Statement of Biblical Authority:
At the center of Christian faith and practice stands the belief that God has spoken to the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, which is accurately and authoritatively revealed in the Christian Bible (also referred to in these by-laws as “the Bible”, “God’s Word”, “Word of God”, “Scripture” or “Scriptures”). The Bible is the inspired, inerrant and sufficient Word of God and is thus the ultimate authority for life, faith and morals. Though the Statement of Faith of Fairhill Community Church of God reflects succinct summaries of biblical doctrines, it is the Bible itself to which we are in ultimate submission.
Members have the responsibility and opportunity to engage Council and Church staff on areas of theological disagreement. However, membership carries with it the implicit understanding that the Pastor, along with the Council, shall function as the interpretive authority on biblical meaning and application for the purpose of Church doctrine, practice, policy and discipline.
Statement of Faith:
We believe the Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119: 105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5).
The Trinity-One God as Three Persons
We believe there is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6, I Timothy 1:17) the one living and true God, eternal and of infinite power, wisdom, goodness and righteousness who has and will always exist as three co-equal and co-eternal (Matthew 1:23, Revelation 22:13, Colossians 1:19, I Corinthians 2:10:11, Genesis 1:1-2
We believe these three supreme beings eternally enjoy and express absolute fullness of joy in fellowship with each other while eternally existing in oneness of essence as the triune God. All three members of the Trinity, each fully God, deserve worship and obedience.
God the Sovereign Father
We believe God the Father, Creator of the universe and all that is in it, the eternal and infinitely exalted Lord over all creation, rules His universe in absolute sovereignty, directing and working all things according to the counsel of His own will, being subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, doing as He pleases, always as He pleases, without sin (Genesis 1:1, Romans 11:36, Ephesians 3:9, Psalm 115:3, Job 9:7).
We believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ. God's only son, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary, Christ was both fully man and fully God. He walked our earth, suffered at the hands of men, was crucified, died and buried as a sacrifice for the sins of all men and women everywhere. The purpose was to restore our relationship to God which is broken by sin (disobedience) (John 3:16: Romans 5:10; Ephesians 5:2). Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven in full victory over Satan and sin. He now intercedes for the body of believers to God the Father (Matthew 28:5-9; Luke 24:4-7).
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18).
Mankind – Creation and Condemnation
We believe people are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin". This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2).
We believe that Jesus Christ, the living Son of God, was given by God as a sacrifice for the sins of all men. Christ died on the cross to mend the broken relationship which was caused by man's sin of disobedience. This severed relationship between God and man may be restored into perfect harmony through belief in Jesus Christ by faith, and not on the basis of our works (Galatians 5:4, 5; Ephesians 2:8. 9). This belief and faith in Jesus Christ, recognizing Him as Lord and Savior gives men and women the free gift of eternal life (John 1:29, 3:6; I Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 5:2; Peter 1:19). After receiving salvation by faith through belief in Jesus Christ, the "born-again" (John 3:3) believer may live free from the judgment of God, by living a life according to the teaching of the scriptures and trusting the Holy Spirit for the power to live a holy life according to God's Word.
We believe that after we have experienced regeneration it is possible to fall into sin, for in this life there is no such height or strength of holiness from which it is impossible to fall. But, by the grace of God, one who has fallen into sin may, by confession and true repentance, find forgiveness and restored fellowship with God (Matthew 18:21,22; I John 1:9; 2:1,24-25).
We believe that even though men and women cannot receive salvation by good works, their good works are still pleasing to God and show evidence to a true faith in God, and Jesus as Lord of the believer's life (Matthew 5:16;7:16-20: Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; James 2:18, 22).
We believe that sanctification is the work of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, making the believer pure in heart and totally committed and dedicated to God. This work is both instantaneous and gradual (or progressive). It begins when a person is saved and continues throughout life. In this process of sanctification there is a time when the believer is convicted of a "lukewarm" Christian life and looks to Christ with a total commitment and dedication to "Christ-like" living. For some this occurs soon following salvation and for others later. But for all believers, sanctification is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Sanctification is the point in life when a believer renounces the desire to live for self and desires to live totally for the glory of God. The believer is then empowered by the Holy Spirit, making him able to live a life of holiness. This does not mean perfection of the believer, but purity of heart, soul and mind (Deuteronomy 30:6; Luke 1:74-75; Acts 15:8-9; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 4:13, 24; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7; James 4:8).
We believe that the Holy Spirit has given spiritual gifts to all believers for the purpose of building up the body of Christ and bringing glory to God. The gifts are to be exercised in love and emphasize the need for unity (1 Corinthians 12:4, 11, 18. 21-25; Ephesians 4:11-16).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ to receive His believers into heaven and eternal life. The time of His return is unknown, but may be at any moment. This is the glorious hope of all God's children (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; James 5:7-8; Revelation 22:12, 20). We believe that those who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior, and are unrepentant, will be judged by God in His perfect justice and doomed to eternal punishment (Ecclesiastes 12:14: Matthew 25:31-46; 11 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:16).
Statement on Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality:
We believe that God, in perfect wisdom and love, creates each person in His image as either male or female. These two genetically unique and distinct genders have equal worth before God, while complementing each other in reflecting the image and nature of God. Since an individual’s genetic gender is biologically determined and created by God (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:2; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6) the intent or act of surgically altering one’s biological sex to a different sex is a sinful offense before God.
We believe that God, in perfect wisdom and love, designed and defined marriage to be a lifelong union between one genetic male and one genetic female (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). God alone, as the giver of life and marriage, holds ultimate authority on how marriage is defined, which He has authoritatively communicated in the Scriptures, such as those referenced above. Any definition of marriage that contradicts God’s design will not be recognized as legitimate by Fairhill Community Church of God.
We believe that God, in perfect wisdom and love, established marriage as defined above to be the only proper setting for sexual intimacy. All forms of sexual activity that take place outside of the sexual intimacy between a husband and wife (such as adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and pornography) are sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; I Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4).
We believe that God, through the Gospel, offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Employees, members, and attendees of Fairhill Community Church of God who struggle with all types of sexual temptation will be embraced with grace and encouraged with truth to battle against those temptations. When in sin they will be encouraged to repent and live in a God honoring way.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Fairhill Community Church of God.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Fairhill Community Church of God as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Fairhill Community Church of God members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Fairhill Community Church of God in any capacity, or united to Fairhill Community Church of God membership should agree to and abide by this ‘Statement on Gender, Marriage and Sexuality’ (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22). Employees of Fairhill Community Church of God shall not perform marriages between same-sex couples.
This ‘Statement on Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality’ gives the Council the right and authority to prohibit acts or omissions, including but not limited to (a) permitting any Church assets or property, whether real property, personal property, intangible property, or any property or asset of any kind that is subject to the direction or control of the Church, to be used in any manner that would be—or, in the sole determination of the Council, could be perceived by any person to be—inconsistent with this ‘Statement on Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality’; and (b) permitting any Church facilities to be used by any person, organization, corporation, or group that would or might use such facilities to convey, intentionally or by implication, what might be perceived as a favorable impression about any definition of marriage other than that contained in this Section.
The Church’s ‘Statement on Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality’ is based upon God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Scriptures, upon which this Church has been founded and anchored, and this ‘Statement on Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality’ shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of Members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.
Statement on the Sanctity of Human Life:
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139).