Statement of Faith
We believe that the Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments (sixty-six books), is the completed revelation of the Word of GOD. It is fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the GOD-breathed inspiration of the HOLY SPIRIT. Biblical interpretation shall be based on the normal literal, grammatical, historical, cultural, genre-based, contextual approach to study. It has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
Scriptures: Psalm 119:9-11,105-112,160; Matthew 5:18; Mark 12:26,36; 13:11; John 10:34,35; 16:12,13; 17:17; Acts 1:16; 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Galatians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Revelation 22:18,19.
The Triune GOD
We believe that there is one (1) living, personal and true GOD of the Bible, eternally existing in three (3) Persons: the FATHER, the SON, the HOLY SPIRIT. These Persons are equal in every divine perfection and execute distinct, but harmonious, function in the great divine plans of creation, providence and redemption. In this triune GOD we find a meaningful life purpose. He will not share His glory with any other.
Scriptures: Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:2,3; Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4; Psalm 2:7-9; 90:2; Isaiah 42:8; 43:10,11; 45:14; 46:9; Matthew 3:16,17; 28:19,20; John 1:1-3; 4:24; 17:3; Acts 5:3; Romans 1:20; 1 Corinthians 8:4,6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-10; 4:3-6; Colossians 1:16,17; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 4:11.
GOD the FATHER
We believe in GOD, the FATHER, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. He shows mercy in concerning Himself in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer according to His will, and that He graciously sent His SON into the fallen world to reconcile people to Himself in a love relationship—rescuing sinners from sin’s bondage and condemnation. GOD the FATHER provides His SPIRIT to accomplish what He desires in the lives of people.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:1; Psalm 7:9; Matthew 5:48; John 3:16; 14:15-21,23-26; 15:16,26; Acts 13:17-25; 14:15-17; 17:24-28; 1 Peter 4:19.
JESUS CHRIST, GOD the SON
We believe in the deity and virgin birth of JESUS CHRIST the MESSIAH: that He is GOD’S one and only SON, truly GOD and truly Man. He was conceived by the HOLY SPIRIT and born of the virgin Mary. He is the manifestation of GOD in the flesh. He performed miracles, lived a sinless life and voluntarily sacrificed Himself in our place through the shedding of His blood for the forgiveness of sins. He experienced a literal, bodily resurrection from the dead and has ascended on high to heaven where He is seated at GOD the FATHER’S right hand, interceding as the only High Priest for believers. He is King of kings, LORD of lords, and will return visibly in power and glory.
Scriptures: Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:1-12; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 53:1-6; Matthew 1:18-25; 28:6,7; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1,14,18; 3:16; 14:8,9; Acts 1:3,9-11; 2:22,23; Romans 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-20; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 7:25,26; 9:22,28; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18.
GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the HOLY SPIRIT is an eternal Person of GOD who reveals divine revelation and gives spiritual understanding to people. He convinces people of sin, righteousness and judgment. He regenerates spiritually dead souls, baptizes them and indwells every believer in CHRIST at the moment of spiritual conversion. He seals genuine CHRIST-followers securely for the final day of redemption, teaches believers the truth of GOD, sanctifies (makes consecrated and holy) Christians, empowers believers for godly living, equips them for effective and fruitful ministry through spiritual gifts and serves as an abiding Comforter.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-3; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5,6; 14:16,17,26; 16:8-15; Acts 1:8; 5:3,4,30-32; 11:16; Romans 8:9-17,26,27; 12:4-8; 15:19; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 3:16; 6:19; 12:4,5,11,13,19; 13:8; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 12:12; Galatians 3:26-29; 5:16,22-25; Ephesians 1:13,14,22; 4:30; 5:18; Philippians 3:3; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 2:4; 9:14; 1 Peter 4:10,11; 2 Peter 1:20,21.
Angelic Spirit Beings
We believe in the reality of spirit beings, including the devil or satan. GOD created angels as finite, spirit beings who are subject to Him and, therefore, limited. Good (elect) angels worship in the presence of GOD, rejoice in His works, assist in executing His will and watch over believers. The devil, or satan, fell from heaven due to pride, rebellion and his unholy ambition to be God. Satan drew with him a host of fallen angels, or evil spirits, who join him in opposing the one true GOD and His holy will. Scripture describes the devil as “the god of this age.” He is destined to judgment in the lake of fire, or hell, intended for him and his angels. Spiritual warfare is real and able to be withstood by the power of CHRIST and the Word of GOD.
Scriptures: Genesis 3; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Job 1:6-12; 38:7; Psalm 148:2,5; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 4:1-11; 8:16; 25:41; Luke 8:31; John 8:44; 13:27; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:13-15; Ephesians 2:2; 6:10-18; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 1:14; 2:14; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:9; 20:10.
