Standards of Conduct

In an effort to appear non-judgmental, modern religion often ignores God’s rules for life.  These rules are not meant to make us miserable.  Rather they are necessary in order for us to be happy and fulfilled.  The Standards of Conduct and Church Covenant printed below do not give an adequate picture of God’s wonderful design for our lives.  The standards are largely negative because they address rebellious actions that are tearing people’s lives apart. 

Although we have high ethical standards for our members, we welcome people who are overwhelmed by the power of sin. We are very much aware of our own unworthiness in the sight of a holy God, and we are grateful that He has accepted us. If you are having trouble in your marriage or are struggling with sexual purity or drug abuse (as some of us have), we want you to come. The Lord Jesus Christ offers forgiveness for your sins and a new kind of life.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

As a church of Jesus Christ living under His authority, we believe that our conduct must be regulated by the standards of His word. Since the biblical standards of conduct are widely ignored both by society in general and by much of the Christian church, we wish to speak clearly on the following issues. Members must promise to abstain from the following offenses, which are sufficient causes for dismissal from church employment and for disciplinary action of members:

  1. Sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between one man and one woman *
  2. Abortion unless the mother’s physical life is clearly endangered by continuing the pregnancy;
  3. Abusive treatment of family members that seriously threatens their continued well-being;
  4. Divorce except on the grounds of adultery, clear physical endangerment of family members, or actual (not psychological) desertion;
  5. Public teaching that contradicts the Church’s Statement of Faith or Standards of Conduct;
  6. Drug or alcohol abuse;
  7. Creating dissension within the Church;
  8. Other serious breaches of doctrine or conduct contrary to Scripture.

* A man is a person who was born male and continues to be male; a woman is a person who was born female and continues to be female. (Questions regarding doctrines and conduct, which are not mentioned in these bylaws, will be determined by a three-quarters (3/4) majority of the Board of the Church.)

CHURCH COVENANT

Each applicant for membership in the Church shall sign the following covenant.

Because I love the Lord Jesus Christ and because I count it a privilege and a duty to be united to His people, I promise before God that I will support this Church by:

  1. Abiding by its Standards of Conduct;
  2. Studying the word of God;
  3. Praying for the Church and its members;
  4. Attending its services;
  5. Serving the Lord and the Church according to the abilities God has given me;
  6. Endeavoring to live in such a way that the honor of God’s name and the reputation of the Church will be upheld;
  7. Submitting to its discipline;
  8. Financially supporting its ministries as the Lord prospers me.

 

 

Statement of Faith

 

Section 1. Our Purpose in Life

Our highest purpose is to glorify God.1 We do this first by enjoying Him in heartfelt worship, and then by obeying His commands.2 We humbly ask God for worshipping and obedient hearts, so that our lives and our lips may honor the holy name of Him who dwells in eternal blessedness and unapproachable light.3

1 Isaiah 43:6-7; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 10:31.
2
1 Chronicles 16:24-29; Philippians 1:9-11.
3
1
Timothy 6:14-16.

 

Section 2. The Word Of God

We learn about God in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. He guided the authors of the Bible so that their words exactly expressed the truth He intended without any error, addition or omission.1 God has uniquely preserved His word through the processes of copying and translation so that it remains understandable and trustworthy.2 We diligently study these books, both in private and together3 because they are our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, and they teach everything we need to know in order to live eternally for the glory of God.4

1 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Revelation 22:18-19.
2 Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35.
3
Acts 17:10-11; 2 Timothy 2:15.
4
Psalm 119:97-104; 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

 

Section 3. The True God

We pray with confidence to the one true God, who created the universe out of nothing. His will keeps the world on its ordinary course, but He also works in extraordinary ways to bless His people or to judge His enemies. In all of God’s activity, His holy character and His wise purposes never change.1 This one God eternally exists as three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,2 and our fellowship with God involves each person of the Trinity.3 Each of these persons has precisely the same divine nature and attributes as the others, and they act together in distinct but harmonious ways in every work of God.4

1 Isaiah 43:10-13; Psalm 33:6; Psalm 135; Numbers 23:19.
2 Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1-2; 20:27-29; Colossians 2:9.
3
2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 1:3.
4
John 5:17-30; Colossians 1:12-20.

