The following articles, along with all other Christian principles of doctrine and practice taught in the Bible, are the basic doctrines of faith of South Norfolk Congregational Christian Church. This doctrinal statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Pastor and Deacon Board will serve to provide the church’s interpretation on the Bible’s meaning and application for issues related to SNCCC’s corporate faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, which are not specifically covered in the church constitution.
1. The Bible (composed of the 66 books of the canon) in its entirety is the inspired infallible Word of God: absolute in its authority; complete in its revelation; final in its content; and without errors in its teachings in the original manuscripts. Hence, the Bible alone and the whole Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice (II Tim. 3:16; II Sam. 23:1,2; II Peter 1:20, 21; Rom. 15:4; Matt. 5:18; Matt. 24:35).
2. God has revealed Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (II Thes. 2:13-14 and II Cor. 13:14; Gen. 1:1-2; and John 1:1-3), each co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections (II Cor. 13:14; John 10:30). Thus, God is one God (Deut. 4:25, 39; 6:4) who exists eternally and simultaneously as three equal and separate Persons, all of whom are one in essence (Gal. 1:1; John 1:1,2; Heb. 3:7-10 cp. Ex. 17:7 and Ps. 95:7,8; Matt. 28:19,20).
3. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Person (Acts 5:3,4; I Cor. 3:16) who is the Author and Interpreter (Illuminator) of the Bible (II Sam. 23:2; II Peter 1:21; I Cor. 2:10-13; John 14:26). He draws the unbelieving toward trusting Jesus as Savior by convicting of personal sin, convincing of Jesus’ righteousness, and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11; I Cor. 6:19,20) through which He once for all baptizes the individual believer into the Body of Christ (placing the believer into the family of God) immediately at salvation (I Cor. 12:13; Rom. 6:3; Eph. 2:13-16; 4:4-6; Rom. 8:9). Thereafter, His indwelling presence and power is the only means whereby every believer is guided and taught (John 14:26; 16:13) empowered and controlled (Acts 1:8; Eph. 5:18), and gradually transformed to be Christ-like (Rom. 8:29; Titus 3:5; II Thes. 2:13). It is He who distributes and operates the gifts of the Spirit in every believer (I Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:4-11; Heb. 2:4), and who selects and sends individual believers for special service and church offices (Acts 13:2-4; 20:28).
4. Man was created in the image of God by a direct act of God on the sixth creative day (Gen. 1:27). But Adam, the federal head of the human race, sinned, thereby incurring physical and spiritual death on the entire human race (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, all men are born sinners (Rom. 3:12, 23), and apart from the atoning work of Christ, are all presently and eternally dead in their sins (Eph. 2:1,2,3) separated from God (Eph. 2:12), under His condemnation (John 3:18, 36), and are totally incapable of redeeming themselves (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:20,23; Eph. 2:8,9).
5. Jesus, who is fully God and man, became flesh through the work of the Holy Spirit upon the virgin Mary (Isa. 7:14; Matt.2:20; Lk. 1:35; 2:7); lived on this earth entirely without sin (Heb. 4:15; 7:26); willingly died on the cross as the sinner’s substitute, making full and perfect payment for the sins of the whole world (John 10:17, 18; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 10:10-14; I Peter 3:18; I John 2:2); was raised bodily from the dead (Luke 24:6, 39; I Cor. 15:1-4); ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven (Acts 1:9, 7:55, 56) where He is the believer’s High Priest and Advocate (Heb. 7:25, 9:24; I John 2:1).
6. Salvation (that is, a justified standing before God) is a free gift of God available to all who will personally place all their trust in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus as the only basis whereby God will forgive them of all their sins and cleanse them (John 1:12; John 3:16, 36; Acts 15:9; Rom. 3:24, 25; 5:9; Eph. 1:7). All who so place their faith in Jesus as their personal Savior immediately become children of God (John 1:12; John 3:15; Gal. 3:16; I John 5:11-13), and become new creatures as members of the Body, the Bride of Christ (II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:25-032; Rev. 19:7-9).
7. The second coming of the Lord Jesus is imminent (Matt. 24:43,44; I Thes. 5:2; II Pet. 3:10) and will be personal, visible and pre-millennial (Acts 1:11; I Jhn. 3:2; Rev. 10:1-6). He will return first to receive His own (Jhn. 14:1-3), and then to judge the world (Matt. 24:29,30; 25:31-46). Both the just and the unjust will be bodily resurrected (Heb. 9:27; Jhn. 5:28,29); the unjust will suffer everlasting punishment (Lk. 16:23-26; Rev. 20:11-15), and the just will spend eternity with the Lord after giving account of the manner of service they rendered the Lord (I Cor. 3:10-15; II Cor. 5:10; I Thes. 4:14-17).
8. The Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, is represented physically by local churches (I Cor.1:1,2; I Thes. 1:1). It has only two ordinances–water baptism of the believer and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19,20; I Cor. 11:20-29)–neither of which are meritorious for the participant (Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5). The primary function of the church, individually and corporately, is the prayerful and Spirit-controlled edification of believers, and the evangelization of the lost everywhere (Matt. 28:19,20; Mark 16:15; Lk. 24:45-49; Jhn. 20:21; Acts 1:8).
9. God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female prior to birth. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) The term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:18-25), reflects Christ’s relationship with His Church (Eph 5:21-23) and serves as the foundational unit of a stable society (1 Cor 7:2). God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a biological man and a biological woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.)
In order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local body of Christ, and to provide a biblical example to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Doctrinal Statement.
(Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)