Mission / Vision Statement
The Mission of Vertical Church Pincher Creek is to give everyone an opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus and to grow together in Him.
We do this by Loving Jesus, Loving each other, Loving our neighbours.
The focus of the ministry at Vertical Church Pincher Creek is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) in the spirit of the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37–39). This is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made. God is glorified as we manifest His presence in doing so (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
Our obedience to the Lord's command is revealed in our lives as we worship Christ, walk with Him, and work for Him.
We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church. It's not about one or a small number of pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. It's about all disciples using their God-given spiritual gifts to provide mutual ministry in the context of the vibrant and strong local church. Ephesians 4:11-12
Vertical Church Pincher Creek offers an array of opportunities for every disciple to grow in relationship to Jesus Christ and connect with others. These opportunities include dynamic weekend worship services and church-wide special events as well as a variety of adult, high school, junior high school and children's ministries involving classes, Small Groups and fellowshipping activities.
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).
We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18; John 14:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:16).
We believe in the total deity of the Holy Spirit and that His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14).
The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner upon belief in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts and empowers the believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:13; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of God’s righteousness and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11).
While we believe that the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, they indicate that use of the gifts vary according to the need that each gift meets. Vertical Church Pincher Creek does encourage that all things be done decently and in order as to glorify only the Lord (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 12:11-13, 12:19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in their original writings. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s complete and sufficient revelation and therefore carry God’s authority for the total well-being of mankind (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16).
We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker but, by voluntarily transgressing, fell from his sinless and happy state. Consequently, all mankind is sinful. All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man and every woman is totally depraved and needs a Saviour (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, Romans 1:32; Romans 5:1-2).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that each person who by faith receives Him as personal Saviour is justified on the basis of Jesus Christ’s shed blood on Calvary. Each person who receives Christ as personal Saviour is born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby becomes eternally secure as a child of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation and that there is no second baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We believe in the resurrection of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26).
Heaven, Hell and the Return of Christ
We believe in the “blessed hope”: the personal, pre-millennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
We believe in the existence of Satan as the originator of sin and the arch-enemy of God. As a spirit being, he leads his demonic forces in continual attack upon the people and purposes of God. (1 Peter 5:8)
Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the church. There is one church universal, composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church – under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
Two Church Offices
The biblical teaching on the subject of two church offices is found in (I Timothy 3:1-16) and (Titus 1:5-9). Though there are three terms used for the offices of the church, i.e. bishop, elder, and deacon, a careful analysis of these terms indicates that bishop and elder are used interchangeably, with the bishop simply being the 'ruling' or leading elder. The pastors of the church have the spiritual authority of the elders. However, with the exception of the Senior Pastor, they will serve on the board only as needed and at the request of the elders. We believe that although the Bible does not explicitly command an elder run church, that it does show us a pattern of this as described in the scriptures above.
When the need arises for additional elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for elders, no specific fixed term of office is recommended. Instead, each elder, upon appointment, shall be asked for a three year commitment. At the end of three years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow elders. During the review, both the individual and the other elders shall evaluate his continued service as an elder, again considering the biblical qualifications, as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual's service as an elder may be discontinued by his own decisions or by a consensus decision of the other elders. A person leaving the Board of Elders would not preclude his service as a future elder, subject to the regular selection process.
The Scriptures are clear that the elder's responsibility is the spiritual oversight of the congregation. The elder's responsibility can be broken down into three main areas:
- Ensuring that the doctrine of the church remains purely biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
- Ensuring that the direction of the church remains consistent with our statement of purpose and the four pillars statement as outlined in the Constitution.
- Administering in love and humility the biblical process of church discipline as outlined in (Matthew 18:15-20) and (Galatians 6:1-4). All decisions affecting the overall doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church will be the responsibility of the Board of Elders.
- Ensuring that the voice of the congregation never goes unheard and that all matters pertaining to that of the body of Christ will be honored and listened to.
All elders will have equal authority and responsibility. The Senior Pastor will work in cooperation with the Elder Board Chairman to ensure healthy ministry development and strong accountability. Agenda items for the elder meetings must be submitted to the Elder Board Chairman prior to the elders' meeting. An elders' meeting may not be held without a majority of the elders present and the entirety of the elders informed. The Elder Board Chairman will be selected by consensus decision of the Board of Elders with no fixed term and may not be one of the pastors. The Elder Board will consist of the Chairman, the Senior Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons Board and additional elders, who will assume responsibility as agreeable and necessary.
Qualifications (Titus 1:6-9)
- Above reproach
- Able to teach
- Husband to one wife
- Not addicted to wine
- Not antagonistic
- Free from the love of money
- Manage own household
- Not a new convert
All members of the pastoral staff will be chosen by the Board of Elders. The Senior Pastor will automatically be a member of the Board of Elders. The elders may nominate additional member(s) of the pastoral staff to serve on the Board of Elders.
All pastoral staff members will serve for an indefinite period of time. The Senior Pastor is responsible and accountable in the performance of his duties to the Board of Elders. All other staff members are responsible to the Board of Elders through the Senior Pastor. A staff member may only be dismissed by a consensus decision of the Board of Elders.
