Statement of Doctrinal Beliefs and Practices. What we teach at Zion Church of Kurten.
I. Concerning the Holy Scriptures:
We teach that the Bible is the written revelation of God (I Cor. 2:7-14; II Peter 1:20-21). We teach that the Word of God is verbally inspired in every word (I Thessalonians 2:13; I Corinthians 2:13; II Timothy 3:16), inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical, interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (1:31; Exodus 31:17).
We teach that it constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:43; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; I Corinthians 2:13; II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20,21;3:15,16; Hebrews 4:12).
We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship, in which the Holy Spirit so acted in the human authors that through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God's Word to man (II Peter 1:20-21), without error in its entirety (Isaiah 30:8, 40:8, Matthew 5:18; II Timothy 3:16).
We teach that there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation, and it is to be found as one diligently applies the grammatical-historical method to interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17, 16:12-15; I Corinthians 2:7-15; I John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. The truth of Scripture stands in judgement of men; never do men stand in the judgement of it.
II. Concerning God
We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 45:5-7; I Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, intelligent Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one; but eternally existing, and subsisting in three Persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Psalm 139:8, II Corinthians 13:14) -- each equally deserving the same worship, and obedience (Acts 17:24-29; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelations 19:10).
• God the Father
God is love (I John 4:7-12).
God the Father-- the first person of the Trinity--orders and disposes all things according to His purpose and grace (Psalms 145:8,9; I Corinthians 8:6). As the absolute and highest ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (psalm 103:19; Job 1:6; Romans 11:33). He is the creator of all things (Genesis 1). His fatherhood denotes a spiritual relationship, first of all within the Trinity; and secondly, within mankind, in relation to all men, but spiritually only in relation to believers. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass, and continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (I Chronicles 29:11). This He does so as in no way to be the author of sin (John 8:38-44), nor to abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (I Peter 1:17). He has graciously foreknown from all eternity those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:3-6); He saves from sin all wo come to Him though Jesus Christ; and He relates Himself to His own as their Father (Luke 3:38; John 1:12, 18; Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 4:13).
• God the Son
Jesus Christ--the second person of the Trinity--possesses all the divine attributes, and these He is co-equal with the, Father, and He is co-eternal with Him. (John 10:27-30; John 14:9).
We teach that in the Incarnation He surrendered prerogatives of deity but nothing of divine essence. In His Incarnation Christ's divine nature united with a human nature in an indissoluble union, and so He became the God-man (Philippians 2:5-8; Micah 5:2; Colossians 2:9, John 14:9,10; I John 5:20; Jude 25).
We teach that in the incarnation the second person of the eternity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God to assume the place of a Son and an existence appropriate to a servant; however, He did not divest Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8).
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross, that His death was voluntary, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (I Peter 2:24; Romans 3:25,5:8).
We teach that, upon the basis of His death, the believing sinner is freed from punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin declared righteous, given eternal life, and admitted to the family of God (John 10:15; II Corinthians 5:14, 15; I Peter 2:24; 3:18; Romans 3:25; 5:8).
We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead, that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father where He is now ministering as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38,39; Acts 2:30,31, Hebrews 7:25;9:24; I John 2:2).
We teach that in the resurrection of Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of Christ; God accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and His bodily resurrection as the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 14:19; Romans 1:4, 4:25, 6:5-10; I Corinthians 15:20; John 5:28,29).
We teach that he will return to receive the Church, which is His Body, and returning with His Church in glory, will established His kingdom (Acts 1:9, 10; II Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelations 20).
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23):
1. Believers (II Corinthians 5:10; I Corinthians 3:10-15);
2. Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matthew 25:31-46);
3. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelations 21:11-15).
As the mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5), the head of His Body the Church (Ephesians 5:23, 1:22; Colossians 1:18), the coming King who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as the Lord of life and the only Savior (Luke 1:31-33; Acts 17:30,31; Matthew 25:14-46; Hebrews 7:25).
• God the Holy Spirit
We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine Parson, eternal, possessing all the divine attributes, and that in these He is co-equal with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3,4; also:
1. compare Isaiah 6:8,9 with Acts 28:25,26;
2. "intellect"--I Corinthians 2:10-13, "emotion"--Ephesians 4:30, "will" -- I Corinthians 12:1);
3. compare Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17;
4. coequal--Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; I Corinthians 12:4-6;
5. eternal--Hebrews 9:14;
6. omnipresent--Psalms 139:7-10;
7. omnipotent--I Corinthians 12:11;
8. truth--John 16:13
We teach that, with relation to the world of men, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation, the incarnation, the written revelation, and the work of salvation (Genesis1:2; Matthew 1:18, John 3:5-7; II Peter 1:20,21).
