OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Walnut Ridge seeks to be a
Flourishing Family that is Glorifying God by
Abiding in the Love of Christ,
Nourishing one another with the Word, and
Bearing good fruit in the World.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
PURPOSE AND COVENANT
PURPOSE - The purpose of this church is to promote the worship of God through the preaching of the Word of God; to witness for Him in our community and throughout the world; to carry out the Great Commission of our Lord; to observe the ordinances of the church (baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper); to provide Christian education through the Church and Academy; and to seek to establish His people in every spiritual grace. Acts 2:41-47; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Jude 3; 2 Timothy 2:2; Acts 5:42.
COVENANT - Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the public confession of our faith, having been immersed in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We purpose, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to attend its services regularly; to sustain its worship, ordinance, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred pre-eminence over all institutions of human origin; to give faithfully of time and talent in its activities; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and private devotions and to train our children according to the Word of God; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct; to avoid all gossip, backbiting and unrighteous anger; to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors or abusive drugs; to abstain from all forms of activity which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, cause stumbling to a fellow believer or hinder the winning of a soul to Christ; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the cause of Christ, our Savior; and to give Him pre-eminence in all things.
We further purpose to encourage one another in the blessed hope of our Lord's return; to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to seek it without delay.
We moreover purpose that when we remove from this place we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant, and the principles of God's Word. In the event there is no such church, we shall seek with the Lord's help, to establish one.
OF THE SCRIPTURES - We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore has truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions, should be tried. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
OF THE TRUE GOD - We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressively glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Ex. 20:2-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11; 1 John 5:4.
OF GOD THE FATHER - We believe the Father is the first person of the Godhead. He is the Father of all creation. He is Father by intimate relationship, that is, as a father to a son. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
In relationship to the Trinity, the Father plans, the Son executes what is planned, and the Holy Spirit energizes and sustains what is executed.
One's relationship to the Father does not come about through natural birth. In fact, the Scriptures teach that men in their natural state are of their father the devil (John 8:44). Also, no one can make himself a child of God the Father. God alone can undertake such a transformation, and He undertakes it only on the one condition which He Himself has imposed: that Christ shall be believed upon and received as one's Saviour. John 1:12.
OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been supernaturally conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. This was done that He might reveal God and die for sinful man, be buried and rise again bodily from the grave that man's sins might be forgiven and a new life possessed.
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. John 14:16-17; Matt. 28:19; Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; Eph. 1:13-14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Rom. 8:14; Rom. 8:16; Rom. 8:26-27.
OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN - We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. Matt. 4:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10.
OF THE CREATION - We accept the Genesis account of creation in six twenty-four hour days and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution. Gen. 1,2; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:3.
OF THE FALL OF 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 men are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Gen. 3:1-6, 24; Rom. 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; 1:18, 32.
OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH - We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God the Son. Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14.
OF THE SALVATION FROM SIN - We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and complete payment for our sin; that His death consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven; and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Saviour. Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14; Isa. 53:4-7; Rom. 3:25; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21.
OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION - We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1; 2 Cor. 5:19; Col. 2:13; John 3:8.
OF JUSTIFICATION - We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification;
That Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the declaration that the believing sinner is righteous.
That it is bestowed not in consideration of any works or righteousness which we have done; but solely by grace through faith in the Redeemer's blood; His righteousness is imputed to us.
Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 5:9; Rom. 5:1.
OF FAITH AND SALVATION - We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Acts 16:31.
OF THE LOCAL CHURCH - We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that the will of the local church is final on all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline and benevolence. Acts 2:41; 1 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 4:11; Acts 20:17-28; 2 Tim. 3:17; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23-24; Acts 15:13-18.
OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER - We believe Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-28.
OF THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS - We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Phil. 1:6; John 10: 28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1 (R.V.); Eph. 4:30.
OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED - We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only such as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:1718; 1 John 5:19; Rom. 7:6; Rom. 6:23; Prov. 14:32; Luke 6:25; Matt. 25: 34-41; John 8:21.
OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT - We believe that civil government is a divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth. Rom. 13:17; 2 Sam. 23:3; Ex. 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; Dan. 3:17-18; Acts 5:20.
OF THE FAMILY – God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 13:24; 22:6, 15; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; I Timothy 5:14; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)
OF THE RESURRECTION, PERSONAL, VISIBLE, PREMILLENNIAL RETURN OF CHRIST, AND RELATED EVENTS – We believe in:
- The bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Matt. 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; I Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6.
- His Ascension to Heaven. Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 12:2.
- The High Priesthood (present ministry of Christ in Heaven). Heb. 8:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; I John 2:1; Heb. 2:17; Heb. 5:9-10.
- The Second Coming (for His bride). John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16; James 5:8; Heb. 9:28.
- The Resurrection of the Righteous Dead. 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44; 1 Cor. 15:52.
- The Change and Rapture of the Living in Christ. 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Phil 3:20-21.
- The Tribulation (on earth). Matt. 24:3-42; Rev. 6:1-18, 24.
- The Second Advent (coming with His Bride). John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16; James 5:8; Heb. 9:28.
- The Establishment of the Throne of David. Luke 1:32; Isa. 9:6-7; Acts 2:29-30.
- The Millennial Reign. 1 Cor. 15:25; Isa. 32:1; Isa. 11:4-5; Psa. 72:8; Rev. 20:14; Rev. 20:6.