What We Believe at Community of Faith Bible Church
1. The Scripture
A. We believe the Holy Scripture, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, and the complete and only infallible rule of faith and life for every believer.
Psalm 12:6, 119:89, 130, 160; Proverbs 30:5, 6; Isaiah 40:8, 55:8-11; John 17:17; Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 2:9-10; II Timothy 3:16-17; I Peter 1:23-25; II Peter 1:19-21; James 1:21
B. We believe that, under the filling and enlightenment of God the Holy Spirit, Scripture is to be understood within its grammatical-historical setting, in its natural, literal sense, and that each particular passage is to be interpreted consistent with the testimony of all other Scripture. We further believe that the message of God’s revealed Word centers on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nehemiah 8:8; Luke 24:27, 44-47; John 5:39; Acts 17:11; I Corinthians 2:12-16; Ephesians 5;18; I Timothy 4:13; II Timothy 2:15; I Peter 1:10-12; II Peter 1:20; I John 2:27
2. The Godhead
We believe there is one God, and only one, who is self-existent, eternal and infinite in every excellence, and who eternally exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the same in essence, though distinct in personality. These three Persons of the Godhead are equally and fully worthy of unending worship.
Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:4; Isaiah 44:6, 45:5-6, 21-22, 46:9; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19-20; John 1:1-3, 14, 18, 10:30, 15:26, 16:12-15, 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 9:5; I Corinthians 8:6, 12:4-6; II Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8-12, 9:14; Revelation 4:11, 5:8-14
1. We believe that God created a great host of sinless spiritual beings known as angels to worship and serve Him and to be ministering spirits to them who shall be heirs of salvation. As created beings, they themselves are not to be worshipped, though they are presently a higher order of creation than men.
Psalm 103:20-21; 148:2, 5; Luke 2:13, 15:10; Colossians 1:16, 2:18; Hebrews 1:6, 14; Revelation 5:11-13, 22:8, 9
2. We believe that Satan, the fallen angel, also called the devil, rebelled against God and that, while the holy angels continued to worship and serve their Creator and the heirs of salvation, a great number of evil angels, the demons, chose to follow Satan in his rebellion.
Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Mark 5:9, 8:38; Ephesians 2:2, 6:12; I Timothy 5:21; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8; II Peter 2:4; I John 3:8; Jude 6; Revelation 12:4, 9
3. We believe that Satan is the arch-enemy of God and man, a liar and a deceiver, and the one who led Eve into sin in the Garden of Eden. He blinds the minds of the unsaved, holding them in darkness, and he wars against the saints. As the prince of this world, Satan was defeated by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though he still attempts to obstruct the purposes of God with his network of demons, he and they are doomed to eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
Genesis 3:1-5, 15; Matthew 4:1-11, 8:29, 25:41; John 8:44, 12:31-33, 13:2, 16:11, 17:15; I Corinthians 10:20-21; II Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 2:2, 6:11-16; Colossians 2:15; I Thessalonians 2:18; II Thessalonians 2:9-10; I Timothy 2:14, 4:1; Hebrews 2:14, 15; I Peter 5:8-9; I John 3:8, 4:4, 5:19; Revelation 12:7-17, 20:10
B. The Physical Creation of Man
1. We believe that, in accord with the Book of Genesis, God specially created all things for His glory — the heavens and the earth, all livings after their kind and man, who was specially created from the dust of the earth in the image and likeness of God and free from sin.
Genesis 1;1-31, 2:2-25; Nehemiah 9:6; Job 33:4; Psalm 33:6, 102:25; Isaiah 42:5, 43:7, 45:8, 12, 18; Matthew 19:4; John 1:3, 10; Acts 4:24; Colossians 1:16-17; I Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 1:10-12, 11:3; Revelation 4:11
2. We believe that when Adam chose to sin by disobeying God, he lost his innocence. He incurred the penalty of physical death and spiritual death which is separation from God, and he incurred the wrath of God. Thereafter, he passed on to all mankind, except Jesus Christ Himself, an inherently evil and depraved nature, incapable of pleasing God by any self-effort.
Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5; Proverbs 20:9; Isaiah 59:2, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23, 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:2, 3
3. We therefore believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice, and are without hope apart from the grace of God and the salvation which is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 143:2; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23, 24; 6:23; 8:1-3; 11:32; I Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 2:16; 3:22; Ephesians 2:1-3, 8, 9; Titus 3:5-7; I John 1:8
4. Jesus Christ
A. His Person
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and the eternal possessor of all the attributes of God. He became a man, uniting to His divine nature a true human nature in an indissoluble union and so becoming the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. In His incarnation, Jesus Christ surrendered nothing of His divine nature.
Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23, 28:19; John 1:1-3, 14, 18, 8:58, 10:30, 17:5, 20:28; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-17, 2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:1-3, 8-12, 13:8; I Peter 1:1; Revelation 1:17-18
B. His Virgin Birth
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son. He not only had a sinless nature, but remained sinless throughout His lifetime.
Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; 2:52; John 1:1, 14; Galatians 4:4; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15; I Peter 2:22
C. His Atoning Work
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; that His death provided a complete atonement for our sins; that He died voluntarily, in obedience to the will of the Father as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of the blood He shed.
Isaiah 53:4-12; John 3:16; Romans 3:21-26, 5:1, 12-19; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12, 22, 10:5-14; I Peter 1:18-20, 2:24, 3:18; I John 3:16; 4:10
D. His Resurrection
We believe that Jesus Christ was literally and physically raised from death the third day in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died.
John 10:17, 18, 20:20, 26-29; Acts 2:31-32; Romans 1:3, 4; I Corinthians 15:1-20
E. His Ascension and Exaltation
We believe that Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished. He became ruler over all things and Head to the Church which is His body, and in this ministry He continues to intercede and to advocate for the saved.
Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20-22; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3, 7:25, 9:24; I John 2:1, 2
5. Salvation and Its Results
We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is freed from the penalty of sin; is declared to have the righteousness of Christ; is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, nor by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth as revealed in the Scriptures, and on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in no way in itself a separate and independent condition of salvation.
Matthew 26:28; John 1:12, 3:5, 16, 18, 36, 5:24, 6:29, 14:6; Acts 13:39, 16:31; Romans 1:16-17, 3:22, 26, 4:5, 5:6-9, 6:23, 10:4; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5-7; James 1:18; I Peter 1:18-19, 23
We further believe that at the very moment of spiritual birth, the believer has every spiritual blessing in Christ, being absolutely complete in Him and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The saved one is expected to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God. He is, however, in need of no further experience or resources other than God and His Word.
Isaiah 55:8-11; Matthew 4:4; Romans 8:9, 32, 10:17; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10, 3:16; I Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:12, 10:14; I Peter 2:2
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is threefold:
1) It is already complete for every saved person; that is, because of his position in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. 2) We believe that he has indwelling sin which is also called the “flesh”. Therefore, there is a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace”, and to “be changed” by the unhindered power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that we are called with an holy calling to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and so to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit that we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. 3) We believe also that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him”.
John 17:17; Romans 1:7, 6:11-13, 8:2-4, 12-13, 29-30; I Corinthians 1:2, 8, 6:11; II Corinthians 3:18, 7:1; Galatians 5:13-26; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 1:22, 2:6, 3:1-7; I Thessalonians 4:3, 4, 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 12:14, I Peter 2:11; I John 1:5-7, 3:2, 5-9; Jude 24
C. Assurance and Security of the Believer
We believe that, because of the eternal purpose of God toward objects of His love, because of the freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiary blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, because of the immutability of the unchanging covenants of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. We believe, however, that God is a holy and righteous Father and that since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, when they persistently sin, He will chasten and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save and keep them forever, apart from all human merit. He, who cannot fail, will present every one of them faultless in the end before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His son.
John 6:37-40, 44, 10:28-30; Romans 8:31-39; I Corinthians 1:8; Ephesians 4:1, 30; Titus 2:11-13; Hebrews 7:25, 13:5; I Peter 1:3-5; I John 2:1, 2, 5:11-13; Jude 24
6. The Holy Spirit
A. His Person
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, the same in essence as the Father and the Son and co-equal with them — one God in three persons. As God, the Holy Spirit possesses all the divine attributes and is eternal and self-existent. He was active in creation, in the divine revelation and inspiration of the Bible, and in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:2; Psalm 139:7; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:35; John 6:63, 16:13, Acts 5:3-4; I Corinthians 2:9, 10; II Corinthians 13:14; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 9:14; II Peter 1:20-21
B. Ministries of the Present Age
We believe that certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit in this age, and that it is the duty of every Christian to understand them and to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience. These ministries are: the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness and judgment; the regenerating of all believers; the baptizing into the one body of Christ of all who are saved; the indwelling and anointing of all who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the teaching of the believers to understand the Scripture; and the continued filling for power, teaching and service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will.
