History of the Apostolic Christian Church of the Nazarene

Our denomination was founded in the early 1830's by Samuel Froehlich, a former vicar in the Swiss Reformed Church.

While Froehlich was at the University of Zurich, and later in seminary at the University of Basel, he was swept away by the prevailing rationalistic and liberal philosophies of the professors. His heart became hardened. Yet, the Holy Spirit worked on him through the good example of some true Christian acquaintances. In 1825, he surrendered his life to Jesus, repented of his sins and was born again. 

This created a dilemma.

As his faith and understanding of the Bible grew, he increasingly found himself at odds with the state church. He was still wrestling with this when he was ordained, and then assigned, to his first congregation as vicar. His passionate preaching about the need to be born again created a great awakening in his congregation at Leutwil, and spread to neighboring Swiss villages, much to the displeasure of state church authorities.

Despite reprimand from state church leaders, Froehlich would not compromise his biblical convictions. One of the last straws was his rejection of infant baptism. The state church dismissed him in 1831.

Soon thereafter, as led by the Lord, Froehlich began preaching throughout Switzerland and other parts of Europe, drawing souls hungry for the life-changing truths of repentance and conversion through Jesus Christ.

During his missionary journeys, Froehlich associated with Mennonites and other believers who had separated from the state church. Anabaptist beliefs influenced Froehlich’s positions, particularly on military service.   

Within 35 years of Froehlich’s first missionary journey, despite intense persecutions, there were 110 congregations throughout Europe where the church was known as Evangelical Baptist.

The faith arrived in America in 1847 and eventually became known here as the Apostolic Christian Church.

Our American beginning was by invitation from a group in another denomination in upstate New York, who wrote to Froehlich asking for help in settling some spiritual disputes. Froehlich commissioned a gifted young elder, Benedict Weyeneth, to make the journey.

Weyeneth’s arrival set off a spark that grew to a blaze. A great number of the people who received him responded to his message of new birth and left to join Froehlich’s church, creating the first base of Apostolic Christian congregations in the U.S.

From there, the church spread further inland, following first river and then railroad routes as members sought out economic opportunity, primarily in the form of available farmland. This resulted in many congregations being established in the fertile Midwest. As immigrants came from Europe (mostly from the Froehlich churches) and new converts were added in the United States, the church flourished. The believers were zealous in living and spreading the Word in America.

From the 1920's on, most of the new churches formed in America were founded in metropolitan areas. This was because many of the church's offspring sought occupational opportunities outside of farming. Thus, today the Apostolic Christian Church consists of a blend of city and rural congregations.

While we recognize Froehlich's work in our founding, we do not give him undue honor. He simply was an instrument God used at that time and place, to preach the Truth. All glory goes to God.

History of the Apostolic Christian Church of the Nazarene

Our denomination was founded in the early 1830's by Samuel Froehlich, a former vicar in the Swiss Reformed Church.

While Froehlich was at the University of Zurich, and later in seminary at the University of Basel, he was swept away by the prevailing rationalistic and liberal philosophies of the professors. His heart became hardened. Yet, the Holy Spirit worked on him through the good example of some true Christian acquaintances. In 1825, he surrendered his life to Jesus, repented of his sins and was born again. 

This created a dilemma.

As his faith and understanding of the Bible grew, he increasingly found himself at odds with the state church. He was still wrestling with this when he was ordained, and then assigned, to his first congregation as vicar. His passionate preaching about the need to be born again created a great awakening in his congregation at Leutwil, and spread to neighboring Swiss villages, much to the displeasure of state church authorities.

Despite reprimand from state church leaders, Froehlich would not compromise his biblical convictions. One of the last straws was his rejection of infant baptism. The state church dismissed him in 1831.

Soon thereafter, as led by the Lord, Froehlich began preaching throughout Switzerland and other parts of Europe, drawing souls hungry for the life-changing truths of repentance and conversion through Jesus Christ.

