EastPointe Bible Church Statements of FAITH from Constitution & Bylaws 2/03/2019
“This assembly shall be known as the EastPointe Bible Church of Peru, Indiana.” (EBC Introduction: 2. Name – 2/03/2019)
We, the members of the EastPointe Bible Church (EBC) of Peru, Indiana, desiring to faithfully serve the Lord Jesus Christ, to foster the spirit of harmony, to promote godly order in the Church, and to better represent the Word and Kingdom of Christ before the world, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and Bylaws to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
This assembly shall be known as the EastPointe Bible Church of Peru, Indiana.
3. Statement of Purpose
We purpose to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Head of His Church (Matthew 16:13-18, Romans 10:8-11, Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:15-19); to establish a local congregation of believers patterned after the New Testament Church and obedient to the teaching of the Scriptures; to build and advance the true Church of which Christ is the head, by preaching the gospel of Christ to the lost and leading them to the Savior beginning in our “Jerusalem” and extending to the uttermost parts of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8), by providing a place where believers can assemble to worship the Lord (Hebrews 10:25), and by teaching believers the doctrines of Scripture and training them for the work of the ministry (2 Timothy 2:15, Ephesians 4:11-13); and to administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper as set forth in the New Testament.
4. Church Covenant
Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the public profession of our faith, having been immersed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We purpose, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge and holiness; to promote its spiritual prosperity; to attend its services regularly; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to give faithfully of time and talent in its activities; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.
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 activity which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, cause stumbling to a fellow believer, or hinder the winning of a soul to Christ; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the cause of Christ our Savior; and to give Him the preeminence 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 cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offence but always ready for reconciliation and, mindful of the rules of our Savior, to seek it without delay.
We moreover purpose that when we find it necessary to relocate, we will as soon as possible, unite with some other church of like precious faith and practice, 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.
Statement of Faith
1. The Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men and, therefore, has truth without any mixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. (II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:19-21)
We believe there is one and only one living and true God; an infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Exodus 20:2,3; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11)
3. Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin born Son of God who lived a sinless life, died a victorious death, rose in bodily form, ascended into Heaven where He now ministers as our High Priest and is coming back to this earth to establish His earthly kingdom. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; 28:6,7; Luke 1:35; 24:38, 51; John 1:4; 20:27; I Corinthians 15:4; Acts 1:9-11; Mark 16:19; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 3:21; 20:6; Psalm 72:3)
4. Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He baptizes the believer into the body of Christ; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies and helps the believer. He bestows spiritual gifts, some of which were of a temporary nature designed as signs to authenticate the message of the apostles and have ceased. Among these are the gifts of tongues, healing, and prophecy (foretelling). (John 14:16,17,26; 16:8-11; 3:5,6; 1:33; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; Luke 1:35; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13,14; Mark 1:8; Luke 24:49; Romans 8:14, 16, 26, 27)
We believe in the personality of Satan who is called the dragon, that old serpent, the Devil; that he is the unholy god in this age and the author of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Matthew 4:1-3; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:2,10)
We accept the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth but a literal, historical account of the 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. We reject both theistic and naturalistic evolution. (Genesis 1,2; Colossians 1:16,17; John 1:3)
7. Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; that they are totally depraved and, therefore, under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:16,24; Romans 1:18,32; 5:10-19)
8. Payment for Sin
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience and by His death made a full and vicarious payment for our sins. We believe that His payment consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sin in His body on the tree. We believe that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and is uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and the all- sufficient Savior. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24,25; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; I John 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21)
9. Regeneration and Justification
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again which is a regeneration by the Holy Spirit to be able to respond to the preaching of the gospel and confess Jesus as Lord and trust that God did raise Him from the dead. That new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process, and that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker in the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God. We believe that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that it involves more than mental assent but is the personal reception of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