We teach the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father, as promised by Christ, (John 14:16,17, 15:26), to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His Church (I Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement; of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and transforming believers into Christ-likeness (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5, 2:4; II Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration (rebirth), baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:14), indwelling, sanctifying, instructing, empowering for service, and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; II Corinthians 3:6; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher who guided the apostles into all truths, as they submitted to God's revelation in Scripture. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; I John 2:20,27).
We teach that the Holy Spirit alone administers spiritual gifts to the Church to the glorify Christ and implement His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:18; I Corinthians 12:4-11; I Corinthians 3:18).
We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of his gifts for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues (unknown languages) and the working of signs and miracles by the agency of men ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (I Corinthians 12:4-11; Ii Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4; I Thessalonians 5:11).
III. Concerning Man
We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. He was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; I Thessalonians 5:23; James 3:9).
We teach that the purpose of man's creation was with the divine intention that he should glorify God, enjoy His fellowship, live his life in and by the will of God, and by this accomplish His purpose for man in the world (Genesis 1:26-30; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelations 4:11).
We teach that in Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, he lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; inherently corrupt, and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God, apart from divine grace. He is hopelessly lost, apart from the salvation, which in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23, 6:23; I Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 2:13,14; I John 1:8).
We teach that all men were in the loins of Adam, and that the consequences of that sin have been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the exception. All men are sinners by divine declaration, by nature, and by choice (Psalms 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23, 5:10-12; James 2:10; Psalm 51).
IV. Concerning Salvation
We teach that salvation is wholly of God by sovereign grace through faith, through the redemption by Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, not on the basis of human merit, or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18,19).
V. Concerning Regeneration (Rebirth)
We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are communicated (John 3:3-7). it is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God (John 5:24), so as to secure voluntary obedience to the Gospel. Regeneration will be manifested by repentance, faith, and righteous living. Good works are its proper evidence and fruit (I Corinthians 6:19,20; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:13-26; Titus 3:5-7), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; II Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believers to be increasingly conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:17; I Corinthians; I Peter 1:23; II Peter 1:4; I John 3:2-3).
VI. Concerning Justification
We teach that justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who believe in Christ (Romans 8:33). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20), and involves the transfer of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14, I Peter 3:18; II Corinthians 5:21), and the transfer of Christ's righteousness to us (Romans 4:6, I Corinthians 1:30; Luke 18:9-14).
VII. Concerning Sanctification
We teach that every believer is "set apart" (sanctified) unto God by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer is therefore declared to by holy and identified as a saint. (Acts 20:32; I Corinthians 1:2,30, 6:11; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2; Hebrews 2:11, 3:1, 10:10, 14, 13:12; Jude 1).
We teach that by the work of the Holy Spirit, the believer is progressively brought closer to the standing the believer enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:17,19; Romans 6:1-22; II Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:26; I Thessalonians 4:3, 4, 5:23).
In This respect we teach that every saved person is involved in conflict -- the new man in Christ is set against the flesh -- but adequate provision is made for victory through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the personal eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of the sin nature is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over it (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9, 10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9; Philippians 3:12; Romans 7:14-8:1).
VIII. Concerning Security
We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God's power and thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24, 6:37-50, 10:27, 30; 17:15, 20; Romans 5:9,10, 8:1, 31-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25, 13:5; I Peter 1:5; Jude 24).
We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:15-22, 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13, 25, 26; Titus 2:11-15).
IX. Concerning Separation
We teach that the doctrine of separation from sin is clearly evident throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5).
We teach that all saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach up on their Savior and Lord and that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of God (Romans 12:1,2, 14:13; II Corinthians 6:14-7:11; II Timothy 3:15; I John 2:15-17, II John 9-11; I Corinthians 5:9-13).
We teach that believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ (Leviticus 19:2, John 15:1-5; Galatians 5:16; I Thessalonians 2:11,12; II Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 12:1-2).
X. Concerning the Church
We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body--the Church (I Corinthians 12:12,13), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22, 4:15; Colossians 1:18), and which is His espoused Bride (II Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelations 19:7,8).
We teach that the formation of this Body began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47).
We teach that the Church is a unique spiritual organism (Matthew 16:18) made up of all born again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:1-6).
