COVENANT AND STATEMENT OF FAITH
SECTION 1 - CHURCH COVENANT:
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 body of believers, 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 use of intoxicating drink and/or substance abuse, to live a life above reproach, 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, 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:
- 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).
We believe 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. We believe in the Trinity of God. He 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.
- 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)
- God the Son:
Christ is the eternal Son of God. He is Emmanuel, God with us. In His incarnation as Jesus, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus, the promised Messiah and the Christ, perfectly revealed and did the will of the Father, 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 rose 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 the Father 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, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, 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).
- 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 in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inheriting 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, The Christ, The Son of The Living God.
(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 believer, the person who by faith receives Jesus as their personal Savior.
(Acts 13:1-39; Rom. 5:1-2; Rom. 10:9-10).
6. 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 Christians abusing the grace of God as an excuse to sin.
(Psalm 89:ff; John 10:28-29, 5:24; Romans 6:1-3, 8:35-39; Eph. 1:13-14).
7. 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).
8. THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST:
We believe in that blessed 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).
10. HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE:
We believe that hell is a literal place of punishment for the lost. The definition for those who are lost is; everyone who has not been born again or received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior by repenting or turning from the sin debt in which they owe. We believe when a lost person dies they will be banished to hell, only to be raised up at the Great White Throne Judgement, where Jesus will pronounce His final judgment on each lost person. Once their sentence has been pronounced, the lost person will be cast into an Eternal Lake of Fire, separated from God and all of mankind.
“…death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Rev. 20:11-14)
(Matthew 7, Revelation 20)
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).
12. 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. 6:1-2, 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).
13. HUMAN SEXUALITY:
We believe homosexuality is one of the six sexual sins condemned by God in the Bible. Homosexuality is not just a sin against one’s own body, but is an offense and an abomination against God. We believe that God has commanded no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. Anyone who practices any of these perversions, shall not hold any role in leadership at TPC, nor shall they continue to be a member of this particular body. We believe God’s Word is clear on human sexuality and prohibits these life styles within the church. We believe a sexual relationship is only appropriate in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage covenant, and therefore should only be practiced in such a covenant. We believe that any sexual practice outside of the previously described marriage covenant is sin. We believe that God created humankind in His image, intentionally male and female with each bringing unique qualities to sexuality and relationships. Sexuality is a wonderful gift from God to be expressed in marriage for procreation, union, and mutual delight or in celibacy in devotion to God. We believe that marriage is the union of one man (husband) and one woman (wife) through a sacred covenant designed by God to be a lifelong relationship and commitment between a husband and a wife. (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).
14. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE:
We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses die. Divorce and remarriage are regarded as adultery. The only exception for grounds of divorce is 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 in the sanctity of human life beginning 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; Psalm 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1,5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
16. 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, shall tithe (10 percent of his/her gross income) as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to them and is obligated to support the 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. We also believe that once a tithe, offering or donation of any nature has been given to the church, it is the sole purpose of the church body to choose what is to be done with those monies. In the unlikely event that special fundraiser/offerings designated for a specific purpose become no longer viable due to unforeseen circumstances then it would be up to the church body to redirect those funds toward another area of ministry within the church. The church shall be notified and by majority of the vote of the church body shall decide where the money is allocated.
(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).
18. 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 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.
1-57; Revelation 20:11-15).