Articles of Faith

 

THE BIBLE

We believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and every word in the original writings was without error. The Bible is to be used for doctrine, for correction, for reproof and for instruction--2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:12, 13.

 

GOD

We believe in the Godhead as taught in Scriptures. God is one but exists eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit--2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:26; 15:26; 
1 Peter 1:2; Deut. 6:4.

 

JESUS CHRIST

We believe the eternal Son of God became incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. Jesus was true God and true man. In eternity past Christ was the creator of all things. On the cross He became the substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of those who believe on Him as Lord and Saviour. He died and rose again from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven bodily and sits on the righthand of God and is the mediator between God and man--John 1:1-3, 14, 18; Matt. 1:21-23; Heb. 1:6, 8; 1 Tim. 2:5; Acts 13:38, 39; 1 John 5:20; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:32-36; Eph. 1:20.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead who regenerates, baptizes, indwells, seals and fills true believers in Christ. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to members of the Body of Christ (the church) and is the believer's Comforter and Teacher. According to the Scriptures the Holy Spirit can be quenched (hindering His operation) grieved, and lied to. Often the Holy Spirit is called God in the Scriptures--John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5; 1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19; Acts 5:3, 4; John 14:26; 1 John 2:27; John 16:13; 1 Cor. 12:1-11.

 

MAN

We believe as taught in the Scriptures that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but when Adam sinned all mankind fell into sin resulting in all men being sinners apart from the grace of God--Gen. 1:27; 9:6; Rom. 5:12; 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; 1 John 1:8.

 

SIN

Sin is the transgression of God's divine law. In the New Testament the word translated sin often means "to miss the mark". There are sins of omission--failing to do that which one knows to do, sins of commission--doing that which God has commanded one not to do, sins of infirmity--sins committed through ignorance or weakness of the flesh, secret sins--sins which one commits in secret, and presumptuous sins--sins which are committed boldly and with full knowledge of the sin and its punishment. Scriptures plainly teach that everyone has sinned, however, we are commanded to confess our sins and forsake sin. God has promised to give His children victory over sin. Believers in Jesus Christ are to live above sin (free from the control and power of sin)---Psa. 51:5; Gal. 3:22; 1 John 3:4; 5:17; James 4:17; Rom. 6:1-23.

 

SALVATION

Since man is a sinner he stands in the need of salvation. Salvation in Scripture means "deliverance". Man needs to be delivered from the power of sin. Jesus Christ is the one who provided salvation for man by dying upon the cross. A sinner is saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. To accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is to believe on Him--John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31; John 20:31. Throughout Scripture those who exercised faith in Jesus Christ also repented of their sin. To repent means to have a change of mind, to be sorry for the sins committed against God. Psalm 51:1-7 is an example of David's repentance. God calls men to repentance--Matt. 9:13; Acts 11:17-18; 17:20; 26:19-20; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:10. Conversion is associated with salvation. Convert means "to turn about, turn towards". When a sinner is converted he turns toward God, makes an about face from sin--Acts 3:19. Salvation results in one being justified. Justification means to declare righteous--Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:20-28; 5:1-2.

 

REGENERATION

Regeneration is the special work of the Holy Spirit whereby an individual becomes a partaker of the Divine Nature of God. Regeneration is often called "being born again". Every believer in Christ has to be born again (filled with the Holy Spirit) because without the new birth one cannot enter into the kingdom of God--John 3:3-5; Titus 3:4-6; Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 5:1.

 

SANCTIFICATION

Every believer in Christ is to live a sanctified (holy) life. Sanctification means "to set apart for God's service". Believers in Christ are to be separated from evil things and evil ways. Sanctification is a process and must be done on a daily basis through obeying the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit--John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:21; 1 Thess. 4:3-7; Heb. 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16.

 

BAPTISM

As an Apostolic Church we strongly believe in water baptism by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ because we follow the teaching of the Apostles which began on the day of Pentecost. Beginning with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost believers were always baptized by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ. No where in the New Testament do we find where anyone was immersed in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Throughout the book of Acts (which records the early history of the church) individuals were always baptized in the name of Jesus Christ--Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:47-48; 19:4-5. We do not believe that water baptism saves an individual. Water baptism identifies an individual with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ--Romans 6:1-11; Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21. We believe that individuals must be baptized (filled) with the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. In Samaria individuals had been baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ but they had not been filled with the Holy Spirit. After Peter and John had laid hands on the Samaritans they were filled with the Holy Spirit--Acts 8:14-17. Cornelius and those in his household received the baptism of the Holy Spirit before being baptized in water--Acts 10:44-48. When Paul met the disciples of John he preached unto them Jesus. After these disciples had been baptized Paul laid his hands upon them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit--Acts 19:1-7. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is essential because no one can have eternal life without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit--Rom. 8:9, 11; Eph. 5:18; John 3:5.

 

COMMUNION AND FEET WASHING

Jesus left two ordinances for the church to observe which are the Lord's Supper (Communion) and water baptism. We believe in observing these ordinances. On the night when the Lord's supper was instituted Jesus also washed the feet of His disciples. Since Jesus humbled Himself to wash the feet of His disciples we also ought to wash one another's feet. According to the Scriptures the communion is a symbol of the death of Jesus Christ for our sins. Jesus commanded that we take of the communion. Throughout the book of the Acts of the Apostles the early church met and broke bread (which means they observed the Lord's Supper) on the first day of the week--Matt. 26:26-29; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:20-32; John 13:1-17; Acts 2:46-47; 20:11.

