Statement of Faith
The name of this church shall be True Vine Baptist Church.
1. Bring glory, honor, and praise to God the Father and his Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Edify the Saints in preaching, teaching, singing and fellowship around the word of God.
3. Evangelize the sinner based on biblical principles.
This church is also to administer the ordinances, the Lord\'s Supper and water baptism; and to provide a place of worship, fellowship and service for all believers.
This church shall be an independent, sovereign, self-governing body of believers, subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body or organization. This church shall maintain a separatist position towards all modernistic and unbiblical organizations and ecclesiastical groups. This church shall however, recognize and fellowship with churches of like faith and practice.
Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the public confession of our faith, having been immersed in the name the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another. As we are one body in Christ, we shall be one in this local assembly.
We purpose, therefore, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the growth of this church in all knowledge, holiness, service and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to attend services regularly; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a pre-eminence over all institutions of human origin; to give faithfully of time and talents in its activities; to give cheerfully as God has prospered us, to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, aid to the brethren, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations by supporting missions and missionaries directly.
We also purpose to maintain family and private devotions; to train our children according to the word of God; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct; to avoid all gossip, backbiting and unrighteous anger; to abstain from all forms of fleshly or worldly activity which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, cause a fellow believer to stumble or hinder the winning of a soul to Christ; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the cause of Christ, our Saviour, and to give him pre-eminence in all things.
We further purpose to encourage one another in the blessed hope of our Lord\'s return; to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to maintain Christian compassion and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, mindful of the commandments of our Saviour.
We moreover purpose that when we remove from this place we will as soon as possible unite with some other church of like faith and order where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God\'s word. In the event there is no such church, we shall seek, with the Lord\'s help, to establish one.
Articles of Faith
1. THE DIVINE AUTHORITY AND INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the God who inspired the Scriptures is powerful enough to preserve them in the manner for which he intended us to have them. We believe in the providential Preservation of the scriptures, as well as the providential Inspiration of the scriptures; and that the purpose of this is to preserve the infallibility of the inspired text. We believe that this text is the Textus Receptus of the Syrian (Byzantine) extraction coming to the English-speaking people through the Reformation of the Balkans and Germany. The final and outstanding representative of this text is the Authorized King James, A. V. 1611, which represents a purified, neutral, inerrant text. We also believe the A.V. 1611 to be the absolute, final, sole authority in all matters of life, faith, and practice.
(Psalms 12:6-7; II Peter 1:17-21; II Timothy 3:16-17; Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 24:35)
By \"Scriptures\" we mean that collection of 66 books, from Genesis to Revelation, which were written and preserved in the Authorized Version of 1611 (with the subsequent revisions and removal of the apocrypha), and that it does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but it is the Word of God. By \"Inspiration\" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit in such definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired. By \"Preservation\" we mean that the books of the Bible were preserved free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be.
(II Peter 1:19-21; John 17:17)
Since there are a number of other versions of the Bible in circulation, all of which are not reliable due to their omission and addition of words and are being translated from corrupt manuscripts, we consider it necessary and an honor to use only the King James Version A. V. 1611 in the pulpit and in the classroom.
(Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30: 5-6; Revelation 22:18-19)
2. THE TRINITY
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfection, and are worthy of our worship, confidence and obedience. We also believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, the Creator and King of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love.
(Mark 12: 29; John 1: 1; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:30-32; II Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; I John 5:7; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 57:15; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11)
3. THE DEITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the Deity and the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that the scriptures from the first to the last, center about him, in his person and work, and in his First and Second Coming. We believe Jesus revealed and did the perfect will of the Father. He was without sin. He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to his disciples as the person who was with them before his crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted and seated at the right hand of God where he is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world to consummate his redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.
(Genesis 18:1; Psalms 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29;4:3; 11:27; 16:16, 27;17:5, 27; 28:1-6, 19; Mark 1:1; 3: 11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18, 29; 10:30, 38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16, 28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5, 20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; I Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8, 24-28; II Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; I Thessalonians 4:14-18; I Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15, 24-28; 12:2; 13:8; I Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; I John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; II John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16)
4. THE PERSONALITY, DEITY AND PRESENT WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, is the source and power of all acceptable worship and service; and that He is our abiding Comforter and Helper; and that he never takes His departure from His church, nor from His saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ, seeking to occupy us with him and not with ourselves or our experiences. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption.
(Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 18:19; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 7:38-39; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:4-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16, 26-27; I Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; I Thessalonians 5:19; I Timothy 3:16; 4:1; II Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; II Peter 1:21; I John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17)
5. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that Satan was created perfect, as a cherub called Lucifer, in the original creation, and because of pride, rebelled against God and became the author of sin; that he is the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning and the great deceiver of all the nations; that he has been overcome by the Lord Jesus Christ as the Seed of woman; and that he will be cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years, and finally shall be committed to the Lake of Fire with all his angels to be tormented forever and ever.
(Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-15; II Peter 3:3-7; Genesis 1:28; 3:1-6, 14-19; II Corinthians 4:3-4, 11:14; Romans 5:12; Job 1:6-12, 2:7; 41:31-34; John 8:44; I Thessalonians 2:18; II Thessalonians 2:3-9; Revelation 12: 3-9; 19:11-20; 20: 1-10; Ephesians 2:2; 6: 12-16)
6. THE CREATION
We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man made up of spirit, soul and body was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race.
(Gen. 1-2; 5:2; Psalms 89:11-12; 104:32; Isaiah 40:26; 42:5; 45:12; Matthew 19:4; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11)
We believe that there is a literal hell and a literal fire of hell as a place for the eternal and conscious punishment of all unsaved persons and it\'s final resting place is the Lake of Fire.
(Matthew 10: 28; 23:33; 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-50; Luke 12: 5; 16:19-26; Acts 2: 31; Revelation 20:14-15)
8. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man, originally created by God in His image and after His likeness, fell from his high and holy estate by eating the forbidden fruit, and as a consequence of his disobedience, the threatened penalty of death was then and there instituted, so that his moral nature was not only grievously injured by the fall, but he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins and subject to the power of Satan.
(Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 3:16; Psalms 51:5; John 5:40; 6:53; Romans 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 5:6; I John 3:8)
9. THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN (EXCEPT FOR HIS WILL)
We believe that this spiritual death or total corruption of human nature has been transmitted to the entire race of men, the Man Christ Jesus alone excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a sin nature and is evil , being at enmity against God, and incapable by any educational process whatsoever of subjection to His law.
(Genesis 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:16; Romans 5:12-19; 8:6-7)
10. REGENERATION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (New Birth)
We believe that no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainment in morality however high, no culture however attractive, no humanitarian and philanthropic schemes and societies however useful can help the sinner take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted by the Holy Spirit through the word is absolutely essential to salvation.
(John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; 3:16-18; 6:63; Romans 6:23; 8:11; I Corinthians 4:15; II Corinthians 3:3; 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:1, 15; 4:24; Philippians 3:4-9; Colossians 2:13; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:23; II Peter 1:4)
11. ATONEMENT BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
We believe that our redemption has been accomplished solely by grace through faith in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and a curse for us, dying in our stead; and that no repentance, no feelings, no faith, no good resolutions of any church or of all the churches that have existed since the days of the apostles can add in the very least to the value of that precious blood, or to the merits of that finished work, wrought for us by Him.
(Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 53:4-7; Matthew 26:28; John 3:16; 4:10; 5:24; Acts 15:11; 20:28; Romans 3:24-26; 5:6-9, 8-11; I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8; Philippians 2:7; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14; 9:14; I John 2:2; I Peter 1:18-19)
We believe that salvation is the unmerited gift of God given to man by grace and received by repentance and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provided the only grounds for justification and salvation for all who believe; and only such as receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God. We believe that this salvation is thereby permanent and eternal to the believer.
(John 1:12; 3:16; Acts 13:38-39; 16:30-31; Romans 5:11; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 9:22; I Peter 1:18-19)
13. THE ASSURANCE OF THE BELIEVERS (Eternal Security)
We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God\'s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. We believe that it is a privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God\'s word; however, the word forbids the misuse of Christian liberty as an occasion to sin.