We believe that justification is the act of God whereby the believer is declared righteous upon the basis of Christ’s imputed righteousness. (John 3:3,6,7,8; Romans 10:8-9, II Corinthians 5:17,19; I John 5:1; Acts 16:30-32; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; 3:21-28; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 2:16)
10. Security of the Believer
We believe in the security of the saints; that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Philippians 1:6; John 10:28,29; Romans 8:35-39; Jude 1; 1 Samuel 12:22; Psalm 89:30-33; John 6:35; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 2:19; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30)
11. The Local Church
We believe that the local Church is a congregation of immersed believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are Pastors, Elders and Deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scripture. We believe the true mission of the Church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all mankind as we have opportunity. We hold that the local Church has the absolute right of self-government free from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; 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; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline and of benevolence the consensus of the council of elders in obedience to God’s Word with appropriate input from deacons and the congregation is final (Acts 2:41,42; 20:17-28; I Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22,23; 4:11; 5:23; I Timothy 2:1-7; Colossians 1:18; Acts 15:13-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 22, Acts 14:23, 15:6, Titus 1:5, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relationship.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self- examination. Since it is the Lord’s Table, none who are His shall be barred. The Pastors shall frequently explain the meaning and requirements of the ordinances. (Acts 8:26-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 11:23-28; Acts 2:41-42)
13. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of a divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth. (Romans 13:1-7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21,22; Acts 23:5; 5:20; 4:19,20; Matthew 22:21; Daniel 2:17, 18)
We believe that obedience to God’s Word will not allow cooperation in spiritual efforts with those who will deny the historic Christian faith. We specifically repudiate the assumption that cooperation with unbelievers is justified if commendable spiritual results are obtained by doing so. We believe the Bible requires a Church be completely separated from associational fellowship with groups that permit the presence of those who reject the essentials of this statement of faith. (II Corinthians 6:14-18; Romans 16:17, 18; II John 9-11)
15. Righteous and Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after life in the everlasting security of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17, 18, 23; 7:6; I John 5:19; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 6:25; Matthew 25:34-41; John 8:21)
We believe that the imminent rapture of the Church is the next event to occur according to prophesy. Christ’s coming for His Church as outlined in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:51, 52 will announce the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:24-27), which concludes “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), the Great Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon. At the close of the Great Tribulation period, Christ will establish His earthly kingdom and occupy the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32; Isaiah 9:6,7; Acts 2:29,30) and reign for one thousand (1000) years (the millennium reign referred to in Revelation 20:1-6). After this the Great White Throne Judgment occurs. All the wicked dead of all ages will appear before this throne (Revelation 20:11-15)
17. Church Governance
We cannot help but be affected by our culture that is immersed in democratic procedures. This has even permeated the culture of the church especially in the western hemisphere. Living in that reality, we are convinced that God’s Word does not directly address the issue of voting but it does give us a model for governing by elders. In that model, major decisions pleasingly satisfied the congregation (Acts 6:5). The elders will pursue making decisions that bring about harmony in the body. A simple yes or no vote does not provide helpful input and because of much scripture concerning unity and resolving differences. We want to strive for a better way for those that govern to make major decisions in the church.
Scripture is clear, Elders are to govern the church but biblically minded elders realize that they are not an authority all their own. They are ultimately responsible to Christ. And they are not to be unapproachable in leading, guarding and governing the church. We believe firmly in receiving input from deacons and the congregation prior to making decisions that affect the body as a whole. (1 Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1-6, Acts 14:23, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 & 1 Peter 5:1-4)
Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
- We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. (Rom 1:18-32.)
- We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
- We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
- We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
- We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of EastPointe Bible Church.
- We believe the truths about marriage, gender, sin, redemption and humanity as outlined herein are among the most clear doctrines of our faith from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We believe this is also evident in that for millennia they have been universally practiced by Christians and Jewish believers alike. We believe these doctrines are foundational to our faith.
- We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of EastPointe Bible Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the EastPointe Bible Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by EastPointe Bible Church in any capacity, members of EastPointe Bible Church, and/or those who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)