Our Statement of Faith


  • Guidelines to obtain and maintain patchholder status with the Soul Patrol Ministry

  • What we believe!

  • Statement of Faith

  • How to interpret the Bible

  • Water baptism

  • The Lord's supper

  • God & money

  • The Church & Membership

  • A statement regarding divorce

  • Benevolence






















  • Guidelines to obtain and maintain
    patchholder status with the Soul Patrol Ministry


    1. Must be a born again believer. (John 3:3)
    2. Must attend Bible based church "consistently" for a minimum of 6 months.
    3. Must be a student of God's Word, both in personal Bible study and devotion as well as sitting under the teaching of the Senior Pastor. (Ps. 119:15-16)
    4. Must at all time own and operate a motorcycle suitable to this type of Ministry.
    5. Attend Soul Patrol Ministry functions and meeting regularly.
    6. Patch "Colors" are the property of Soul Patrol Ministry/Calvary Chapel Spokane. Therefore, you must agree to promptly return "Colors" in case of leave of absence or disciplinary action.
    7. Must serve in some area of the church.
    8. We are to present ourselves as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to God. (Romans 12:1) Because our service is unto the Lord it is vital that our lives reflect his Lordship and direction, therefore people serving in this ministry must not practice willful or unrepentant sin. This does not mean we expect prefection but a life that reflects God's work of conforming you in the image of Christ.
    9. One year of prospecting.

    The purpose of these requirements is to provide a guidelne for those who wish to become a patch holder with the Soul Patrol Ministry. Our guidelines cannot be complete or cover every variable. Question's and special circumstances will be reviewed and settled by officers and pastors. Any timing or rule may be waved or altered.

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    What we believe



    One of the mistaken concepts many have is that all Christians and churches should be identical. They assume that "unity" is equivalent to "sameness." But the Apostle Paul points out that differences do and will exist between churches and individuals in Christ:

    There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are a different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

    We are called to unity in faith and doctrine, and there should be no tolerance for false, heretical doctrine. But on issues of style and practice, there should be tolerance. These are the areas of personal preference that should be respected. We refer to these as "distinctives." They represent diversity within the greater Chrisitian unity. The following is a short list of our distincitives.

    1. We believe . . . in the Expository Teaching of the whole Word of God (Acts 20:20, 27; Nehemiah 8:8; Ps 138:2). Therefore our worship services are structured around verse-by-verse teaching of the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

    2. We believe . . . the Book of Acts represents "normal" Chrisitianity. Therefore we seek to pattern our lives and ministry after that modeled by the early church, as revealed in the book of Acts.

      Our Missions Means:

      But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

      Our Life-style:

      They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship (koinonia), to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

      Our Growth:

      And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47

    3. We believe . . . in Pastoral Leadership as the truest biblical pattern for church government. Therefore the Elder Board, under the leadership of the Senior Pastor, is primarily responsible for direction and decision making.

    4. We believe . . . that the Worship of God should be . . . Spiritual: We remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship. Inspirational: We give a great place to music in our worship. Intelligent: Our services are designed with great emphasis on teaching the Word of God that He might instruct us how He should be worshipped. Fruitful: We look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have truly been worshipping Him.

    5. We believe . . . in Balance regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we consider ourselves to be neither charismatic nor noncharismatic. We believe all the gifts of the Spirit are available and operational within the church but should only be pubicly exercised under the guidelines found in 1 Corinthians 12-14 and by permission of the pastoral leadership.

    6. We believe . . . that our ministry should be Simple & Sincere. Therefore we seek to imitate the testimony of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:

      For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have behaved in the world, and more abundantly toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12

      Therefore our services are conducted in a relaxed, comfortable and normal style. Human efforts to coerce or manipulate a response is contrary to the gentle and personal nature of the true ministry of the Holy Spirit.

    7. We believe . . . we are only one member of the Body of Christ. Therefore we can rightly be classified as nondenominational. "Denominationalism" is an attempt to draw a line of exclusivity around Christ. No such line can honestly be drawn. We have our distinctive (as the hand is distinct from the foot), and we have our role that may differ from other parts of the body, but we are still only a part.

