If you are seriously considering regular fellowship in the church, this information will be of the utmost importance to you. If any assembly of believers is to remain true to its Biblical calling to be "an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph. 2:22), it must endeavor to uphold certain Biblically-based standards. These standards are designed to promote "the unity of the faith" (Eph. 4:13), thereby insuring that the local assembly maintains its status as a Christ-honoring, Bible-believing church. This list is not intended to be a system of religious works by which one may earn salvation, nor as a curtailment to Christian liberty, but solely as a basis for unity. Since there can be no unity apart from a common consent to a Biblical Standard (Eph. 4:3-6), it will be assumed that those who are in regular attendance are both familiar with, and in voluntary conformity to the following standards. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the leadership.
1. "Ye must be born again" (Jn. 3:7). A common salvation (Jude 3) through faith in the shed blood of Jesus (Rom. 3:25) and a vibrant confession of the Lordship of Jesus (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9,10; Mk. 8:38; Rev. 12:11) is, as should be obvious, essential to fellowship in any New Testament Assembly. Moreover, this confession of Christ's Lordship must embrace both His absolute deity (Jn. 20:28; I Tim. 3:16; Isa 9:6; Heb. 1:8;), and His real humanity (I Jn. 4:1-3; Jn. 1:14; I Tim. 2:5; II Jn. 7-11). The revelation to our heart of the deity of Jesus Christ and our subsequent confession of that fact constitute the rock (solid foundation) upon which Jesus builds His church (Matt. 16:14-18).
2. "Receive ye the Holy Spirit" (Jn. 20:22). "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). We are not ashamed of the charismatic character of Sandhill Bible Church and zealously desire that we "come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." This does not mean, however, that we endorse the many weaknesses and errors that have arisen in what is popularly known as the "charismatic movement." It is our understanding that the "Baptism with the Holy Spirit"-an experience subsequent to salvation and evidenced by speaking supernaturally in another language-is part and parcel of the believer's heritage in Christ (Acts 8:14-17; 10:44-46; 19:1-7; Mk. 16:17). If you are interested in receiving the Holy Spirit, please contact the leadership.
3. "Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ..." (Acts 2:38). Water baptism by immersion (being completely submerged in water as over against sprinkling or pouring) in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is held to be a fundamental tenet of the Christian Faith. Such a statement, however, is not to be misconstrued as an endorsement of the Oneness error (which denies the Scriptural distinctions within the Godhead), nor of baptismal regeneration, which holds that one is not saved until he is water-baptized. We believe that saved people will seek to obey the Lord in water baptism, with a due understanding of the significance of the rite (Rom. 6:1-6), at the earliest opportunity (Matt.28:19,20; Mk.16:15,16; Acts 2:38; 8:12,16; 10:48; 16:33; 19:5; 22:16; Gal.3:27; Col.2:12). We do not endorse the baptism of infants, since they are not old enough to understand and believe the gospel: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." (Mk. 16:16, emphasis ours).
4. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt.16:24). In an age of "easy-believism," Sandhill Bible Church is dedicated to the faithful cross-bearing demanded by Jesus. While we are painfully aware that we have not yet attained to the goal of Christian maturity (Phil.3:12), and must ever exercise the love that covers a "multitude of sins" (I Pet.4:8), we are intent on "pressing toward the mark for the prize" of perfection in Christ (Matt. 5:48). This intention requires that we live a life consistent with the Christian faith, "following peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). We invite you to join us as we seek to "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth" (Rev.14:4).
5. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement" (I Cor.1:10). The popular idea that there can be spiritual unity where there is doctrinal diversity is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Quite to the contrary, the Word of God, as in the above cited passage, stresses that doctrinal oneness of mind-itself the product of an honest investigation of Scripture (Acts 17:11)-is absolutely essential to Biblical unity. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why there is such a recurring emphasis in Holy Scripture upon the importance of doctrinal accord (Acts 1:14; 2:1,46; 4:24,32; I Cor. 1:10; II Cor.13:11; Gal.1:6-9; Eph. 4:3-6; Phil. 1:27; 2:2). With such an array of Scriptures before us, it is obvious that God is not in sympathy with the doctrinal indifference which is so common today. If the Lord Jesus has given us all the same Spirit and the same Bible, we believe that, given a sincere and unbiased heart, we will be able to see the same things from Scripture. To believe otherwise is to reduce the Divinely intended doctrinal harmony of the church to a bewildering maze of hopeless confusion. We have no relish for such confusion at Sandhill Bible Church. We therefore assume that your regular attendance is an indication of your whole-hearted agreement with the doctrine and practice of this local assembly. On the other hand, if you have sincere questions concerning the Scripturalness of any belief or practice at the church, please contact the leadership. We will be glad to discuss with you your questions and/or concerns, as we seek to prove "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Rom.12:2). In addition, if you are currently involved in some sort of ministry, we ask that you make an appointment with the Pastor at your earliest convenience so as to insure that your ministry echoes the spiritual sentiments of the assembly.
6. "Not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Heb.10:25). It is expected that every member of the assembly be regular in attendance. Sporadic attendance is evidence of a backslidden condition. Jesus has nothing pleasant to say about the lukewarm, semi-spiritual, casual commitment that is all too characteristic of our age (Rev. 3:15-17). If we have not left our first love (Rev. 2:4), it will be reflected in our faithful attendance of all regularly scheduled meetings (allowance is of course made for vacations, childbirths, and other extenuating circumstances!). How can we honestly say that we have "forsaken all" (Luke 14:26, 33) to follow Jesus, if we place almost anything before His local assembly? Faithful disciples are individuals who fulfill in practice the beautiful portrait of fidelity we find in Acts 2:42: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." May God help us, each and everyone, to fulfill His high expectations of His people.
7. "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore..." (Rev. 1:18). In introducing you to Sandhill Bible Church, it would be inappropriate not to mention that we believe that Jesus is ALIVE! We believe that He is both able and willing to show Himself alive after His suffering by "many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3) as He works with His people, confirming the preached Word with "signs following" (Mk. 16:20). We believe that He heals the sick, in response to the simple prayer of faith (James 5:14-15), just as He did when the multitudes flocked to receive His healing touch in the days of His flesh. We believe that the same living Lord who liberated oppressed Mary from seven unclean spirits (Mk. 16:9) is still ousting demons today from the lives of His sincere disciples. In a word, we believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). We invite you to join us in seeking the risen Jesus that, by faith, we might find Him to be everything that His Word proclaims Him to be.