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What we Believe


What we Believe ……



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; 53; 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.