What We Believe
PURPOSE AND GOALS OF THE CHURCH
1. The purpose for which this church is formed is:
A. To be a spiritually alive and dynamic body of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit in which the person of Jesus Christ is emulated daily in the lives of members through love, commitment, determination and the personality of His lordship.
B. To be a worshipping unified congregation experiencing an awareness of the Trinity GodHead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; recognizing their person and responding in obedience to their leadership.
C. To purposely share Christ and His message through meaningful and growing relationships within families, and the corporate body, with a view to affecting the community and others.
2. Since we believe that the Bible is God's holy and inspired Word, it is our purpose to draw from the Scriptures the principles that determine our beliefs and practices. The Word of God rather than the word of men ultimately directs our church.
3. It is our purpose to meet frequently for worship, instruction, fellowship and outreach in accordance with Acts 2:42, Acts 11:19-21. The message we declare to young and old alike is based upon a literal, grammatical, and historical interpretation of the entire Bible. We proclaim the truths of the Bible, being confident that God is glorified and man's needs are met when His truths are presented and obeyed.
5. We believe that it is the mission of New Morning Star M.B. Church to make disciples. In keeping with Acts 2:42 this church has four major areas through which it fulfills its’ mission in the world.
A. Worship has as its primary goal expressing to God the esteem His people hold for Him.
B. Fellowship is designed to promote the interpersonal caring and sharing of God's people one to another as an outgrowth of their fellowship with God.
C. Christian education promotes learning among God's people and a response of personal obedience to the Scriptures.
D. Outreach touches the world at large with the good news of Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.
Each of these four ministries is designed to provide a distinct, divine option to the world's approach to living, starting within the church and extending to society at large.
6. Since New Morning Star M.B. Church believes that each member of the body has received from the Holy Spirit at least one spiritual gift, which he or she is to discover and develop, it is our goal to see that these spiritual gifts are expressed, contributing to the life of the church body.
DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
SECTION 1. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that all "Scripture is given by inspiration of God," by which we understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God "were moved by the Holy Spirit" to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the Scripture as it appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error. We believe that all the Scriptures center around the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work, in His first and Second Coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16, 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21.)
SECTION 2. THE GODHEAD
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - and that these are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience. (Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4-6.)
God the Father God, as Father, reigns over His entire universe with providential care. He is all-powerful, all loving, all knowing, and all wise. He is fatherly in attitude toward all men but is Father, indeed, to those who have become children of God through Jesus Christ, who will deliver them into the Father's hands. (Genesis 1:1; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 6:9; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 4:6)
God the Son We believe that, as provided and purposed by God and as pre-announced in the prophecies of Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end He was born of the virgin, and received a human body and a sinless human nature. (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:18; 3:16; Heb. 4:15)
We believe that, on the human side, He became and remained a perfect man, but sinless throughout His life. Yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man, and that His earth-life sometimes functioned within the sphere of that which was human and sometimes within the sphere of that which was divine. (Luke 2:40; John 1:1-2; Phil.2: 5-8.)
We believe that in fulfillment of prophecy He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King, and that, being rejected of that nation, He, according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life as a ransom for all. (John 1:11; Acts 2:22-24; 1 Tim. 2:6.)
We believe that, in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father's will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb and took away the sin of the world, being the holy judgments against sin which the righteousness of God must impose. His death was therefore substitutionary in the most absolute sense - the just for the unjust - and by His death He became the Savior of the lost. (John 1:29; Rom 3:25-26; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 10:5-14; 1 Pet. 3:18)
We believe that according to the Scripture, He arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers. (John 20:20; Phil. 3:20-21)
We believe that, on departing from the earth, He was accepted of His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished. (Heb. 1:3)
We believe that He became Head over all things to the church, which is His body, and in this ministry He ceases not to intercede and advocate for the saved. (Eph. 1:22-23; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1)
God the Holy Spirit We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin (righteousness and judgment), that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead. That He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ; that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of final redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him. Every believer is called to life in the Spirit, so in the power of the indwelling Spirit, he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God. (John 3:3-8; 14:16-17; 16:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 13; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18)
SECTION 3 ANGELS, FALLEN AND UNFALLEN
We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels. That one, "Lucifer, son of the morning" - the highest in rank - sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan. A great company of the angels followed him in his immoral fall, some of which became demons and is active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; 1 Tim. 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.)
