Doctrinal Statement

I. The Scriptures


The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's

revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine

instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and

truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore,

all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles

by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the

end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme

standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions

should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is

Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10;

119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32;

Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15;

17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17;

Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.


II. God


There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent,

spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver,

and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other

perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect

knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including

the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest

love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself

to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes,

but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father


God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe,

His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according

to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all

loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become

children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in

His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus

22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah

43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9;

28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7;

Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6;

Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17;

1 John 5:7.

B. God the Son


Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ

He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.

Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself

human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself

completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law

by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the

cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was

raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples

as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended

into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He

is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected

the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power

and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission.

He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew

1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19;

Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38;

11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28;

Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21;

8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians

5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians

2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy

2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28;

12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9;

2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

C. God the Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired

holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He

enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men

of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour,

and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes

every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian

character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by

which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto

the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the

guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of

the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and

the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.;

Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32;

28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49;

John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31;

5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans

8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians

4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy

3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1

John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.


III. Man


Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created

them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift

of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the

beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator

with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God

and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan

man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original

innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment

inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral

action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only

the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable

man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human

personality is evident in that God created man in His own image,

and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every

race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian

love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5;

51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans

1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians

1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.


IV. Salvation


Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered

freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by

His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its

broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification,

and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith

in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby

believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of

heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which

the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord

Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of

grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the

acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality

to Him as Lord and Saviour.


B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles

of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ.

Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and

favor with God.

C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration,

by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled

to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence

and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should

continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final

blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.


Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26;

27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24;

10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31;

20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39;

10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians

5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22;

4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians

5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28;

11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation

3:20; 21:1-22:5.


V. God's Purpose of Grace


Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He

regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is

consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the

means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of

God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable.

It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted

in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from

the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may

fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve

the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach

on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet

they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah

5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31;

25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14;

3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32;

Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2;

15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14;

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2;

James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.


VI. The Church


A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous

local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant

in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances

of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and

privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the

gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under

the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation

each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its

scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and

women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor

is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ

which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from

every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.


Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6;

13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians

1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22;

3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy

2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation

2-3; 21:2-3.


VII. Baptism and the Lord's

Supper


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 Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the

old life, and the resurrection to 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 prerequisite to the

privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members

of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the

vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second

coming.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26;

Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33;

20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians

2:12.


VIII. The Lord's Day


The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian

institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection

of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship

and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the

Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience

under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7;

Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10;

I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.



IX. The Kingdom


The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the

universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge

Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation

into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus

Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may

come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the

Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23;

12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43;

8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7;

17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians

1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation

1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.


X. Last Things


God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to

its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will

return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will

be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous

will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.

The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive

their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44;

25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37;

21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians

4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians

1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.;

2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28;

James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation

1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.


XI. Evangelism and Missions


It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of

every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples

of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit

means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part

of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life,

and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel

to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly

to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian

lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38;

10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke

10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts

1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11;

1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1

Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.


XII. Education


Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In

Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All

sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage.

The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for

knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ

is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence,

and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches.

An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete

spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between

academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly

relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute.

The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary

is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative

nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which

the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job

28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11;

15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40;

1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians

2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3;

James 1:5; 3:17.


XIII. Stewardship


God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all

that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual

debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel,

and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore

under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material

possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them

to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to

the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully,

regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the

advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi

3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42;

16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2;

1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15;

Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.


XIV. Cooperation


Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations

and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects

of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over

one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory

bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our

people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches

should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary,

educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's

Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual

harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups

of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various

Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified,

and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or

compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the

New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15;

Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20;

Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35;

1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians

1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.


XV. The Christian and the Social

Order


All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of

Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and

methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment

of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful

only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual

by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ,

Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness,

and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery,

homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the

orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the

sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the

sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every

Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society

as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth,

and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should

be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always

being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising

their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm

101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40;

25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25;

John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7;

7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians

3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.


XVI. Peace and War


It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles

of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of

Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.


The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The

supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in

all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application

of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should

pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans

12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.



XVII. Religious Liberty


God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from

the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His

Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate.

The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the

pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no

ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state

more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is

the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all

things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should

not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of

Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its

ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions

of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support

of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian

ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access

to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate

opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil

power.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36;

Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians

3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.



XVIII. The Family


God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of

human society. It is composed of persons related to one another

by marriage, blood, or adoption.


Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment

for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between

Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in

marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of

sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means

for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both

are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the

way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as

Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to

provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit

herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even

as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She,

being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him,

has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve

as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage

from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's

pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual

and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle

example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical

truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy

6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127;

128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1;

17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes

4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark

10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33;

6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus

2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.