(For a great series on the distinctives of our church order our series entitled “The Church” from the church office)
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES:
We believe that the whole Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is verbally inspired of God and with out error in the original writings, and is the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
II. OF THE TRUE GOD:
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that they are equal, divine, and perfect in all aspects; executing distinct but harmonious functions in the great work of redemption. (Deut. 6:4-5; I Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; I Tim. 1:17; Matt. 28:19;John 15:16-17,26).
III. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH:
We believe that Jesus Christ was born of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner; that He was born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of a woman; and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son. (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; I John 5:20).
IV. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with God the Father and God the Son, and of the same nature. It is He who convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the restrainer of the Evil One until God’s purpose is fulfilled. He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel, and is the agent in the new birth. (John 14:16-17,26; Matt. 28:19; Heb. 9:14; Luke 1:35; II Thess. 2:7).
V. OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN:
We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the evil prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world system. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions,the chief power behind the present apostasy (forsaking the truth). He is the Lord of the Anti-Christ, and the author of all the powers of darkness; destined, however, to final judgment of all eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for the Devil and his angels. (Isa. 14;12-15; Ezek. 28:14-17; Jude 6; I Thess. 3:5; I Pet. 5:8; II Cor. 11:13-15; II Thess. 2:8-11; Rev. 19:11,16,20).
VI. OF CREATION:
We believe in the Genesis account of the creation and that it is to be accepted literally, and not as myth or rabble; and that man was created directly in God’s own image and likeness. (Genesis 1:1,26-27; John 1:1-4; Col. 1:16-17)
VII. OF THE FALL OF MAN:
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of God, but by voluntarily sinning against God’s Law, fell from his sinless and perfect condition. The consequence of which all mankind are now sinners by nature and by choice; and therefore under the just condemnation of God without defense or excuse. (Gen. 3:1-6; 5:12, 19; Rom 3:10-19; Eph. 2:1,3; Gal. 3:22).
We believe that the Salvation of sinners is completely of God’s grace. Jesus Christ, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His substitutionary death made a full and complete payment for our sins. (Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:24; I Pet. 3:18-19; Heb. 7:25).
We believe in God’s electing grace, which is according to foreknowledge; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel. It is the immediate duty of all to accept, by faith, God’s offer of salvation. The only hindrance to salvation of any sinner is his own inherent depravity and present unbelief which, if continued in, merits the just condemnation of a holy God. (1 Thes. 1:4; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 1:2;Titus 1:1; Rom. 8:29-30; John 3:19,36).
We believe that the great Gospel blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is Justification. Justification includes, the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life on the principles of righteousness. We believe that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.(Acts 13:39; Rom. 8:1,9; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 1:17; Rom. 4:1-8).
IX. OF THE CHURCH:
We believe that the Church of Christ is a congregation of believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, and governed by His laws. We believe the true mission of the church is to follow the great commission, Matt. 28:19-20, first: make individual disciples, second: build-up the church, third: to instruct and teach as He has commanded. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from any interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations and that the one and only head is the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23-24).
X. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER:
We believe that Christian baptism is by immersion in water of a believer unto the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This act shows forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We believe that the believer is to avail himself of the opportunity of remembering the Lord at the Communion Table, which, by sacred use of the bread and wine, commemorates the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ in his behalf. We believe the above ordinances are for this age.(Acts 8:36-39; 6:4-5; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:23-24).
XI. OF THE RESURRECTION:
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust,the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost. (John 5:18-29; 1 Cor. 15:22-23; 1 Thes. 4:14-17; Rev. 20:4, 11-13).
XII. OF THE ASCENSION:
We believe that Jesus Christ, after He arose from among the dead,ascended bodily to the throne of God. (Acts 1:9,11; Luke 24:51; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 12:2).
XIII. OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:
We believe that the return of the Lord will be two-fold. First, He shall appear prior to the Tribulation, in bodily form in the air to call up to be with Himself the believing church. Believers will then, as the bride of Christ, go into the marriage supper of the Lamb. The judgment of believers’ works at the judgment seat of Christ will then follow. (1 Thes. 3:13-18; 1 Cor. 3:9-15; II Cor. 5:10; I Cor. 15:51-58). The second part of the return of the Lord will be His return to the earth with His Church, prior to the Millennium. To the end He may establish His kingdom on earth and with flaming fire, take vengeance on them that know not God. (Zech. 14:3-4; I Thes. 3:13; Col. 3:4; II Thes. 1:7-8).
XIV. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT:
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of society; that magistrates are to be prayed for,conscientiously honored, and obeyed except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience and coming Prince of the Kings of the earth. ( 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; Acts 5:29; Dan. 3:17-18; Phil. 2:10-11).
XV. OF THE “TONGUES MOVEMENT”:
We believe that the present day “Tongues Movement” (sometimes called the “Charismatic Movement” or the “Charismatic Revival”) is not of God nor in accordance with the Word of God. We will not permit its teaching, either directly or by inference in the Church, Sunday School, BibleSchools , Training Unions, nor in any other work or meetings sponsored. We sincerely love every brother in Christ involved in this Movement, but we must take our stand upon the Word of God, and not the experiences of men.