    8. We believe . . . in both the sovereignty of God and mankind's free will/choice ! Therefore we resist the extreme positions of hyper-Calvinism and/or hyper-Armenianism. We feel both try to force a conclusion that disregards a biblical balance. The believer in Christ is both secure in his faith and responsible to live a life of faith.

    9. We believe . . . in the Imminent Return of Jesus Christ . Therefore doctrinally, we are Pre-Trib/Pre-Millennial in our interpretation of Last Day's prophecy. Consistent with this position, we believe there is no sign or condition which must be fulfilled before Christ's imminent, visisble, bodily return.

    10. We believe . . . that Healthy Sheep Beget Healthy Sheep . In keeping with this purpose, we seek to win the lost, disciple the saved and encourage the faithful. we believe if we take care of our "depth," God will take care of our "breadth." The prupose of the church is not numerical growth, but spiritual growth. The only strategy we have for our ministry is to "feed the flock of God" (John 21:12, Acts 20; 28; 1 Peter 5:2).

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    Statement of Faith

    The Bible: The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the sixty six books of the Old and New Testament.  We believe scripture in its entirety originated with God, and it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men.  Scripture thus at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backrounds, styles, and vocabulaties of the human authors.  We hold the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts.  They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similary inspired by God.

    God:  We believe that there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality.  In the beginning God created out of nothing the world and all things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness.  By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation.  By His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes.

    Salvation: The central purpose of God's revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself.  Orignally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way, and was thus alienated from God, and he suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God.  The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences, and are thus in need of the saving grace of God.  The salvation of mankind is then wholly a work of God's free grace and not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness and must be personanlly appropriated by repentance and faith.  When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue preforming it until the day of its full consumation.

    Jesus Christ:  Jesus Christ is the eternal second Person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth.  He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justise and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.  He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died.  He ascended to heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only Mediator betweeen God and man continually makes intercession for His own.  He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.

    The Holy Spirit:

    The essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience, attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity.  He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ.  He enlightens the mind of sinners, awakens in them a recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them.  At the point of salvation He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the upbuilding of the body.  The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scripture.  His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father.

    Human Destiny:

    Death seals the eternal destiny of each person.  For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world, and a judgement that will determine the fate of each individual.  Unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation.  God's judgement will reveal His justice in consigning them to perpetuate in eternal retribution for their own rejection of God.  Believers will be received into eternal communion with God and will be rewarded for works done in this life.

    The Church:

    The corollary of union with Jesus Christ is that all believers become members of His body, the church.  There is one true church universal, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  The Scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of baptism and communionas the sacramentarism ordinances established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world.

         Wherever God's people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is a local expression of the church.  Under the watchful care of elders and other supportive leadership, its members are to work together in love and unity, intent onthe one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.

    Faith and Practice:

    Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  The church recognizes it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent.  Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.

     

    We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what the Scriptue teaches.  All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not includes in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissensions.   

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    How to interpret the Bible



    How many times have you heard someone say regarding the Bible, “Everyone has their own interpretation,” or “That’s your interpretation, not mine”?  Little do they realize such comments are in direct conflict with what the Bible says about itself:

    Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20,21

    What most people do not realize is that over the past 2500 years, specialists in the “science of meanings” have developed eight basic rules of grammatical interpretation, which provide a standard set of rules for consistent interpretation of literature.  They apply equally to legislative and theological language.  They are the basis of all critical analysis and are used by interpretive scholarship.  When properly used, they ensure the reader will always derive the precise meaning intended by the original writer.

