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Biblical Doctrine

BIBLICAL DOCTRINE

Below you will find our doctrinal statement according to the following subjects:

The Holy Scriptures
God
Man
Salvation
The Church

Please click here to visit our Documents page for the same doctrinal statement in a downloadable, PDF format.


THE HOLY SCRIPTURES


We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

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We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional (contains definite, objective statements) revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word, absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed (Psalm 19:7-9; 2 Timothy 3:16).

We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice. God communicates with His people through the Scriptures (Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

We teach that God “breathed out” His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:15-16).

We teach that there is one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4) an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (Psalm 90:2; John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes (Matthew 5:48), one in essence (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) – each equally deserving worship and obedience (John 20:28; cf. John 17:5 with Isaiah 42:8; Acts 7:51; Ephesians 4:30). God is completely sovereign in all matters (Psalm. 115:3; Job 42:2).

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GOD

We teach that there is one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4) an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (Psalm 90:2; John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes (Matthew 5:48), one in essence (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) – each equally deserving worship and obedience (John 20:28; cf. John 17:5 with Isaiah 42:8; Acts 7:51; Ephesians 4:30). God is completely sovereign in all matters (Psalm. 115:3; Job 42:2).

GOD THE FATHER

We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:5-6, 11). We hold to a literal interpretation of creation as presented in Genesis, chapters one and two, and therefore believe God is the creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Acts 17:24; Ephesians 3:9).

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As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 103:19; Isaiah 45:22; Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:10). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6; Acts 17:28-29), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11-12, 14). He continually directs and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; James 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17; Romans 1:20; Romans 2:15-16). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 3:16); He adopts as His own all those who come to Him (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

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GOD THE SON

We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9, 10).

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We teach that God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).

We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9).

We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23,25; Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

We teach that the actual and particular atonement by our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished the redemption of His 0wn through the shedding of His blood in His sacrificial death on the cross, and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory (appeased God’s wrath on behalf of the elect), and redemptive (Matthew 1:21; John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; Colossians 1:20-22; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Peter 2:24).

We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and placed into the family of God (John 17:3; Romans 3:25-26; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; 7:55-56; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:25; 9:24; 10:12; 1 John 2:1).

We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20,23).

We teach that Jesus Christ will receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the end of this age and, returning in power and glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19 and 20).

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23);

 a. Believers (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10)

 b. Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matthew 25:31-46)

 c. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15)

As the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the head of His body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31).

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GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).

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We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), the work of salvation (John 3:5-7) and the resurrection (Romans 1:4; 8:11). 

We teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26; Acts 2:1-4; 41-47) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (John 16:7-15; Romans 8:9; 15:16; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 John 2:20, 27).

We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18)

We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth,   and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers today (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).

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MAN

We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:4-3:24; James 3:9).

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We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Psalm 15; 73:25-26, 28; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 8-9; Colossians 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8).

We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).

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SALVATION

 

We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of redemption by Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, through faith alone and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19). We affirm the historic Doctrines of Grace.

ELECTION

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates and saves (John 3:1-8; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

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We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7; Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11) and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (John 3:16-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 2:6).

We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Romans 9:10-18; Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).

We teach that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 11:33-36). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2 Timothy 1:9).

We teach that the biblical position on election does not minimize a believer’s responsibility to evangelize, but rather intensifies that privilege (Romans 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:10). We teach that sovereign election on God’s part (Ephesians 1:4, 11; John 6:44; 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 9:18), and man’s responsibility to repent and believe the gospel (Ezekiel 33:11; Matthew 23:37; Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 2:1; 3:9), are both taught in Scripture.

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REGENERATION 

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faith in the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10).

JUSTIFICATION

We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares man righteous. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation (credit to one’s account) of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (Romans 5:17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is both “just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

SANCTIFICATION

We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God at the moment of justification and is therefore declared to be holy and identified as a saint. This sanctification is instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).

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We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the lifestyle of the believer is brought into increasing conformity to Christ-likeness. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to obey the Word of God and, through faith, grow in holiness and conformity to the will of God. The believer is commanded to “put off” the old lifestyle, and with a renewed mind, “put on” the new lifestyle (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict – the new creation in Christ doing battle against the selfish desires of the flesh – but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle against the flesh nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended (Romans 6-7; Galatians 5:16-25; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; James 1:14-15; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 3:5-9).

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SECURITY 

We teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power, will persevere in their love for Christ, and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24). 

We teach 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 Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14). 

SEPARATION

We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). 

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We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices, is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11). 

We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2) and affirm that as the Christian walks in the Spirit, the Spirit’s fruit will be exemplified in his life (Romans 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10; Galatians 5:22, 23).  

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18). 

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CHURCH

 

We teach that the formation of the church, the body of Christ, began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

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We teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32), and though distinct from ethnic Israel, members of the New Testament church are the spiritual descendants of Abraham (Romans 4:1, 11; Galatians 3:6-7.

We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).

We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as founded in the Scriptures. The biblically designated leaders serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also referred to in Scripture as bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11). Both the elders, as well as the deacons who assist them, must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5). 

We teach that these leaders (elders) rule as servants of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 1 Timothy 5:17-22) and, under the authority of the Scriptures, direct the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17), while everyone (including leaders) is to likewise submit to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5).

We teach the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matthew 18:5-14), as well as the need for the discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accordance with the standards of Scripture with the goal of restoration (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).

We teach the autonomy of the local church (Acts 6:3; 15:22-25; 1 Corinthians 16:3). We teach that it is Scriptural for Bible-believing churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation of propagation of the faith. Each local church should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation (Acts 15:19-31; 1 Corinthians 16:1). 

We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:46-47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42). 

We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12). 

We teach that the church is the unique instrument that God uses to accomplish His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12). SecondHe also gives spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11). 

We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion) (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34). Believer’s baptism is the solemn and beautiful testimony picturing the cleansing from sin and proclaiming commitment to Christ, and though baptism itself does not save, it is an act of obedience following conversion (Acts 2:41; Acts 3:19; 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48; 16:30-33; 1 Corinthians 1:15-17; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Baptism by immersion best pictures the cleansing from sin through the work of Christ and identification with Him (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39; Titus 3:5). 

We teach that the Lord’s Supper (Communion) is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (I Corinthians 11:28-32). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless a unique time of fellowship of Christ with His people as they celebrate the new covenant in His blood (1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:25). 

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