In the mid 1970s, a few families had moved to Fresno from Los Angeles, and maintaining strong denominational ties stretching to Yugoslavia, began to meet off the back porch of Grandpa Folia’s farm in Laton. By the 1980s this small group of believers began to grow, and began meeting on Sundays at a local union hall. Eventually they were able to secure a plot of land outside of Fresno (present day location of MHBC) and then saved a little more, and with help from many generous volunteers, built the church that stands at Highway 41 and Ave 14. The local church has always been a sanctuary, not one to bring secularism and ‘the world’ into the church, but a special place of refuge where Jesus Christ is preached, taught, and glorified, a place where congregants gather to meet each other’s needs and function as the Body of Christ. Our passion has always been knowing the Word of God, understanding His will by His Word, and sharing Christ with others.

What We Believe

While Madera Hills Bible Church is associated with the denomination of the Apostolic Christian Church of the Nazarene, it remains autonomous in the doctrine and practice of our faith. We hold to a fundamental conservative statement of faith as follows:

I OUR TRIUNE GOD

A. THE TRINITY We affirm that there is only One true God. (Deuteronomy 4:39, 6:4-5, Psalm 86:10, Isaiah 44:6-8, 45:18, 21, Mark 12:29-30, John 10:30, 14:9-11, 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:4, 6, Ephesians 4:6, 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 John 5:7) We affirm that God is revealed in three distinct and equal persons; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19, Luke 3:22, Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3-6, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 13:14, Ephesians 4:4-6, 1 Peter 1:2, Jude 1:20-21, Revelation 1:4-5) We deny that there is more than one true God. We deny that Jesus (the Son) and the Holy Spirit are anything less than God.

1. GOD THE FATHER We affirm that God is One and there is no other beside Him. (Isaiah 44:6)

2. GOD THE SON/ JESUS CHRIST We affirm that Jesus is God; that He possess all the attributes of God. (Isaiah 9:6, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Micah 5:2, Matthew 3:3, John 1:1, 20:28, Acts 3:14, 10:36, 1 Corinthians 15:47, Colossians 1:15-17, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:1-3, 8, James 2:1) We affirm that Jesus became a man, while at the same time being God. (John 1:14, Galatians 4:4-5, Philippians 2:5-9, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 2:14) We affirm the virgin birth of Jesus. (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18, 23, 25) We affirm that Jesus lived a sinless life. (Isaiah 53:9, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 7:26, 28, 1 Peter 1:19, 2:22, 1 John 3:5) We affirm that Jesus died a sacrificial and substitutionary death, according to the eternal plan of God the Father for the salvation of the elect. (Isaiah 53:6, 53:8, 10, Acts 2:23, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12-14, 25-26) We affirm the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. (Psalm 16:10, Matthew 28:11-15, Mark 9:9, 14:28, 16:9 Luke 24:34, 45-46, John 2:19, 21, 10:18, Acts 2:24, 3:15, 10:40, 13:34-35, Romans 1:4, 8:11, 1 Corinthians 15:4, 14-17, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 2:12) We affirm the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. (Psalm 68:18, John 7:33, 20:17, Luke 24:26, Acts 1:9-11, Ephesians 4:7-8) We affirm that Jesus is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, and He is interceding for the elect. (Acts 5:31, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20-21, Philippians 2:9-11, Hebrews 2:18, 4:14-16, 9:24, 10:12, 1 Peter 3:22) 2 We affirm that Jesus will return to earth a second time to judge the earth and establish His eternal kingdom. (Psalm 50:3-4, Daniel 7:13, Matthew 16:27, 24:30, 25:31, 26:64, Acts 1:10-11, John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 2 Timothy 4:1, Titus 2:13, 1 Peter 1:7, 13, 2 Peter 3:12, Jude 1:14, Revelation 1:7, 20:11-13)

3. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT We affirm that the Holy Spirit is God; that He possesses all the attributes of God. (Acts 5:3-4) We affirm that the Holy Spirit came to earth to dwell in believers after the ascension of Jesus Christ. (John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7, Acts 2:33) We affirm that the Holy Spirit uniquely gifts each believer for service in the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

B. THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD We affirm that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit each possess the following attributes: 1. We affirm the HOLINESS of God. (Exodus 15:11, Leviticus 19:2, 1Samuel 2:2, Psalm 22:3, Psalm 60:6, 99:3, 5, Isaiah 6:3, 57:15, Luke 1:49, 1Peter 1:15-16, Revelation 4:8) We deny that there is any imperfection in God.