    The 8 Rules for Grammatical Interpretation 

    1. The Rule of Definition: Words have definite meanings, which are to be taken in their literal or idiomatic force and the grammatical setting. Meaning is not to be determined by each individual interpreter. The interpreter should conscientiously abide by the plain meaning of the words.
    2. The Rule of Usage: Words and phrases have usage's, which are affected by cultural, traditional, national and social considerations. Authors write to a specific audience in the usual custom and vernacular of that audience. Interpreters are not to insert their own notions upon the literature, but rather to seek understanding of the usage that existed when the literature was written.
    3. The Rule of Context: The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence or paragraph must be derived from the context. Many words and phrases derive their meaning and force from the connection in which it stands. Therefore there must be a careful consideration of that which comes before and after.
    4. The Rule of Historical Background: The historical background, including the manner and customs of the day, enables the interpreter to understand what circumstances and events influenced the thinking of the author. The writing was for real people, in real situations, in the real world. The interpreter must pay close attention to these facts as they cast light on the understanding of the literature.
    5. The Rule of Logic: Interpretation is merely logical reasoning. Literature should be interpreted by a rigid application of the laws of language and grammatical analysis.
    6. The Rule of Precedent: Precedent is something previously done or said that serves as a guide for future rule or example. Words and phrases, which have a known usage, should be interpreted in that historical and grammatical context.
    7. The Rule of Unity: Documents are written as a whole. Interpretation of any of its parts must be done with consideration to consistency with the whole.
    8. The Rule of Inference: Inference is a fact reasonably implied from another fact. It is a logical consequence, a conclusion drawn from a given fact or premise, a conclusion drawn from evidence. Interpretive conclusions, regarding things not specifically stated, are allowable if they are logically consistent with the other rules of interpretation.

    Lest you end up with non-sense!

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    Water Baptism




          In the Bible there are two sacraments (holy rituals) which Christians are enjoined to practice and observe:  The Lord’s Supper and Water Baptism.

         The purpose of both is to signify by outward symbolism what Christ has accomplished in a believer’s life through faith in Him.  As true believers, we are both instructed and commanded to submit to both as expressions of our faith in Christ.

         In what has become known as the “Great Commission,” Jesus gave the following command:

          Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the     Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  Matthew 28:19,20


         The word “baptize” is taken from the Greek word baptizo meaning: (1) to immerse or submerge (2) to overflow or cover with water (3) to wet thoroughly or moisten and (4) to pour upon or drench.  Because of the wide scope of this definition, and differing views on the word’s usage in the New Testament, three different methods of baptism have developed over the centuries:

    1. Immersion, wherein a person is completely lowered under the water;
    2. Pouring, where water is ladled or poured over the person’s head and body; and
    3. Sprinkling, in which the person is lightly sprinkled.


    Unfortunately, these differences have often led to a great deal of conflict among God’s people over the years.  Each have value in that they testify to differing benefits derived from a relationship with Christ.

    1. Immersion portrays the atoning death of Christ and gives witness to the reality of His bodily resurrection, (Romans 6:3-5)
    2. Pouring signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believer’s life when he/she commits his/her life to Christ, (Acts 2:17,18)
    3. Sprinkling tells us we are washed from our sins only by the shed blood of Christ, (Hebrews 10:22).

     

    Why You Need To Be Baptized

    1. Act of Obedience

    Throughout the New Testament water baptism was practiced following conversion.  This was done in direct response to Jesus’ command that Christians everywhere are to “preach” and then “baptize” those who believe.  Therefore, everyone who becomes a Christian needs to be baptized out of obedience to God.

    2. Statement of Faith

    As mentioned earlier, water baptism is an outward statement of one’s belief in Christ’s atonement for our sins, the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit to guide and influence our lives, and the only means for gaining a clear, guilt-free conscience toward God.  Baptism is a means to make a public statement of your faith.

    3. Public Testimony

    In the New Testament we see baptism practiced publicly.  It was a very powerful and meaningful way to fulfill Jesus’ promise, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in Heaven.”  Those who are publicly baptized “acknowledge before men” their life’s commitment to Him as their Lord and Savior.


    What Baptism Cannot Do!

    1. Baptism cannot save.

    Salvation comes through faith alone, and not works, (Ephesians 2:8).
    Therefore, the act of baptism cannot save us.  Rather, it gives evidence through public action that a person has already been saved.

    2. Baptism cannot cleanse from sin.

    The cleansing of sins takes place when we believe and accept Christ and ask Him to cleanse our sins (1 John 1:9).   Baptism may witness to our cleansing, but the water itself is powerless to cleanse from sin.

    3. Baptism cannot magically free us from sinful habits.

    Self-control, moral purity, holiness and much more are all benefits of receiving Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to influence and change us.  Baptism should represent a statement on our part to live lives free from controlling passions.  Baptism alone will not magically or automatically free us from these things.  Still, it does tell others you have willingly submitted your life to the process of spiritual growth and change through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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    The Lord's supper




         Although formal churches observe more than seven sacraments, only two are mentioned in the Bible:  Baptism and the Lord’s supper.  Therefore, we limit ourselves to the observance of these two only.