John 3:6-8, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7-11; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18; II Thessalonians 2:7; I John 2:20, 27
C. Baptizing and Indwelling of Believers
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the Day of Pentecost according to the divine promise. By His baptism, He unites all to Christ in one body at the time of conversion, and He dwells in every believer. As the indwelling One, He is the source of all power and acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never leaves the Church, nor the feeblest of saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ, seeking to direct believers’ attention to Christ and not to themselves nor to their experiences.
John 14:16, 17, 16:7-15; Acts 2:1-4; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 6:19, 12:13; Ephesians 2:22
D. Spiritual Gifts
We believe that for the accomplishment of God’s purpose in the world, He has given spiritual gifts to the Church. On the one hand, He has given gifted men such as the foundational apostles and foundational prophets, evangelists and pastor-teachers to equip the believers for the work He has called each one of us to do. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit has given every believer at least one spiritual gift to be used for God’s glory in building up the body of Christ. Biblical spiritual gifts are given to the believers by the sovereign will of God for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ. They are not given for personal gratification. Here is how we see spiritual gifts:
1. The Mentor Gifts – Offices of authority within the church with supernatural abilities connected to the offices accordingly; These offices of authority are given by God to specific men in the Church to equip the Saints for the work of service. The work of service in essence is character and faith development in Jesus Christ our Lord (Ephesians 4:11-15).
a. Apostle – One that is sent with the authority of another. One who is chosen and commissioned by Christ with miraculous powers to establish the church, and to receive and write down Word of God (the Bible), This was a special office at the beginning stage of the formation of the Church. They were given special revelation from God to be proclaimed to the Church. In order to be an apostle one had to have been chosen by Christ, accompanied Christ during his public ministry, or be an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ. (Ephesians 2:20, Ephesians 3:1-5, Acts 21:10-12, 11:28, 2Corinthians 12:12,Acts 1:12-26, Act 5:12-16)
b. Prophet – One who was given direct revelation from God to speak to man. They were used during the foundation of the 1st century church. (1 Cor 14:3-4, 29-32 Eph 4:11, Eph 2:11-20, Eph 3:5, Rom 1:1-2, Heb 1:1, 1Peter 1:10, 2Peter 1:16-21)
c. Evangelist – One to whom God has given a special ability to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Eph 4:11, Acts 21:8, 8:4-8, 6:8-7:60, 2Tim 4:5)
d. Pastor-Teacher – One to whom God has given the ability to protect, guide, lead, instruct and care for the children of God in a local congregation. (Acts 20:16-31, Eph 4:11-15, 2Tim 3:1-7,1Peter 5:1-4)
2. The Manifestation Gifts – Supernatural abilities given at certain times at the will of the Holy Spirit during the formation of the first century Church, the introduction of the Gospel, and the writing of the New Testament Scriptures. (Hebrews 2:1-4, 1Corinthians 12:1-11, 1Corinthians 2:1-16, Acts 6:8-7:60)
a. Word of Wisdom – The ability to give wisdom and insight into doctrinal truth; it was necessary in the early days because there was no New Testament Scripture that laid out all the doctrine. Now all believers can give words of wisdom as they study the Word of God and share that insight accordingly. (1Cor 12:8, Act 6:8-11, 2Peter 3:14-15)
b. Word of Knowledge – The ability to apply doctrinal truth to life; this ability was necessary in the early days prior to the New Testament Scripture being complete. Now all can apply doctrinal truth to life as they seek the wisdom of God through the Word of God. (1Cor 12:8 )
c. Faith – An unusual amount trust in God. (1Cor 12:9)
d. Healing – The ability to cure; to restore back to full health; it also included the ability to restore back to life from physical death. Used to confirm the message and messenger of the Gospel. (1Cor 12:9,Acts 3:1-8, 5:15-16; 8:5-7,12;9:32-35; 14:8-10; 19:11-12;9:36-42; 20:9-12)
e. Effecting of Miracles – The ability to cast out demons; inducing physical disability; performed by the Apostles and those closely associated with the Apostles. (1Cor 12:10, Acts 5:16;16:16-18;19:11-12;2:43;5:12;6:8; 8:6-7; 2Cor 12:12) Used to confirm the message and the messenger of the Gospel.