We believe that Satan is the originator of sin and that, under the permission of God, he, through subtlety, led Adam and Eve into transgression, thereby accomplishing their immoral fall and subjecting them and their posterity to his power. He is the enemy of God and of the people of God, opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped. He, who in the beginning said, "I will be like the most High," in his warfare appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine. Systems in every case are characterized by denial of the deity of Christ, efficacy of the blood of Christ and of salvation by grace alone. (Gen. 3:1-19; Rom. 5:12-14; 2Cor. 4:3-4; 11:13-15; Eph 6:10-12; 2 Thess. 2:4; 1 Tim. 4:1-3)
We believe that Satan was judged at the Cross, though not then executed, and that he, a usurper now rules as the "god of this world". At the Second Coming of Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years. After the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone," where he "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Col. 2:15, Rev. 20:1-3, 10)
We believe that a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. (Luke 15:10; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:-11-12)
We believe that man was made lower than the angels; and that, in His incarnation, Christ took for a little time this lower place that He might lift the believer to His own sphere above the angels. (Heb. 2:6-10)
SECTION 4 MAN CREATED AND FALLEN
We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, and that he fell through sin, and, as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, except for the Man Jesus Christ. Hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but also is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace. (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Ps. 14:1-3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:36; Rom. 3:10-19; 8:6-7; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:6; 1 John 3:8.)
SECTION 5 SALVATION
Salvation Only Through ChristWe believe that, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again. There is no degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality however high, no culture however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven. But, a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those saved are children of God.
We believe also, that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our place. That no repentance, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood. Nor to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Him who united in His person true and proper deity with perfect and sinless humanity. (Lev. 17:11; Isa 64:6; Matt. 26:28; John 3:7-18; Rom 5:6-9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:18-19, 23)
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation. Nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (John 1:12: 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22)
The Extent of SalvationWe believe that when an unregenerate person exercises faith in Christ he or she passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he or she is at the moment of salvation, is in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ, and is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so-called "second blessing," or a "second work of grace, or any additional “manifestation." (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12)
SECTION 6 REGENERATION
We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which divine nature and life is given (John 3:3-7). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24). When the repentant sinner, as enable by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation then regeneration proceeds. Fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct manifests genuine regeneration. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1Corinthians 6:19-20), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God. (Eph. 5:17-21; Phil. 2:12b; Col. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10)
SECTION 7 ELECTION
We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-2:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1,2).
We believe that Sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18,19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22,23; 2 Thess. 2:10-12; Rev. 22:17)
Nevertheless, since sovereign Grace includes the MEANS of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all that come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8)
The unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own. Nor to God's anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy! (Ephesians 1:4-2:10; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2)
SECTION 8 SANCTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting-apart unto God, is threefold: It is already complete for every saved person because of his or her position toward God is the same as Christ's position. Since the believer is in Christ, he or she is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God.
We believe, however, that he or she retains the potential to choose to sin based upon the principle of sin which resides in the body, which cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to "grow in grace" and to "be changed" by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe also, that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in this standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be "like Him." (John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Romans 7:17-23; Eph. 4:24; 5:25-27; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 10:10, 14; 12:10)
SECTION 9 ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe that, because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, God's freedom to exercise grace, the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God, the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever.
