Articles of Faith of Watsontown
1) The Scriptures: We believe that the Bible is the accurate and true word of God, written by human beings inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is our supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and life.
2) The Triune God: We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three Persons of equal rank, authority, power, and essence – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
3) Humanity and Sin: We believe that human beings were created in the image of God, that they chose to sin, and thereby incurred the penalty of physical and spiritual death. As a result, all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, dead in their sins and headed for judgment and condemnation.
4) The Person and Work of Jesus Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and is true God and true man. We believe that He's our Savior, and that His substitutionary, sacrificial death on the cross for our sins, His burial, and His bodily resurrection provide our complete salvation.
5) The Doctrine of Salvation: We believe that salvation is by grace through faith, apart from human merit or effort. We believe that those who repent from their sins and receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior are released from the penalty and dominating power of sin, are forgiven their sins, are reconciled to God, are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, are justified in God's sight, and are adopted as children of God.
6) The Holy Spirit: We believe in the Person and Deity of the Holy Spirit, Who convicts people of sin and makes spiritually alive those who believe the gospel. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide.
7) The Local Church: We believe that the local church is an assembly of believers in Christ, who voluntarily gather together for worship, fellowship, instruction, witness, and service. We believe in the independence of the local church in determining and following God's will for itself. We also realize our interdependence with churches of like faith for the purposes of strengthening one another and accomplishing our common goals.
8) Baptism and the Lord's Supper: We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. This shows forth, in solemn and beautiful symbol, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and portrays our death to sin and resurrection to a new life.
We believe that the Lord's Supper, through the use of the bread and the cup, symbolizes Christ's sacrificial death for us on the cross. We believe that participating in this memorial is a privilege reserved only for those who are believers in Christ, to be preceded always by a solemn self-examination.
9) The Priesthood of Every Believer: We believe that – while there are varieties of gifts, offices, and functions – every Christian has equal status to every other Christian in God's kingdom; and every believer in Christ can approach God directly for himself or herself, without needing or requiring the assistance/mediation of a human priest or some kind of ritual. Personal faith in Jesus Christ grants every believer direct access to God.
10) Missions and Disciple-Making: We believe Christ's message of love and salvation is for everyone; and every church and every believer has the duty to be a positive influence for Jesus Christ and the gospel wherever he/she may be. The command to "Go and make disciples...." (Matt. 28:18-20) tells us to invite, reach, teach, equip, and develop people to their full potential and maturity in Christ.
11) Separation of Church and State: We believe that the role and responsibilities and functions of both the state and the church are, and should be, different and distinct from one another. The state should not/cannot exercise control over the theology (beliefs), administration, or ministries of the church. Also, the church should not try to "take over" and exercise control over the governing processes of the state.
12) Religious Freedom: We believe that each person is responsible to God for his/her own religious beliefs and practices. Therefore, they should have the right to worship God as their own convictions and conscience dictate.
In being part of a local church fellowship, this individual freedom is tempered with and balanced by a recognized respect for and interdependence with the scriptural interpretations and doctrinal convictions of the congregation (especially those in spiritual leadership), as well as a regard for the peace, unity, and welfare of the church as a whole.
13) Second Coming of Christ; Judgment; and Eternity: We believe in the literal, personal, visible, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. We believe in the accountability of all people before God and in the final Judgment; the everlasting blessedness of the saved with God, and the everlasting punishment of the lost separated from God.
Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage therefore, with the aid of the Holy Spirit:
-- to walk together in Christian love,
-- to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort;
-- to promote its prosperity and spirituality;
-- to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines;
-- to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout the world.
We also engage:
-- to maintain family and secret devotions;
-- to religiously educate our children;
-- to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances;
-- to walk carefully in the world;
-- to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct;
-- to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger;
-- and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage:
-- to watch over one another in Christian 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 offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.