f. Distinguishing of Spirits – The ability to differentiate the Word of God proclaimed by a True Prophet from that of a Satanic deceiver. This was necessary prior to the New Testament Scripture being complete to provide the complete wisdom for discernment which is now available to all Believers through the Word of God. (1Cor 12:10; Act16:16-19, 5:1-11, 2Cor 11:14-15)
g. Various kinds of tongues – The ability to communicate in an unlearned, known foreign language or dialect; it was a known language or dialect unknown to the one speaking; it was a tool to proclaim the Gospel to the Jews at Pentecost and a sign of coming judgment to the unbelieving Jews for rejecting the Gospel. (1Cor 12:10, Acts 2:4-11, 1Cor 14:21-22)
h. Interpretation of Tongues – The ability to interpret an unlearned, known foreign language. ( 1Cor 12:10, 1Cor 14:27)
Key Point to Consider: The Apostles and Prophets were gifted men that God used to organize the first Church, proclaim the Gospel message and formulate the New Testament Scriptures (Ephesians 2:11-20 2Peter 1:19-21). To confirm the authenticity of the messenger and the message, the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, the effecting of miracles, distinguishing spirits, and various kind of tongues were given to the apostle and prophets and various individuals accordingly (Heb 2:2-4, Mk 16:20, Acts 14:3, 2Cor 12:12). Now that the Word of God has been completed, the Church foundation laid, and the Gospel message authenticated, these offices of authority and gifts have seemingly served their purpose. Although God can do anything at any time He wills, we believe that He is not using these particular offices of authority and gifts at this time in this local church. However, we do embrace the reality that God still heals and works miracles according to His will and good pleasure.
3. The Ministry Gifts – Supernatural abilities God has given to members of the Body of Christ to serve one another in this day and time. These abilities have been put under our stewardship to manage accordingly. (Romans 12:3-8, 1Peter 4:10-11)
a. Prophecy- The ability to proclaim and apply God’s Truth so that believers may be edified, encouraged, consoled and non-believers convinced. Men and women who have this gift are to function in this gift according to their male/female role distinctions. (Rom 12:6, 1Tim 2: 9-15, 1Cor 11:3-16)
b. Service – The ability to help others in their ministries by aiding them in practical ways; these are persons who labor behind the scenes. (Rom 12:7,1Pet 4:11)
c. Teaching – The ability to instruct believers in the knowledge of the Christian Faith. Men and women who have this gift are to function in this gift according to their male/female role distinctions. (Rom 12:7, 1Tim 2: 9-15, 1Cor 11:3-16)
d. Exhortation – The ability to come along side and motivate people through encouraging words to live practical Christian lives. (Rom 12:8)
e. Giving – The ability to support the Lord’s Work materially and monetarily. (Romans 12:8)
f. Administration – The ability to organize and guide human activities in such a way that Christ’s Program is carried out. Men and women who have this gift are to function in this gift according to their male/female role distinctions (Rom 12:8, 1Tim 2: 9-15,1Cor 11:3-16)
g. Mercy/Compassion – The ability to empathize with hurting people and to translate that into cheerful acts of service. (Rom 12:8)
7. The Church
A. Both Universal and Local
We believe that at the moment of spiritual birth every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, which is the Church — the spiritual organism headed by Christ and universally composed of all who are born again. The Church, having begun at Pentecost, is distinct from Israel and will continue until Christ comes for her as His bride at the Rapture.
Acts 10:44-47, 11:15-17; Romans 6:4, 5, 12:5; I Corinthians 12:13, 27; Galatians 3:27-28; Ephesians 1:22, 23, 2:16-22; Colossians 1:18
A local church is any group of baptized believers associated in a given locality by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, caring for and edifying one another, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights and privileges vested in them by His Word.
Acts 2:41-42; Romans 12:3-8, 16:1, 5; I Corinthians 11:23-31, 16:19; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 1:1; I Thessalonians 1:1, 5:11; Hebrews 10:24-25
B. Mission of the Church
We believe the mission of the Church is manifold. It is:
1. To edify and to purify itself (Matthew 18:17; Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 5:6-8,13, 11:28-31; Ephesians 4:11-16, 5:26-27; Colossians 2:7; II Peter 3:18; II John 10);
2. To educate its constituency (Matthew 28:20; Philippians 4:8; II Timothy 4:2);
3. To evangelize at home and abroad (Matthew 9:38, 28:19; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8);
4. To act as a restraining and enlightening force in the world (Matthew 5:13-16; Philippians 2:15; Jude 3);
5. To promote all that is good (Acts 10:38-43; Galatians 6:10); and comprising all of these,
6. To glorify God (Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:5-6; II Thessalonians 1:12).
We believe that the local church is autonomous, ruling its own affairs under the headship of Christ alone, that within each local assembly God raises up Biblically qualified Senior Pastor and Elders to rule, with the Senior Pastor being Lead Elder among the Elders and Deacons to serve, and that the Congregation is to submit to its God-ordained leadership.
