Vernon Advent Christian Church
Monday, September 25, 2017
A Unique Church of Understanding People

Covenant and Confession of Faith

                                                                                                                                                         
COVENANT 


CONFESSION OF FAITH 


OF THE 


ADVENT CHRISTIAN CHURCH 


OF VERNON, VERMONT

 

 
Looking for that blessed hope, 

 and the glorious appearing of the 

 great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Titus 2:13 
 

 
 
Covenant 

of the 

Advent Christian Church 

Vernon, Vermont 
 
 
We whose names are here recorded, believing in God, the Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord — by whose grace we are saved—and in the Holy Spirit, and holding the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be of Divine inspiration and authority, do hereby covenant and agree by the help of the Lord to walk together as a Church of Christ in love and fellowship, agreeing to take the Bible as our rule of faith and practice, Church order and discipline, making Christian character our only test of fellowship and communion. 
 
We further agree with Christian fidelity and meekness to exercise mutual watchcare, to counsel, admonish, and reprove, as duty may require, and to receive the same from each other as becometh the household of faith. 
 
We also agree to contribute of our means as God hath prospered us for the support of this Church, the spread of the gospel, and the relief of the needy, especially those of our Church. 
 
We further agree to attend the public services of this church, to seek the promotion of harmony among ourselves, to maintain private devotions, to train those under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to abstain from forms of worldliness which hinder our own spirituality and bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and to endeavor in purity of heart, newness of life, and good will toward all men, to exemplify and commend our holy faith and win souls for Christ. 
 
Being mindful of our own weakness and insufficiency, and knowing that of ourselves we can do nothing, we humbly implore the Divine help and guidance in our earnest endeavor to keep inviolate this Covenant. 
 
 
Confession of Faith 

 
Preamble 
 
 
The following document is the Statement of Faith adopted by the Advent Christian Church of Vernon, Vermont. 
 
The Statement consists of primary doctrines of the historic Christian church as well as some secondary doctrines distinctive to the Advent Christian denomination. Beyond these, however, its scope is not intended to address other secondary doctrines such as those pertaining to the end times, spiritual gifts or Creation accounts, to name a few. 
 
Neither is this Statement of Faith a “creed” in the historic sense of the term, which is a set of beliefs to which adherence is required for participation in a defined group of Christians.  Rather, it is a summary of what we believe scripture teaches on truths essential for faith and life, both individually and as a church—what the New Testament calls “the faith that was once for all handed down to God’s holy people” (Jude 3). 
 
A further purpose of this Statement is to provide a “measuring stick” by which preaching and teaching are guided and kept consistent within the life and ministry of our church. It is understood that not all who participate in the life of the church may embrace every detail in the Statement. Therefore, with the exception of beliefs that are deemed clearly unbiblical, latitude will be granted to one another in matters of interpretation if it is the result of a humble search to come to terms with one or more of the Statement’s tenets. However, it is expected that those in positions of spiritual leadership will ascribe to its contents. It is also intended that those involved in the life of our church will not actively advocate teachings contrary to the Statement should they find themselves doubtful towards any of its tenets. 
 
It must be noted that the doctrines in the Statement are not considered important for their own sake. Rather, their purpose is to lead us to a greater and clearer affection for the glory of God. 
 
Sound teaching is not at odds with rich worship, and good theology is a key to great doxology (see Romans 11). 
 
Last, this statement should neither excuse nor encourage neglect of the responsibility every believer has to study the scriptures for their own growth “… in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” All who claim faith in Christ are urged to read and search the scriptures regularly for both their own edification and so that the church “may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God…” (Ephesians 4:12-13). 
 
 
Confession of Faith 
 
 
 
Desiring to set forth clearly that which we regard as scriptural and therefore true, we affirm the following: 
 
 
Concerning God 
 
 
We believe in one God,1 eternally existent as Father,2 Son,3 and Holy Spirit.4 
 
 
We believe in God the Father2 Almighty,5 creator,6 ruler,7 and restorer of His total creation.8 
 
 
We believe in God the Son,3 fully divine9 and fully human,10 who carried out the will of the Father in the redemption of human beings.11 
 
 
We believe in God the Holy Spirit4 who in this age convicts of sin,12 testifies to the things of Christ,13 and distributes gifts for building up the church.14 
 
 
Concerning Scripture 
 
 
We believe that God revealed Himself and His plans for His creation15 in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. 
 