2. We affirm the SOVEREIGNTY of God. (Job 42:2, Psalm 47:8, Isaiah 14:24, 27, 46:10-11, Daniel 4:35, Matthew 10:29-30, Romans 8:28, 9:21, Ephesians 1:11) We deny that there is anything outside of God’s control, including Satan, sin, and evil. We deny that anyone or anything can thwart the purposes of God or alter His plans. We deny that any of God’s promises or prophecies will fail.

3. We affirm the ETERNALITY of God. (Job 36:26, Psalm 90:2, 102:25-27, 106:48, Isaiah 9:6, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 4:9-10, 16:5) We deny that Jesus Christ was a created being, but affirm that He is eternal, being a member of the Godhead. (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2)

4. We affirm the IMMUTABILITY of God. (1Samuel 15:29, Psalm 33:11, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 6:7, 7:21, James 1:17) We deny that God can change in character, purpose, desire, or in any other way because He is perfect.

5. We affirm the OMNISCIENCE of God. (Isaiah 40:13-14, 28, 55:8-9, Acts 15:18, Romans 11:33-36, Hebrews 4:13) 3 We deny that God’s knowledge is limited in any way, including things pertaining to past, present and future. (Isaiah 46:10)

6. We affirm the OMNIPOTENCE of God. (Genesis 18:14, Exodus 15:6, Deuteronomy 3:24, Job 26:14, 40:9, Psalm 62:11, 65:6, 68:33, 79:11, 89:13, Isaiah 26:4, 48:13, Jeremiah 20:11, 32:27, Nahum 1:3, Matthew 19:26, Romans 1:20, Ephesians 1:19-21) We deny that anything is impossible for God that is according to His Holy character.

7. We affirm the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. (Psalm 7:9, 11:7, 19:9, 48:10, 71:15, 19, 92:2, 111:3, 119:137, 142, 144, 172, Jeremiah 9:24, Daniel 9:7, John 17:25, Romans 3:25-26, 1 Peter 2:23, Revelation 16:5, 7, 19:2) We deny that God is unjust or unfaithful in anything that He does

8. We affirm the GOODNESS of God. (Exodus 34:6, Psalm 25:8, 31:19, 33:5, 34:8, 52:1, 86:5, 119:68, 145:9, Jeremiah 31:11-12, 14, Nahum 1:7, Hosea 3:5, Matthew 19:17, Romans 2:4) We deny that there is anything evil about God, in character, purpose, desire, or in any other way. 9. We affirm the LOVE of God. (Deuteronomy 23:5, Isaiah 43:3-4, 63:9, Jeremiah 31:3, Hosea 11:4, Zephaniah 3:17, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 8:39, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 2:4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:16, Titus 3:4,1 John 3:1, 4:8-10, 16, 19) We deny that God ever does anything that is unloving.

II THE BIBLE

A. THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE We affirm that all 66 books of the Bible are inspired by God. By inspired we mean God-breathed; that the origin of the Bible is in God, not man. (1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, we often refer to the Bible as the Word of God. We deny that there are any inspired scriptures other than the 66 books of the Bible. (Hebrews 1:1-3) We deny that the Bible is of human origin

B. THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE We affirm that the Bible is truth. By that, we mean that it is completely true in all that it teaches. (Proverbs 30:5, John 17:17) We affirm that the Bible was perfect and infallible in its original form (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 12:6, 19:7), and because it is perfect it is also eternal. (Matthew 5:18, 24:35, Luke 16:17) We affirm that God has in His sovereignty, guided the copying and transmission of the Bible throughout the centuries, so that our modern Bible is a faithful representation of the original text. 4 We deny that there are any real contradictions in the Bible. Any contradictions are only apparent and based on man’s limited knowledge and/or an inaccurate interpretation of the text.