         The word “sacrament” never appears in the Bible.  It is a Latin word, meaning an “obligation” or “sacred oath.”  It is applied primarily to baptism and the Lord’s supper, because their observance was commanded by Christ (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24,25).  A sacrament is a sacred observance through which Christ confers grace upon those who observe it.


    Different Names!

         There are two different names which are often used to identify the Lord’s supper.  Formal churches call it the “eucharist”- which means “to give thanks.”  This describes the first aspect of the Lord’s supper.  We are “giving thanks” to God for sending His son to pay the price for our sins.

         Less formal churches usually call the Lord’s Supper “communion.”  This is our English translation of the New Testament Greek word, koinonia {koy-nohn-ee’-ah}, which means, “fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse.”  The New Testament writers used it to describe the sharing, intimacy, participation and fellowship which believers have with Christ and one another.  Communion is the outward demonstration of our membership in the body of Christ, the church.  We have gained membership in His church through the “new covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20).


    The Use of Symbols

         The “elements,” or ingredients used in communion, are simple: bread and wine.  But Jesus gave them new meaning.  He gave bread and wine to His disciples and then declared,  “Take, eat:  this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.  After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in My blood” (1 Corinthians 11:24,25).  Jesus never intended for the bread and wine to be more than symbolic.  Yet, symbols are powerful tools for worship.  The make spiritual truths more easily understood, through visible expression.  They connect past events with the present.  It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Remember your sins are forgiven, your life in this world is renewed, and you have eternal life, because My body was ‘broken’ for you; My life’s blood was ‘poured out’ for you.”  Thus, crucifixion is connected with our lives today.

    Meaningless Rituals?

         Some have come to view all rituals as being meaningless.  In many cases that is true.  But the sacraments are only meaningless to those who perform them out of tradition or habit.  For those of us who truly believe in the Savior and His atoning work on the cross, communion is a divine moment of renewal, commitment and recommitment of faith.

         That is why Jesus used the term “remembrance” (Luke 22:19)—“something that serves to keep a person or thing in mind”—in describing its observance.


    Refocus

         “Remembrance” is one of the means which God uses to refocus the lens of our lives to bring the thought, desires and motives of our lives back into agreement with our profession of faith.  We all experience some degree of drifting away from God.  Communion is one of the many ways which God has given us to keep our lives aligned with Him.  How does communion do that?

      1) It reminds us that “all” our sins have been forgiven and we have been cleansed because He perished and suffered in our place.  This creates a thankfulness toward God, producing true, heartfelt worship.

      2) We realize, once again, that the life we now live is a gift of God.  Therefore, we should no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us (2 Corinthians 5:14).

      3) It bridges the gap between His first and second coming.  “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”      (2 Corinthians 11:26). It reminds us to live each day in the imminence of His return.


    Encounter God?

         Each time we observe the Lord’s Supper, we encounter God anew.  It provides us with direct access to God.  It gives us a time to receive forgiveness for our sins, strength against our weaknesses, courage in the face of our fears.

         Join with us, the first Thursday of each month, as we come together around the Lord’s table to partake in “the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.”  Philippians 3:10.

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    God & money



    Most people are surprised when they discover one of the most talked about subjects in the Bible, and in the teachings of Jesus, is money.  The way we earn it, the way we spend it, and what we give to God were all issues of great concern to Jesus and the other Bible writers.

         Why?  There is no other aspect of our behavior that says more about our goals and values in life than how we acquire, use and manage our monies (Matthew 6:19-21).  It is easy to say that God is Lord of our lives, but for many, that never becomes completely true until they allow Him to be Lord of their finances.

         There are three terms found in the Bible that summarize the Bible’s teachings on money: Stewardship, Tithes and Offerings.


    What Is Stewardship?

        A “steward” is one who manages that property or financial affairs of another.  Stewardship refers to the responsibility each of us has to manage our resources in a manner consistent with God’s will and purposes.

         The Bible teaches that every one of us is viewed by God as “stewards” over the resources which He has entrusted to us (1 Corinthians 4:1).  This applies to our time, energy, money and other material assets.  Everything we own does not actually belong to us but to God (Psalm 24:1, 2 Chronicles 29:10-13).  As stewards we are responsible to use and invest our resources wisely, for the sake of His kingdom (Luke 16:1-3).