 
We believe that He superintended the process of revelation16 in such a way that the human authors recorded events and precepts 
without error.17 
 
 
We believe that this inspired record is expressed in statements of fact which we can understand18 and which govern our theology and actions.19 
 
 
Concerning human beings 
 
 
We believe that people are rational beings20 who are preeminent over the rest of creation as those who are created in the image of God.21 
 
 
We believe that the physical and spiritual aspects of the person function together as a unit,22 neither the physical nor the spiritual capable of functioning apart from the whole.23 
 
 
We believe that humans were created good24 with the prospect of living forever on the good earth,25 that they forfeited that prospect by disobeying God.26 
 
 
We believe that all human beings are now by nature sinful,27 subject to death as a consequence of sin,28 and in need of salvation.29 
 
 
We believe that people are responsible to live holy and productive lives according to principles revealed clearly in Scripture.30 
 
 
We believe that the chief purpose of humans is to glorify God31 and to enjoy Him forever. 
 
 
Concerning salvation 
 
 
We believe that Adam’s decision to disobey God resulted in God’s displeasure, leaving humans subject to the curse of sin 27a and by nature objects of wrath 27b. The result is both spiritual and physical death28 and an eternal destiny without hope apart from divine intervention on our behalf.32 
 
 
We believe that in keeping with the Father's plan,33 Christ came to earth,34 willingly accepted death35 as a substitute for the punishment deserved by sinners36, thereby satisfying divine justice36a. All then, who by God’s grace put their faith in the completed work of Christ on their behalf36b are justified in God’s sight36c and credited with the righteousness of Christ36d, nullifying any human effort or merit as grounds for salvation.36b 
 
 
We believe that the Holy Spirit in this age prompts the preaching of the good news about Christ,40 convicts of sin,12 regenerates those who then exercise the gift of faith,41 and enables them to live a holy life.42 
 
 
Concerning the church 
 
 
We believe that the universal church is composed of all those who have put their trust in Christ alone for salvation.43 
 
 
We believe that local congregations of believers are properly referred to as churches,44 and that their chief responsibilities are to worship God,45 to be instructed in the Scriptures,46 to gather for fellowship,47 to uphold one another in wholesome living,48 and to testify to God's grace49 in order to bring others to faith in Christ.50 
 
 
We believe that the only divinely instituted ordinances are the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion)51 and the baptism by immersion of those who come to faith in Christ.52 
 
 
Concerning the future 
 
 
We believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth53 to raise the dead,39 judge all people,54 eliminate evil,55 and establish God's eternal kingdom on the earth made new.56 
 
 
We believe that at the Second Coming of Christ, those without faith in Him will be resurrected,57 judged,54 and punished consciously with a degree of pain appropriate to their guilt, then deprived of life altogether.58 
 
 
We believe that, in the interim between Christ's first and second coming, those who die, believer and unbeliever alike, unaware of 
the passage of time, await the resurrection in an unconscious state.59 
 
 
We believe that those who have faith in Christ alone will live forever60 in the new heavens and upon the new earth,56 that is, in the physical creation restored to its original perfection.61 
 
 
***************************************************************** 
Footnotes:
 1 Deuteronomy 6:4; Deuteronomy 4:35; Psalm 96:5; Jeremiah 10:10a; John 17:3; 1Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Matthew 28:19; Luke 1:35; Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2. 
 
 2 Exodus 4:22; 2 Samuel 7:14a; Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:15; Romans 15:6. 
 
 3 Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35, 4:41; Matthew 14:33, 16:16, 26:63-64, 27:54; John 1:14, 49, 11:27, 20:31; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 1:2. 
 
 4 John 14:16-17; John 16:7; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:11-12; 
Ephesians 4:30. 
 
 5 Genesis 17:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8. 
 
 6 Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:11. 
 
 7 Exodus 15:18; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12a; 1 Timothy 1:17. 
 
 8 Romans 8:19-23; Revelation 21:1. 
 
 9 John 1:1; John 1:14; John 1:18; John 10:30; John 20:28; Matthew 1:23; Romans 1:3-4;  Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-17; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:3a; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20. 
 