C. THE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE We affirm that since the Bible is inspired by God and infallible, it holds supreme authority for all matters of faith and practice. (John 10:35, 2 Timothy 3:16-17) We deny any authority that sets itself up against the Word of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5) We deny that there is any other authority that is equal to or higher than the Word of God. (Psalm 19:7-11) We deny any teaching that is contrary to the Biblical revelation, whether it is from science, psychology, philosophy, religion, or any other source.

D. THE TOTAL SUFFICIENCY OF THE BIBLE We affirm that the Bible is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3-4) By that, we mean that the Bible is sufficient to care for the problems and concerns of this life, and to equip us to live a life that is pleasing to God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3-4) We affirm that the Bible is the only source of power for salvation (Romans 1:16, 2 Timothy 3:15), because it alone is the “sword of the Spirit.” (Ephesians 6:17) We affirm that the Bible is complete and that nothing should be added or subtracted from it. (Revelation 22:18-19) We deny that anything can or should be added to the scripture to help us with the complexities of life. We deny that any further knowledge, whether it is attained through science, psychology, philosophy, or any other means, is necessary to live a God-pleasing and happy life. We deny any information and method of help (i.e. counseling) that is contrary to the Bible.

E. THE LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE We affirm that the Bible is clear and understandable to the common reader/hearer. (Jeremiah 36:6, Nehemiah 8:8, 1 Timothy 4:13) We affirm that God revealed His Word to the Prophets and Apostles and that they, using their own unique situation, language, and style, wrote down the Word of God in everyday language. (2 Peter 1:20-21) We affirm that the Bible is rightly interpreted using a literal and historical-grammatical approach. We affirm that any given passage has one basic meaning intended by the author (God and the Prophet/Apostle), and that we should strive to understand the original intent of the passage prior to making a modern application of it. We deny that the Bible has any hidden or secret meaning (codes) that can only be interpreted by an expert (i.e. pope, bishop, pastor, scholar, etc). 5 We deny that the Bible is an allegory, except for when the text in question clearly identifies it as such, or when it is rightly understood as allegory using a literal, exegetical approach. We deny that any one Bible passage can be made to have many meanings, according to the wish of the reader.

III HUMANITY AND SIN

A. CREATION OF MANKIND We affirm that mankind was created to bring glory to God. (Proverbs 16:4, Revelation 4:11) We affirm that mankind was created in God’s image, being a reflection of His glorious attributes. (Genesis 1:26-27, 31, 2:7, Psalm 139:14, Ecclesiastes 7:29, Isaiah 45:12, 1 Corinthians 11:7, Colossians 3:10, James 3:9) We affirm the perfection of God’s creation. (Genesis 1:31) We affirm that God created mankind, the universe and everything in existence in six literal days (Genesis 1-2). We deny a symbolic interpretation of the creation account. We deny the darwinian theory of evolution and any theory negating the creating work of God.

B. MANKIND'S FALL INTO SIN We affirm that mankind fell into sin because of disobedience to God. (Genesis 3:1-12, Romans 5:12) We affirm that every human being since Adam and Eve has been born with a sinful nature, except for the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of the Holy Spirit. (Job 5:7, Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12-19) We affirm that the heart of man is sinful by nature. (Jeremiah 17:9) We deny that mankind was created sinful, or imperfect in any way, but that disobedience was man’s own choice. (Ecclesiastes 7:29) We deny that man is basically good by nature since all men after Adam have been born with a sinful disposition/nature (Jeremiah 17:9).

