Articles of Faith

1. We believe there is but one living and true God, everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead, there are three Persons of one substance of eternal being, and equal in holiness, justice, wisdom, power, and dignity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.


2. We believe that the Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the manhood were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and perfect man, who actually suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile the Father to us, and to make atonement, not only for our actual guilt, but also for original sin.


3. We believe that Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again His body, with all things appertaining to the perfections of man’s nature, and ascended into heaven and there sits until He shall return to judge all men at the last day.

4. We believe the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.


5. We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, known as the Bible, composed of sixty-six books and divided into two departments, Old and New Testaments. We believe the Bible is the Word of God, the full and complete revelation of the plan and history of redemption.


6. We believe that eternal life with God in heaven is a portion of the reward of the finally righteous; and that everlasting banishment from the presence of the Lord and unending torture in hell are the wages of the persistently wicked (Matthew 25:46; Psalm 9:17; Revelation 21:7, 8).

7. We believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins that are past, for the regeneration of penitent sinners, and for salvation from sin and from sinning (Romans 3:25; 1 John 3:5-10; Ephesians 2:1-10).


8. We believe, teach and firmly maintain the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith alone (Romans 5:1).


9. We believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the complete cleansing of the justified believer from all indwelling sin and from its pollution, subsequent to regeneration (1 John 1:7-9).


10. We believe in sanctification. While sanctification is initiated in regeneration and consummated in glorification, we believe it includes a definite, instantaneous work of grace achieved by faith subsequent to regeneration (Acts 26:18; 1 John 1:9). Sanctification delivers from the power and dominion of sin. It is followed by lifelong growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:16; 2 Peter 3:18).


11. We believe that the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer, and the initial evidence of the reception of this experience is speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (Luke 11:13; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 8:17; 10:44-46; 19:6).


12. We believe in divine healing as in the atonement (Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:16, 17; Mark 16:14-18; James 5:14-16; Exodus 15:26).


13. We believe in the imminent, personal, premillennial second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Matthew 24:29-44), and love and wait for His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).


