Article 20. The Church

The People of God

All of God’s elect who have ever lived, are now living, or ever will live, make up the one true universal church. Revelation 5:9-10

The People of God in the New Covenant Era

While there has always been a people of God, the church in the New Covenant era has a unique historical beginning at Pentecost. The church is made up of both Jew and Gentiles and is not regulated by the Mosaic Law, but by the Law of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-22, Colossians 1:15-20

The Local Church

The church in the New Covenant era is given visible expression in local churches. All professed believers are commanded to gather together in the local church to build up one another in the faith. 1 Corinthians 12, Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42-47, Revelation 1:4-3:22

Church Leadership

God has given two positions of leadership in the local church: elders and deacons. Elders are responsible to shepherd and teach the local church. The elders are the final authority in the church. They are to be qualified according to the qualifications of 1 Timothy chapter 3 and Titus chapter 1. They are never allowed to lord it over the people. A church without at least one elder is incomplete. All elders have equal authority and are the pastors of the church. Women are not allowed to be elders. Titus 1:5-16, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Ephesians 4:9-16, Philippians 1:1-2, Acts 14:21-25, Hebrews 13:17, Matthew 20:20-28

Deacons assist the elders. They are called upon to serve at the decision of the elders and their duties are determined by the elders. Deacons are to meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy chapter three. 1 Timothy 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-6, 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Men and Women are Equal

Scripture clearly states that men and women are equal before the Lord. The priesthood of all believers, both men and women, clearly demonstrates this truth. Galatians 3:26-29,1 Peter 2:4-12

Men and Woman have Different Roles

In the beginning God created mankind male and female. He made Adam first, and then made Eve from Adam’s rib. This order of creation subordinates wives to their husbands in marriage, and women to men in the church. As an act of submission to their Creator, women are commanded to submit to their husbands and to male leadership in the church. This consequently means that God does not call women to the position of Pastor or Elder. Genesis 2:4-25, 1 Timothy 2, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

Church Discipline

The purpose of church discipline is to restore a fallen believer to holiness and to return him to a godly and pure relationship with God and with the church. Exercising church discipline further strengthens the church and glorifies God. The general principle to be used is described in Matthew 18:15-17. The first step is to appeal to the offender alone. If there is no repentance, then you appeal to him with one or two others. Finally, if he remains unrepentant, then you bring him before the church and appeal to him one more time. If he does not repent he is put out of the church and is viewed as an unbeliever. Those in the church are responsible to call him to repentance. They are not allowed to have normal relations with him as long as he remains in an unrepentant condition. Any verifiable, unrepentant sin is grounds for church discipline. When someone is removed from the church, or excommunicated, he is denying that he wants Jesus Christ to be his Lord. Denial of the Lordship of Christ is a denial that one has saving faith. That is why all those who are put out of the church are viewed as unbelievers. Matthew 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Galatians 6:1-5, 1 Timothy 5:17-20, 1 John 2:3-6

 

*We would like to thank the New Covenant Church Cebu for allowing us to study and use their Statement of Faith as a basis of our own with some little or minor revisions to fit our core beliefs. Some articles remained as is because we believe that it accurately describes ours and so changes at this point is not necessary. We believe as a church that we are much closer to New Covenant Theology and furthest away from Dispensational Theology. In terms of the covenants, some of us hold to a pre-fall covenant and an overaching covenant of grace. But generally we are NCT.