STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
In general, this church endeavors to maintain Christian worship and fellowship; to study, to teach and practice the Bible; to administer the New Testament ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; to preach the Gospel of God’s grace at home and abroad; and to support, by our prayers and gifts, those individuals, churches, organizations, and missions which are in essential agreement with our own articles of faith.
Specifically, we hold, that in order to maintain spiritual living and effectiveness in our ministry and to avoid conformity to the pattern of this fallen world, we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then, and only then, will we be able to test and approve God’s perfect will for our lives. Romans 12:2. As we expose the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts to the searchlight of God’s Word it is our fervent desire that we might walk in such a manner as to bring honor to the name of the One who has called us by His grace. To that end we offer the following purposes as an essential and integral part of that process. They are not meant to be all inclusive, but serve to guide our understanding and spur our vision in living a true spiritual life.
- To continually grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ:
The church should not be static, but continuing in a spiritual growth process. Through God’s revelation of Himself the Christian Church should be actively appropriating Christian content to all areas of life. “We want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow, to attain to the resurrection of the dead. Not that we have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but we press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us.” Phil. 3:10-12
- To develop genuine Christian community:
Practicing biblical imperatives in regard to fellow believers does not occur passively, but by God’s enablement, believers must appropriate and practice Biblical truth, thus creating a Christian Community reflecting God’s love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18
- To actively practice the Great Commission:
Disciple-making, derived from the biblical injunctions in Matthew 28:19-20, is often lacking in the church. God has made bountiful provision, enabling believers to joyfully fulfill the great commission and related commands, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:19-20
- To develop an overarching World and Life View, which is truly Christian:
Secular society has, in the thinking of many Christians, swallowed up Grace. That is to say that the Gospel no longer has an edge to penetrate the hearts and minds of man. Truth, as presented in Scripture and personified in the person of Christ, is radically different from the philosophies of the world. Therefore the Christian has a duty to extend and develop scriptural truth to an overarching World and Life View. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have this fullness in Christ, Who is the head over every authority and power.” Colossians 2:8-10
- To practice Biblical Stewardship:
The problem of the “haves” and the “have nots”, suffering and poverty, the use of natural resources, the use of wealth and time are areas of Christian concern, and have to do with responsible stewardship of all of life. When God speaks to these areas, and He does, we must listen and obey His guidance, for, if this world belongs to anyone, it belongs to believers. “…from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48 “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2
- To give our children an education which is truly Christian:
This scriptural injunction is an imperative for which every head of the home must assume responsibility. We must train our children to think Christianly, and not to learn the ways of the world. “My son, keep my words and store up my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.” Proverbs 7:1-2 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul, the statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7
As stated previously, at least these aims and areas of reflection are looked upon as essential for a living, growing organism we know as the Church – those called to worship and carry out His commands. It is felt that, in order to fulfill our responsibility in terms of Christian mission, at least these must be focused upon; there may be others.
Secularized thinking must be purged and replaced by Christian thought patterns. “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2, also Ephesians 4:22-24. The believer must humbly strive for the Mind of Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and 2 John: 10:11