Ephesians 4:11, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; I Thessalonians 5:12, 13; I Timothy 3:1, 13; 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 5:1-4
D. Cooperation and Fellowship with Others
We believe in Christian fellowship with individuals and churches of similar evangelical doctrinal position, but in no way will we organizationally unite as a church with churches or individuals working toward the non-Scriptural goal of the one-world ecumenical church, nor with churches or individuals who are divisive to the cause of Christ.
Romans 16:17-18; Galatians 1:6-9; Titus 3:9-11; I John 2:18, 19; II John 7-11
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, as well as the believer’s walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is pre-requisite to the privileges of church membership and the Lord’s Supper.
Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:1-14
We believe that the elements of the Lord’s Supper symbolize the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptized believers, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine in obedience, exercise self-examination, memorialize the death of the Redeemer, and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 22:19, 20; I Corinthians 11:23-31
8. God’s Ultimate Plan
A. Rapture of the Church – The Blessed Hope
We believe that, according to the Word of God, the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both the believers who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and that this event is the blessed hope set before us in the Scripture, and for this we should be constantly looking. We believe that the Rapture of the Church will be preceded by a fearful apostasy.
John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20-21; I Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; I Timothy 4:1-3; II Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 9:28; I John 3:2-3
B. The Tribulation
We believe that the Rapture of the Church will be followed by a seven-year period of tribulation. This period will be a time of judgment on the whole earth. The latter half of this period will be the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, which our Lord called the “great tribulation”.
Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-21; II Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 6:1 to 19:21
C. The Second Coming of Christ and the Millennial Reign
We believe that the “great tribulation” period will be culminated by the return of the Lord Jesus to the earth as He went, in person and on the clouds of heaven, and with power and great glory, to introduce the Millennial Age, to bind Satan and place him in the abyss, to lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation, to restore Israel to her own land to give her realization of God’s covenant promises, and to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God.
Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Isaiah 2:1-4; 11:6-9; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Acts 15:16, 17; Romans 8:19-23, 11:25-26; Revelation 20:1-3
D. Death, Judgment and the Eternal State
We believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence. They are to remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified bodies when Christ comes for His own, whereupon soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory. But the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the Millennium. At this time soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
Daniel 12:2b; Matthew 25:41; Luke 12:20, 16:19-26; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15
9. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is a divinely ordained institution for the interest and good order of human society; that government leaders are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the express Word of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19, 20, 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 2:1-4; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13-17
10. Man and Woman / Manhood / Womanhood
A. The Definition of a Male: One who was created by God at physical birth as a material and immaterial being, with a unique DNA, 1X chromosome, and the physical distinctive of a penis and testicles for a particular function and purpose in the culture alongside and distinct from a female (woman) and all other creations of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)
1. In most cases men are born with a penis and women are born with a vagina. In the event there is either a void of or having addition to his normal sexual organs, a chromosome test should verify his gender.
B. The Definition of Manhood: (andrízomai [to act manly])1 the mindset, manner, and movement that correspond distinctly to a male in form and function.2
1. Manhood is also tied to men who develop to the fullness of their being in courage- the mental and moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship while operating in a mindset, manner and movement that is distinctly male, glorifying to God and beneficial to others; to have firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty while operating in a mindset, manner and movement that is distinctly male, glorifying to God and beneficial to others (1 Corinthians 16:13).3
C. The Duties of a Male: The duties of a male correspond with how He was created by God from the beginning to function:
1. First, men are responsible for taking the lead in procreation on earth-giving life through his seed to his wife only (as God allows), to carry that life to birth so that mankind would reflect the character of God throughout the earth (Genesis 1:26-30).
2. Second, men are responsible for taking the lead in subduing the earth– to govern the earth i.e. stewardship, management, control, and order according to the will of God (Genesis 2:15,19-20, 1:26-30).
3. Third, men are responsible for taking the lead in dominion of the earth– being a servant leader over creation resulting exercising his authority, influence, and strength, over creation and all who fall under his leadership for the glory of God and the good of creation4 (Genesis 2:15, 19-20 1:26-30).