XVI. NEO-ORTHODOXY AND NEO-EVANGELISM:
In evangelical circles these are days of compromise, frustration, and confusion. The very foundation of our Christian faith is being attacked. Neo-orthodoxy and neo-evangelism, by products of modern liberalism and spiritual compromise have infiltrated many homes and foreign mission societies. The philosophy of Christian unity as presented by the National World Council of Churches seeks to break down the purity of the Holy Scriptures,the Deity of Jesus Christ and rejects the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith.
CHURCH POSITION ON WORSHIP
We believe that biblical worship for a true believer is the attitude and expression of the heart in praise, adoration and love to God, and that it is to be a vital part of the daily life of each individual Christian.
We believe worship is to have as its object the only triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – all Three of Whom are worthy of worship, as with prayer, is generally directed to God the Father, through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We believe the place of worship in the New Testament is now in the Holy of Holies which is in heaven, thus it is not to be connected with any one earthly building or location. A believer may now worship anywhere at anytime.
We believe worship is to be approached in an attitude of spirit and truth, and we are told the Father is seeking for those who will worship Him in this way. In contrast we are cautioned to beware of outward acts of worship which have become mere ritualism and tradition. Worship at all times is to be a living, vibrant expression of our faith in God, and we are told this pleases Him.
We believe there are many ways to express our worship, and as believers we are given a number of “sacrifices” which we are to offer to God. The sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, with the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs is one of these, but there is also the offering of ourselves as living sacrifices to God in commitment and dedication to Him, as well as the sacrifices of doing good, sharing with others and giving back to God a portion of the material wealth which He has entrusted to us. It is only the attitude of our hearts that makes any of these sacrifices meaningful as worship.
We believe also that the early church met systematically for worship together on the first day of the week, and we are encouraged to follow their example. However, our worship together is meant to be the extension and overflow of our individual daily worship.
John 4:20-24; Romans 1:8 ; 12:1,2 ; 14:11; Deut.6:5,13 ; 16:17 ; Matthew 4:10 ; 22:37 ; 27:51; Luke 4:8 ; 10:27 ; Mark 12:29-30; Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 5:19-20 ; Galatians 4:10; Col. 3:17 ; Isaiah 29:13; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 9:11-28, 10:19-22, 13:1,5,6; Philippians 4:18; II Corinthians 9:7.
CHURCH POSITION ON MINISTRY
We believe that the ministry of Mt. Morris Community Church ought to be in accordance with those areas outlined in the Great Commission of Christ in Matthew 28:19,20, “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (evangelism, discipleship), baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (ordinances), teaching them to observe all that I commanded you (preaching, teaching, edification).
We believe that the ministry of this church is to be directed to the following groups of people: individuals and families within the church, the community around the church, our nation, and the world.
To the individuals and families within our church, the ministry ought to provide for evangelism within our own families, for instruction from the Word of God, edification, the opportunity to exercise spiritual gifts and ministries, for fellowship with those of like faith, and to be stewards of that which God has entrusted to us. It also should provide spiritual leadership, shepherding, encouragement, counseling and care whenever needed. This ministry should be provided at all age levels.
We believe that the church is to multiply this ministry by means of outreach into the community through the individuals within the church, winning people to Jesus Christ and providing for their growth in Christ. Likewise the church is to be involved in outreach to our nation as a whole through support of home missions by means of prayer,personnel and monetary support, and to the world as a whole in the same way. It is a necessity that this church continually have a vision for reaching the world for Christ.
Finally, we believe that the ministry of the church can only be carried out through individual believers who are daily walking with God, maintaining a scriptural testimony, and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister through them to others.
Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 2:41,42,46,47; 4: 32-35; 6: 2,3; 8:1; 20: 17-35; Romans 1:16,17; 10:14,15; 14:14; I Corinthians 2: 1-5 ; 11:23-34; 12:1-13, 13; II Corinthians 3:1-4, 15; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Timothy (all); II Timothy (all); Titus (all); Hebrews 10:19-25.
CHURCH POSITION ON STEWARDSHIP
We believe that God, who in the beginning created all things, is the ultimate possessor of all things. Therefore, we believe that as Christians, the only true possession which we may own in this life is the salvation which He has freely given to us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
We believe that God has granted us as believers temporary custody of some of His possessions, such things as our lives, our time, our families, our material wealth, our natural abilities and His spiritual gifts, the truths of His Word, and the ministry of His gospel. All believers will one day give an account of their stewardship of such things that God has entrusted into their care.
We believe that good stewardship means putting those things God has placed in our control to the best possible use, and to fulfill the responsibilities He has outlined in His Word regarding them. We are told that our rewards in both time and eternity hinge upon our faithful discharge of this stewardship.
We believe that in the local church the spiritual leaders are accountable to Christ for the most productive use of our resources in the areas of evangelism, worship, educating believers, supporting missionaries, helping needy, caring for and encouraging fellow believers and edifying the Body of Christ.
Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4: 11-13, 5:16, 6:4; I Timothy 5:8; Luke 112:15; James 4:13-15; Titus 3:14; Matthew 5:43-48, 13:11- 12, 25: 14-30; II Corinthians 8:1 – 9:15; Hebrews 13: 17; I Corinthians 3: 11-15, 4: 1-2.