Human Depravity in Sin
We believe in the “Fall” and depravity of the human race—that, while created in the image and likeness of GOD (“imago dei”), human beings have fallen through Adam’s voluntary sin and have inherited a sinful nature. Consequently, the human race since Adam and Eve has become alienated from Creator GOD, is under condemnation of death (separation from GOD), and is totally unable to remedy this spiritually lost condition in itself. All people are in need of a SAVIOR.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:26,27; 3:1-6,15; Isaiah 59:1,2; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-19,22,23; 5:12,19; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3,12; 1 John 1:8.
Salvation--Being Born-Again and Reconciled to GOD
We believe that JESUS CHRIST, the promised MESSIAH, alone made the once-for-all propitiatory, substitutionary, sacrificial death of His own sinless life for sinners. There is only one (1) Mediator between GOD and people—CHRIST JESUS. Those who turn from their sin in repentance and believe solely in the person and work of JESUS are spiritually saved. We believe in the priesthood of all true believers in JESUS. The spiritual rescue of sinners is completely a divinely initiated work of GOD’S sovereign grace. In spiritual regeneration, GOD convicts of sin, grants the gift of repentance, draws the sinner to Himself, gives the gift of faith and declares the believer righteous based on CHRIST’S righteousness. The LORD positionally makes a person holy (consecrated, set apart unto GOD). Salvation is of the LORD, not based on human merit, religious ordinances or good works; it is a gift from GOD. Our eternal security is assured by Him and His work.
Scriptures: Genesis 15:6; Matthew 20:28; Luke 9:23-26; 24:27,44; John 1:12; 3:3,8,16,18,36; 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; 14:1-6; 17:23; Acts 2:41-47; 4:12; 5:31; 13:39; 16:20-33; Romans 3:24; 4:4,5; 5:1,8,9; 6:23; 8:1,28,30,37-39; 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 12:13; 15:1-3; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 5:17-21; 7:9,10; Galatians 2:16; 3:6-14,24,26; 5:5,6; 6:14; Ephesians 1:4,7,11,13,14; 2:1-10; 5:25-27; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 2:7-13; 1 Thessalonians 4:3,4; 5:23,24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 2:14; 3:1; 7:24; 9:22,24; 10:10-14; 1 Peter 1:1-5,18,19; 2:5-9,24; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 1:7,9; 2:2; 3:2; 5:1,11,12; Jude 24,25; Revelation 22:11.
We believe that the LORD JESUS CHRIST has committed two (2) ordinances to the local church: believer’s baptism and the LORD’S Table (communion). Christian baptism is the immersion of a CHRIST-follower in the name of the Triune GOD, publicly testifying to their faith and identity in their LORD JESUS. The LORD’S Table is a memorial remembrance and witness to the ransom price GOD paid for the sinner’s freedom: the sacrificial death of JESUS. Communion should be preceded by careful self-examination, engaged in only by believers in CHRIST, conducted in a spirit of gratitude and observed with anticipation until the return of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Neither ordinance is regarded as a means of spiritual salvation in themselves, but testimonies of GOD’S grace.
Scriptures: Matthew 3:16; 26:26-30; 28:18-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-47; 4:13; 8:36,38,39; 18:8; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 1:14-16; 10:16,17; 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:5.
We believe in the holy universal church or Body of CHRIST, made up of all true believers in JESUS since Pentecost. CHRIST is the Head of this living, unified collective Body where believers are spiritually baptized into it by the HOLY SPIRIT at the point of conversion. The local expression of the church consists of baptized (immersed) believers who gather for worship, prayer, spiritual growth, teaching, the ordinances, fellowship and service to GOD as well as the congregation. The biblical officers for the local assembly are elders and deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in the Holy Scriptures. Elders, while maintaining the priorities of the Word of GOD and prayer, are responsible for leading, protecting and teaching the church. Deacons are responsible to be agents of CHRIST’S mercy in the congregation—including service to the marginalized, orphaned, poor and widowed. Elders are to lovingly shepherd the people of GOD; members (covenant partners) are to humbly submit to their spiritual leadership. Covenant partners are to live and serve together in love and unity, focused on glorifying JESUS CHRIST who is the Head of the church, including this autonomous local assembly. The primary mission of the church is to live out and share the Gospel by making devoted disciples of JESUS who, in turn, make faithful followers of CHRIST.
Scriptures: Matthew 16:18; 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-47; 4:32-35; 6:2-7; 15:13-18; 20:17,27,28; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 12:12-26; 14:26,40; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5,19,23; Ephesians 1:22,23; 2:14-18; 3:1-6; 4:1-6,11-16; 5:23; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18,24; 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 4:14; 5:17,22; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 4:1-5; Titus 1:6-9; Hebrews 12:23; 13:7,17; 1 Peter 5:1-5.
