Statement of Beliefs
This congregation recognizes and accepts the following:
God is the eternal, all present, all powerful supreme creator and sustainer of the entire universe. God is one, composed of spirit and comprising a Family revealed as presently consisting of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.
God is a loving, kind, merciful being who wants to share His magnificent existence by reproducing Himself through mankind.
(Psalms 19:1; Romans 1:20; Nehemiah 9:6-15; Psalms 50:1-7; Isaiah 44:6; John 1:12-13; John 3:16; I John 3:1,16).
The Holy Bible
The whole Bible is the divinely inspired word of God containing His plan of salvation and the record of His anticipation in history. The Bible is God's revelation of knowledge that man cannot discover for himself. It is the foundation of knowledge and the guidebook to life. The Old and New Testaments comprise God's written word which forms the basis of Christianity as taught by the church and as practiced by the Christian.
(II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20; John 17:17; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; I Corinthians 2:7-11; Romans 8:16; Deuteronomy 8:3)
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God and the son of man. He is the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament and is described in the New Testament as being fully human and fully divine. As the second member of the God Family, He has existed throughout eternity as the "Word". He divested Himself of this power and majesty to be born of flesh and blood and to die for the sins of all mankind as our loving and merciful Savior. He was then resurrected and ascended into heaven to become our High Priest seated at the right hand of God the Father as our only intermediary. He shall return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and rule as King with His saints forever and ever. (Deuteronomy 18:15; John 1:1-14; John 3:16; Acts 2:32-33; Hebrews 4:15; Phillippians 2:7; Romans 5:8; Revelation 1:13-18)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the essence, power mind and spiritual extension of God. God begets Christians as His sons and daughters through this Spirit. It strengthens a Christian spiritually; converts his mind and serves as an earnest or guarantee of eternal life.
(I Corinthians 2:13-16; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9:14; Ephesians 1:13-14; John 15:26)
Humans are physical beings with no inherent immortality but they can receive eternal life as a free gift from God. Man was created by God to be wholly flesh and blood yet in God's image and with a spiritual component added to his brain to compose the human mind.
(I John 5:11-13; Job 32:8; Genesis 1:26-27; I Corinthians 2:11).
God has created powerful spirit beings as His agents and messengers. Since man's creation angels have functioned as ministering spirits to help mankind attain salvation. Like man, angels have free moral agency. Although created to help God some angels rebelled against God's government transforming themselves into demons.
(Psalms 91:12; Hebrews 1:6-7; Ephesians 6:12).
Salvation is the means by which God, through Christ, saves man from the penalty of sin and gives him eternal life. This process includes one's calling, repentance, baptism, justification, receiving of the Holy Spirit, a life of faith and obedience and finally birth into God's Kingdom as a spirit being. Salvation is a freely given gift from God through grace with our ultimate reward being according to our works.
(John 3:16-17; Acts 2:38; Hebrews 5:8; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Matthew 16:27).
Faith is the sure knowledge that God exists and that He will accomplish those things He has promised. Faith is necessary for salvation. The basic elements of faith are courage, action and risk.
(Hebrews 11:1-2; Romans 10:17; James 2:22-24; Ephesians 3:17; Romans 1:17).
Repentance is the act of acknowledging one's sins and resolving to fully obey God. It begins when God opens one's mind to see himself in comparison with God and His law. True repentance is the first step toward reconciliation with God, and thereby toward ultimate salvation.
(I John 3:4; Acts 3:19-21; Acts 8:22; Psalms 51).
The ceremony of water baptism is performed by immersion for the forgiveness of sins upon true repentance and acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. After this ceremony, and as a result, one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. Baptism symbolizes the renunciation of the passed sinful way of life, the burial of the old man in a watery grave and the emergence of a new spirit-led man living with Christ's mind and following in His footsteps.
(Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-8; Matthew 3:13-16; Colossians 2:12).
Laying On Of Hands
The laying on of hands is an act performed on special occasions such as for the receiving of God's Holy Spirit after baptism, at ordination, anointing of the sick or for other special purposes.
(Hebrews 6:2; Acts 6:5-6, 8:17, 13:3; Matthew 19:13; I Timothy 4:14).
Kingdom Of God
The Kingdom of God is the family of God ruling as the Government of God. It is a future world-ruling government to be set up on earth by Christ at His return, with Jesus as King and the resurrected spirit-composed saints in positions of co-rulership with Him. The Kingdom of God, referred to as a "mystery" in the New Testament, was first preached and explained by Christ, then by His Church. It shall be established on earth for a thousand years following Christ's return and shall be completely fulfilled when New Jerusalem and God the Father come down out of heaven to dwell on the new Earth.
(Matthew 3:2; Revelation 5:10, 20:4; I Corinthians 2:7; John 1:14; Mark 4:11).
The gospel is the message preached by Christ and by His Church about God's coming Kingdom, the restoration of His government on earth, and how mankind can enter that Kingdom and government. It includes the message of what Jesus has done, is doing, and shall do, and is ultimately the message of the entire Old and New Testaments. The primary purpose and commission of the church is to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
(Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 1:15; Matthew 4:23; Luke 24:47, Matthew 24:14).
The hope of all mankind and the promise to the Christian is the resurrection from the dead. There are references to four resurrections in the Bible:
The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead and the pioneer of salvation.
