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Who We Are

Our Doctrine

The Holy Trinity

We believe that the one God exists as three persons relating. The

Father, the source of all life, shares His life, begetting the Son, and His

life as the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. The three are united

in substance, equal in the sense of being God, and are distinct in their

personhood.

God the Father

God is a sovereign, just, holy, and loving heavenly Father. It is

God's nature to share Himself, and therefore exists as trinity. God

shared Himself with sinful man when, because of His love for the

world, He gave His only begotten Son. Because He is the source of all

life, all living things are responsible to Him. He is a rewarder of those

who obey Him, and the Judge of those who do evil.

God the Son, Jesus Christ

God revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The

Eternal Son came to dwell among men as a man through the incarnation.

The Holy Spirit was the agent of the incarnation, while the virgin Mary

was the instrument. By taking humanity to Himself, the Son of God

lost nothing of His divinity, but was fully God, and fully human. As

the perfect man, without sin, He gave His life as the perfect sacrifice

for man. Having offered Himself "once for all," He now exercises His

High Priestly ministry by interceding on behalf of the saints, waiting for

the day when He comes again.

God, the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, is the giver and

renewer of life. He works to convict of sin, convince of the truth, and

call sinners to life in Christ.

It is the Holy Spirit who applies the work of Christ for salvation,

and sanctification, as well as the empowerment for holy living. He is

a comforter, an encourager, a giver of gifts, and our guide as we walk

each day for Christ.

The Scriptures

The Bible is the word of God, written by holy men of old as they

were enabled to communicate God's truth without error. We therefore

believe that the scripture is infallible and inerrant in its original

autographs. The scripture is our rule of faith, and a revelation of God

Himself. Written over a period of 1500 years by as many as 40 authors,

the scripture is authoritative in matters of faith, doctrine, and practice.

Man

God created man in His image, with the ability to relate to God

in freedom, as immortal, spiritual beings. Man's original state was one

of holiness. After the fall, man became a corrupt expression of God's

image. Because of the corruption of our nature, man is incapable of

any positive move toward God, except through the work of divine

grace. This grace, which works in advance of our salvation to bring

us to favor, toward salvation, is called prevenient grace. Only through

the justifying, regenerating, sanctifying grace of God can we be saved

from the pervasive corruption of sin, and be conformed to the image of

God.

Salvation

Salvation is the process by which God forgives sin, renews man

to quickens a soul dead in trespasses and sin, and draws a soul to

sanctification. Full salvation indicates a full redemption from all the

effects of sin. Guilt, separation, death, and depravity all must be dealt

with in salvation. Thus, the work of Christ is sufficient for all our

needs. This salvation is grounded in the love of God, provided by the

atoning work of Christ, and applied by the active work of the Holy

Spirit.

Sanctification

Sanctification is a process beginning with initial sanctification,

occurring at the new birth. It is at this time that the believer receives

the Spirit and is changed. However, it is not long until a new Christian

realizes that an inner battle between flesh and Spirit, or carnality and

grace is happening in his soul. While the believer has been forgiven of

his sins, inbred sin (carnality) still has a hold on the soul. God initiates a

second stage in the sanctification process, bringing the fully committed

Christian to a complete consecration. This is the crucifixion of the

self-centered mind of the carnal Christian. As Wesley said, “The more

alive to God a Christian is, the more dead to sin he becomes.” Thus,

when a believer is fully consecrated, and trusts God for His promise of

cleansing, the Holy Spirit fills the heart, cleanses from carnality and sin,

and empowers for service.

Speaking in Unknown Tongues

The Congregational Methodist Church believes that the gift of tongues, as stated in the Bible, is the ability to speak in an actual language, unknown to the speaker, but known to the hearer, for the purpose of evangelism. We do not accept the modern definition of tongues as a prayer language, or as ecstatic utterance, or as evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The Church

The Christian Church was founded by Christ on the day of

Pentecost. By the infilling of the Spirit, the followers of Christ become

the Body of Christ. Being called out from the world to fellowship with

Christ, the Church is a unique organism. It is universal, being made up

of true believers of all nations, and it is holy, belonging to God.