The responsibility of the Senior Pastor will be to faithfully preach God's Word and model the priority of discipleship within the church. He will give oversight and direction to all ministry staff and work with the Board of Elders in carrying out the overall vision of Vertical Church Pincher Creek.
The qualifications are equivalent to the biblical qualifications of an elder.
Additional Pastoral Staff
Ministry descriptions for the remaining pastoral staff will be established by the Board of Elders in keeping with the giftedness of the individual and agreed upon at the time of hiring.
The office of deacon is one that exists biblically to give leadership to the serving functions of the church (Acts 6). The qualification for deacons are the same as elder in the area of character, but different in aptitude. The elders are to be "apt to teach" while the deacons are to be "able and proved as servants".
When the need arises for additional deacons, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. Following an independent interview to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified, the congregation will be reminded of the biblical requirements for deacons and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for deacons, no specific term of office is recommended. Instead, each deacon, upon appointment, shall be asked for a two year commitment. At the end of two years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow deacons.
During the review, both the individual and the other deacons, shall evaluate his continued service as a deacon, again considering the biblical qualifications as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual's service as a deacon may be discontinued by his own decision or by the consensus decision of the Deacons Board. Upon their request the elders will have the opportunity to participate in the review process.
A person leaving the Board of Deacons would not preclude his service as a future deacon, subject to the regular selection process.
Deacons shall serve a term of two years and be eligible for additional terms upon nomination of the Board of Elders. A deacon may only be dismissed by a consensus decision of the Board of Elders.
The Board of Deacons will be responsible for the oversight of all financial, benevolent, ordinance, and facility operations of the church.
The Board of Deacons shall consist of a chairman, who shall be a member of the Board of Elders. The church treasurer will be the deacon in charge of finances. The remainder of the deacons will assume responsibilities as agreeable and as needed.
Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-12)
- Individual of dignity
- Above reproach
- Not double tongued
- First tested as servants
- Not addicted to wine
- Spouses must be faithful
- Dignified Temperate
- Not fond of sordid gain
- Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
- Husband of one wife
- Manages household well
The Church Secretary will be any member of the church with the qualities of faithfulness, spiritual maturity, and a reputation for keeping confidences. The Church Secretary will attend board meetings and business meetings of the church and record the minutes of these meetings. The minutes will then be formally prepared by the Church Secretary and distributed to the appropriate people one week before their next meeting. Corporate offices, as required by law, will be subject to church offices as outlined by this Constitution. The Church Secretary will be chosen by the Board of Elders with no fixed term.
At the discretion of the Board of Elders, a Full Board meeting may be called. The Full Board consists of the three divisions of church leadership: the pastoral staff which is responsible for the day to day operation of the church; the deacons who direct the financial, benevolent, ordinance, and facility operations of the church; and the elders, who oversee the doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church. The Elders may also include, when needed, small group coaches and/or leaders or other key ministry leaders who are not on staff in a Full Board meeting. All are to be under the authority of, and in submission to, the Board of Elders.
ASSIMILATION AND CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
We believe in the importance of serving the body of Christ by offering clear paths for people to start and develop healthy and growing relationships with others in the church body. We value an intentional plan to help every interested person enjoy godly relationships in the church. Church membership is a by-product of people who are growing in Christ and who grasp the importance of serving the Lord by using their gifts to serve others in the local church.
The New Testament clearly indicates that groups of people who were followers of the Lord Jesus Christ identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body.
In order to implement the principles of accountability and commitment to the local body of Christ, as defined in the New Testament and practiced in the early churches, Vertical Church Pincher Creek recognizes the need for formal membership. Membership at Vertical Church Pincher Creek is for all who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and have visibly demonstrated that commitment through believer's baptism.
The effectiveness of our joining together will be determined by the level of the commitment we make. In a society where so few make commitments and fewer still keep them, Vertical Church Pincher Creek is seeking a group of people who are determined to know the joy Christ intended for His body, the church. To this end members of Vertical Church Pincher Creek must be willing to live in submission to our doctrinal statement. Further they must be willing to abide by the entire membership commitment:
- I have, by faith, become a follower of Jesus Christ and I have been baptized as a visible way of demonstrating that commitment.
- I am committed to worship Christ. As part of my worship-lifestyle, attending Sunday services at Vertical Church Pincher Creek is a high priority for me. Further, I am financially supporting the ministry of our church by giving back to the Lord a biblical portion of my increase.
- I am continuing to walk with Christ and in fellowship with other Christ-followers through regular and personal study of the Bible, prayer, personal witness, involvement in a small group and by avoiding criticism of others and always seeking to Biblically resolve any conflict.
- I am at work for Christ and have found my place of service at Vertical Church Pincher Creek. I am committed to fruitful ministry by using my spiritual gifts for God’s glory.
While the term of membership continues as long as the believer desires fellowship with Vertical Church Pincher Creek, the membership commitment will be renewed at a service designated for that purpose. The purpose of this renewal is to ensure that the believer's commitment to one another and to the ministry God has called us to is a genuine and continuing one.
