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We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18)

and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in

the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (males, who are

also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet

biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

We teach that these leaders rule as servants of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church.

The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17).

We teach the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to

each other (Matthew 18:5-14), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with

the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy

1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).

We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government

and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is

scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local

churches, however, through their pastors and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judges

of the measure and method of their cooperation (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians

4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the

ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew

28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).

We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12).

We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He

gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the

ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ

(Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing,

given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles' message (Hebrews

2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New

Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message, and

confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Corinthians 13:8-

12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:12;

Revelation 13:13-14). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification

(Romans 12:6-8).

We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will

answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-6: John 5:7-9; 2

Corinthians 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15).

We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42).

Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his

faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life

(Romans 6: 1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42).

We teach that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be

always preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). We also teach that whereas the elements of