(John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Acts 16:31; 20:21; Romans 6:12-16; 8:12-13, 38-39; 12:13-14; I Corinthians 1:4-8; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Galatians 5:13, 16, 25; Ephesians 1:13; 4:22-23, 30; Colossians 3:10; I Thessalonians 1:9; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 11:6; I Peter 1:5, 14; I John 5:13.)
We believe that we are called with a holy calling to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and so to live in the Spirit that we shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh; every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural.
(Romans 8:12-13; 13:14; I Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; 15:51-54; II Corinthians 3:18; 4:16; John 17:17; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; 5:25-26; Philippians 3:21; Colossians 3:1-10; I Thessalonians 4:3-4, 13-17; 5:23-24; Hebrews 10:10-14; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9)
We believe that all the saved shall live in a manner such as not to bring reproach on our Saviour and Lord; that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations as commanded by God; that each member shall be separated from the world and should show this in action and dress; therefore, the dress of all members should be consistent with scriptural prerequisites. (I Timothy 2:9; I Peter 3:3). No one shall serve in any leadership capacity who partakes of alcoholic beverages, uses tobacco or participates in any type of drug abuse, etc. Each person shall dress appropriately and modestly as befits one who walks in the image of God. We believe that our ministry is one of a faithful witness to all persons; teaching them in the Gospel so as \"to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God; that they might receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by the faith that is in me....\" (Acts 26:18). We are persuaded that we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; therefore, separation from others whose teachings are contrary to the direct, clear and revealed word of God is to be strictly adhered to.
(Romans 6:12-13; 12:1-2; II Corinthians 6:14; 7:11; Ephesians 5:11; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11)
16. THE ETERNAL BLESSEDNESS OF THE SAVED / THE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT OF THE LOST
We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in Christ for salvation, do, at death, immediately pass into His presence, and there remain until the resurrection of the body at his coming, when soul and body reunited shall be with him forever in glory; and that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in hell until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting torment from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
(Luke 16:19-23; 23:42; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15)
17. THE PRETRIBULATIONAL-PREMILLENNIAL COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe that the world will not be converted during the present dispensation, but is fast ripening for judgment, while there will be a fearful apostasy in the professing Christian body and that the Lord Jesus Christ will come for His church before the Tribulation and shall return at the end of the Tribulation to execute wrath and judgment and to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, and that this personal and pre-millennial advent is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel for which we should be constantly looking. While the Lord tarries, He has left us a commission to be His witnesses, and to preach the Gospel of the Grace of God to every creature.
(Zechariah 14:4-11; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 12:35-40; 18:1; I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; II Thessalonians 2:3-8; II Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 2:11-15; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16)
We believe that the church is obligated by the scriptures to carry the Gospel forth to all mankind. We shall endeavor to set up and support a home and foreign mission program with our prayers, offerings and all other means scripturally available.
(Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:19-20. )
19. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
We believe in the authority of the local church and its separation from political and state entanglements; that the local church is taught to be a self-governing autonomous body, separate from the state or ecclesiastical interference through religio-politico bosses.
(Matthew 22:17-21; Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-32; 6:1-7; Romans 13:1-7)
20. THE CHURCH
We believe in the unity of all the believers in the church which is the Body of Christ, which was established on the day of Pentecost, and that all believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, added to this church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the exact time that they trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour.
We believe that this church is manifested through the local church which is a congregation of believers who have obeyed the Lord in baptism by immersion associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws in accordance with the Pauline revelation, exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His word; and that its officers are the bishop (pastor) or elder and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures. We believe the commission of the church is \"..preach the gospel to every creature.\" for the edification, perfection, exhortation and comfort of its members in spiritual matters; the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity.
We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only head and shepherd of the local church is the God-called and spirit-filled pastor, just as Jesus Christ is the Head and Chief Shepherd over the entire church (the Body of Christ); that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
(Acts 1:5; 2:4,41,47; 15:13-18; 20:17-28; 28:17-28; I Corinthians 11:2-3; 12:12-13; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 1:10, 22-23; 3:1-6; 4:11-16; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-7; Hebrews 5:1-4; 13:7-17; I Peter 5:1-4 ; Mark 16:15; Matt 28:18-20)
21. SPIRITUAL GIFTS, MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS
We believe the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12 are given today for the ministry to all parties of the body of Christ with the exception of those gifts which are specifically called \"signs\". Those gifts which are signs, wonders or miracles were given by the Spirit during the beginning of the church in the book of Acts for these purposes:
1. To identify an \"apostle\",
2. To get the Jews to listen to the gospel or believe a new revelation (Who Require a Sign I Corinthians 1:22), and
3. To confirm the word of scripture that was spoken by the apostles, but not yet in written form as we have the scriptures today.