The resurrection of the saints at the return of Christ when they shall become spirit-composed members of God's Family.
The resurrection back to physical life of all who have ever died without having understood God's way, for their first opportunity for salvation.
The resurrection of all those who have refused to repent and have rejected God's way, to be consumed in the lake of fire (called the second death).
(Revelation 20: 4-6; Acts 2:32; Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 15:20; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 20:13-14).
The time of one's judgment is the time of his opportunity for salvation, extending from the calling by God until death (or the resurrection). Those who shall qualify for God's Kingdom shall inherit eternal life. Those who deliberately reject God's way shall be consumed in the lake of fire.
(I Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 13:49, 25:34; Revelation 21:8).
Law Of God
The law of God as revealed in the Bible is good, right and a perfect system of eternal directives and principles which reflect God's character and serves as a means of expressing His love toward man. God's law teaches man how to properly worship God; how to love his fellowman; how to live life abundantly and, at the same time, how to prepare for an eternal spiritual life in the Family of God. The law of God as represented in both the Old and the New Testaments is expressed by both physical actions and spiritual motivations.
(Romans 8:1-2; John 14:15; Romans 3:31; Romans 7:7-12; I John 5:3).
Both testaments record that God made certain promises in the form of specific contracts or agreements with man. These are called "covenants" and define the terms of God's relationship with individuals or groups in various circumstances and eras. Of these covenants the best known are the covenants made with physical Israel and the New Covenant established on "better promises" which will be fully confirmed with spiritual Israel after the return of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant which also applies to the New Testament Church from the time of the original apostles makes God's law even more relevant by expanding it to include one's mental attitude and spiritual intent.
(Genesis 6:18; 9: 9; 15:18; Hebrews 8:6-13; Matthew 5:17-18).
The Ten Commandments as revealed by God, codified by Moses, which were ratified and magnified by Christ are the perfect expression of God's love. They are the foundation of all Biblical teaching, showing man how to express love toward God and fellowman and are consequently the focal point of Christian life.
(Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5; Matthew 5:17; I Corinthians 7:19; Romans 13:10).
The seventh-day Sabbath is taught and kept holy in accordance with Biblical instruction. Instituted at creation, reaffirmed to Israel as a part of the covenant at Sinai and taught by Jesus Christ who is the Messenger of the New Covenant, the observance of the Sabbath is basic to a Christian's relationship with God. The Sabbath is an identifying sign between God and His people throughout all generations and a special blessing is pronounced on those who keep His Sabbath.
(Exodus 20:8-ll; Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16; Mark 2:27-28, Exodus 31:12-17; Luke 4:16; Isaiah 58: 13,14).
Annual Holy Days
The annual holy days were ordained by God, kept by ancient Israel and continued by the early New Testament Christians. These seven annual "appointed feasts" picture God's plan of salvation for man. (Leviticus 23; John 7:1-10; Hebrews 13:8; Zechariah 14:16)
Tithing is an act of worship. It is a private matter between the individual and God. The Church of God of Central Arkansas does not enforce or "police" tithing, but simply teaches the responsibility to tithe. Each individual has the responsibility to "honor the Lord with his substance and with the first fruits of all his increase." (Proverbs 3:9). Tithing is a method by which the message of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the world. (Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 6:21; Matthew 23:23, II Corinthians 9:7)
Sin is defined as the transgression of God's law. The penalty for sin is death. The Author of the law, who became Jesus Christ of Nazareth, has paid the penalty for our sins by His own death. Repentance of sin and acceptance of His shed blood and sacrifice releases us from the sentence of death. We have all sinned but life without sin is the attainable goal through Jesus Christ.
(I John 3:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 1:14; II Timothy 3:17; Matthew 5:48).
A true Christian is one in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. (Romans 8:9; 8:14; I Corinthians 12:13).
The Christian Family
The marriage relationship is the basis of the family which in turn is the core of a stable society. As the primary physical analogy of God's plan for mankind, marriage, child rearing and family are given a preeminent place in the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Although roles are defined, men and women have equal spiritual potential before God.
(Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-4; 5:22-29; I Peter 3:1-7; Malachi 4:5-6).
Divine healing is a miracle which God in His mercy and love may extend to those who call upon Him in time of need, according to faith. The healings of Jesus Christ demonstrate and represent His power to express compassion, to forgive sin, and ultimately to resurrect the dead and establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. (Matthew 9:1-6; James 5:14-15).
The Church Of God
The Church is the spiritual Body of Christ, a group of persons called out by God and embued with His Holy Spirit. As a spiritual body, the Church is made up of baptized, spirit led individuals who are scattered around the world. (I Corinthians 12:12-14; Colossians 3:15).
Basis For Fellowship In The Church
Fellowship is open to all who seek a strong, meaningful, active relationship with God and His People based on the Holy Bible. (I John 1:13)
It is the belief of the congregation that love is the core and basis of Christianity as expressed by Jesus Christ in His new commandment. (John 13:34). Love works no ill to his neighbor and thus it does fulfill the demands of the law. (Romans 13:10). Believing this, we hold that all people need love. As Christians, it is our obligation to give it.
The basis of our fellowship is belief that Jesus Christ is Lord. (I Corinthians 12:3).