A. Universal Church We believe that the church as an organism (the universal church) includes all regenerate believers gathered out of the world between Pentecost and the imminent, pre-tribulation Rapture of the church (Mt. 16:18; Acts 2:47; 1 Thess. 4:16-17), while as an organization (local body) it includes believers united for the service of Christ in any given assembly. We believe that the one true church is the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus (Eph. 4:4) into which all true believers of the present age are baptized immediately by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12-13 with 1:2).
B. Local Church We believe that the local, visible church is an institution of divine appointment and is composed of professed, baptized believers in Christ; voluntarily joined together and meeting at stated times to worship, to fellowship, to proclaim the Gospel, to disciple new believers, to observe the ordinances (believer’s water baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and when necessary to administer and accept discipline (Heb. 10:25; Acts 2:41-47; Mt. 28:20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Mt. 18:17).