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Member Affirmation of Faith
I. THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments alone are the Word of God, being fully written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore are without error in the original manuscripts and have supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct (Psalm 19:7; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32).
We believe that there is one living and true God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself all perfections including holiness, wisdom, power, and love and being infinite in them all. To him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, trust, and obedience (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 145:3; John 1:3; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 10:31; Colossians 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 1:17).
We believe that God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events, yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of moral beings (Isaiah 46:9-11; Proverbs 16:33; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; James 1:13-15).
IV. THE TRINITY
We believe that God eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that these are without division of nature, essence, or being and equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption (Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1,3; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:5, 6).
V. GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father, a personal spirit, infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, including the future free choices of all humans and other moral beings, that he concerns himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity, that he hears and answers prayer, and that he saves from sin and death all who come to him through Jesus Christ (Luke 10:21, 22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1, 2; 2:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6).
VI. JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ is God's only begotten Son and is fully God and fully man. We believe in his virgin conception by the Holy Spirit, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in his substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for his people, and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that he is the divinely appointed and only Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the universe (Isaiah 53:10-12; Matthew 1:18-25; 20:28; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1, 14; 20:28, 30-31; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9, 10; 8:34; 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 1:1-3; 7:25; 9:28; 1 Timothy 2:5; 3:16; 1 Peter 2:21-23).
VII. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son to bring glory to the Father and the Son, to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, to regenerate sinners, and to sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ, giving spiritual gifts to each of them for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ and that he is the Spirit of Adoption, the Seal of our Salvation, the Guarantor of our inheritance in Christ, and an abiding helper, teacher, and guide (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26, 27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9, 14-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 1:13-14).
VIII. THE FALL OF HUMANITY
We believe that man was created by God in his own image and free from sin, that he sinned against God and thereby incurred physical, spiritual, and eternal death, which is separation from God, and that, as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature opposed to God and his law, are sinners by choice, and are under condemnation (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:1-7, 19; 6:5, 12; 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; John 5:24; Romans 3:9-20; 5:12-19; 6:21, 23; 7:13; 8:6-7; 9:22; Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:14-15; 1 John 3:14; Revelation 21:8).
We believe that regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who gives life to those dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds and renewing their whole nature so that they love and practice holiness according to the word of God (Ezekiel 36:25-26; John 1:13; 3:3, 5-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-6; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5:1).
X. REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that salvation is conditioned upon genuine repentance and faith, which follow upon God's gracious drawing of sinners through the gospel. Repentance occurs when a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, detests and forsakes it, humbling himself with godly sorrow and self-abhorrence, and endeavors to walk before God so as to please him in all things. Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatever is revealed in his word concerning Christ and an accepting and resting upon him alone for justification and eternal life. It is accompanied by all other saving graces and leads to a life of holiness (Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 3:8-10; Mark 1:15; John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 44, 65; Acts 2:37-38; 11:18; 13:38-39; 17:30; 20:21; Romans 2:4-5; 3:21-28; 4:1-5; 4:17-25; 8:1; 10:3-4, 14, 17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 11:6; James 2:14-26; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
XI. CHRISTIAN CONDUCT
We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others, that their conduct should be blameless before the world, that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions, and that they should seek, through the strength that God supplies, to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ, pressing after a heavenly life in joyful obedience to all Christ's commands. We believe in monogamous, life-long, heterosexual marriage and oppose all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography (Ezekiel 36:27; Matthew 5:16, 31-32; 19:1-9; 28:20; John 14:15, 23-24; Romans 1:26-27; 6:1-7:6; 8:3-4, 12-14; 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 6:9-10, 18; 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; 12:21; Galatians 5:13-24; 6:7-10; Ephesians 5:3-6; Hebrews 12:1-2; 13:5; Colossians 1:9-10; 3:17; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 Peter 2:12; 2 Peter 1:3-11; 1 John 2:3-6; 3:16-18; Revelation 21:8).
XII. THE CHURCH
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, who have given a credible profession of faith and have associated for worship, work, edification, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world (John 10:16; Acts 1:8; 2:42; Ephesians 1:22; 2:19-22; 4:11-16; 5:19-21, 23; Colossians 1:18; 3:16; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25).
XIII. THE ORDINANCES
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism occurs in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a sign of a person's fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ and of remission of sins. We believe that the Lord's Supper is in no sense a sacrifice, but was instituted by Christ to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a pledge and renewal of their communion with him and with each other. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29; 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-31; 12:13).
XIV. THE LAST THINGS
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked (Matthew 16:27; 25:31-46; Mark 14:62; John 5:28-29; 14:3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 2:6-11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:12-28; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6,11-15).
Elder Affirmation of Faith
In order to protect and prize sound doctrine, TCC has adopted, as our own, Bethlehem Baptist Church's "Elder Affirmation of Faith" for all pastoring and teaching positions. Bethlehem is one of our partnering churches.
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