We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27, 20:17, 26; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; I Thessalonians 1:1; II Thessalonians 1:1) together in the local assemblies (I Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
We teach that the one, the supreme authority for the Church is Christ (I Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18), and that the order, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty. The biblically designed officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders, also called overseers, pastors, and pastor-teachers (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:11) and deacons who must fit biblical qualifications (I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-4).
We teach the disciplining of sinning members of congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1 ff., I Corinthian 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6-15; I Timothy 1:19, 20; Titus 1:10-16).
We teach the autonomy of the local church, has the right to self-government and freedom from the interference of hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). It is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other. However, each local church through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scriptures is the sole judge of measure and method of its cooperation as well as on all matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government. (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; I Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; I peter 5:1-4).
We teach that the purpose of Church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21)by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (II Timothy 2:2, 15, 3:16, 17), by fellowship (Acts 2:42; I John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 1:8, 2:42).
We teach the calling of all saints to the work of the ministry (I Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelations 22:12; Matthew 25:31-46).
We teach the accomplishment of God's will and purpose in the world. For the accomplishment of the purpose, He has given the Church spiritual gifts. First, He gave gifted men for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of 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; I Corinthians 12:4-31; I Peter 4:10, 11). After our spiritual birth every believer receives such a gift or gifts for the edification of the Body and the accomplishment of the work of Christ in the world (Romans 12:3-8; II Peter 4:10, 11).
We teach that two ordinances (sacraments) have been committed to the local church: Baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism is the testimony of a believer, displaying in the solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and our union with Him in death to sin, and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11; Acts 8:36-39). It is also a sign of fellowship, identification with the visible body of Christ (Acts 2:41,42).
XI. Concerning Last Things (Eschatology)
We teach that physical death (Revelations 6:9) involves no loss of consciousness (Revelations 6:9-11; Matthew 10:28), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately in to the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23), that there is a separation of soul and body (II Corinthians 5:8), and that such separation will continue until the first resurrection (Revelations 20:4-6), when spirit, soul, and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Philippians 3:21; I Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:8).
We teach the bodily resurrection of all men (Daniel 12:2; Revelations 20:11-15; John 5:28, 29), the saved to eternal life (Romans 8:10, 11, 19-23; II Corinthians 4:14; John 5:29; Daniel 12:2; Revelations 20:6), when the soul and a resurrection body are united (John 5:28, 29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgement (Revelation 20:11-15) and shall be cast into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46) off from the life of God forever (II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46).
XII. How May I Become a Christian?
Receiving Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the most important act you or anyone else will ever do.
To Receive Christ:
1. Through God's redemptive work, you must acknowledge yourself to be a helpless sinner in God's sight and in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23).
2. You must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to be the very Savior you have just admitted to needing (I Peter 3:18) and rose from the dead having accomplished the defeat of sin (Romans 4:5; I Corinthians 15:3-4).
3. You must personally repent of your sin (Romans 2:4) and confess Jesus Christ as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9-10), believing that, as God, He can and will forgive your sin (John 1:1, 12; Mark 2:1-13), and grant you eternal life.
This is a personal decision between you and God--but we would like the joy of praying with you and assisting you in this eternally important matter. If you make this decision, or desire to know more about it please call the office or see our pastor or one of the elders. We are here to help.
XIII. Other Matters
1. The Government of the Zion Church of Kurten is established and exercised by the institution, mandates, form and function of the Holy Scriptures.
The Church is Shepherd led; Acts 14:23; 20:28; I Timothy 4:14; 5:7; Titus 1:5; I Peter 5:1-3; Hebrews 13:7.
The Church is served by Deacons to facilitate the needs, mission, and purpose of the New Testament Church; Acts 6:1-7.
The Elders, Pastors, Deacons, and Staff of the congregation will be filled by congregational submitting of candidates, Shepherd vetting and opportunity for congregants’ objections, followed by appointment.
All objections will be submitted to Shepherds in writing with full summary of objections and signature. Acts 6:1-7; Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 8:15-17; I Timothy 5:19.
2. Church Finances
The Financial state and annual budget for the operation of the congregation will be an aggregate effort including the elders, deacons, and congregation.
Each deacon will assess and gather the financial information and needs of his area of service and responsibility. Communicating with facilitators and input from the congregation, each deacon will formulate and present to the elders the financial budget request for his area of responsibility.
All financial responsibilities and needs of the church will then be presented to the elders for final approval.
The fiscal year of the Zion Church of Kurten will begin January 1st of said year through December 31st of same year.
All budget requirements and needs for succeeding year will be presented to the elders annually by October 15th of said year for final approval by November 30th of same year.