"We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church."
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)
God is the Almighty Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is holy, loving, just, good, perfect, faithful, and unchanging. He eternally exists in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. (Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:8; 1 John 4:16; Deuteronomy 32:4; James 1:17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God. He is of one substance with the Father and by Him all things were made. He is fully God and fully man. For us and for our salvation He became a man and died upon a cross for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into Heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father. He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end. (Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 2:5-11; John 1:1; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Timothy 4:1; Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 19:6-16)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son… [and] together with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified.” He is the Lord and Giver of life and comes to live in individuals when they believe the gospel. He empowers us to be Christ’s witnesses. He gives spiritual gifts to each believer according to His will. He teaches us and guides us into all truth. He glorifies Christ and bears witness to Him. Christians are to be filled with the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Titus 3:5; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Acts 1:8; John 14:26; John 16:13-14; Ephesians 5:18)
The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word to us. It is divine revelation, and every word is God-breathed. Being the very words of God, it is the supreme source of truth and authority for Christian beliefs and living. All of God’s Word is true, without error, and essential for the Christian life. (Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:105,160; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
Salvation comes through Christ alone. It is a gift of God because of His grace to us. Salvation comes through faith and is neither earned nor deserved. The Lord offers forgiveness of sins to all who repent (turn from sin and turn to God) and believe in (rely upon and trust) Jesus. While salvation is neither attained nor sustained by human effort or merit, those who are saved are called to do good works and to walk in obedience. (Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Luke 24:46-47; Mark 1:15; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 6:1-4 and 10:9-10,13)
People were created to exist forever. Upon death we will consciously exist eternally separated from God or eternally in fellowship with God. Jesus Christ is the only way to escape eternal separation from God and enjoy eternal fellowship with Him. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus will experience eternal, conscious joy, and those who reject Christ and His gospel will experience eternal, conscious torment. (John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:46; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 20:11-21:8; John 14:6)
The Second Coming
The Lord Jesus will gather His church to Himself and will bodily and visibly return to the earth for His millennial reign. This will occur at an hour that no one knows except the Father. We are told to be ready for Jesus’ return at all times, awaiting Him with great longing and preparedness. (John 14:3; Mark 13:32-37; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:2; Revelation 19:11-20:10; 1 John 2:28; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:10-14)
God the Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes spiritual gifts to every believer according to His own will. The gifts and manifestations that the Spirit gives to each believer vary, but their purpose does not. The purpose of the gifts is for building up the body of Christ to the glory of God. They must be practiced according to the principles found in the Bible. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
Those who repent and believe in Jesus are told to be baptized. Baptism is a public declaration of one’s repentance and faith in Christ. It is an act of obedience that outwardly expresses the inward reality accomplished by Christ in salvation. Believers have been buried with Christ and also raised up with Him through faith in God. Having been united with Christ in His death and resurrection, believers are now free to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:1-7; Colossians 2:11-14)
The Lord’s Supper
We observe communion to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord until He returns. This opportunity is provided for all believers. The elements are symbols given by Christ that represent His body that was broken and His blood that was spilled in payment for the sins of the world. We are to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in sincerity and truth, examining ourselves, confessing any known sin, and forsaking it. (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
God created man and woman in His image. The first man and woman were created directly by God and did not evolve from pre-existent forms of life. As His image-bearers, people have great dignity, value, and worth. However, everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Sin separates people from God, results in physical and spiritual death, and causes profound and numerous problems. (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6 & 59:1-2; Rom. 3:10-18, 23)
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)
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18-25) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God, and will be subject to church discipline. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Williamson River Christian Fellowship as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons participating in Williamson River Christian Fellowship in any capacity agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
We believe that God 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)
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 Williamson River Christian Fellowship.
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin and promoting purity (1 Timothy 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct. (Galatians 6:1)
The Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted the local church with the authority and responsibility to discipline members for flagrant sin or serious doctrinal error, with the goal of the restoration of the offender. While it is not our desire to need to exercise church discipline, when it becomes necessary to do so, we will follow the biblical pattern. (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:7-8; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10-11; and 2 John 7-11) Any member of the church who practices or affirms a doctrine or conduct that, in the judgment of the Elders, is opposed to the teaching of the Word of God, or is threatening to the testimony of this church, or is divisive to the body, shall be subject to church discipline.
Love will always be a motivating factor in our efforts to faithfully follow the Word of God on this matter. Discipline may involve exclusion from participation in ministry and communion, as well as dismissal from the fellowship of the church. An individual may be disciplined by the Elders short of dismissal from the fellowship, as they deem appropriate for the specific circumstance (for example, an individual may remain in certain circumstances a member of the church but be denied the privilege of serving in a particular ministry). The Elders, as is required by Scripture, may report to the congregation the names of those who have been dismissed from fellowship by reason of church discipline, and the reason for that discipline, as described in Matthew 18:15-20.