Our Doctrine

  • Articles of Faith:

The following articles of faith do not exhaust the extent of our faith.  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 church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our church membership is the church’s final interpretative authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

  • The Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day He arose again from the dead;  He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

(adapted from several versions of the Creed as a summary of the New Testament doctrine)

  • God:

There is but one God, the supreme, perfect, personal spirit who is the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things – whom all persons owe their highest love, reverence, and obedience.  God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature or being.

  • Jesus Christ:

Jesus Christ is the personal expression (the exact likeness) of the unseen God, the eternal, unique Son of God and the Mediator between God and man.  Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He willingly suffered and died upon the cross for sinners.  After being buried, He was raised from the dead and now lives to free us from the slavery to sin through the gift of eternal life in God’s spiritual kingdom.  Since all things were created through Him and for Him, and since He conquered sin and death for us at the cross, He is truly Lord of all.

  • The Word of God:

We believe the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

  • Regeneration:

We believe that all persons are sinners by nature and choice and are, therefore, under condemnation.  We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

  • Faith:

Faith is the work of God in a man’s heart leading him to respond to God by believing His Word, trusting and obeying His son, and serving Him loyally in the work of His kingdom.

  • Justification:

Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of condemned sinners who trust in Jesus Christ, the crucified Savior and risen Lord, lifting them out of slavery to sin into eternal son-ship.  This new relationship is made possible only through grace (undeserved favor) of God and is entirely a matter of faith, not human achievement.

  • Sanctification:

Sanctification is the final, completed work of Jesus Christ in freeing us from Satan’s power, and setting us apart as sinners saved by grace and heirs of God’s eternal Kingdom.  In practice, sanctification is gradual, progressive dedication of ourselves until every area of our personal lives is under the Lordship of Christ.

  • God’s Power to Save and to Keep:

Those whom God has given eternal life in Jesus Christ may commit various sins, thus grieving the Holy Spirit of God and bringing reproach on the church and themselves.  However, those who have been freed from the ruling power of sin and belong to the Lord Jesus Christ will never “fall from grace” (Lose their eternal fellowship with God).

  • The Church:

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members.  We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on profession of faith and associated for worship, fellowship, and discipleship.  We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary tasks of giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

  • Judgment and the World to Come:

We believe in the second coming of our Lord, the final judgment and destruction of this physical world which will take place according to God’s plan, and that those who belong to Christ will enjoy eternal life in heaven, while those who do not belong to Christ will suffer eternal death in hell.

  • The Priesthood of the Believer:

Every true Christian is a “priest” in that he knows the Father personally through the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, and has both direct access to God in his spiritual life, and the privilege of leading others to know God through faith in Christ.

  • Biblical Marriage:

We believe that that the only marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Therefore, only marriage ceremonies between one man and one woman may be carried out on the premises of the Orrington Center Church. Genesis 2:24; 9:5-13; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29;  7:2;  1st Corinthians 6:9;  7:10;  Ephesians 5:22-23.

  • The Ordinances:

We believe that Jesus Christ has committed to the local church two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s supper.  We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Baptism is the outward expression of an inward experience with Jesus Christ. We believe that the Lord’s supper was instituted by Christ for the commemoration of His death.

  • Separation of Church and State:

The Church and State are both responsible to almighty God, and true Christians must bear their Christian witness in civil and political life, obeying the laws of the State (except where they conflict with our higher obedience to Christ’s) and praying for its leaders.  However, there must be absolute separation of the Church and State.  The church must be free from any direct or indirect control by the State, nor should the State in any way be controlled or subject to a religious body.