However, this security is by no means a license, permission, excuse or reason to continue in sin. We believe that God is a holy and righteous Father, and since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, chasten them and correct them within the scope of His infinite love. But, at the same time keeping them forever, apart from all human merit, because He who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1; 14:16-17; 17:11; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 6:19; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13; Jude 24; Romans 6:1-23; Hebrews 12:5-11; Ps. 32:1-5; 1 Cor. 5:1-8)
SECTION 10 ASSURANCE
We believe it is the privilege, of all that are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior. This assurance is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness or fitness, but solely upon the testimony of God in His written Word, exciting within His children love, gratitude, and obedience. (Luke 10:20; 22:32; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6-8; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22; 1 John 5:13)
SECTION 11 THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise, and dwells in every believer. By His baptism unites all to Christ in one body, and that He as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never takes His departure from the church, nor from the feeblest of saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ.
He is constantly seeking to fill (control) believers with Himself; that they not base His indwelling presence upon their feelings, experiences or outward manifestations over and above obedience to the Word of God.(Matt. 7:21-23; Col. 218-19)
We believe that He abiding in the world in this special sense and will cease when Christ comes to receive His Church. (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22; 2 Thess. 2:7)
We believe the Holy Spirit is in a continual process of regenerating all believers, indwelling all that are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption, the baptizing into the one body of Christ of all who are saved; and the continued filling of power, teaching, and service of those who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (John 3:6; 16:7-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27)
SECTION 12 THE CHURCH
Unity of BelieversWe believe that all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the church, which is the body and bride of Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. Its members are constituted as such regardless of membership or non-membership in the organized churches of the earth. We believe that by the same Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into one body that is Christ's, whether Jews or Gentiles. Then, having become members one of another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. (Matt. 16:18; Acts. 2:42-47; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Col. 3:14-15)
The Christian WalkWe 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 power of the indwelling Spirit that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. But the flesh (self) with its fallen, Adam nature, which in this life is never eradicated, being with us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage needs to be kept by the Spirit constantly in subjection to Christ.(Rom. 6:11; 8:2, 4, 12-13; 16-23; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 2:1-10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 John 1:4-7; 3:5-9)
Gifts of the SpiritWe believe divine gifts are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved for the service of the body of Christ. While there are diversity of gifts, the same Spirit energizes each believer, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. In the church there are certain gifted men - apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers - who were appointed by God for the perfecting of the saints unto their work of the ministry. We believe also that today some men are especially called of God to be prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and that it is to the fulfilling of His will and to His eternal glory that these shall be sustained and encouraged in their service for God. (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11)
Rewards for using our giftsWe believe apart from salvation benefits, which are bestowed equally upon all that believe, rewards are promised according to the faithfulness of each believer in his service for their Lord, and that these rewards will be bestowed at the judgment seat of Christ after He comes to receive the church to Himself. (1 Cor. 3:9-15; 9:18-27; 2 Cor. 5:10)
SECTION 13 THE GREAT COMMISSION
We believe that it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth by His Father into the world. We believe that all believers are ambassadors and witnesses, and that their primary purpose in life should be to make Christ known to the whole world. (Matt. 28:18- 19; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11)
SECTION 14 THE BLESSED HOPE
We believe according to the Word of God, the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself, both His own who are alive and all who have fallen asleep in Jesus. This event is the blessed hope set before us in the Scripture and for this we should be constantly looking. (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14)
SECTION 15 THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that a future period of great tribulation on earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went in person in the clouds with power and great glory to establish His millennial kingdom. But prior to this tribulation, we believe there will be the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air (invisibly) to receive to Himself into Heaven both His own who are alive and remain until His coming and also all who have died in Christ Jesus. (Deut. 30:1-10; Isa. 11:9; Ezek. 37:21-28; Matt. 24:15-25, 46; Acts 15:16-17; Rom. 8:19- 23; 11:25-27; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 20:1-6)
SECTION 16 CHURCH ORDINANCES
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper to be observed by all believers until His return. (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 10:47-48)
We believe that the ordinance of baptism is immersion of the believer in water as it sets forth the essential facts in redemption and it is a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ and the essential resurrection to newness of life. (Romans 6:4; 1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 8:26-39)
We believe that the Lord's Supper is a privilege afforded to all believers in the commemoration of our Lord's death until He comes. (I Corinthians 11:23-28)