CONFESSION OF FAITH
- I BELIEVE in one God and Creator who is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit: The Father who so loved the world, The Son who purchased my salvation in His death, burial, and resurrection, and The Holy Spirit who makes me new and abides in me forever.
- I BELIEVE in the perfect Holy Bible that reveals God’s purposes and plans for my life.
- I BELIEVE in the Second of Coming of Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead.
- I BELIEVE in the eternal reward of believers in Jesus and the eternal punishment for all unbelievers in Jesus.
- I BELIEVE in the united Church of Jesus Christ built upon Apostles and Prophets, Elders and Deacons; in which the gates of hell shall not prevail.
- I BELIEVE in the salvation for all mankind is by faith alone, in Christ alone, by God’s grace alone, and for the glory of God alone.
16 FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS
1. WE BELIEVE… The Scriptures are inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind from Genesis to Revelations, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
2. WE BELIEVE… There is only One True God–revealed in three persons; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity), Matthew 28:19.
3. WE BELIEVE… In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; as God’s Son Jesus was both human and divine, John 1:1,14 & 18.
MANKIND & SALVATION
4. WE BELIEVE… Though originally good, man willingly fell to sin–ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world, Romans 3:23.
5. WE BELIEVE… Every person can have restored fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, Romans 10:13.
BAPTISM & COMMUNION
6. WE BELIEVE… And practice two ordinances—(1) Water Baptism by immersion after repenting of one’s sins and receiving Christ’s gift of salvation as a symbol of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, Matthew 28:19 and (2) Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation, Luke 22:19-22.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
7. WE BELIEVE… The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service, just as it did in New Testament times, Acts 2:4.
8. WE BELIEVE… The initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is ‘speaking in tongues,’ as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles, Acts 19:6.
9. WE BELIEVE… Sanctification initially occurs at salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christ-like, 1 Corinthians 6:11.
10. WE BELIEVE… The Church has a mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe ‘the Church’ is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:18.
11. WE BELIEVE… A Divinely Called and Scripturally ordained leadership ministry serves the church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, and to build up or edify the body of believers–the Church, 1 Timothy 3:1-16 (Offices- Elders and Deacons) & Ephesians 4:11-12 (Gifts- Five-fold Ministries).
12. WE BELIEVE… Divine healing of the sick is a privilege for Christians today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins), 1 Peter 2:24.
13. WE BELIEVE… In The Blessed Hope—When Jesus raptures His Church prior to His return to earth (the second coming). At this future moment in time all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever, 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
14. WE BELIEVE… In The Millennial Reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. At that time many in the nation of Israel will recognize and accept Him as the Messiah, the Savior who died for them and all mankind, Revelation 20:6.
15. WE BELIEVE… A Final Judgment will take place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire, Revelation 20:15.
16. WE BELIEVE… And look forward to the perfect new heavens and a new earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord,” Revelation 21:3.
MPI’S STANCE ON ABORTION
Metro Praise International believes that, according to the Scriptures, unborn children, while not fully developed, are fully human, and thus bear the image of God (Ps. 139:13-18; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:44). Therefore, just as Scripture plainly condemns the killing of innocent human life, along with it, we condemn the practice of abortion as the murder of unborn children (Gen. 9:5-6; Ex. 20:6).
Given the rampant nature of abortion, and the favored status of the abortion industry by our legal system, we view abortion as one of the gravest injustices of our time. There have been over 58 million abortions performed since its legalization in 1973. That number increases by about 1.3 million each year, 3,500 each day, 2 each minute. Statistics show that 1 in 3 women (30%) will have had an abortion by age 45. If an abortion is indeed the murder of an unborn child, those massive figures amount to genocide. Meanwhile, abortion is celebrated by one of our country’s two main political parties, defended by the mainstream media and tolerated by most Americans.
In response to this, disciple of Christ are called to be salt and light to a decaying and darkened culture (Matt. 5:13-16); they are to speak against evil and injustice (Micah 6:8; Eph. 5:16); and to speak up for the oppressed (Prov. 24:11-12; 31:8-9). Metro Praise International, therefore, stands against the evil of abortion and in defense of unborn children.
In light of these facts, MPI has taken the following approach to abortion:
- We will speak against abortion from our pulpits, whatever outlet we are provided, or whenever the issue is raised.
- We will teach our members that abortion is murder of unborn children.
- We will not allow those who have abortions and do not repent to call themselves brothers or sisters in our fellowship.
- We will gently restore those who have had abortions and have repented.
- We will strongly encourage our members to hold the protection of unborn life and the end to legal abortion as top priorities in all their political and social engagement, including how they vote.
