STATEMENT OF FAITH

This is a succinct overview of what we believe the Bible to teach.

Article 1: The Holy Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God and inerrant in the original writings.  The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man, and therefore, are the final authority for faith and life.  The scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal, literal, grammatical-historical meaning (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21).

Article 2: The Godhead

We believe in the one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Gen 1:1; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 13:14).

Article 3: The Person & Work of Jesus Christ

A. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa 7:14, 9:6; John 1:1-2).

B. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification was made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25).

C. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Rom 8:34; I Cor. 15:1-4, 20-25; Heb. 9:24; I John 2:1-2)

D. We believe in the “blessed hope” — the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Matt.24:44; John 14:1-3; I Thes. 4:14-18; Titus 2:11f).

Article 4: The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit

A. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:12-14).

B. We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (I Cor. 2:9-16; Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18; I John 2:20, 27).

C. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses pastors and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph 4:7-12).

D. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues never has been a common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness and death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God may choose to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1:22, 13:8;
14:21-22).

Article 5: Creation

We believe in the direct creation by God of the physical universe, all spirit beings, man, and the lower forms of life, without the process of evolution. We believe the early chapters of Genesis to be literal and accurate history. God sustains all creation but exists in no necessary relationship to it (Gen 1, 2; Col. 1:15-17; John 1:3).

Article 6: Spirit Beings

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings. One of these, though created holy by God, sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan, the Devil, the enemy of his Creator, leading a host of angels in rebellion against God. Satan became the god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgement of eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Ezek. 29:12-17; Matt. 25:41; II Cor. 4:3-4; Eph 2:22; Col. 1:16; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 12:7-9; 20:10).

Article 7: Mankind

We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also the spiritual death which is separation from God, and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are now sinners by birth and by choice, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under the just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse (Gen 1:26-27, 2:17; Psa. 58:3; Rom. 1:20, 5:12-21; I Cor. 2:14).

Article 8: Salvation

A. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sin (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18-19).

B. We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; I Cor. 1:4-8).

C. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty to justify worldly sinfulness (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

Article 9: Christian Growth

We believe that all who are born from above in salvation will be becoming like Jesus Christ as the Spirit and Word of God work in their daily lives; that each believer has the responsibility of growing in grace and in the knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and that this growth comes by a personal walk with Christ in the Word of God, in prayer, in obedience, in fellowship with other saints, and in service to Him (Rom 8:28,29; II Pet 3:18; Acts 2:41-47).

Article 10: The Local Church

A. We believe that the local church is an assembly of confessing, baptized believers in Jesus Christ; locally organized, Holy Spirit-united-and-empowered for the purpose of glorifying God through 1) evangelism, which includes proclaiming the gospel and baptizing new believers, 2) edification thru the ministry of the Word, participation in the Lord’s Supper, fellowship and discipline and 3) worship, which includes praise, song and prayer (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 2:41-42, 10:47-48; Phil 1:1; I Tim. 2:12, 3:1-13; Heb. 10:25).

B. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught, defined and exemplified in the New Testament (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; Titus 1:5-11).

C. We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; I Cor. 3:9, 16, 5:4-7, 13; I Peter 5:1-4).

D. We believe that the Bible teaches that the following offices of the church should be held by men only: Pastor, Assistant Pastor(s), and deacons (I Tim 2:12; Acts 15).

Article 11: Ordinances

We recognize Baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as the scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age.

A. Baptism – We believe that immersion is the only form of baptism revealed in the scriptures, that it has no saving power, but is only for those already saved; and that the new birth, which comes through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is the scriptural prerequisite to baptism; therefore, only those old enough to believe for themselves should be baptized (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5).

B. Lord’s Supper – We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ and that only those who have been saved through faith in his atoning blood and are walking in obedient fellowship with Him ought to partake of it. We do not believe in closed communion (Acts 2:41-42; I Cor. 11:23-32).

Article 12: Separation

We believe that separation is a doctrine as well as a biblically consistent practice. We believe that true spiritual fellowship is the result of common faith and practice. There are several aspects of biblical separation.

A. Political separation – The separation of the church from the state (Luke 20:25).

B. Personal separation – The separation of the believer from the world and sin in order to serve God. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. Therefore, personal separation involves a separation from acts of sin, the world system, heretics and false teachers (Josh 24:15; Rom. 12:1-2, 14; II Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 5:15-18; Titus 3:10; I John 2:15-17).

C. Ecclesiastical separation – The separation of the church from apostasy. While recognizing the unity of all true believers, it is also evident that unbelief and error in many organized fellowships has developed to the point where recognized apostasy exists. We believe we are to reprove apostates rather than recognize them, to rebuke rather than reason with them, to reject rather than receive or unite with them. We believe that loyalty to Christ also demands separation from those groups content to walk with or tolerate religious unbelief (II Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11-15; II Tim. 4:2-4; II John 10-11).

D. Familial separation – The separation of the believer from an erring brother, when doctrinal or ethical compromise creeps into their lives or ministries. We believe that we must separate from those brethren who continue in disobedience to the Word of God (Rom.16:17; I Cor. 5:11; II Thes. 3:6,14-15).

Article 13: Missions

We believe that God has given the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations with the message of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20).

Article 14: Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. Every Christian should give tithes and offerings systematically, proportionately and cheerfully to the support of the local church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that God established the tithe as a pattern for proportionate giving (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 5:17-18; I John 3:17).

Article 15: Moral Issues

A. Abortion – We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psa. 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

B. Human Sexuality – We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1, 6:9; I Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).

C. Divorce and Remarriage – We believe that marriage is a divine institution and God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. We believe divorce is a distortion of God’s institution of marriage. Scripture does teach that there is one circumstance in which divorce can be initiated (though not required) — in the case of unrepentant sexual unfaithfulness. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons will be encouraged to hold positions of service in the local church and may be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 5:31-32, 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Tim. 3:1-7, 12; Titus 1:6).

Article 16: Civil Government

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb 13-17; I Peter 2:13-14).

Article 17: Future Events

We believe in the pretribulational, premillennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment; that at that moment the dead in Christ will be raised in glorified bodies, the living in Christ will be given their glorified bodies without tasting death, and both groups will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; that this rapture of the church is pretribulational- that is, it will take place immediately prior to the seven years of Tribulation; that the Tribulation will be culminated by the premillennial revelation of Jesus Christ in power and great glory to deliver Israel, to bind Satan, and to sit upon the throne of David for a literal thousand year reign upon the earth; that Christ will ultimately cast Satan and his hosts into the Lake of Fire (Phil 3:20,21; I Thes 4:13-18; I Cor 15:42-44, 51-54; Rev 3:10; 20:1-4,6,10).

Article 18: Final Destinies

A. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29, Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).

B. We believe that the souls of believers in Christ do, at death, immediately pass into His presence, and there remain until the resurrection of the body at the rapture when soul and body reunited shall stand before Christ to be judged of their Christian works for the giving of rewards; and they shall then be associated with Him forever in glory (I Cor. 3:11-15; II Cor. 5:10; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).

C. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final resurrection at the end of the millennium for judgement; the result of this judgement will be that all will be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; II Thes. 1:6-9; Rev. 20:11-15).

Article 19: Authority of the Articles of Faith

The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members.

SERVICE TIMES

Sunday School - 9:30 am
Morning Worship - 10:30 am

LOCATION

1620 Church Road
Pen Argyl, PA 18072

Slate Belt Church

1620 Church Road Pen Argyl, PA 18072

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