    What Is Tithing?

         The tithe is a specific way in which man can acknowledge God has ownership of all things.  It is a biblical concept first introduced in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.  In its earliest usage, it literally meant “the top of the heap.”  It refers to giving to God the best we have, right off the top of the pile; rather than what is left over after we meet all our other obligations (Genesis 14:20, Hebrews 7:5-9).

         Over time, as commerce and culture became more sophisticated, the tithe was identified as being a certain percentage of one’s income.  Ten percent (10%) was to be regularly set aside and given to the priests for the service and maintenance of the Temple and the Priesthood.

         Under the Old Testament Mosaic Law, the tithe was given as a matter of necessity.  It was the law (Ezekiel 44:30, Malachi 3:8).

         In the New Testament, giving is generally viewed as an act of our freewill, motivated by a desire to honor God and to invest in the furtherance of His kingdom work in the world (Matthew 6:19,20).

         Today, many Christians customarily give 10% of their monthly income as a way to honor and worship God.  They take to heart the challenges found in the Bible to believe God’s promises to reward and abundantly bless those who give in faith (Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 8:6,7).  Such people are the ones who primarily support churches and their outreaches.


    What Is an Offering?

         An “offering” represents a special financial gift, above and beyond the tithe.  It is usually given in response to a special need or request.  It is an expression of concern, grace and love for others and God’s work.


    Who Pays The Bills?

         Many people have no idea how churches are funded.  Some believe churches receive money from the government or some giant institution.  The fact is churches are funded solely through the financial gifts of their members.  Consequently, a church’s facilities, staffing and ministries are all directly linked to its Members willingness to financially support them.  It is a direct expression of our faith in God and our desire to see His message of salvation extended to others.

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    The Church & Membership


    What is the Church?

         Most people answer this question by describing a building with steeples and pews.  They identify the people who attend meetings at that building as “members” of that church.

         It doesn’t take much Bible reading to recognize this definition of “the Church” is not completely accurate.  Churches usually do meet in buildings.  These buildings tend to have certain architectural characteristics.  And those who attend a given church building would most likely be members of that church.  But the church is much more.

         Customary in Paul’s salutations was the phrase, to “the church that meets at their house” (Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15).  This is obviously not a reference to a building but to the believers who met there.

         Paul also called the Church “the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).  The phrase is used to describe the vital union between Christ (the Head) and His Church (the Body), which has many members, all submitted to and dependent upon Christ as her Head.


    The Meaning of “Church”

         “Church” appears 84 times in the English New Testament.  It is our translation of the Greek work ekklesia.  To the Greeks it meant “any public assembly of people.”  It became an appropriate description of the Christian community, for they regularly met together for the purposes of worship, teaching, fellowship and celebration.

         Our English word is taken from the Greek adjective kyrikon.  It means “belonging to the Lord.”  Again, this term is an accurate description, because the Church is composed of those who “belong to the Lord.”  That is the one and only biblical criteria for membership.

         It is clear that the early church saw itself as a community rather that an institution.  In the Book of Acts, the believers refer to the church as “the brethren,” “the disciples,” “followers of the way,” or “saints.”  It was not until later that the term ekklesia began to be used to describe the community of believers.

    Who is “the Church”?

          Peter gives one of the most beautiful descriptions of the church:  “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy,” 1 Peter 2:9,10.  This is God’s view of the church.  Clearly she is the whole community of believers, having been redeemed by the “blood of the Lamb,” precious in His sight, immeasurable in worth!

    Jesus and the Church

         When we read through the New Testament, Jesus is the first to teach about the church.  In Matthew 18:15-18, He identifies the church as the place where disputes between Christians and discipline should be handled.  The in verse 20 He adds, “For where two or three are gathered together in MY name, there am I in the midst of them.”  This tells us three important things about the church:

    1) “Church” happens whenever two or more Christians come together in spiritual agreement, for then He is “in the midst of them.”  This infers harmony, love and fellowship between believers, creating a time of thankfulness, celebration and worship.  When Christians are divided, angry and sinful, the work of God is hindered.  Church services may go on, but the Spirit will not minister freely or fully.

    2) The “Church” is a place where the Spirit of God manifests Himself to us differently from our ordinary, daily experience.  This explains why we are admonished to “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another: (Hebrews10: 25).

