Statement of Faith
Intending to clearly establish ourselves as a Christian institution committed to the cause of Christ and the expansion of the Church in the world, we hereby set forth this Statement of Faith as a declaration of our Christian identity in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition and our intent to provide service to those people and organizations in the broader circle of the Christian Church.
Statement of Faith
In one God, the maker and sustainer of all things who in unity exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ, the Son, was fully human and fully God. He is our only mediator with God. Through His life, death, and resurrection God was reconciling all creation back to Himself.
The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and is one with them. He is the agent in our conviction, regeneration, adoption, sanctification and glorification. He is our Lord's ever-present self, indwelling, assuring and enabling the believer. He is the church's life and witnessing power. He bestows the love of God and makes real the lordship of Jesus Christ in the believer. In relation to the world He is the Spirit of truth, and His instrument is the Word of God.
The Bible is God's written Word, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit. It bears unerring witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word. It has authority over all human life and teaches the way of salvation and the life of faith in Jesus Christ.
In God's own time, Jesus Christ will return, the dead will be raised and His final judgment will determine the eternal destiny of every person.
God created human beings in His own image, innocent, morally free and responsible to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. By sin humans are corrupted in their very nature so that from birth they are inclined to sin. Through faith in Jesus Christ their sins are forgiven by God's grace and, subsequently by faith, the Holy Spirit cleanses their nature so that the holiness of God is being restored.
Our Statement of Faith includes the foundational truths upon which we base our identity. It is expected that all members, prospective members and those employed by America's Christian CU are familiar with, agree with and conform to the Statement of Faith, which reflects our Christian commitment in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition.
The Bible: We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and completely truthful in all it affirms. It bears witness to Jesus Christ, the Living Word and is infallible in its purposes. While reason, experience, and tradition together with the Bible serve to inform truth and life, the Scriptures are the primary authority in the rule of faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 4:12)
God: We believe in one God, creator of all things, who has revealed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one in eternity, deity, and purpose; everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. (Genesis 2:1-3; Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 90:2, 102:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; John 1:1-2, 8:58; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 1:2; Micah 5:2; Revelations 1:8; Hebrews 9:14; Romans 1:20)
Jesus Christ: We believe in the incarnation and virgin birth of Jesus Christ who came into the world to reveal the Father, and was the reflection of His glory and the express image of the Father; that Jesus Christ, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, was the Creator of all things. We further believe that in Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, that He was very God and very Man, and that He is our savior, the one perfect mediator between God and humanity. We acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord over all things in heaven and in earth, and under the earth. (John 1:1-2, 14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Acts 7:37-38; Hebrews 1:1-5; Philippians 2:9-10)
Christ's Resurrection and Imminent Return: We believe in Jesus Christ's sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and His ascension into Heaven. He will return in power and glory to judge all people. As His return may occur at any moment, the believer's response is joyous expectation, watchfulness, and diligence. We anticipate His return at which time there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a resurrection of those who are lost to eternal death and those who are saved to eternal life, and the enemies of Christ will be subdued and the reign of God will be established. (Acts 1:11, 3:19-21; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 20:4, 14:6, 21:3-8, 22:1-5, 17)
The Holy Spirit: We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is being manifested in the Church through the fruit of the Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are operative in the Church today in order for the Church to experience the fullness of God and are imparted by the Holy Spirit. We believe in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit that begins at regeneration. The Holy Spirit continually empowers a believer to live a holy life like Christ. The evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit is a person's obedient response to the Word of God, a Christ-like life of holiness, and manifesting the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit. (John 15:26, 16:13-14; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11; Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6)
The Creation of Humanity: We believe that humanity was created by God, innocent and morally free with the responsibility to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. All people are created by Him and in His image have the same inherent rights regardless of race, gender, or color. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:4; Romans 5:17-19)
The Fall of Humanity: We believe that through disobedience humanity fell from a state of righteousness and holiness into total depravity, a state of sinfulness, unable in their own strength to obtain a right relationship with God and restore His image within. (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Satan: We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, that he was defeated by Christ through His death, burial and resurrection, and that Christ has given authority over the works of Satan to His body, the Church. (Matthew 28:18-20; Job 1:7; Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 1:19-23; Colossians 2:15)