4. In essence men are to procreate with spouse only (as God allows), govern within the realm of authority, influence and strength given by God, and lead within the realm of authority, influence, and strength given by God. (Genesis 2:15, 1:26-30, 1 Corinthians11:1-3)
D. The Definition of Female: One who was created by God at physical birth as a material and immaterial being, with a unique DNA, 2x chromosome, and the physical distinctive of a vagina, womb, ovaries and uterus for a particular function and purpose in the culture alongside and distinct from a male and all other creations of God.
1. In most cases men are born with a penis and women are born with a vagina. In the event the either there is a void of or having addition to her normal sexual organs, a chromosome test should verify her gender.
E. The Definition of Womanhood: The mindset, manner, and movement that all females were distinctly created and called by God to function in all aspects of life.
F. The Duties of a Female: The duties of a female correspond with how she was created by God from the beginning to function:
1. First, women are responsible for supporting men in procreation on earth– carrying the life implanted through the seed of her husband to birth so that mankind would reflect the character of God throughout the earth(Genesis 1:26-30).
2. Second, women are responsible for supporting men in subduing the earth– support men in governing the earth i.e. stewardship, management, control, and order according to the will of God(Genesis 2:15,19-20, 1:26-30).
3. Third, women are responsible for supporting men in dominion of the earth– supporting men in the overseeing the earth Genesis 2:15, 19-20 1:26-30).
4. In essence women are to procreate with spouse only (as God allows), support men and submit to men in the governance and leadership of creation within realm of their influence and position to the glory of God and the good mankind(Genesis 2:15, 1:26-30, 1 Corinthians 11:1-3).
A. Marriage was designed to consist of a male and female (as created by God in their physical birth) who are committed to one another under God in a union that glorifies God and fulfills His plans (Genesis 2:15-25).
B. This male and female were intended to live together in marriage only, thereby having some form of validation and witnesses that confirm they are legally married not just living together in a unholy manner (Genesis 2:18-25, John 4:16-18).
C. This male and female were intended to enjoy sexual pleasure within their marriage union only (1 Corinthians 7:1-7).
D. Any sex outside of the male/ female marriage union is considered sinful and improper in the eyes of God. This includes but does not limit to things such as a male having sex with a female he is not married to, a female having sex with a male she is not married to, a male having sex with a male, or a female having sex with another female. (Hebrews13:4, 1Thessalonains 4:1-8, 1Corinthians 5:1-12, 6:9-11, Romans 1:18-27, Ephesians 5:1-21)
E. Given these perspectives from Scripture, Community of Faith Bible Church does not support, recognize, encourage, endorse, promote, or condone: A male and female living together as a couple or husband and wife without some form of validation and witnesses that confirm they are legally married not just living together in a unholy manner, a male having sex with a female he is not married to, a female having sex with a male she is not married to, a male having sex with a male, a female having sex with a female, males living together in a union proclaiming to be married as God designed a male and female marriage union, females living together in a union proclaiming to be married as God designed a male and female marriage union and or any other kinds of sexual activity or forms of marriage that the Bible would deem a sin.
F. Given these perspectives from Scripture, Community of Faith Bible Church would seek to lovingly and compassionately address these matters with individuals that have been found living in this manner with the intent to lead individuals in the godly path. If these individuals are unwilling to submit to God’s will in these matters they would no longer be able to fellowship with our local assembly of Believers in Jesus Christ our Lord.
G. Community of Faith Bible Church will only perform weddings for members that are in good standing.
a. who has trusted Jesus Christ as his/her Savior and is willing to receive the ordinance of water baptism, if not already.
b. who gives assurance of his/her desire to live a consistent Christian life and gives assurance of his/her willingness to follow the spiritual leadership of this Church.
c. who shows a satisfactory attitude to the Statement of Faith, shall be eligible for membership in this Church. Children who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, and are willing to receive the ordinance of water baptism if not already completed, may be received into the membership of the Church.
Those who were former members, but who have had the membership removed or placed on the inactive status because of non-discipline-related reasons (such as having moved away from this community but having now returned), must be reviewed for membership by the Elder board (Senior Pastor when there is yet no Elder board established) or a group delegated by the Elder Board or Senior Pastor, to determine if they are still eligible for membership of Community of Faith Bible Church. Community of Faith Bible Church does not accept membership transfer from other churches. All who wish to become members of the Church must meet conditions i) through iii) as stated above.
2. Classification of Members
A. Active Member
Active membership shall be composed of those who qualify under Section 1 above, and who regularly attend and participate in magnification, membership, maturity, ministry and missions within the Community of Faith Bible Church.