10 Galatians 4:4-5; Genesis 3:15; Luke 2:40; Acts 17:30-31; Philippians 2:6-7; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-18; Hebrews 4:14-15;1 John 4:2-3. 
 
11 Matthew 26:39; John 5:30; John 6:38; John 12:27; John 12:44-50; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10. 
 
12 John 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3. 
 
13 John 15:26; John 14:26; John 16:12-15. 
 
14 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Ephesians 4:11-16. 
 
15 Hebrews 1:1;Amos 3:7. 
 
16 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21. 
 
17 Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; John 17:17; Titus 1:2. 
 
18 1 Timothy 3:15; Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Deuteronomy 30:11, 14; 
Psalm 19:7b. 
 
19 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:11; 2 Peter 1:10. 
 
20 Deuteronomy 6:5. 
 
21 Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:6-8. 
 
22 Genesis 2:7; Job 33:4. 
 
23 Ecclesiastes 12:7; James 2:26. 
 
24 Genesis 1:31; Ecclesiastes 7:29. 
 
25 Genesis 2:8-9. 
 
26 Genesis 3:17, 19; Genesis 3:22-24. 
 
27 Psalm 51:6; Ephesians 2:1-3.
          27a Gen.3:14-19
          27b Eph. 2:3 
 
28 Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; James 1:15. 
 
29 Job 4:17-19; Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 64:6. 
 
30 Exodus 19:4-6; Leviticus 11:45; Micah 6:8; Romans 6; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1Peter 2:9; 1 John 3:2-3. 
 
31 Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 10:31. 31a Ps 37:4 
 
32 Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 5:5-6; Romans 5:6, 8, 10. 
 
33 John 3:16; Ephesians 1:3-10. 
 
34 John 3:13; John 6:38; 1 Corinthians 15:47. 
 
35 John 10:17-18; John 5:30; Matthew 26:39, 53-54. 
 
36 Isaiah 53:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
          36a Rom. 3:6
          36b Eph. 2:8
          36c Rom. 5:1
          36d II Cor. 5:21 
 
37 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Mark 8:31. 
 
38 Acts 1:3; I Corinthians 15:5-8. 
 
39 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 16; John 6:40. 
 
40 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, 10-13. 
 
41 John 3:5-6;Titus 3:5-6; I Peter 1:3 
 
42 Ezekiel 36:26-27; Romans 8:2-4, 12-14; 1 John 5:4, 18. 
 
43 Acts 2:38, 41, 47b; Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 
 
44 Churches in cities Acts 8:1; 11:22, 26; 13:1; 14:23, 27; 15:3, 4, 22; 16:5; 18:22; 20:17; Romans 16:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2Corinthians 1:1; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; Provinces Acts 9:31; 15:41; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 19; 2 Corinthians 8:1; Galatians 1:2, 22; and, Households or meeting in homes Romans 16:5, 10, 11, 14, 15; 1 Corinthians 16:15, 19; Colossians 4:5; Philemon 2. 
 
45 Ephesians 5:19-20; 1 Corinthians 14:26. 
 
46 Colossians 3:16. 1 Timothy 4:13. 
 
47 Acts 2:42; Philippians 1:3, 5; 1 John 1:3. 
 
48 Hebrews 10:23-25; Hebrews 3:13; 2 Timothy 4:2.
 
49 1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:18. 
 
50 Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15. 
 
51 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. 
 
52 Mark 16:16a; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12. 
 
53 John 14:2-3; Acts 1:10-11. 
 
54 Acts 10:42; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12. 
 
55 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 21:8. 
 
56 Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22-23; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-4 
 
57 Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:14-15. 
 
58 Isaiah 65:15; 66:16, 24; Malachi 4:1; Matthew 10:28; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10. 
 
59 Job 3:11, 13-15, 17-19; Job 14:10-12; Psalm 6:5; Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:1-6; New Testament references to death as “sleep”: Matthew 9:24;Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52; Luke 27:52; John 11:11-14; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Corinthians 7:39 (Greek); 11:30; 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14, 15; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:17-18. 
 
60 Romans 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 
 
61 Romans 8:19-23; Revelation 22:1-5.