Since there are NO apostles present today and that the gospel ministry is almost totally to the Gentiles and we have a complete Bible, we reject \"speaking in tongues\" and \"supernatural healing\" as found in the apostolic ministry (we believe God heals today in accordance with His word and divine Will through faith and confession James 5:14-16) and any other sign or wonder as heresy and \"lying signs and wonders\" produced by Satanic power in these last days to deceive the whole world.
(Matthew 24:5, 11, 24; Mark 16:17-18, 20; Acts 3:7,12; 5: 12; I Corinthians 1:21-22; 12:1-11; 14:21-22; II Corinthians 12:12; II Thessalonians 2:8-9; I Timothy 4:1-2; Hebrews 2:3-4)
We believe that the Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour and is a picture of our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life according to Matthew 28:19, and that there is absolutely no merit of salvation in this act. We also believe that only one scriptural baptism is necessary in the life of any believer, hence we will not accept any baptism before salvation nor baptism according to Acts 2:38.
(Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-39; 9: 18; Romans 6:1-5; I Peter 3:21)
23. THE LORD\'S SUPPER
We believe that the Lord\'s Supper or Communion is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. The Lord\'s Table is not a barrier to separate believers, but rather a sacred place where all true Christians meet in His remembrance; therefore, we do not adhere to any \"closed\" communion.
(I Corinthians 11:23-32. )
No Sodomite ( homosexual ) saved or lost, who lives in open sin, will be permitted to attend or join this church.
(Deut:23:17, 1Kgs:14:24, 1Kgs:15:12, 1Kgs:22:46, 2Kgs:23:7, Romans 1, Jude Lev. 18:22-24; Gen 18:20; 19:4-11)
All tithes and offerings are \"as unto the Lord\". Therefore this church will not keep any records of giving for the purposes of receiving a tax deduction. No monies shall be raised by the church or an auxiliary organization except by free-will giving.
26. PASTOR (ELDER)
The pastor, in general, shall meet the scriptural qualifications laid down in I Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, and provide the balanced ministry demanded in Eph. 4:11-13, I Pet. 5:1-4, II Tim. 2:1-6; 4:1-5 and I Tim. 6:11-20. He shall be afforded all scriptural support and authority given him by the word of God in I Cor. 9:7-14, I Thess. 5:12-13, I Tim. 5:17-18, Heb. 3:1-5. Although he is the leader of the church, he should likewise follow the Pauline example of being a servant of the Lord for the needs of the flock.
The pastor shall, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, plan and conduct the services of the church; administer the ordinances of the Lord\'s Supper and Baptism and perform other duties incumbent to his office, acknowledging Christ only as Lord and Master in all these things.
Deacons shall meet the qualifications for deacons set forth in Acts 6 and I Tim. 3 and shall cooperate with the pastor in the performance of his duties of guarding, promoting and nurturing the spiritual life and unity of the church, assist in the administration of the ordinances of Lord\'s Supper and Baptism, and in the ministry of the church to the sick, poor and aged.
All persons desiring to unite with this church shall meet with the pastor and shall give testimony of conversion and Christian experience, and affirm acceptance of and adherence to the STATEMENT OF FAITH of this church.
The matter of discipline of the membership shall be totally under the authority and discretion of the pastor and may be assisted by any spiritually mature adult member of the pastor\'s choice. The scriptural principles of Matt. 18:15-17, Gal. 6:1, I Tim. 5:20, Titus 3:9-11, II Thess. 3:6-15 and I Cor. 5:1-7 shall be closely adhered to in all matters of disciplinary action.
29. CHURCH MINISTRIES
All church ministries ( bookstore, school, nursing homes, etc. ) shall be in accordance with the doctrines as set forth in this “Statement of Faith” and \"Articles of Faith” shall be approved and under the authority of the pastor.