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God Himself established His Church. The word Church simply means to be called out, a gathering, an assembly of worshippers.

God has called people from all walks of life, various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and different economic levels in society. He has gathered them together for one common purpose, to worship His Holy Name. This is what a church is, a gathering of worshippers!

Jesus proclaimed that He would build His Church on the revelation of Who He, Jesus was, not on a doctrine or around a philosophy or the personality of a mortal man. He promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, His Body, His people.

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
— Matthew 16:16-18

The Church is the representation of the Body of Christ in this world in which we live, and it is the embodiment of the Word of God.

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another
— Romans 12:5
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular
— I Corinthians 12:27
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ
— I Corinthians 12:12

The Day of Pentecost saw the establishing of the New Testament Church. The Church was born in the “fire” of the Holy Ghost in the upper room after the ascension of Jesus.

Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved
— Acts 2:47

You can read about the first acts of the Early Church in the Book of Acts, Chapter two, verses 1-47.

God ordained leaders to edify His church, to feed His people, and to be an example of the Character and Nature of the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
— Ephesians 4:11-12
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood
— Acts 20:28

Since the Day of Pentecost until today, God has continued to gather people from the four corners of the earth into His Church. A Church is not a denomination. It is not centered around a “voice.” The Church is not a religious society or order. The Church is the universal Body of Christ made up of all those who are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God.

As one body we stand together to worship the Name of The LORD Jesus Christ. As one Body we stand together to proclaim to the world who He is, and to make Him known. As one body we stand against the powers of the darkness of this world to let the Light of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ shine into the heart of a world dying in sin.

The Ordinances of the Church

A.    Communion

As Christians, we should partake of Communion or as it is commonly called, The LORD's Supper. This is a time for the Believer to remember the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. We eat of the bread and drink of the wine as a picture of the broken body and the poured out Blood of Jesus Christ.

Communion is a demonstration of the believers need for the Grace of God, through Jesus Christ.  Though we do not believe that the bread and the wine actually are the Body and Blood of Jesus, we do believe that the Spirit of Christ will rest on the bread and wine and by faith we can partake of His Body and Blood at the Communion Table. Communion is also a prophecy of The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom
— Matthew 26:26-29
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God;
— Mark 14:22-25
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you
— Luke 22:15-20

The partaking of Communion should be a time of self examination and repentance for the Believer.

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged
— I Corinthians 11:23-31

B.  Foot Washing

Foot washing is symbolic of the love and humility of Jesus Christ. We should practice the actual act of foot washing firstly because the Bible instructs us to do so, and secondly because it is a demonstration of our desire to follow the example given to us by Jesus Christ Himself and how we are to show love and humility to our Brothers and Sisters in the LORD.

After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them
— John 13:5-17

Marriage

I.   Return Ministries believes in the sanctity of the marital union, between one man and one woman, as defined in the following Scriptures:

     A.   The holy institution of marriage is between one man and one woman, rooted as it is in God's creation of man and woman in His image and in the relationship between Christ and His Church (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22,23).

     B.   God created the first marriage as a sacred covenant relationship between one man and one woman for the purposes of procreation, companionship, and dominion over creation in keeping with the covenant relationship God himself established with His own creation (Genesis 2:15-24; Romans 1:16-32).

     C.    Jesus blessed a marriage celebration between a man and a woman with His presence and His first public miracle, thereby affirming the traditional definition of marriage as a cornerstone of every culture and community (John 2:1-11); and further that He advised those who are for congenital or psychological reasons unable to enter into marriage (i.e. between a man and a woman) to remain single and therefore celibate (Matthew 19:4-12).

     D.   Society historically has embraced this traditional definition of marriage, eschewing all other unions as unnatural, inappropriate, and anti-social, and has advocated the family unit of husband and wife and their children as the chief building block of society (Leviticus 18:22-30, Psalm 127: 3-5; Romans 1:16-32; I Corinthians 7:1,2; Hebrews 13:4).

II.   Return Ministries recognizes that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.  Accordingly, this Church, its pastors, staff and members will not participate in same sex unions or same sex marriages, nor shall its property or resources be used for such purpose