TENETS OF FAITH AND DOCTRINE
I accept the Scriptures as the revealed Will of God, the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, and for the purpose of maintaining general unity, adopts these Statements of Fundamental Truths and Doctrine.
Section 1. The Scriptures Inspired. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason (2 Tim. 3: 15 ‑ 17; 1 Peter 1: 23 ‑ 25; Heb. 4: 12).
Section 2. The One True Godhead. The triune Godhead is comprised of three (3) separate and distinct personalities, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, who are eternally self‑existent, self‑revealed and function as one entity. Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh, is the second member of the Godhead, equal and eternal with The Father and The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who is manifested as the Spirit, is the third member of the Godhead, equal and eternal with the Father and Jesus Christ.
Section 3. Man, His Fall and Redemption. Man was created good and upright, for God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness”. But, man, by voluntary transgression, fell and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ the Son of God (Genesis 1: 26 ‑ 31, 3: 1 ‑ 7; Romans 5: 12 ‑ 21).
Section 4. The Salvation of Man.
(a) Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. On the cross Jesus Christ became sin and sickness providing both salvation and divine healing for all mankind (Psalm 103: 3), being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. For by grace we are saved through faith. “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart‑‑that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 3: 24; Ephesians 2: 8; Romans 10: 8 ‑ 10).
(b) The Evidence of Salvation. The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation, is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8: 16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. “And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” (1 John 3: 23); … while you are waiting for these things to happen and for Him to come, try hard to live without sinning; and be at peace with everyone so that He will be pleased with you when He returns (II Peter 3: 14 LB).
(c) Faith and Works. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by human works; however, our works will determine the rewards in eternity (Romans 10: 9 ‑ 1 and II Cor. 5: 10).
Section 5. Baptism in Water. The ordinance of baptism by a burial with Christ should be observed as commanded in the Scriptures by all who have really repented and in their hearts have truly believed on Christ as Savior and Lord. In so doing, they declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matt. 28: 19; Acts 10: 47, 48; Romans 6: 4).
Section 6. The Lord’s Supper. “And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is My body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11: 24; 25, 28).
Section 7. The Promise of the Father. All believers are entitled to, and should ardently expect and earnestly seek, the promise of the Father, the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and Fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian church. With it comes the endowment of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. (Luke 24: 49; Acts 1: 4 ‑ 8; 1 Cor. 12: 1 ‑ 31). This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 2: 38; 10: 44 ‑ 46; 11: 14 ‑ 16; 15: 7 ‑ 9).
Section 8. The Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The full consummation of the Baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is evidenced by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, and by the subsequent manifestation of spiritual power in public testimony and service (Acts 2: 4; 10: 44 ‑ 46; 19: 2, 6; 1: 8).
Section 9. The Church. The church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in Heaven (Ephesians 1: 22; 2: 19 ‑ 22; Hebrews 12: 23).
Section 10. Total Prosperity. All believers are commanded through scripture to prosper in every area of living according to III John 1: 2. There can be no real prosperity absent from a life in Christ.
(a) Spiritual. John 3: 3, 11; II Cor. 5: 17 ‑ 21; Romans 10: 9 ‑ 10.
(b) Mental. II Tim. 1: 7; Romans 12: 2; Isaiah 26: 3.
(c) Physical. Isaiah 53: 4, 5; Matt. 8: 17; I Peter 2: 24.
(d) Financial. III John 1: 2; Malachi 3: 10 ‑ 11; Luke 6: 38; II Cor. 9: 6 ‑ 10; Deut. 28: 1 ‑ 14.
(e) Social. Proverbs 3:4.
Section 11. Blessed Hope. Jesus is coming again to gather all His Saints to Heaven (I Cor. 15: 51 ‑ 52; I Thess. 4: 16 ‑ 17; and II Thess. 2: 1).
Section 12. The Lake of Fire. Those who have not accepted the redemptive work of Jesus Christ will suffer eternal separation from the Godhead. The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. This is the second death, the lake of fire (Rev. 19: 20; 20: 10 ‑ 15).
Section 13. The Millennial Reign of Jesus. The return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His Saints from Heaven to rule and reign for one thousand years on earth as the Scriptures promised (Romans 11: 25, 27: 2 Thess. 1: 7; Rev. 19: 11 ‑ 16; 20: 1 ‑ 7). After this, there shall be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21).
Section 14. Christian Life; Scriptural Conduct.
(a) Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct. “What We Believe does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. We believe the Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of The Lighthouse Inc., Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Pastor is the Lighthouse Inc., Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.”
(b) Personal Ethics. “I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to” I Cor. 6: 12 LB). “We can always ‘prove’ that we are right, but is the Lord convinced?” (Proverbs 16: 2 LB) “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you” (I Thessalonians 5: 12).