 

Section 4. God In Christ

We know God in a personal way only through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the eternal Son of God, who was born of a virgin, and is, therefore, fully God and fully man.1 Through His sinless life and perfect obedience to God’s law, He prepared Himself to become our redeemer. When He died on the cross, Jesus revealed God’s love for us, He gave an example of righteous suffering, and He conquered Satan.2 More than that, God was in Christ satisfying His own holy wrath against sin by substituting Himself for us.3 Then God raised Jesus bodily from the dead and took Him up into heaven. By the resurrection God reassures us that Christ’s sacrifice has been accepted and that He will come visibly to earth again.3

1 Matthew 11:25-27; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1-18.
2
Hebrews 4:15; Romans 5:6-8; 1Peter 2:18-25; Hebrews 2:14-15.
3
Romans 5:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 3:10-13.
4
Acts 2:22-24; 1 Corinthians 15.

 

Section 5. Mankind

We respect the dignity of all people, including both sexes and all races, because God made mankind in His own image.1 When the first human couple sinned, the image of God in them was damaged, and they became incapable of knowing, loving and pleasing God. All of us are a part of Adam’s rebellious race, being sinners both by birth and by choice.2 Nevertheless, we rejoice that the image of God is being restored in all who are saved by Christ, and we gladly acknowledge all such people as equal brothers and sisters in the Lord.3

1 Genesis 1:26-28.
2 Romans 3:23; 5:12-21; 8:6-8.
3
2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Colossians 3:8-14.

 

Section 6. Salvation

We praise God alone for our salvation. According to His own free and eternal purpose, our Father chose us before the foundation of the world.1 In due time, He called us individually to Christ through the gospel.2 Using the word of God, the Holy Spirit caused us to be born again, gave us faith in Christ, and by that faith united us to the Savior.3

On the basis of that union with our righteous Redeemer, God forgave our sins and declared us righteous wholly apart from any merit in ourselves. This is the great gift of justification.4 Furthermore, God has adopted us into His family and made us fellow heirs with Christ.5 We rejoice that our salvation can never be lost because the Spirit of God keeps us united to the Savior so that we continue to love and trust Him.6

1 Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
2
1 Corinthians 1:23-29.
3
John 1:11-13; 3:3-8; James 1:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3; 22-25; John 6:35, 37, 44;
Acts 13:48; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:27; John 15:1-10.

4
Romans 4:1-5:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 3:4-9.
5
Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:1-7.
6 John 10:27-30; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Hebrews 7:23-25;1 Peter 1:3-9.

 

Section 7. Repentance and Faith

We urge all people to repent of their sins and to believe in Christ, for this is the only way they can be saved.1 True faith is coming to Christ, receiving Him, and trusting Him alone for salvation.2 This saving faith is always accompanied by repentance, that is, a godly sorrow for sin and a longing for holiness. True repentance must not be confused with the remorse of a sinner who only laments his failures and fears God’s judgment.3 Therefore, we exhort professing Christians to examine themselves to make sure of their salvation.4

1 John 5:24; 8:24; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 11:6; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 17:30-31.
2
John 1:12; 6:35-37; Jeremiah 17:7-8.
3
Acts 11:18; 20:21; 26:18-20; 2 Corinthians 7:8-13.
4
2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:1-11.

 

Section 8. Life in the Spirit

We depend on the Holy Spirit who enables us to glorify God. When we were saved, He entered our lives and began the process of making us more like Christ.1 He also gave each of us one or more spiritual gifts to use for building up the church.2 Since all gifts are from the Spirit of Christ, we do not exalt any one gift as a special evidence of salvation or holiness. Instead, we acknowledge a fervent love, both for the Triune God and for people, as the primary fruit of the Spirit.3 God’s word and His Spirit teach us to pursue sexual purity and to flee the domination of our lives by sin or by any harmful activity, for Jesus Christ alone, is our Master.4

1 Romans 8:9-13; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
2 Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4:8-11.
3 Matthew 22:34-40; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-23.
4
1 Corinthians 6:9-20; 2 Timothy 2:22.

 

Section 9. The Church

In accordance with the New Testament marks of a true church, we confess the doctrine of the Apostles; we seek to have a converted and holy membership; we celebrate the ordinances commanded by our Savior; and we acknowledge our unity with all our Christian brothers and sisters wherever they may worship.1

We are committed to the fellowship of our local assembly, and we support its ministries by our attendance at its services, by our sacrificial giving, by submitting to its discipline, and by laboring according to the abilities that God has given us.2

As a self-governing church, we proclaim our freedom from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. However, we gladly cooperate with other congregations that hold to the essential doctrines of Scripture, and we obey our civil government except in matters opposed to the word of God.3

1 Acts 2:41-47; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Ephesians 4:1-6.
2 Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Matthew 18:15-20; Romans 12:3-13.
3
Acts 4:19-20; 5:24-29; Romans 13:1-7.