- We believe in the local church taking opportunities to minister at abortion clinics.
MPI’S STANCE ON MARRIAGE, GENDER & SEXUALITY
The LGBT movement, as implied by its very name, encompasses a wide variety of sexual behaviors and preferences; most predominant in our culture are homosexuality and transgenderism. Therefore, instead of attempting to address the widening spectrum of orientations and gender identities, Metro Praise International wishes to establish some basic biblical parameters for marriage, gender and sexuality. Jesus did exactly this when he was questioned about divorce and remarriage, and based his answer on God’s design at creation:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate (Matt. 19:4-6).
The plain inference is that God that created gender, having made mankind “male and female.” Further, God created marriage, for He intended that a “man” leave his “father and mother” to “be united to his wife.”
Observe what Jesus declared about God’s design for marriage and sexuality:
- God created mankind to have only one of two genders – male or female.
- God created marriage, and thus has the right to define marriage.
- God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman.
- Marriage is a rite reserved for adults for a man must leave his parent’s home before he finds a wife.
Jesus, by appealing to God’s design in creation, ruled out any type of marriage arrangement, except for a monogamous union between one man and one woman. It also rules any type of gender identity except for the God-given gender each person receives at birth.
In light of these facts, MPI has taken the following approach to the LGBT movement:
- We will speak against the LGBT lifestyle from the pulpit, whatever outlet we are provided, or whenever the issue is raised.
- We will teach our members about the biblical view of marriage and sexuality as described above.
- We will not allow those who continue in sexual perversion and do not repent to call themselves brothers or sisters within our fellowship.
- We will gently restore who have come out of the LGBT lifestyle and have repented.
- We will strongly encourage our members to hold the preservation of marriage and family as top priorities in all their political and social engagement, including how they vote.
(For more info and sermon click here).
MPI’S STANCE ON SUICIDE
We at MPI Church stand on the Scriptures, and with the historic church (from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas to John Wesley) by maintaining that suicide is the sin of self-murder. Further, we believe that it is a damnable sin; that is to say, no one who commits suicide, not even a professing believer, should be assured of their salvation. Suicide, which is an act of the will, often stems from deep despair, unbelief and bitterness. The one who takes their own life demonstrates disbelief in the goodness and power of God to deliver them from their troubles both within and without.
Suicide is Self Murder
It is commonly held among Christians that murder, i.e. the taking of an innocent life, is a sin, as seen in the Scriptures below. Consider how this applies to self-murder, as it taking one’s own life, which is not theirs to take, for it is God who gives life, and God who takes life:
- Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.”
- Revelation 21:7-8, “7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
- Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
- Proverbs 8:35-36, “35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. 36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”
- Romans 1:29-32, “29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (see Suicide notes for evidence of these things)
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
- Matthew 5:29-30, “29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
- Both Judas (John 13:27 & Matthew 27:5) and Saul (1 Samuel 16:14 & 31:4)- who murdered themselves- are looked at as being cursed by God; under the influence of the devil.
Suicide is a Damnable Act
Believers and unbelievers need to be warned that suicide will lead them to hell. We are not to deceive people with the false assurance that they can willfully sin and presume upon the grace of God. Whether it is fornication or witchcraft, or self-murder and the accompanying sinful attitudes and behaviors, a pattern of unrepentant sin is evidence of a darkened reprobate heart. The Bible is full of such warnings:
- Galatians 5:19-21,“19 The acts of the flesh are obvious… idolatry… hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition… and envy… and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
- Hebrews 10:26-31,“26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Hope and Counsel for the Suicidal
Though we do not believe suicide is a disease (and those who commit it are innocent victims of something beyond their control), and we warn of divine judgment for those who commit the act, our policy is to reach out compassionately to those struggling with depression, anxiety and other risk factors for suicide. Our earnest desire is for them to experience God’s grace and power and find new hope for their lives.
We offer pastoral counseling and will provide references to professional Christian counselors as needed. (Note: For we are in the support of good mental health professionals and mental health science). If you are contemplating suicide, please reach out and have an open mind to the following biblical counsel. See also some recommended reading from a Christian / clinical perspective on how to restore the disordered mind:
- Be born again, get filled with the Holy Ghost, and live as an obedient disciple of Jesus (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
- Daily pray and speak the Word of God over your life (Psalm 119:9-16).
- Follow God’s plan for your thoughts (Philippians 4:4-9).
- Ask for help and receive instruction when needed (Proverbs 12:1).
- Two encouraging passages:
- Luke 4:18-19 (KJV),“18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
- John 10:10,“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”