We believe that God's plan for the financing of His Church and

work is with the tithes and gifts of its members.

We do not believe that the Congregational Methodist Church, or

any other denomination, is the only true Church, nor that any other

orthodox church is excluded. Those cults claiming to be Christian, but

denying orthodox Christian doctrine, are not accepted as a part of the

Body of Christ.

The Priesthood of all Believers

Whereas in the Old Testament God used specific people as priests,

in the New Testament, God calls all believers to service and ministry.

Through the presence of the Holy Spirit every Christian not only

represents God, but also has been empowered to be an instrument of

His grace to the world. The dual duties of representing God to man and

man to God, belong to every born again Christian. The responsibility

of witnessing, the ministry of prayer, and the use of our spiritual gifts

are included in the privilege of being His priests.

The Christian Life

Once a believer experiences new life in Christ, he strives to live a

life holy and acceptable to God. The Christian life is a daily, disciplined

walk with God. We believe the means of grace--prayer, Bible study,

meditation, corporate worship, and fellowship-- are all necessary for

Christian growth.

As Christians, we should focus on reproducing the character, or

fruit of the Spirit, in our own character. We should also discover,

develop, and use our personal spiritual gifts within the body.

Eternal Security

As Christians in the Wesleyan Arminian tradition, we believe

and teach that salvation is a relationship based on freedom. In order

to love and trust Christ, we must be free to do so. The atonement

provided through Christ was provided for all men, yet God calls us to

turn to Him, trust Him, and walk with Him. Therefore, we believe in

conditional security, and not unconditional security. While God always

loves us, and nothing can separate us from His love, we always have the

freedom to turn from our relationship with Him. The freewill needed to

have faith in Him, remains intact throughout our life.

The Sacraments

The Congregational Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments,

Baptism and Communion. Baptism is a testimony to the inner work of

salvation. Whether by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring, baptism itself

does not save, but is a reflection of salvation as a cleansing of sin.

Children are baptized as a dedication to God, but such baptism or

christening does not take the place of believer’s baptism.

Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper is a celebration of Christ's

sacrifice on our behalf. Communion in the Congregational Methodist

Church is open to all who believe and not to members only.

Eternal Life

God created man to know Him intimately. Originally, God breathed

into man His own breath, or life. Man, after the fall, was deprived of the

Spirit, or life of God. Salvation is the re-breathing of that life into the

soul of man. That life, the very breath of God, is the basis of what the

scripture means by eternal life. Jesus said, "This is eternal life, that they

may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast

sent." (John 17:3) Knowing God in an intimate sense is to experience

His life and therefore can be experienced in this life.

Eternal life continues in heaven as we experience God in a new

way - face to face. Eternal life, therefore, starts now and continues in

eternity forever. Those who finally reject the offer of salvation in Christ

will spend eternity separated from God and condemned to suffer in hell

for eternity.

The Second Coming of Christ

We believe that the culmination of human history is designed by

God and will occur according to His timing. The literal interpretation

of scripture reveals that Christ will rapture His faithful in the twinkling

of an eye, after which the anti-christ will be revealed, and the wrath of

God poured out upon the earth. After seven years of tribulation, Christ

is revealed in His glory and comes to reign for one thousand years on

the earth. After this millennial reign, the earth will be destroyed, and a

new heaven and new earth will be provided for the faithful to live in the

presence of God forever.

The Resurrection of the Dead

The Bible teaches that there are two resurrections. The first, the

resurrection of the saved, will occur at the pre-tribulation rapture, when

the dead in Christ rise first, and those who remain are changed in an

instant, escaping death, and meet Him in the air.

The second resurrection, the resurrection of the dead, occurs

after the millennial reign of Christ, at which time they will be judged

according to their works, and condemned to the lake of fire forever.

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