B. Inactive Member
The resident inactive members shall be composed of those who are irregular in attendance and lack participation in the magnification, membership, maturity, ministry and missions within the Community of Faith Bible Church without cause. Those who no longer reside in this community may have his/her membership removed when requested. They will be advised to seek active membership in a church in their new community.
3. Procedure for Membership
The Elder Board (Senior Pastor only when there is no Elder Board at the time) or its designated body shall be responsible for approving all candidates for membership. This procedure shall include all candidates attending and participating from beginning to end in the sanctioned membership seminar, maturity seminar, ministry seminar, missions seminar, and money management seminar of Community of Faith Bible Church and an interview with the Senior Pastor/Elder Board or its designated body after candidates have attended and participated from beginning to end in the sanctioned membership, maturity, ministry, missions and money management seminars. Upon final and full approval for membership by Senior Pastor / Elder Board or its designated body, the new members will be publicly recognized and received into the Membership of Community of Faith Bible Church.
4. Responsibilities and Privileges of Membership
In becoming a member of Community of Faith Bible Church, one is expressing a desire to attend its services regularly; to contribute financially with cheer to the support this Church and its missionary commitments around the world. He/she also endeavors to labor and walk together in Christian love, manifesting the Spirit of Christ in all his/her dealings with one another, refraining from gossiping and backbiting. He/she endeavors to watch over and care for one another, aiding each other in sickness and distress. In others words, he/she agrees to devote themselves to magnification, membership, maturity, ministry, and missions within the Community of Faith Bible Church and to separate oneself from all questionable amusements and all personal habits which war against the soul.
Members have the privilege of approaching leadership to discuss any and all matters pertaining to church matters or the member’s personal matters within the appropriate settings and time as ordained and establish by the Elders (Senior Pastor when Elders are not yet established). Members have the privilege of requesting support of any kind pertaining to those things that would fit the role and design of the church as described by Scripture (not necessarily receiving what they request). Members have the privilege of requesting and receiving biblical counseling as developed or authorized by the Senior Pastor and Elders.
5. Disputes among Members, Regular Attendees and Leaders of the Church
All leaders, members, persons interested in becoming a member of Community of Faith Bible Church, or regular attendees, or ones considering or pursuing membership, must agree to handle all matters that are non-criminal according to the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 in order to be a part of and/or fellowship at Community of Faith Bible Church. If the matter or dispute cannot be resolved with one another accordingly, all parties involved agree to resolve the matter or dispute by submitting to the Conflict Resolution Team of Community of Faith Bible Church as organized or approved by the Elder Board( Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established) for full and final resolution and conciliation. All parties must agree not to take the matter to any secular court system but to submit to the counsel and direction of the Conflict Resolution Team of Community Faith Bible Church as organized or approved by the Elder Board (Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established) (1 Corinthians 6:1-7).
6. Grounds for Removal from Membership Roster of Community of Faith Bible Church / Grounds for Being Barred from Fellowship at the Local Assembly of Community of Faith Bible Church
A. Members may be removed from the Membership Roster or barred from fellowship at the local assembly of Community of Faith Bible Church for any of the following reasons:
1) Joining another Church (removed from the roll as a member not barred from church fellowship unless joining another church was out of rebellion and unrepentant sin not resolved at Community of Faith Bible Church)
3) Requesting that his/her name be dropped from the roll (removed from the roll as a member not barred from church fellowship unless unrepentant sin is involved)
4) Absence from the worship services of the Church for an extended period of time without valid reasons or reasons that are not deemed feasible or reasonable according to Scripture (removed from the roll as member not barred from church fellowship unless unrepentant sin is involved)
5) No longer residing in this community (removed from the roll as a member not barred from church fellowship unless unrepentant sin is involved)
6) Lack of participation in magnification, membership, maturity, ministry, mission with the Community of Faith Bible Church for an extended period time for reasons that are not deemed feasible or reasonable according to Scripture (removed from the roll as a member, barred from church fellowship until repentance occurs)
7) Ungodly, immoral lifestyle, unwillingness to submit to character, conduct, conversations or commitments becoming of a Christian (removed from the roll as a member, barred from church fellowship until repentance occurs)
8) An unwillingness to follow God ordained authority within Community of Faith Bible Church as that authority is acting within the Biblical guidelines of his/her authority and not asking the person to sin. (removed from roll as a member, barred from church fellowship until repentance occurs)
9) Church discipline (removed from roll as a member, barred from church fellowship until repentance occurs)
B. The Elder Board (Senior Pastor when Elder Board is not yet established)/and or the designated leadership team shall be responsible for routine review of the membership roll and may move all names of members who are not active to inactive status, or completely drop them from the roll as they deem appropriate based on the afore-mentioned reasons with the approval of the Elder Board (Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established).