Repentance: We believe that repentance is the result of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and non believers. The conviction of the Holy Spirit, which often accompanies the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will result in the revelation of one's sinfulness which should lead to Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow causes us to turn away from sin and selfishness and to receive faith for change. (2 Corinthians 7:10; Psalms 51; Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25; Genesis 6:3; Romans 1:18-32; Matthew 9:12-13)
Justification: We believe that repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ results in justification whereby the believer, through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, is accounted as righteous and made free from the guilt and the penalty of their sins. (Luke 22:20; Romans 3:21-26, 28, 5:1-9)
Regeneration: We believe that by a new relationship with Jesus Christ one is born again and is a new creation. With a new life and a new spiritual nature capable of faith, love, and obedience to Christ, the old life is past and the new life is begun. (John 5:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:9-10; Titus 3:4-5)
Sanctification: We believe that by grace every believer may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ, whereby they are cleansed in that moment of inward sin and empowered for service. The resulting relationship of righteousness and purity is attested by the Holy Spirit and maintained in a process of growing faith and obedience enabling believers to love God with all their hearts, souls, strength, and minds. Further, this work causes believers not to be conformed to this world and prepares them for greater growth in grace. (Jude 24; Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 4:1-5, 5:3-5, 8:25, 12:1-2; Leviticus 20:7-8)
Restoration: We believe in divine restoration to the image of God for the whole person. This restoration was obtained through the atonement in Christ's sacrificial death and, by faith, brings healing and wholeness in mind, body, soul, and spirit. Although Christians may grieve the Holy Spirit without returning to the dominion of sin, God's grace is sufficient for those who humbly repent, accept the correction of the Holy Spirit, trust the advocacy of Jesus, and mend their relationships. (Acts 4:30, 19:11; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Isaiah 53:4-5)
Faith and Works: We believe that faith without works is dead. Faith results in an accompanying and corresponding action. Personal holiness and social holiness are essential to a living, active faith. Right practice is as important as right belief. (James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelations 2:23, 22:12; Matthew 5:16, 7:21, 24-27, 16:27)
The Church: The Church is the body of Christ in the world. In worship the Church comes together to meet the holy God and to respond in obedience and love. In witness, the Church makes known the good news of Christ throughout the local community and to the ends of the earth, calling the lost to repentance and faith. In making disciples, converts are brought into the body, baptized, trained and equipped for service to Christ. In fellowship, redeemed people experience their oneness in Christ by sharing in one another's lives with love and concern. In service, the Church corporately cares for the needs of its own and others. (Revelation 4; Acts 1:8, 2:42, 26:17; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-13)
Worship: Christians are called to the regular practice of public worship first for glorifying God, and for the edification and salvation of people. Worship that honors God calls those participating to draw near to God with their whole being and guards against centering upon personality, performance, or object. (Ephesians 5:18-19; Psalms 150; Acts 24:14)
Financial Giving: Scriptures provide a pattern for financial support of God's work through tithing a tenth part, which should be expected of all believers, as well as through special offerings, as one is able and compelled, as a means to provide for specific needs as well as to express love for God, and to obey the command to care for the poor. Giving tithes and offerings should be practiced continually by all believers and are outward expressions of the unity of the church as it joins together in support of the work of God in the world. (Genesis 14:18-20, 28:20-22; Proverbs 11:24-25; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 1 Corinthians 8:7, 9:6-9, 16:22)
Benevolence: Scriptures are clear concerning helping those in need. We are encouraged to do good to all people as we have opportunity. This is true for the local church as an organization as well as for the individual Christians and Christian organizations. (Proverbs 25:21; Isaiah 58:10; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:18-19; Hebrews 13:16)
Marriage and Family: At creation God instituted marriage for the well being of humanity and procreation. Marriage is an institution of God described singularly as the lifelong and exclusive union of one man and one woman in a faithful relationship that the Scriptures call "one flesh." Marriage between a man and a woman is the only proper setting for sexual intimacy. Scriptures require purity before and faithfulness within marriage. A healthy marriage should provide a loving, life-giving context for raising children in the fear and instruction of the Lord. It is the foundation of the family, the basic structure of human society. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:26-27, 12:6-27; 1 Timothy 1:9-11)
Discipline: We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that every person is to be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity, and that hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed towards any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the spirit of our calling as a Christian organization. It is within this context and with this mindset that Scriptural discipline is to be conducted. (Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1; Romans 16:17; 2 John 9-11; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; 1 Timothy 5:20)
Conclusion: As we live and apply this Statement of Faith we appeal to the wisdom of our forbears in interpreting it and Scripture in a manner consistent with our Wesleyan Holiness heritage. We seek to be instruments of unity and grace among many by reaching, serving and teaching churches, members and leaders to reflect Christ in a manner that embodies our Tradition and the ethos of the stream of Christian faith that has formed our identity.
Statement of Service
Consistent with our Wesleyan Holiness heritage and in expression of our mission and Statement of Faith, we purpose to fulfill our calling by serving churches, organizations and individuals who embody a commitment to the Christian faith acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and who understand the primacy of the Christian Scriptures in all things regarding faith and practice.
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