C. RESULTS OF SIN

1. ALL EVIL We affirm that trouble, sickness, death, hatred, and all forms of evil are ultimately the result of man’s sin. (Genesis 2:17, 6:5, Leviticus 26: 14-16, 2 Chronicles 21:12-15, Ecclesiastes 5:17, 8:8, Ezekiel 18:20, Romans 2:8-9, 5:12, 1 Corinthians 11:30, Galatians 1:4, James 5:14-15) We deny that God is the source or cause of any evil. (James 1:13-14, 17) 6

2. SPIRITUAL SEPARATION FROM GOD (DEPRAVITY) We affirm that sin has separated Man from God and has left him in a hopeless condition. (Matthew 25:30, 41, Romans 5:15, 6:13, 16, 21, 23, 8:6, 13, 2 Thess 1:9, James 1:15) We affirm that man’s innermost being (and all of his being) is wicked because of his sinful nature. (Genesis 6:5, 8:21, Psalm 95:10, Proverbs 20:9, Ecclesiastes 7:29, 8:11, 9:3, Jeremiah 4:14, 17:9, Matthew 7:11) We affirm that because of sin, man is totally unable to please God, or to do anything to earn God’s favor. (Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 7:18, 25, Hebrews 11:6) We deny that man can have a true knowledge of God, and relationship with God in his sinful condition. (Romans 8:7, 1 Corinthians 2:14) We deny that man has the natural desire or ability to please God. (Romans 8:7)

3. ETERNAL DAMNATION IN HELL We affirm the reality of eternal damnation in hell as the ultimate consequence of sin. (Matthew 5:29-30, 10:28, Psalm 9:17, Proverbs 5:5, 9:18, 15:24, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:10, 21:8) We affirm that hell involves eternal punishment and torment. (Isaiah 33:14, Matthew 13:42, 25:46, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Revelation 14:10) We deny that hell is merely a symbol, or a figure of speech. We deny that God is unjust in sending sinful men to hell for eternity because what He does is perfectly just. IV SALVATION A. SALVATION OF MANKIND WAS GOD’S PLAN AND IS FOR HIS GLORY We affirm that Salvation originates with God. (Psalm 3:8, 37:39, Isaiah 45:21-22, 59:16, 63:9, Jeremiah 3:23, Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:4-6, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 1:20) We affirm that the salvation of men is primarily and ultimately for God’s glory. (Ephesians 1:5-6, 9) We affirm that salvation is individual and personal, and that it is completely the work of God. (Romans 8:29-30) We deny that salvation originates with man. (John 1:12-13) We deny that salvation is obtained or maintained by human effort. (Galatians 3:1-14) 7

B. SALVATION WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE SOVEREIGN WORK OF CHRIST We affirm that the work of Christ, His death and resurrection, was foreordained by God. (Isaiah 53:4-6, 8-12, John 11:50-51, Hebrews 10:5-9, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8) We affirm that salvation has been accomplished by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, whereby He took upon Himself the sin of the world (atonement) so that we would be reconciled to God. (John 1:29, Romans 5:8-11, Ephesians 2:13-16, Colossians 1:20-22, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, 1 Peter 3:18) We affirm that Christ’s death was a sacrifice of atonement for sin to God, on behalf of the elect. (John 1:29, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:4-7, 5:2, Hebrews 5:9, 7:27, 9:24-28, 10:10, 12, 14, 1 Peter 2:24, Revelation 1:5) We affirm that the death of Christ was substitutionary, in the place of and on behalf of sinners. (Romans 6:23, 8:32, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24) We affirm that the death of Christ satisfied the wrath of God against sin on behalf of and in the place of the elect. (Matthew 20:28, Acts 20:28, Romans 3:25, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2, 4:10) We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is credited/applied to believers by imputation because of His sacrifice of atonement for them. (Romans 4: 1-8, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

C. SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE We affirm that salvation is by grace alone, apart from any human work. (Romans 3:24, Ephesians 2:4-5, 8, 2 Timothy 1:9)

