called by Scripture and drawn by grace to worship God and to love Him with our
whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. To this
end we commit ourselves fully and completely to God, believing that we can be
"sanctified wholly," as a second crisis experience. We believe that the Holy
Spirit convicts, cleanses, fills and empowers us as the grace of God transforms
us day by day into a people of love and spiritual discipline, ethical and moral
purity, and compassion and justice. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that
restores us in the image of God and produces in us the character of Christ.
Holiness in the life of be-lievers is most clearly understood as Christlikeness.
in God the Father, the Creator, who calls into being what does not exist. We
once were not, but God called us into being, made us for himself, and fashioned
us in His own image. We have been commissioned to bear the image of God: "I am
the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy"
to be a Holiness people is rooted in the holi-ness of God himself. The holiness
of God refers to His Deity His utter singularity of being. There is none like
Him in majesty and glory The appropriate human response in the presence of such
a glorious being is worship of God as God. God's holiness is expressed in His
gracious redemptive acts. Encounter with the God who reveals and gives himself
makes worship possible, and worship becomes the primary way of knowing Him. We
worship the holy redeeming God by loving what He loves.
worship of the great and gracious God takes many forms. Often it is praise and
prayer with the faith community. It also expresses itself in acts of private
devotion, thanksgiving and praise, and obedience. Evangelistic sharing of the
faith, compassion toward our neighbor, working for justice, and moral
uprightness are all acts of worship before our God of blazing holiness. Even the
ordinary tasks of life become acts of worship and take on a sacramental
significance as worship of a holy God becomes our way of life.
Christ revealed the one holy God to us and modeled worshipful holy living for
us. Jesus informs our understanding of holiness through His life, sacrifice, and
teachings as found in the Gospels, particularly the Sermon on the Mount. As a
Holiness people we seek to be like Jesus in every atti-tude and action. By His
grace God enables believers who worship Him with their whole hearts to live
Christlike lives. This we understand to be the essence of holiness.
also given us the gift and responsibility of choice. Because we were born with a
tendency to sin, we are inclined to choose our own way rather than God's (Isaiah
53:6). Having corrupted God's creation with our sin, we are dead in trespasses
and sins (Ephesians 2:1). If we are to live again spiritually God, who calls
into being what does not exist, must graciously create us anew through the
redemp-tive acts of His own Son.
that God uniquely entered our world through the incarnation of His only Son,
Jesus of Nazareth, the his-torical God-man. Jesus came to renew the image of God
in us, enabling us to become holy people. We believe that holiness in the life
of the believer is the result of both a crisis ex-perience and a lifelong
process. Following regeneration, the Spirit of our Lord draws us by grace to the
full consecration of our lives to Him. Then, in the divine act of entire
sanctification, also called the baptism with the Holy Spirit, He cleanses us
from original sin and indwells us with His holy presence. He perfects us in
love, enables us to live in moral uprightness, and empowers us to serve! The
Spirit of Jesus works within us to reproduce in us His own character of holy
love. He enables us to "put on the new self, created to be like God in true
righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). To be like God is to be like
Je-sus. Having had the divine image restored in us in God's act of entire
sanctification, we acknowledge that we have not yet arrived spiritually; our
lifelong goal is Christlikeness in every word, thought, and deed. By continued
yieldedness, obedience, and faith, we believe that we are "being transformed in
his [Christ's] likeness with ever-increasing glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18). We
participate further in this process as we live a life of worship expressed in
many ways, including embracing the spiritual disciplines and the fellowship and
accountability of the local church. As a Body of Believers in a specific
congregation, we endeavor to be a Christlike community, worshiping God with our
whole hearts and re-ceiving His gifts of love, purity power, and compassion.
Holiness people we do not exist in a historical and ecclesiastical vacuum. We
identify with the New Testament and the Early Church. Our articles of faith
clearly place us in the tradition of classical Christianity We identify with the
Arminian tradition of free grace (Jesus died for all) and human freedom--the
God-given capacity of all to choose God and salvation. We also trace our
ecclesiastical heritage to the Wesleyan Revival of the 18th century and to the
Holiness Movement of the 19th and 20th centuries.
the centuries the Holiness people have had a "magnificent obsession" with Jesus.
We worship Jesus! We love Jesus! We think Jesus! We talk Jesus! We live Jesus!
This is the essence and overflow of holiness for us. This is what characterizes