    3) It’s not the same when we are alone.  We are the “Temple of God”, and He does indwell us, always present in our hearts.  But there is a mystical dynamic present in Christian fellowship; God ministers to us in ways that doesn’t take place when we are alone.

    Membership Has Its Privileges

         Participation in “church” is part of a well-balanced spiritual diet.  Every spiritually fit and healthy believer needs to maintain certain commitments: Bible reading, prayer, sharing our faith and “fellowship”.

         Once we are “born again” into God’s family, we automatically gain membership in His church (1 Corinthians 12:13).  You now have all the rights and responsibilities of membership.

         Don’t get into the habit of skipping church.  Exercise you privilege!

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    A statement regarding divorce


    Because marriage has been established by God as an indissoluble union, and since it is an early copy of the relationship between god and His people, it is to be kept inviolate.  However, because of the fallenness of human nature, the Scriptures permit divorce in the following cases as condescension to human frailty for the protection of the innocent party:

    1) Divorce for the cause of immorality—with the understanding the obligation to maintain or reinstate the marriage may not be imposed upon the innocent spouse.

    2) Divorce for desertion—desertion being defined as behavior equivalent to the abandonment of the marriage relationship.

    In such cases, the offending party becomes subject to church discipline in order to bring about repentance and reconciliation.  Should efforts to achieve restoration fail, the innocent spouse is not bound.  He or she is free to remarry in the Lord.

    The remarriage of believers may not be approved when:

    1. Divorce is being used as a vehicle to seek a different mate, since such pre-intent makes the divorce adulterous.
    2. There is no evidence of repentance and brokenness over the circumstances that cause the divorce.
    3. Restoration of the original marriage remains a viable option.

    Each case of divorce or remarriage has to be dealt with on an individual basis from the perspective of God’s inexhaustible capacity to forgive human sin and to restore broken lives.

     For further personal study, we suggest you read the following Bible passages on this topic:

    ? Matthew 5:31,  Luke 16:18

    ? Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:1-12 (cross reference Deut. 24:1-4)

    ? Romans 7:1-3

    ? 1 Corinthians 7

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    Benevolence




    Introduction

     Benevolence, as outlined in scripture, is the predisposition to do what is good for other people.  There is not a specific imperative as to how this is to be accomplished, only that the act is designed to be for good will and that there be kindly intent.  Unfortunately, benevolence is most often associated and measured by the amount of money given to someone.  While there is frequently a need for monetary help, quite often money is only a portion of the greater need.  At Calvary Chapel we are committed to obeying the scriptural mandate of addressing the needs within our body.

    Position

      Our position at Calvary Chapel is that each individual is commanded to meet the needs of the poor and needy within the Body of Christ and the local church.  In Deuteronomy we are so instructed:

      For the poor will never cease from among the land; therefore I command you, saying, “you shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land”.    Deuteronomy 15:11

      It is clear the responsibility for the poor lies with us individually.  Our role at Calvary Chapel is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and equip the saints for the work of the ministry.  By providing a venue for members to exercise the spiritual gifts of mercy and helps, we allow the giver and the receiver to be mutually blessed and help model the dynamics of the body of Christ spoken of in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4.

      This does not mean that as a church we will not help those who are in need.  It just means the primary responsibility rests with the individual and the church will facilitate this process and assist with any additional needs as required.

     With this premise, we have instituted a benevolence fund, which is funded by designated contributions from the congregation.  This will be the primary source of monetary giving to the members of the body.  As the fund becomes low, Calvary Chapel may supplement the members giving and continue to support the needs of the body.


    Individual Responsibility

     The person having financial difficulty is ultimately responsible for ensuring that their “house is in order”, each person is responsible to God to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to them.  Their primary goal should be to ensure they are not a burden to their family, friends and the church.  The expectation should be that each individual exhausts all known resources before asking others for help.  In keeping with the biblical mandate, request should be made to family before seeking help from the church.

     The individual must understand that as a church we are entering into a cooperative venture.  Our role will be determined by the circumstance.  It is imperative for each person to be willing to rectify their situation without financial assistance from others.

    Throughout the process, the person must constantly seek the Lord for wisdom, instruction, guidance and patience to endure the hardship God has allowed during this season of their life always trusting God will supply all their needs.

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