Holy Christian Living
We believe Christian living should be measured by the Holy Scriptures, not mere human culture or tradition. The Bible informs that all believers in CHRIST are saints, set apart to GOD and responsible to live in a way that glorifies and honors Him. Followers of JESUS seek to love the LORD their GOD with everything they’ve got and seek the well-being of others by loving their neighbors as themselves. The lifestyle of the believer should be characterized by experiencing deeper fellowship with GOD the FATHER, developing the mind of JESUS CHRIST and reflecting the spiritual fruit (virtues) of the HOLY SPIRIT. Each believer is on a lifetime journey of growth—changing and conforming to the image of GOD’S SON (“imago dei”).
Scriptures: Matthew 10:34-39; 18:15-17; 22:37-40; Mark 9:33-41; Romans 2:11; 12:1,2; 14:1-23; 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Galatians 1:8,9; 3:28; 5:16-25; 6:10; Ephesians 2:10; 4:22-24; 5:18; Philippians 1:6,14-18; Colossians 3:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; 4:1-7; 5:11-16; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6,14,15; 1 Timothy 2:1,2; 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:16-19; 3:1-5; Titus 2:5; 3:10; James 2:1-5; 4:4; 1 Peter 1:14-19; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:17,18; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:5-9,16-18; 2 John 7-11; Jude 1,3,4,16-23; Revelation 5:9; 7:9.
Marriage, Gender and Sexuality
We believe that GOD wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two (2) distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of GOD. Rejection of one’s biological gender/sex is a rejection of the image of GOD (“imago dei”) within that person. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one (1) meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in the Holy Scriptures. We believe that GOD intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. GOD has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged 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 Creator GOD.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Imago Dei as the local Body of CHRIST, and to provide a biblical role model to the Imago Dei members and broader community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Imago Dei in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality.
We believe that GOD offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake any sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through JESUS CHRIST. We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with the Holy Scriptures nor the teachings of Imago Dei.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:26,27; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:16; 15:18-20; Mark 12:28; Luke 6:31; Acts 3:19-21; Romans 1:18-30; 10:9,10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11,18; 7:2-5; Galatians 6:1,2; Ephesians 4:15,32; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7; 5:22; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:5. [Also see the Nashville Statement at https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement ]
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by GOD in His image (“imago dei”). Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimension, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, the orphaned, the poor, the immigrant, the widow, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:26,27; Leviticus 19:33,34; Deuteronomy 15:11; Psalm 139; 146:5-9; Proverbs 19:17; 31:8,9; Micah 6:8; Matthew 19:16-26; 25:31-46; Luke 5:12-15; Acts 4:32-37; 6:1-7; Romans 12:8; Galatians 6:2-10; 1 Timothy 5:3-16; 6:17-19; Hebrews 13:16; James 1:26,27; 1 John 3:16-18.
Religious Freedom and Responsibility
We believe every human being has soul liberty and is responsible to their Creator GOD. Each local Christian congregation is autonomous (self-governing), yet submissive to the ultimate authority of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Holy Scriptures and its spiritual overseers. In view of the separation of church and state, the believing community respects civil law unless it directly contradicts the written Word of GOD in Scripture.
Scriptures: Joshua 24:14-24; Matthew 22:21; 25:31-46; John 3:16-21; Acts 4:16-22; 20:13-32; Romans 13:1-10; 14:12,13; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:1,2; 2 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6-9; 2:1-7; 3:1-3; Hebrews 13:7,17; 1 Peter 2:13-17; 4:12-17; 5:1-7.
Church Cooperation and Collaboration
We believe that the local church can promote the greater cause of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST by cooperating with other churches or organizations that respect this church’s doctrine, mission, vison and values. Such association, whether with Converge Worldwide or Converge Mid-America or other networks, is voluntary and may be terminated at any time.
Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Mark 9:38-41; Acts 13:1-3; Romans 12:4; 1 Corinthians 3:1-11; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8; 9; Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 4:10-19; Colossians 4:7-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Titus 1:5; Philemon; 1 Peter 1:1,2.
The Future--Last Things to Come
We believe in the personal and visible return of the LORD JESUS CHRIST in power and glory to the earth, and the establishment of His Kingdom. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the body, for both believers in JESUS and non-believers: believers raised to eternal joy and life with GOD forever in heaven, and unbelievers raised to endless suffering and judgment in a literal hell. The blessed hope in the Gospel of GOD’S grace has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
Scriptures: Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:1-9; Jeremiah 33; Daniel 9:25-27; Zechariah 14:4-11; Matthew 24:29-31; 25:31-46; Luke 1:30-33; 12:40; John 5:28,29; 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 2:29,30; 17:31; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,51-54; 2 Corinthians 5:8,10; Philippians 1:21-23; 3:20,21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2:3-8; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 1:11-15; 2:13; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-4,6,11-15; 21:1-5.
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith for Imago Dei does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of GOD that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of human beings, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Imago Dei’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Council of Elders (Board of Directors, until the formation of the first elder council) is Imago Dei’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
Scriptures: Psalm 19:7-14; 119:129-136; Matthew 4:4; John 20:30,31; 21:24,25; Acts 20:19-31; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Titus 1:5-17; Hebrews 13:7,17; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 2 Peter 1:16-21.