Procedure for Membership
- Attend the Vertical Training classes. This class is a clear and concise overview of who Christ is, how one becomes a Christian, and how to be meaningfully connected to the church.
- Upon completion of the class any person professing personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour who has expressed that commitment visibly by being baptized, or are willing to be baptized at the next available service, should indicate their desire for membership on the membership application form and submitted to the church office for further review and a follow up interview.
- Your name will be placed in the bulletin or posted at the church for a period of two weeks. During this period members will be encouraged to clear up any relational or other difficulties which could hinder your ministry among us. This is done in the spirit of Matthew 18:15-17
- At the end of the two week period those who remain as candidates will be welcomed into membership.
BAPTISM AND COMMUNION
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin by accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when a person becomes a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder—through the bread and the juice—of the Savior’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16) and are infallible in their instruction (2 Peter 1:19), eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25); the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:16).
We believe that the very words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore, we believe that the Bible versions which translate God’s Word most literally into modern English should be preferred.
CREATION, EVOLUTION AND GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
We believe God created the universe in six 24-hour days and that, before He created the universe, nothing except God existed (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16).
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom and supreme authority. (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11). We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures.
We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life. (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Acts 25:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).
SALVATION AND SECURITY
It is God’s divine decision to save a person (John 6:37; John 6:44; John 6:65; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:11-18; Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3) and it is God’s kindness, forbearance and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Bible also teaches that each person is responsible to embrace or reject Jesus as Savior and Lord and that God welcomes all who come to Him by faith apart from works (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 15:7; Luke 20:9-18; John 6:37; John 7:37; Romans 10:9-13; Acts 16:30-34; Acts 17:30.) Both of these two truths—God’s sovereignty in salvation and man’s decision to embrace Christ—are taught in the Scriptures. Their co-existence is a mystery and is completely understood only in the mind of our omniscient God.
All glory for the salvation of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25).
Those who are born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (Matthew 13:13; John 15:4-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 9). God is faithful to His people, and empowers them to persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19-20).
We believe that everyone who is born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ is assured of salvation from the moment of conversion (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance relies on God’s decisive and faithful grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation, but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), and His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14) and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16:30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION AND MATURITY
Mature disciples walk with Christ, worship Christ and work for Christ. A person committed to a relationship with Christ focuses on a personal walk with Him, worship of Him and work for Him. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28).
We are committed to multiplying the characteristics of Christ within the church, in order to keep emphasis off the human leaders and soundly on the work of God through His word in every believer in Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:2). This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church.
We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12).
The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind and might (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 22:37). All believing men, women and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence.
Worship glorifies God through adoration (Psalm 95:6), praise (Psalm 99:5), prayer (Daniel 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Nehemiah 12:46) and a complete yielding to Him (Romans 12:1). Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage and celebrates Him in a life of devotion.
We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12).
Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:
- Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (John 4:22-26; John 12:32; John 14:6);
- Lead God’s people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks in music and lyric (Nehemiah 12:45-46; Psalm 66:1-4; Psalm 95:1-2);
- Prepare hearts to hear the Lord speak through the proclamation of Scripture (Psalm 95:6-9; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42);
- Emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith (Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalm 33:3; Isaiah 46:8-9; Matthew 13:32, Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9);
- Pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Exodus 12; Deuteronomy 17:1; Psalm 33:3, 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Hebrews 11:4).
WOMEN IN MINISTRY
Vertical Church Pincher Creek affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.
Satan and his demonic servants viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12). God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 John 4:4; Revelation 20:1-10).
Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus’ name for protection against demonic activity, the Scriptures do not instruct the Christian to “bind Satan in Jesus’ name.” Rather, the Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by:
- humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10);
- resisting his temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9);
- rightly applying the truth of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:24-27);
- forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11);
- putting on the armor of God’s truth, righteousness, readiness to share the gospel, faith, salvation and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-20);
- demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord by enduring trials (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 3:9-10)
- also by casting out demons in the name of Jesus
The Lord changes lives and accomplishes His purposes directly through reading and applying the Scriptures, meditating on the truths of the Scriptures and prayer. The Lord also uses those who minister His Word as they encourage, exhort, admonish, edify, implore, reprove, rebuke, console and support others toward godliness.
There are occasions when a medical doctor may diagnose a physical problem that manifests itself in attitudinal, behavioral or emotional struggles. In those occasions, the use of medications may be appropriate. However, when psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behavior and seek to explain the causes of that behavior, they enter spiritual territory. Only the omniscient God can explain such causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life.
God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:5-11). Each Christian’s passion should be to become more like Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2) and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord will the entire heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38). The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2).
The Lord’s church is a community of faith—a living body with Jesus Christ at the head (Colossians 1:17-18)—that influences, supports and helps bring men, women and children into healthy relationships with the Lord and with others of the church. A healthy church body applies biblical principles to relationships at all levels, i.e. the overall church context, ministries within the church, families within the church and individuals within the church. God-honoring application of biblical principles throughout the church leads to healthier relationships at all levels (Ephesians 4:14-16; Hebrews 12:12-13). This application also helps ensure the integrity of the church’s corporate and individual witness to a watching world (1 Peter 2:12).