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V. The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local
congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and
fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His
laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and
seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates
under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation
each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural
officers are Pastors and Deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service
in the church, the office of Pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The
New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all
of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people,
and nation.

We teach the importance of discipleship, mutual accountability of all believers to each
other, as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in
accord with the standards of Scripture.
We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God by building itself up in the faith, by the instruction of the Word, by fellowship, by keeping the ordinances, and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2:1-26; 3:1-21; 21:2-3; Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2; Matthew 18:5-14; Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16; Ephesians 3:21; Ephesians 4:13-16; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17; Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3; Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42; Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42