these principles as a matter of stewardship, realizing that conflict is an assignment, not an accident. We will remember that success, in God's eyes, is not a matter of specific results, but of faithful, dependent obedience. And we will pray that our service as peacemakers bring praise to our Lord and leads others to know his infinite love.
Matthew 7:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 4:19; Romans 12:18; John 13:34, 35
We believe the Scriptures address every issue pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Bible addresses many issues specifically and provides us with a framework for evaluating matters not specifically mentioned. For matters not specifically addressed in Scripture, we seek to evaluate their appropriateness based on the following grid.
- Will this lead to freedom or slavery? (1 Corinthians 6:12)
- Will this be a stumbling block or a stepping stone? (1 Corinthians 8:13)
- Will this build up or tear down? (1 Corinthians 10:23)
- Will this only please me, or will it glorify Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Will this help to win the lost or turn them away? (1 Corinthians 10:33)
Based on these principles, we teach that many "socially acceptable" activities such as social drinking are unwise and potentially harmful for the believer.
- All Scripture is verbally inspired as originally written and therefore infallible and inerrant (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Matthew 5:18; 1 Corinthians 2:13).
The Bible IS the Word of God. We CANNOT accept the misleading statement: "The Bible contains the Word of God."
- There is one living and true God who exists in three Persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Father is God (1 Corinthians 8:6); the Son is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:8-10); and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3, 4.
- The Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-28).
- Christ rose bodily from the dead and ascended unto God the Father (Matthew 28; Mark 16; 1 Corinthians 15; Romans 1:4).
- Christ will return:
- First, for the "dead in Christ" who will be resurrected bodily, and for those who are alive at His coming. This resurrection not only precedes His return to earth to reign 1,000 years, but also precedes the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9).
- Then, to reign 1,000 years on the earth (Revelation 20:1-6; 2 Timothy 2:12).
- All men inherit a depraved nature and are lost sinners in need of salvation (Romans 3:9-19; Ephesians 2:1-3).
- God has provided salvation through offering His Son on the cross of Calvary, and allowing His blood to be shed to atone for our sins (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:22).
- We are saved and justified when we recognize ourselves as sinners and put our trust in Christ as the Son of God and His finished work on the cross of Calvary. Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing (Romans 3:24; 4:5; Ephesians 2:8, 9).
- Once saved, we cannot be lost; we are eternally secure in Christ (John 3:16; 10:27-29; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:38, 39).
- The baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place at the time of conversion and is the act of placing the believer into the body of Christ, but is not a second work of grace (1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27). It is different than the filling of the Holy Spirit which is an ongoing process that may occur at any time in the believer's life (Ephesians 5:18). Neither of these aspects is accompanied by unusual signs such as speaking in tongues.
- We should regularly participate in the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 11:23-32).
- All believers should be baptized by immersion as an act of obedience, but not for securing their salvation (Acts 2:41; 19:4, 5; Matthew 28:19, 20).
- The Bible teaches the eternal blessedness of the saved (John 4:14, 5:24; Ephesians 2:7). It also teaches the eternal punishment of the lost (John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:10, 15; Matthew 25:46).
- The grace of God teaches us to "live soberly, righteously, and godly (Titus 2:11-13).
We believe in separation "unto God" (Romans 1:1; 16:17; 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6; 1 Timothy 6:3, 5).
- Titus 2:13 - "Looking for that blessed hope" of His returning for us.
- Colossians 3:2, 3; 1 John 2:15-17-Setting our "affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
- 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 - Living a life of separation from the world.