(c) Obedience to Law. “Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow” (Romans 13: 1 ‑ 2 LB). “Obey the laws, then, for two reasons: first, to keep from being punished, and second, just because you know you should. Pay your taxes too, for these same two reasons. For government workers need to be paid so that they can keep on doing God’s work, serving you. Pay everyone whatever he ought to have; pay your taxes and import duties gladly, obey those over you, and give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due. Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others ‑ never finish paying that! For if you love them, you will be obeying all of God’s laws, fulfilling all his requirements. Another reason for right living in this: you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of the Lord is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 13: 5 ‑ 8, 11 LB).
(d) The Sanctity of Human Life. 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. (Ps 139.)
(e) Family; Household. “Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you” (Exodus 20: 12). “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (I Timothy 3: 5) “Their wives must be thoughtful, not heavy drinkers, not gossipers, but faithful in everything they do” (I Timothy 3: 11 LB). “The men you choose must be well thought of for their good lives; they must have only one wife and their children must love the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild or disobedient to their parents. These elders must be men of blameless lives because they are God’s ministers. They must not be proud or impatient; they must not be drunkards or fighters or greedy for money” (Titus 1: 6 ‑ 7 LB). “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” (Titus 2: 2 ‑ 4). “You wives must submit to your husbands’ leadership in the same way you submit to the Lord. For a husband is in charge of his wife in the same way Christ is in charge of his body the Church. (He gave his very life to take care of it and be its Savior!) So you wives must willingly obey your husbands in everything, just as the Church obeys Christ. And you husbands, show the same kind of love to your wives as Christ showed to the Church when He died for her, to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s Word: so that He could give her to Himself as a glorious Church without a single spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, being holy and without a single fault. That is how husbands should treat their wives, loving them as parts of themselves. For since a man and his wife are now one, a man is really doing himself a favor and loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for His body the Church, of which we are parts. (That the husband and wife are one body is proved by the Scripture which says, “A Man must leave his father and mother when he marries, so the two shall be one.”) So again, I say, a man must love his wife as a part of himself: and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband ‑ obeying, praising and honoring him. Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing. And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord Himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice” (Ephesians 5: 22 ‑ 31, 33 ‑ 6:4 LB).
(f) Marriage. We believe that God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. He created them with two separate but unique genders. These two unique but distinct genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1: 26 - 27.)
We believe that the uniting of one man with one woman in a single, exclusive union is identified through scripture as the direct intent of God. The state of “marriage” can only exist with one man bound in the natural and spiritual realm to one woman according to Scripture. (Gen 2: 18 - 25.)
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage union between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, masturbation, oral sex, violent sex, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15: 18 - 20; 1 Cor 6: 9 - 10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of The Lighthouse Inc., Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Lighthouse Inc., Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the Lighthouse Inc., Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5: 16; Phil 2: 14 - 16; 1 Thess 5: 22.)
(g) Control. “….For a man is a slave to whatever controls him” (II Peter 2: 19 LB). “Even if we believe that it makes no difference to the Lord whether we do these things, still we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves; for we must bear the burden of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others ‑ of those who feel these things are wrong. Let’s please the other fellow, not ourselves, and do what is for his good and thus build him up in the Lord” (Romans 15: 2 ‑ 3 LB).
(h) Adultery; Immorality. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20: 14). “…try hard to live without sinning; and be at peace with everyone so that he will be pleased with you when he returns” (II Peter 2: 14 LB). “You shall not commit adultery. But I say: Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5: 27 ‑ 28 LB). “…Don’t fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshipers, adulterers or homosexuals will have no share in his Kingdom …”(I Cor. 6: 9 LB). “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat” (I Cor. 5: 11 LB).
(i) Drunkenness; Drugs. “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and won’t obey; he is a worthless drunkard. Then the men of the city shall stone him to death. In this way you shall put away this evil from among you, and all the young men will hear about what happened and will be afraid” (Deuteronomy 21: 20 ‑ 21 LB). “…envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5: 21 LB). “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6: 10 LB). “Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path; be filled instead with the Holy Spirit, and controlled by Him” (Ephesians 5: 18 LB). “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags” (Proverbs 23: 21).
(j) Smoking. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple are ye” (I Cor. 3: 16 ‑ 17). “Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you? Your body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God, because He owns it” (I Cor. 6: 19).
(k) Homosexuality. “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18: 22). “…God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God’s natural plan for them and indulged in sex sin with each other. And the men, instead of having a normal sex relationship with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men and, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved. So it was that when they have God up and would not even acknowledge him, God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin ….” (Romans 1: 26 ‑ 29). “Don’t you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshippers, adulterers or homosexuals will have no share in his Kingdom… “(I Cor. 6: 9 ‑ 10).