MEMBERS AT OH BE JOYFUL CHURCH EMBRACE THE SAME PURPOSE, PRIORITIES AND BASIC PHILOSOPHY BECAUSE SUCH AGREEMENT IS NECESSARY FOR ALLOWING GOD TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PLAN FOR US AND THROUGH US AS A LOCAL CHURCH. FOR THE SAME REASON, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE UNITY WITH REGARD TO OUR BASIC DOCTRINAL BELIEFS.
We Are Related Through Common Convictions
The following doctrinal statement expresses the basic beliefs of the elders and pastoral staff of the church and is important in guarding the unity and orthodoxy of this ministry. These doctrines are developed through the study of the Scripture and therefore the scripture holds authority over each item.
We believe there is but one living and true God who is one in essence while existing in three distinct co-eternal and co-equal persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Though each person of the God-head possesses the same nature, each functions differently in respect to God’s dealings with man(Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 6:27; Acts 5:3,4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:8).
Concerning God the Father
The first person of the Trinity orders and directs all things according to His own purpose, pleasure and grace. He has decreed all things that come to pass for His glory. He graciously involves Himself in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (Matt. 6:9; John 5:19-24; Eph. 1:3-6).
Concerning God the Son
We believe that God the Son became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, and who is true God and true man. We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood (Matt. 1:18-25; Mark 10:45; John 1:14; John 11:33, 8:40; Rom. 3:24-26; Rom. 5:8,9; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 1:8, 2:14; 1 Pet. 3:18, 26:38).
Concerning God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, possessing all the distinctively divine attributes. He is God. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He regenerates, seals, and sets apart the believer to a holy life. At regeneration He baptizes the believer into the body of Christ and comes to indwell him permanently (Psa. 139:7; John 3:5-7; 14:16,17;16:8; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:10,11; 12:11; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13,14; 2 Thes. 2:13; Titus 3:5; ).
Concerning the Scriptures
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as verbally inspired of God and without error in the original writings. The exact meaning of the Scriptures is essentially unchanged in any important respect in the widely accepted English translations. The Scriptures are authoritative and without error in any category of knowledge, including science and history, and are of supreme and final authority in all matters about which they speak. We believe the Scriptures are to be interpreted in a normal and literal way and that they are understood as the believer is guided by the Spirit of God. We a Bible-believing church dedicated to upholding and interpreting the scriptures accurately. We seek to understand God’s desired meaning as He represented Himself through the authors in our modern culture. (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; John l6:12-15; 1 Cor. 2:13; 14-16; 1 Tim. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, and when given the opportunity, he attempts to defeat Christians. However, we believe Christians can overcome Satan’s schemes by applying Scriptural truth and relying on the Holy Spirit (Job 1:6-12; Luke 10:18; John 8:44; Eph. 6:10-19; Rev. 12:11).
We believe that man and woman were created in the image of God, and that they sinned and consequently experienced not only physical death but also spiritual death (which is separation from God). The consequences of this sin affect the entire human race. All human beings are born with a sinful nature and sin in thought, word, and deed (Gen. 1:26,27; Gen. 2:17, 3:6; Mark 7:20-23; John 2:24,25; Rom. 3:23; 5:12-19; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:18).
Concerning the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His ascension into heaven, and in His present ministry there for us. Jesus now serves as high priest, intercessor, and advocate on our behalf with the Father (John 20:25-27; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 7:25; Heb. 8:1,2; 10:12; 1 John 2:1).
We believe that whoever by faith receives Jesus Christ as their Savior becomes a child of God. This salvation is not the result of any human effort or merit (John 1:12; Rom. 3:28; Eph. 2:8,9).
Concerning a Believer’s Security
We believe that all true believers are kept eternally secure by the power of God through the new birth, the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit, and intercession of Christ (John 10:28-30; 14:16,17; Rom. 8:38,39; Eph. 4:30; 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 John 2:1).
Concerning Christian Living
We believe that all believers, although they are born again, still possess a sinful nature in this life, but that God has made provision for believers to overcome this sinful nature and to live for God through identification with Christ, a knowledge of the Scriptures, and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 7:15-21; 6:1-11; 8:11-13; Gal. 5:16-24; 2 Tim. 3:16,17).
Concerning Christian Maturity
We believe it is the responsibility of every believer to develop qualities of Christian maturity as described in God’s word (1 Cor. 2:15; Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 2:6,7; 3:1-4; Heb. 5:13,14; 2 Pet. 1:5-11).
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
We believe God has given every believer at least one spiritual gift for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ, the Church. We excercise these gifts for His glory. Sign gifts are not generally seen in scripture after the time of the apostles and clear scriptural instruction is given for their use in the Church age (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; 13:8; 14:22-25; Eph. 4:7-13; Heb. 2:3,41; 1 Pet. 4:7-11).
We believe that God heals with or without means in answer to prayer offered in faith and in accord with His sovereign will. Healing cannot be claimed on the same unconditional basis of faith as salvation is claimed (2 Cor. 12:7-10; James 5:14, 15; 1 John 5:14,15).
Concerning the Church
We believe that the church in its invisible form is universal, the true body of Christ. All believers from the day of Pentecost until the rapture are members of the universal church regardless of organizational affiliation (Eph. 4:4-6; Col.1:18; Acts 1:5; 11:15,16; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; Matt. 16:18).
Concerning the Role of the Church in the World
We believe that the purpose of the church, in addition to building up every believer, is to make Christ known to the whole world. Every member of the church shares in this purpose. In relation to the world, believers are sent by Christ to communicate to unsaved people that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ (Isa. 45:22; 49:6; Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 17:18-20; Acts 1:8; Rom. 10:12-15; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; ).
Concerning Believers’ Baptism
We believe that believer’s baptism by immersion in water is an ordinance that Christ commanded us to observe and is a testimony for the church in this age(Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48).
Concerning the Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial instituted by Jesus as a symbolic expression of faith and obedience. In the Lord’s Supper we proclaim the Lord’s substitutional and sacrificial death on our behalf and affirm His certain return. Communion is open to all who claim a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and can be practiced by a believer at any time and in any location (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-20; 1 Cor. 11:7-34).
Concerning the Resurrection of the Believer
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people. Believers will be resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. Unbelievers are resurrected to experience judgment and then eternal suffering apart from God (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28,29; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:4-6,11-15; Rev. 21:1-8).
Concerning the Rapture of the Church
We believe in the imminent, visible return of Christ for the church. All members of the body of Christ, living or dead, will at that time be caught up or be resurrected to be with the Lord forever (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10).
Concerning Jesus Christ’s Return
We believe in the personal, bodily, visible return of Jesus Christ in the glory of His Father to set up on the earth a kingdom in which He shall reign in righteousness and peace(Isa. 9:6,7; Isa. 11:2-5; Matt. 24:30; Luke 21:28; Acts 1:11; Rev. 19:11–20:6).
Concerning Gender Roles in the Church
We believe that the Scriptures affirm that women and men are equally God’s “Image Bearers”. This equality includes our personal value, significance, spiritual giftedness and standing before God. Along with the equality, the Bible reveals that by God;s creative design and order, women are distinct in their femaleness from men in their maleness.
We believe God’s Word also reveals a basic pattern of functional order in the home and in the church. With regards to the church, the Scriptures preach that Elders are given the responsibility and authority to lead the local church. According to the New Testament, this leadership position is a designated male role. All other ministries within the church are open to men and women (except for obvious gender specific ministries) under the Elder’s oversight and authority.