D. SALVATION IS THROUGH FAITH ALONE We affirm that salvation is through faith alone, apart from any human work. (Mark 16:16, John 3:14-16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Peter 1:5) We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to sinful men on the basis of faith. (Galatians 2:20)

E. SALVATION IS IN CHRIST ALONE We affirm that salvation comes through Christ alone. (Isaiah 59:16, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 2 Timothy 1:10, Hebrews 5:9) We deny that there is anyone or anything able to save other than Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12)

V FAITH

A. FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD’S GRACE (NOT OF HUMAN ORIGIN) We affirm that saving faith is of divine origin and is a gift of God’s grace. (Romans 12:3, Ephesians 2:8-9, 6:23, Philippians 1:29, Hebrews 12:2) We deny that faith is a human work, or man’s part in salvation. 8 B. FAITH RESULTS IN JUSTIFICATION, SANCTIFICATION, AND GLORIFICATION We affirm that true faith results in the justification of believers (Habakkuk 2:4, Acts 13:39, Romans 1:17, 3:21-22, 30, 5:1, Galatians 2:16), which is a once-and-for-all position of righteousness before God. We affirm that true faith results in the sanctification of believers (Acts 15:9, 26:18, 2 Corinthians 5:7, James 2:17, 20-26), which is an ongoing work of the Spirit, whereby He conforms the believer into the image of Christ, in word, deed, and heart. We affirm that true faith ultimately results in the glorification of believers (Romans 8:29-30, Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3:2), which will be fully realized at the final resurrection. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) We deny that faith can fail to result in justification, sanctification and glorification.

C. FAITH PERSEVERES UNTO SALVATION We affirm that true faith, being of divine origin, will always persevere unto salvation. (Job 17:9, Psalm 37:24, Proverbs 4:18, Luke 22:31-32, John 8:31-32, 10:28, 17:11, Acts 14:22, Romans 8:35-39, Philippians 1:6, 1 Peter 1:5) We deny that true faith can be lost or abandoned, but will accomplish its perfect work in each and every believer. (John 10:27-28)

VI THE FUTURE

A. THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH We affirm that Christ will rapture the church. (John 14:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52) We affirm that the rapture of the church will occur before the great tribulation period on earth. (Revelation 3:10)

B. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST We affirm that Jesus Christ will literally return to earth a second time. (Daniel 7:13, Matthew 25:31, John 14:3, Acts 1:10-11, Jude 1:14) We affirm that Christ will Judge the people of the earth at his second coming. (Psalm 50:3-4, John 5:22, 2 Timothy 4:1, Jude 1:15, Revelation 20:11-13) We deny that anyone can know the day or hour of the second coming. (Matthew 24:36, 44, Mark 13:32, 1 Thessalonians 5:2)

C. THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST We affirm that Jesus Christ will reign the earth for a literal thousand years after the Great Tribulation period. (Revelation 20:1-7) We deny a symbolic interpretation of the millennial reign of Christ 9

VII THE ETERNAL STATE

A. HEAVEN We affirm that Heaven is the dwelling place of God. (Deuteronomy 26:15, 1 Kings 8:30, Psalm 11:4, Isaiah 57:15, John 14:2) We affirm that there will be a literal heaven as described in Revelation 21. We affirm that Heaven is reserved for those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. (Galatians 5:21, Ephesians 5:5, Revelation 20:15, 21:27, 22:15) We affirm that Heaven is a place of joy and peace. (Psalm 16:11, Habakkuk 3:18, Isaiah 2:4, 61:10, Hosea 2:18, Matthew 25:21, Acts 2:28, 1 Peter 4:13, Jude 1:24, Revelation 21:4) We affirm that Heaven is eternal. (Psalm 89:29, Isaiah 57:15, 2 Corinthians 5:1) We deny that heaven is symbolic or a figure of speech.