 

MARRIAGE , DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

Marriage is an institution established by God in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. The writer of the book of Hebrews states that: "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." The apostle Paul admonishes those who cannot live a life of celibacy to marry. It is not a sin to marry because marriage is a fulfillment of God's command to mankind, therefore, we do not teach against marriage. The Word of God forbids Christians to commit fornication and adultery. God will judge those who practice these sins. Gen. 2:24; Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 7:28, 35, 36; 1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2; 10:8; Eph. 5:3. Even though God instituted marriage He has established conditions of marriage for the Christian. God makes it very clear that a saved person is not to marry an unsaved person. If an unsaved person becomes saved they are not to separate or divorce their unsaved mate if that mate is pleased to live with them--2 Cor. 6:14-17; and 1 Cor. 7:10-16 Divorce and remarriage has always been a controversial issue within the church. God does not like divorce even though He permitted couples to divorce one another. In the Old Testament divorce was not a great social issue because those who committed adultery were simply put to death which left the other party free to remarry. Also during Old Testament times among the Israelite nation a man was free to divorce his wife but a woman was not permitted to divorce her husband. Once a man divorced his wife and she married another man the former husband was not allowed to remarry her a second time. During the time of Jesus the Pharisees questioned Him about divorce and remarriage. Jesus taught that fornication/adultery was the only grounds on which a marriage could be terminated. If unfaithfulness by one party was the reason for the divorce then the other party is at liberty to remarry. The Bible no where teaches that divorce or remarriage is an unpardonable sin. All manner of sin is forgiven by God including divorce and remarriage. Mal. 2:16; Lev. 20:10; Deut. 24:1-4; Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:3-9.

 

Spiritual Gifts

The New Testament teaches that God does give spiritual gifts to individuals. We do not choose the gifts which we desire but Paul taught that the Holy Spirit gives gifts to each individual as He (the Spirit) sees fit. All spiritual gifts are to be used for the edification of the church. There are at least twenty-one spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. Below is the list of these gifts along with the definitions for each gift.

1.  Apostle--a witness of the resurrection of Christ who spoke with authority           and established churches.

2.  Prophet--one who had the capacity to receive and speak forth truth by direct      revelation of God.

3.  Evangelist--one with a special capacity for presenting the Gospel with clarity      and burden, equips saints for evangelism.

4.  Pastor--one with an ability to train, guide and guard local groups of                  believers.

5.  Prophecy--capacity to receive and speak forth truth by direct revelation of          God.

6.  Teaching--ability to explain the Word of God so that there is understanding        and application.

7.  Exhortation--ability to draw close to individuals to comfort, encourage and          appeal.

8.  Word of Wisdom--special ability to understand and express the practical            issues of Christian living.

9.  Word of Knowledge--capacity for personal acquaintance with divine truth           and spiritual things.

10.  Ministry--ability to do any task with joy which benefits others and meets           practical needs.

11.  Ruling--God-given ability to help the church meet pressing needs.

12.  Helps--ability to bring immediate support and help to someone in doing a            task to relieve his burden.

13.  Administration--ability to set policy or to effect important decisions on              behalf of the local church.

14.  Giving--ability to give material goods and financial resources with joy and          without motive for personal benefit.

15.  Showing Mercy--ability to meet needs of others in misery and to rejoice in          meeting those needs.

16.  Faith--capacity to see something that needs to be done and to believe God          will do it even though it looks impossible.

17.  Discerning of Spirits--ability to determine the source of things in the realm         of the spirit-whether of God or of Satan.

18.  Tongues--ability to speak in foreign languages without learning the                    language.

19.  Interpretation of Tongues-- ability to translate a tongue for benefit of others        without learning the language being translated.

20.  Miracles--ability to do super- natural acts to show God's power over Satan.

21.  Healing--ability to cause a complete and instantaneous healing by direct             command or touch. The passages of Scripture which list the above gifts are         as follows: Romans 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:8-10, 28-30; and Eph. 4:11.

 

Church

The church is the body of those who believe in and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and in scripture is called the body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the founder and head of the church. The church which Jesus purchased with His blood is not an organization but an organism--Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:23; Matt. 16:17-19.

 

Second Coming of Christ

We believe that one day Jesus is going to return to this earth to set up His kingdom here on earth and fulfill all of the promises made to Abraham and his descendants. Before the establishment of the kingdom on earth we believe that Christ will come after His church and take the church unto Himself for seven years while great tribulation comes upon the earth. This is called the rapture of the church. The scriptures reveal that during the time of great tribulation there will be a one world government controlled by a man called the Antichrist. Christ will return after the great tribulation period, judge the nations and Satan and will usher in a thousand years of peace upon the world. We also believe that there is going to be two resurrections, one for the just which will occur in at least two stages, the rapture of dead saints and the resurrection of the martyred during the great tribulation period. At the end of the thousand year reign of Christ the wicked dead will be raised, judged and sent to the lake of fire to suffer throughout eternity--Heb. 9:28; Matt. 16:27; John 14:13; 1 Thess. 4:16-18; Acts 1:11; Rev. 22:12; John 5:28, 29; Matt. 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 14, 15; Phil. 3:20, 21; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Rev. 20:1-15.

 

 

 

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M. F. Chase Unity Memorial Church  |  2011  |  (302) 697-6743