14. We believe it is the responsibility of every believer to dedicate his life to carrying out the work of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:8).
Covenant of Commitment
A. Covenant of Commitment
Holmes Memorial Church members are committed to Jesus Christ and His kingdom. To this end, we believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The Bible is God’s infallible Word, the believer’s guide, and the final authority for both faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). People who teach in our institutions and who are credentialed clergy shall subscribe to this same position.
We believe the top priority of Christians is to “make it our aim to be well pleasing to God” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Every facet of our lives must come under divine authority as we relate everything to this priority, maintaining it without interruption. We recognize that in order to maximize our Christian witness, our private lives must be consistent with our public testimonies. Hence, our primary goal must be to please God and be acceptable to Him. With both this understanding of Holy Scripture and this top priority firmly settled in our hearts, we affirm the following biblical values that characterize our lifestyle as a people:
1. Our Minds
Since it is our aim “to please God” in everything we do we will strive to study the Bible and keep our minds pure and positive, avoiding all evils in our modern society designed to weaken or destroy our spirituality (Philippians 4:7, 8). This includes a sensitivity to judge carefully the television, movie, music, computer, and Internet industries. Because our Lord taught that immorality is first a condition of the heart, we affirm that profane and pornographic materials will have no place in our lives.
2. Our Bodies
We commit ourselves to maintaining a disciplined lifestyle with regard to our bodies. Since our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and instruments of righteousness, we must keep our bodies pure and consecrated for the Master’s use, that we might please Him (1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 6:13; 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 7:1).
We reject the loose moral values of our culture and encourage our young people as well as our adults to choose clothing that will honor their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.
We expect our members to abstain from the use and promotion of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and any illegal addictive drugs, as well as addictive legal drugs, over-the-counter or prescribed, except under the supervision of a physician (2 Corinthians 7:1).
We affirm every person’s right to life and maintain a strong position against abortion and euthanasia, both of which undermine the biblical sanctity of life. We oppose human cloning.
We recognize the destructive and dehumanizing effects of pornography on society and oppose both its production and distribution. We also maintain a strong biblical position against premarital, extramarital, and deviant sex, including homosexual and lesbian relationships, and all forms of child molestation and/or exploitation. Yet we rejoice that people bound by these sins can find hope and deliverance in the gospel. (Matthew 5:27-30;          1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Corinthians6:9).
3. Our Spirits
Our “aim to please God” in our whole life will cause us to exhibit the “mind of Christ” in all our attitudes (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). Brotherly love, as taught and exemplified by Christ, is to be our example. Members are to be compassionate and charitable toward their fellowman. The greed and selfishness that motivate much of our modern culture is contrary to our Christian
faith and testimony.
We recognize racism as sinful and seek to treat all people with dignity and respect, demonstrating Christian love to one another. Hatred, prejudice, and hostility are inconsistent with our goal – “to please God” (Philippians 2:5-11).
4. Our Speech
Our speech reveals much about us (Matthew 12:34-37; Ephesians 4:29). The Christian should be known by his wholesome conversation. Our members are to refrain from speaking anything that is unclean, profane, vulgar, untrue, unkind, or unprofitable. To please God we must make sure our communication affirms rather than hinders our testimony (Romans 12:1, 2).
5. Our Relationships
The believer’s commitment to pleasing God stands above his commitment to any political party, economic structure, or social institution. All commitments are governed by the highest commitment – “to please God.” All members are to be honest and ethical in all their relationships (Romans 12:17).
We expect our members not to hold active membership in, or fellowship with, organizations with objectives and activities not in harmony with Scripture, or which require oath-bound allegiance that infringes on a member’s total allegiance to God (2 Corinthians 6:14- 18; Ephesians 5:11). No goal shall divert us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15).
6. Our Families
The family is the basic unit of society. Its divine origin, as expressed in the Bible, makes it of vital concern to the church. Growing out of our commitment as a people to a biblical lifestyle, we recognize the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman until death parts them, including the biblical pattern of relationships in the home. While the husband is the head of the home, he is also commanded to love and cherish his wife as his own body. Wives are to respect and honor their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-28).
The prophet Malachi recorded the heart of God when he wrote, “‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel” (Malachi 2:16). However, this passionate prophetic description does not justify the conclusion that God hates divorced people. To the contrary, He never stops loving them (John 3:16; 4:4-42).
Parents are to teach and correct their children, but at the same time refrain from provoking them to anger and resentment (Ephesians 6:4). Further, they are to refrain from all forms of child abuse. Children are to respect and obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3). However, this admonition must not be used to manipulate a child into an abusive relationship.
Christian families should worship and pray together, play together, and work together. The relationships in the Christian family should reflect the healing Christ brings to all human relationships and should, therefore, never lead to or involve domestic violence.
7. Our Stewardship
Our commitment to Jesus Christ includes stewardship.
According to the Bible, everything belongs to God (Psalm 24:1).
We are stewards of His resources and conscious of Him in the management of that trust. Our stewardship of possessions begins with the tithe (Malachi 3:8-10). All our members are privileged and responsible to return a tenth of all their income to the Lord. This tithe is to be paid into the “storehouse.” This storehouse is the treasury of the local church or Conference to which the member belongs. In addition to the tithe, all members are blessed to give offerings out of the ninety percent of God’s wealth He allows them to use (1 Corinthians 16:2).
Stewardship also involves the protection of our reputation. Therefore, we are to be honest in all matters, avoiding unethical personal or business practices of any kind, including gambling. Stewardship also includes our time, talents, and spiritual gifts, as well as our money (Ephesians 5:16; Romans 12:3-8; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). This understanding of stewardship should be taken into account when drafting wills and bequeathing estates.
8. Our Loyalty
Loyalty to Christ and His church is basic to the success of Holmes Memorial Church. The faithful participation of every member, both lay and clergy in the various ministries of the church is necessary if Holmes Memorial Church is to fulfill its mission/vision. Loyalty involves commitment to all the ministries of the church. Since leaders should be role models, all those in leadership in the local church should set an example by their faithfulness in supporting the ministries of the church.
Loyalty involves attendance at the gatherings of the church. (Hebrews 10:25).
Loyalty involves affirmation. The morale of the church requires the positive affirmation of leaders and ministries. While negative criticism tears the church apart (Galatians 5:12-26), positive affirmation builds it up (Ephesians 4:16).
We oppose the increasing commercialization and secularization of Sunday.
Loyalty involves financial support. Faithfulness in tithes and offerings is essential to the prosperity of God’s people (Malachi 3:8-12). This applies to local church members and all other individuals and entities of the church. To hold any official position in the church a member must follow the biblical principle of tithing.
B. Affirming the Covenant of Commitment
With these values in mind, we recognize that the blessed Spirit of God has called us to live this countercultural lifestyle that sets us apart from the world. Therefore, having become acquainted with the Articles of Faith and the polity of Holmes Memorial Church, and believing both to be of God, and having given our names and thereby become members of the same, we do solemnly, but cheerfully, and with joy and gladness affirm: We will watch over one another with brotherly love and kindness, not that we may have whereof to accuse our brother, but that we may with meekness correct one another’s faults.
We will abstain from profane and vulgar conversations, and from backbiting and gossiping, or taking up a reproach against anyone, especially our brother. We will heed the injunction of the apostle Paul, who exhorted us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
we are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). We will “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). We will also heed the exhortation recorded in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15: “We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly [disorderly], comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men; See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. We will “recompense to no man evil for evil,” but will “provide things honest in the sight of all men,” and, “if it be possible, as much as lieth in [us], [we will] live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17, 18). We will be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven [us]” (Ephesians 4:32).
As opportunity affords, we will be engaged in works of mercy, such as visiting the sick and imprisoned and the distressed, and all who may need and will accept our ministrations. We will have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but keep ourselves by the grace of God unspotted from the world (Ephesians 5:1-11; 1 Peter 1:5; James 1:27). All this will we do, God being our Helper.
Response: We accept the obligations of this Covenant of Commitment in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost.
C. Conclusion
The Bible, the Final Lifestyle Authority This Covenant of Commitment is a guideline for all our members, not a system for monitoring or judging one another. Neither is this Covenant of Commitment an exhaustive statement concerning a biblical lifestyle.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is our complete and final authority. A careful, conscientious, and continual study of God’s Word will reveal to the believer a growing understanding of what it means to live worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus. Any member having difficulty following the biblical lifestyle or this Covenant of Commitment should be given loving nurture and patient instruction in order to lead him to maturity and restoration (Galatians 6:1, 2).