B. HELL We affirm that hell is a literal place. (Matthew 5:29, 25:41) We affirm that hell is reserved for the devil, his angels, and people who have not trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. (Psalm 9:17, Matthew 25:41, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6, Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 15, 21:8) We affirm that hell is a place of torment and separation from God. (Isaiah 33:14, Matthew 3:12, 5:29, 8:12, 10:28, 13:42, 25:41, 46, Luke 16:23, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 14:10 We affirm that hell is eternal. (Revelation 20:10) We deny that hell is a symbol or a figure of speech. We deny an intermediary state of existence (i.e. Purgatory). VIII THE CHURCH

A. THE CHURCH IS OF DIVINE ORIGIN AND BELONGS TO GOD We affirm that the church is of divine origin and belongs to God. (Matthew 16:18, 1 Timothy 3:15) We affirm that the church is built up of individual believers who are indwelt by the Spirit of God, and that although the church has many parts, it is one unified, whole entity. (Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:12-13, Galatians 3:28) We affirm that since the church is of divine origin and belongs to God, it will persevere to the end and not even the gates of hell will prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) 10 We deny that the church is a manmade institution. We deny that it is possible for anyone to genuinely belong to the true church without possessing true faith.

B. THE CHURCH GLOBAL AND LOCAL We affirm that there is one global Church, which consists of many local churches. (Revelation 2 & 3) We affirm the necessity of local church membership as a means of being identified with Christ, and as a means of serving Christ. (1 Corinthians 5:12-13, 12:7, 14:12-13, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6) We affirm that the Holy Spirit has uniquely gifted each believer for service to Christ through the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) We deny that believers can or should live independently of the church, as each is gifted by the Spirit for the profit of the church. (1 Corinthians 12:7, Ephesians 4:11-16)

C. ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH: BAPTISM AND COMMUNION We affirm that Jesus Christ has established for us two ordinances, or outward rites which have been appointed to be administered in His church as visible signs of the saving truth of the gospel; these are signs that vividly express this truth and confirm it to the believer. We affirm that both the ordinances of baptism and communion are works of obedience, and should only be partaken of by believers. (Mark 16:16, Acts 8:12, 10:47-48) We deny that the ordinances are works that earn favor with God, or that anyone is saved by these ordinances. We deny that the ordinances have value in and of themselves, other than as symbols that identify believers and cause one to remember the work of Jesus Christ and obedience to His commands.

1. BAPTISM We affirm the ordinance of adult baptism as modeled by Jesus Christ and as part of His commission to the church. (Matthew 3:13-15, 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 3:21) We affirm that baptism is an outward sign, symbolic of the inward reality that one has been born again, having confessed and repented of sin. (Matthew 3:6, Acts 2:38) We affirm that baptism publicly identifies an individual with the death and resurrection of Christ and with the body of believers. (Romans 6:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:13) 11

2. COMMUNION We affirm the ordinance of communion as a symbol of remembrance of the death of Christ. (Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20) We affirm that communion is an ongoing ordinance that believers should participate in regularly. (Luke 22:19) We deny that the ordinance of communion is a mystical or supernatural event (transubstantiation), or that the bread and wine and vessels are particularly sacred.

D. THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

1. TO GLORIFIY GOD We affirm that the primary purpose of the church is to glorify God. (Romans 9:23, Ephesians 5:27, 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, 1 Peter 1:8, 5:10)

2. TO EVANGELIZE SINNERS We affirm that a primary function of the church is to evangelize sinners. (Matthew 5:16, 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 9:31, 1 Corinthians 10:33, 1 Peter 2:12)

3. TO EQUIP AND EDIFY SAINTS We affirm that a primary function of the church is to equip and edify believers. (Acts 20:32, Romans 14:19, 1 Corinthians 14:3-5, 12, 2 Corinthians 10:8, 12:19, 13:10, Ephesians 4:11-16, 29, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 1Timothy 1:4, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Jude 1:20-21)