WHAT WE BELIEVE


CHURCH COVENANT

     We are banded together as a Christian Church to maintain the worship of God, to proclaim the gospel of Christ, to develop in all people a consciousness of their relations and duties to God and to each other, and to inspire them with love for truth, passion for righteousness, and enthusiasm for service. To this end, we pledge our loyalty to Christ and covenant with each other to strive to express his spirit in our individual and corporate life; to live together as Christians, and to submit ourselves to the government of this church - working, giving, praying for its increase, its purity, its peace, and seeking in every way to make it a power for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

     Each local Congregational church is autonomous. Therefore Congregationalists do not have a formal statement of faith that is binding on all churches and their members. In addition, each individual is given the freedom and responsibility to follow the Holy Spirit in interpreting Scripture and applying it to their life. However, First Congregational Church adheres to the following Core Beliefs as a local church. These statements reflect our deeply-held belief in God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, prayer, worship, and the value of the sacraments.

1. GOD
     God is the creator and ruler of the universe. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:6-8)

2. JESUS CHRIST
    
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. We believe in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, and His atonement of our sins by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven and will return again to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 9:6-7; John 1:1-5; 3:16; 14:10-31; Hebrews 4:14-16; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:13-16; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Peter 2:21-24)

3. THE HOLY SPIRIT
     The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; 3:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:1-2; Galatians 5:25)

 

4. THE BIBLE
     The Bible is God's word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, the Bible is a reliable source of truth without any error. (Psalm 12:6; 119:105, 160; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

5. MAN
     Man is made in the spiritual image of God. He is the supreme object of God's creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." This attitude separates man from God. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8; Isaiah 53:6; 59:1-2; Romans 3:23)

 

6. SALVATION
     Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can man be saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-13; 14:6; Titus 3:4-7)

 

7. ETERNITY
     Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; that they are saved into the resurrection of life; and that they are lost into the resurrection of damnation. (John 2:25; 3:6; 5:24-29; Revelation 20:11-15; 1 John 5:11-12; Matthew 25:31-46)

8. BAPTISM
     Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and is public declaration that the person being baptized has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. While baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ. (Colossians 2:11-12; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2:8-10; Matthew 28:18-20)

 

9. COMMUNION
     Communion, or the Lord's Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize this new covenant. The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ's broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer's faith in the atoning work of the cross. (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-2)

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