C. A non-member and regular attendee that is also a non-member, or any other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon church premises for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of others on church premises or as a result of an unwillingness to submit to submit to the character, conduct, conversations, or commitments becoming of a Christian, or as a result of an unwillingness to follow God ordain authority within the Community of Faith Bible Church as that authority is acting within the Biblical guidelines of his/ her authority and not asking the person to sin.
7. Purpose and Procedure for Church Discipline of members and attendees
a. The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).
b. Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who promote, encourage, or advocate false doctrine, refuse to regard the authority of the Church in matters pertaining to doctrine, discipline, government etc., continually cause strife or contention within the Church, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture within the church and outside the church as determined by the Board of Elders (Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established), shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. (Galatians 1:9, 2 John 10, 1 Corinthians 11:16, Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5:11)
c. Before such dismissal, however, it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or misconduct to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then
1) the warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but accompanied by one or two individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. The first and second warnings may occur with no specified time interval. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then
2) it shall be brought to the attention of the Board of Elders (Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established)(or a duly appointed Committee of the Board). If the Board of Elders (Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established) (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board determines–after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19–that there is corroborating evidence that the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then at the exercise of their discretion the Elder Board (Senior Pastor when Elder Board has not yet been established) or Elders may do one of two things:
a. may inform the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service of the offense(s) of the erring member, steps the leadership(Senior Pastor or Elders) has taken to address the matter in relationship to the erring member and ask the church in general or particular individuals within the church who knew the erring member well to call the erring individual to repentance within a certain period of time. If within that certain period of time the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regularly-scheduled worship service. If, however, within that certain period of time the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then he or she shall be publicly dismissed and barred from the fellowship and/or membership of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Senior Pastor or Board of Elders when elder board is established (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board), then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership.
b. may inform the church and congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service of the offense(s) and the steps the leadership (Senior Pastor or Elders)has taken to address the matter and publicly dismiss/bar the erring member from the fellowship and/or membership of the church and the congregation thereof. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Senior Pastor or Board of Elders when Elder Board is established (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board), then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership.
d. The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation. Members, who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church while in the midst of church discipline. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action
e. Members who are under discipline by the church will be barred from fellowship and are not allowed on the campus or any church sanctioned fellowship activities until they have repented and followed the procedures for reinstatement for the church
f. Members in good standing are to not spend time in fellowship, contact or to socially gather with members who are under discipline by the church; If they encounter members under discipline by the church their goal is to call them to repentance and show love to them accordingly.
g. If the members who are under discipline by the church are persons a member in good standing are married to, work for, work with, live with, or are family members, the member in good standing is to treat the person as if he/she was an unbeliever seeking to love and lead them into a right relationship with God when appropriate to do so. They are not to bring or include the erring member in any church related activities; Therefore the member in good standing must consider when planning any church related activity in their home or workplace how this could create problems between the erring member and those members in good standing and choose to do something different if it will involve having members in good standing fellowshipping with the erring member.
h. Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Senior Pastor or elders when elder board is established (or a duly constituted subcommittee thereof), a member, non-member regular attendee, or other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon church premises for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of others on church premises. Such required absence may, but need not, be concurrent with church discipline of that person.
i. Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Senior Pastor or elders when elder board is established (or a duly constituted subcommittee thereof), the names of any members who have not attended a worship service, or been involved in the magnification, membership, maturity, ministry, and missions of the Community of Faith Bible Church for a period of six months or longer may be removed from the membership rolls.
This Church is a member of the Baptist General Convention of the State of Texas.
1Kittel, Gerhard ; Friedrich, Gerhard ; Bromiley, Geoffrey William: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans, 1995, c1985, S. 59
2Kittel, Gerhard ; Friedrich, Gerhard ; Bromiley, Geoffrey William: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans, 1995, c1985, S. 59
3Merriam-Webster, Inc: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed. Springfield, Mass. : Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003 (definition of the word courage)
4Berg, Jim, The Pursuit of Manhood: Discovering the Journey and Joys of Biblical Masculinity (Greenville, SC: 2009), Syllabus from teaching), 8.