Statement of Faith
Section 1: Bible. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament in their original writings to be inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). (See also II Peter 1:21 and John 1:1).
Section 2: Trinity. We believe there is one God existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Hear O Isreal: The Lord out God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). “God ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).
Section 3: Deity of Christ. We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His supreme and complete sacrifice, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. (See John 10:30; Hebrews 1:6; John 1:1, 14; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:20-23; Hebrews 4:15).
Section 4: Sin. We believe all men are born with a sin nature, ie., rebellion against God. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). (See also I John 1:8, 10).
Section 5: Retribution. We believe the result of sin is spiritual and physical death (Romans 6:23), but after this the judgment to eternal life or eternal damnation. (See also Hebrews 9:27 and Romans 14:10).
Section 6: Redemption. We believe man can be redeemed from sin only through the precious blood Jesus Christ shed on Calvary. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). “…Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…but with the precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:18-19). (See also Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 9:22; 10:12-14).
Section 7: Salvation. We believe the only way to remedy God’s penalty of death for the sinful nature of man is through the salvation freely offered by God, not through the efforts of man (i.e. church membership, baptism, communion, philosophy, good works, etc.) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,
We believe that salvation comes to a man as an active, personal response is made to God’s gift of love through Christ. This response would include the following elements:
- A belief in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord; and the only way of salvation (John 3:16; John 3:30; John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
- A sincere repentance for past disobedience to God (Acts 3:19; Mark 1:15).
- A receiving of Christ into his life by a conscious, sincere invitation (John 1:12; Romans 10:13).
- Choosing to submit his will to God’s authority (Acts 5:29-32; I John 2:3-6)
We believe the results of this personal response are many, but would include the following benefits:
- Deliverance from the penalty of sin, death and Hell. (John 5:24; Acts 10:43).
- A changed life (I Corinthians 5:17)
- An abundant life (John 10:10)
- Eternal life with God (John 3:15)
- Admittance to the Family of God (John 1:12,13)
- Assurance of Salvation (I John 5:11-13)
- The Holy Spirit living in our hearts (I Cor. 2:12, 13; I Cor. 3:16)
Section 8: The death and resurrection of Christ. We believe Christ died on the cross, was buried in a tomb and rose again on the third day as recorded in Matthew 27 and 28; Mark 15 and 16; Like 23 and 24; John 19 and 20. The resurrection was witnessed by the disciples and later five hundred witnesses. (See also Acts 1:1-11; I Corinthians 15:1-8).
Section 9: Creation. We believe God created all things as recorded in Genesis 1 and 2, through Christ (Colossians 1:15-17), and all things exist and consist by His power. He is far above His creation, yet is at the same time very intimate with His creation. The supreme example of love for His creation was the sending of His son to redeem man back to Himself from our fallen and rebellious state (Romans 5:12-19). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God send not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
Section 10: Second coming of Christ. We believe Christ is coming again personally to receive His own unto Himself where we will be forever with the Lord (John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:17-18). “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). The time of Christ’s return is unknown as stated in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Also, we believe the time of Christ’s return is near at hand as stated in James 5:8, “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” The emphasis of this Fellowship concerning the second coming of Christ is one of personal readiness rather than trying to determine orders of events, times, and places that have or will be taking place.
Section 11: Separated life. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers those who have trusted their lives to Jesus Christ to live a life separated from the world. Growing in Christ is drawing on the Holy Spirit for power over sin and freedom from the bondage of sin. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). (See also I Peter 1:15-16 and II Timothy 2:21-26).
Section 12: Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit gives gifts to believers for the purposes of edification of the Body of Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel to the world. The gifts listed in I Corinthians 12, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11-12 are primary gifts with diversities unlimited. The gifts shall be used only under guidelines of Scripture and the prompting of the Holy Sprit. No gift is greater than the gift of love (I Corinthians 13). No gift shall be used to make on distinct or unique in the Body of Christ. There are three sources of gifts: Holy Spirit – true gifts, the flesh – counterfeit gifts, and Satan – false gifts. True gifts will bring forth good fruit as found in Galatians 5:22, “…Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (See also I John 4:1-3).
Section 13: Water baptism. We believe in water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is for believers, which are individuals who have personally trusted their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and is a testimony of a consecrated life to God. It symbolizes the death of the old man (sinful nature), and the raising of our new man in Christ. (See Colossians 2:11-12, Matthew 13:15, Romans 6:3-6, and I Peter 3:21.)*
Section 14: Communion. We believe in the Lord’s Supper and that it shall be shared with all believers. It shall be done in remembrance of the body and blood our Lord Jesus Christ gave as full payment for our sins. (See I Corinthians 11:23-32 and Luke 22:17-20). *
*Baptism and Communion will not save.
Section 15: Marriage. We believe marriage to be a calling by God between a man and a woman. Not all will marry. God seals and solemnizes marriage (Genesis 2:20-24). We believe the structure of the home as stated in Ephesians 5:21-25 is the foundation of the Body of Christ and society.
Section 16: Human Sexuality. We believe that God has commanded that intimate sexual activity be confined within the marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that God created humanity male and female. (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5,13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; I Corinthians 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
Guided by God’s Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will: worship God, lead people to Jesus, establish believers in their faith journey, encourage one another through Christ-centered relationships, and equip believers to share their faith and serve in our congregation, community, and beyond, for God’s glory.
Communion With God
We value opportunities to connect with God and His truth through Scripture reading, teaching, prayer, and times of inspirational worship.
We value the image of God in all people, everywhere. We believe that we were created to live deeply with one another, carrying each others burdens, sharing our possessions, to pray for and confess our sins to each other, to suffer and celebrate together. It is in these honest, loving relationships that God transforms us and truth becomes a reality. The way of Jesus cannot be lived alone. 1
The “gospel” is the good news that through Jesus Christ’ life, death, and resurrection the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to renew the whole world. We take great joy in partnering with God in the “renewal of all things.” We believe that the church is Jesus’ ongoing presence in the world and so we are committed to sharing the gospel message and sacrificially serving our neighbors whether they believe as we do or not, expecting nothing in return.
We believe that God wants to bring about a new humanity by redeeming every part of us, an ongoing process that begins when we first believe and will come to completion when Christ returns to rule the earth. We embrace the salvation and eternal life Jesus offers as the only hope for the healing of our relationships with God, each other, ourselves, and creation. We believe that all of our fears, failures, and brokenness can be restored and made whole and that God has the power to make us into people that reflect His image into the world. 1
We have no illusions that our single church is sufficient to renew all of Massillon and beyond spiritually, socially, and culturally. We are therefore committed to partnering with other churches and organizations in order to maximize our impact on the world for God’s kingdom.