 

Section 10. Our Worship and the Ordinances

We observe the apostolic practice of setting aside the Lord’s day for public worship. In our corporate worship we follow the pattern set forth in Scripture. Thus, we engage in prayer; we read and preach God’s word; we praise God in spiritual songs; we present our offerings to God; and we observe the ordinances commanded by our Savior. These ordinances are visible signs of the saving work of Christ that God has designed for our spiritual benefit.1

We practice baptism of believers by immersion as a prerequisite for church membership. Baptism pictures the believer’s cleansing from sin and his union with Christ in His death and resurrection. In baptism the Lord encourages the new believer to leave his old life behind and to walk in the new life of Christ.2

The Lord’s Supper is open to all who have been born again, but we encourage believers to be baptized before they share in it. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death. The bread and cup are symbols of His body and blood, which God uses to draw us into spiritual communion with our crucified, risen Savior.3

1 Acts 20:7-12; 1Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:1-8; 4:11-16.
2
Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 16:22-34; 22:16; Romans 6.
3
1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 11:23-26

 

Section 11. Our Mission

We seek to fulfill Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations1 by engaging in the following endeavors: (a) Within our own congregation we train believers in Christian doctrine, life and witness, and we encourage each other through mutual fellowship.2 (b) Among our neighbors and in our nation our primary goal is to evangelize the lost, but Christ’s love for people also compels us to labor for justice and to exercise compassion in our society.3 (c) By praying, giving and going we seek to reach across cultural boundaries to spread the good news of Christ to other people-groups around the world.4

1 Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.
2
2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 10:23-25.
3 Proverbs 24:10-12; James 1:27; 5:1-6.
4
1 Corinthians 9:7-14, 19-23.

 

Section 12. Last Things

We are comforted by the promise that when believers die, their spirits are immediately with the Lord in heaven.1 However, we have a further hope, which is even more blessed–the glorious return of our Savior Jesus Christ. When He comes, He will gather His elect, the living and the dead, from every tribe and tongue;2 He will establish His kingdom of peace; and He will raise and judge those who have rejected Him, casting them into the unending torment of hell.3 Although we are pained by the doom of the lost, we rejoice in the promise that justice will triumph, so we pray fervently for our Lord’s return, and we labor diligently to be ready when He comes.4

1 Luke 16:19-31; 23:39-43; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-23.
2
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58.
3
John 5:25-29; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:11-15.
4
Luke 12:35-48; 2 Peter 3:10-12.

 

 

How You Can Come to Know God

If you have spiritual questions, Pastor LaShell will be happy to respond by email or by phone. The following paragraphs provide a brief summary of How You Can Come to Know God.

Many people concoct their own idea of God the way my mother used to make soup. She tossed all the leftovers into the pot and boiled them up. It was usually pretty good, but it was never the same two times in a row. In a similar way, people collect various notions about God from their reading or from television or from conversations with friends. Then they stir them all together and come up with their own personal idea of what God is like. Such a procedure would be just fine if God were only a figment of our imaginations. No one’s idea of God would be any more or less true than anyone else’s, and it would not bother us to observe that some ideas of God contradict other notions about Him. God, however, is not an imaginary being like the Easter Bunny. He is as real as your mother or your best friend. Therefore, since contradictory notions of God cannot all be true, some of them are certainly false.

The only way we can know the true God is by His own revelation of Himself. If He had not told us what He is like, we could never really know. Fortunately, God does make Himself known to us through His word, the Bible. The following are some of the most important truths about God from the Bible.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“Be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy'” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39).

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

If you want Jesus to save you from your sin, you may come to God with a prayer something like the following.

Dear Father in Heaven, You are the holy Creator of the world, and I am only a sinful creature. I believe that You sent your beloved Son to die in the place of sinners, and I believe that You raised Him from the dead on the third day. I now repent of my sins. Please forgive my sins for Jesus’ sake. Please make me Your child and help me to live the rest of my life for You. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you have just now received Christ, or if you would like to do so, please email Pastor LaShell, or call him at 610-398-9250.  He would love to help you grow in your knowledge of God.