Doctrinal Statement

DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

SECTION A. THE SCRIPTURES

We believe in the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament to be the verbal plenary inspiration of God and inerrant in the original writing. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament canon are God’s completed and sufficient revelation for the total wellbeing of mankind.

SECTION B. GOD

We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).

We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection’s, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 29:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).

SECTION C. JESUS CHRIST

We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1, 14, 18; John 14:8, 9; I Timothy 3:16).

SECTION D. HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and regenerates the sinner upon believing in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. He indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living and service through individually bestowed spiritual gifts. While the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, it does seem to indicate that their usage would vary according to the need that each gift is designed to meet. Longmeadow does not encourage the use of the ‘sign gifts.’ Instead we choose to emphasize the more excellent way of love and zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; I Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; II Corinthians 12:12). A fuller statement of the Church’s position on the charismatic movement is available upon request.

SECTION E. MAN

We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners; not only by constraint, but by choice and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).

SECTION F. SALVATION

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that all who by faith receive Him as their personal Savior are justified on the basis of His blood shed on Calvary. They are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become eternally secure as children of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes a person who believes into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; II Corinthians 5:21; I Corinthians 12:13).

SECTION G. RESURRECTION

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26).

SECTION H. RETURN OF CHRIST

We believe in “that blessed hope”, the personal, premillenial, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

SECTION I. BAPTISM AND COMMUNION

We believe that Christian baptism is a public declaration of and identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection signified by immersion in water. The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; I Corinthians 11:20-29).

SECTION J. THE CHURCH

Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, all believers have therefore become part of His body, the church. There is one church universal, composed of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; I Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command there is the local expression of the church – under the watch-care of elders and other supportive leadership. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).

SECTION K. MISSIONS STATEMENT

Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world. To this end a Missions Leadership Team may be appointed to meet regularly under the direction of a pastor. The purpose of the Missions Leadership Team (Task Force) will be to administer and develop the missions ministry of the Longmeadow in agreement with the missions policy statement which is available upon request.

SECTION L. CHRISTIAN LIVING (CONCERNING CONDUCT)

The Bible teaches that all believers are saints, set apart unto God and are thus responsible to live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord (Romans 21:1-2; I Peter 1:14-19; II Timothy 2:19; Titus 2) lest the Word of God be blasphemed (I Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:5). As Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, and accept as our responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world (I John 2:3; Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 5:23; Matthew 29:19-20). A victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who have presented themselves wholly to Christ and walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, which all believers are called to do (Romans 12:1,2; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6, 7). “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 “Be not drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18

SECTION M. Marriage, Sexuality and Conduct

We believe that marriage can be only between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 7:2; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23). We believe that the marriage bond is holy and that sexual relationships between persons who are not married to one another is against God’s Word (Exodus 20:14; I Cor. 6:18; Prov. 5:1-21).  We believe that any sexual activity or physical intimacy between persons of the same sex is contrary to nature and to the explicit teachings of Scripture and is to be condemned (Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27). We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, transvestism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.  We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender (Gen. 1:26-28; Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Deut. 22:5; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thes. 4:1-8; Heb 13:4.).  Other Scripture references: Titus 1:1. John 2:15-17. Romans 12:1-2. Titus 2:11-14. I Peter 1:16. Galatians 5:22-24.