We believe that the Church is the visible body of believers, the global community of those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Members of this body are covenanted together in local congregations and participate in the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Visible Church. The church is God’s global people, born at Pentecost through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Believers enter the church through the gift of salvation. We are called together to hear and do God’s word. The church is the visible representation of Jesus through its gatherings and ministries in the world. The church is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the people empowered and gifted for witness. The church expresses faithfulness to Jesus Christ by gathering regularly in local communities of believers for worship, teaching, fellowship, witness, and service. These assemblies are visible signs of God’s gracious rule in the present and for eternity.
Mt 5:13-16; 16:18; Ac 2; Ro 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12-27; Gal 5:13; Eph 4:4-6; Col 3:16-17; Heb 10:24-25
Covenanted Community. Churches are ordered so believers may worship, fellowship, and work together in harmony. Believers who have confessed their faith in Jesus Christ through baptism enter into a membership covenant with a local congregation. Believers who make this covenant belong to the church, express the goals of the church, accept responsibility for others in the church, ask for accountability from the church, choose leaders for the church, and serve according to their gifts in the church.
Mt 18:15-20; Ro 12:10-13; 15:7; 1 Co 12:20-27; Gal 6:1-10; Eph 4:16; 1 Th 5:11-18; Heb 13:17
Ordinance of baptism. Baptism serves as a public confession and act of commitment to Jesus Christ in the presence of God and the community of believers. Baptism is commanded for those who have accepted salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore baptism is expected of those who desire to make a public commitment to follow Jesus Christ in all of life. A voluntary decision to follow Christ in baptism is a condition for receiving this ordinance. After instruction in the faith and affirmation by the church, the baptismal candidates are baptised by immersion or pouring.
Mt 28:19-20; Ac 2:38; 8:35-37; Ro 6:1-14; Gal 3:26-28; Tit 3:5; Heb 10:22; 1 Pet 3:21
Ordinance of Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a public act that reminds the believer to continue in faithfulness to Jesus Christ. By participating in the bread and the cup, believers thankfully remember the death of Jesus on the cross for their salvation. The Lord’s Supper also represents the believer’s communion with Christ and the unity that believers find in the body of Christ. By taking the bread and cup we anticipate the heavenly banquet when we finally unite with God for eternity. We encourage regular, corporate participation in the Lord’s Supper by believers who are in right relationship with Christ and each other.
Mt 26:26-30; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Co 10:14-17; 11:23-26; Rev 19:8-9.