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Statement of Faith

To clearly set forth the principles of faith upon which East Texas Christian Academy (ETCA) is founded and to which it holds, in order to cultivate an academic culture where children are influenced by people who are united under a common set of Christ-centered beliefs and values.

ETCA exists to serve families and students by delivering a quality education that is centered on Christ.  ETCA strives to reinforce the foundation of teaching established in the home and church by honoring the greatest commandment – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30).  Holding to this standard of excellence, the core values we embrace are humility, joy, wisdom, and discipline.  Our vision is that every person engaged with ETCA is awakened to serve God’s eternal kingdom with a humbled heart, a joyful soul, a wise mind, and with disciplined strength.  With God’s blessing, we can transform lives by developing people to live, lead, and love like Jesus as we work to cultivate these values in the student body and faculty of this institution, both in academic and extracurricular pursuits.  Our mission is to inspire students to think, learn, and discover their God-given potential.  We believe that each student can become a literate, articulate, critical-thinking, self-disciplined and productive individual, to the glory of God.

ETCA is a place where biblical values guide our thoughts, speech, and behaviors.  We expect our faculty and staff to model Christ and engage with students and parents to make a positive difference in their lives.  ETCA works in partnership with families to give honor and glory to God through Jesus Christ by educating students in a loving and nurturing environment that promotes intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual development.  ETCA endeavors to equip every student with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the biblical principles necessary to achieve their full potential.  This knowledge is obtained through daily Bible study and integration of Christian values into classroom instruction, athletic programs, and extra-curricular activities.  
We passionately believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and absolute truth, that the Holy Spirit dwells in each believer, that Jesus Christ is God's only Son who died and was resurrected for the sins of all people, that faith in Jesus holds the only promise for eternal life with God, and that abundant joy is found in following His teachings.  ETCA, established and administered by members of the churches of Christ, centers its entire program on the following beliefs. 

Guided by Scripture

The Holy Bible speaks the very words of God directly to us, as passed down through men inspired by God's Spirit, and it is the complete and final authority for our faith and worship.  This scripture conveys the principles by which God judges our thoughts and behavior.  It reveals the prophecies that point to Jesus Christ as Messiah – the complete fulfillment of all of God's promises to save His people.  From Genesis to Revelation, its divine truth shows us God's plan of salvation which He makes possible for all who accept and follow Christ. 
[Galatians 1:6-8; II Corinthians 1:20; Colossians 1:19-20; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18-19]

Devoted to God

There is only one true and living God.  He was present before He created the world, is living and active now, and will always be.  God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, having an undivided character and yet distinctly defined roles:  God the Father reigns supreme over all the universe, both physical and spiritual.  He is unchanging and blesses those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ.  God the Son is the Word who was with God in the beginning and through which all creation was made. Because of God's incredible love, this Word was sent to save us – miraculously conceived in a virgin by the Holy Spirit and born into the world as a real person, Jesus.  Jesus lived a perfect life without sin, was put to death as the only perfect sacrifice worthy to redeem us of our sins, was raised back to life by God the Father, has ascended into heaven, and is forever highly exalted by God.  God the Holy Spirit is fully divine and completely aligned with the heart of God to magnify Christ, speak through Bible Scripture, convict our consciences of sin, and enlighten the followers of Christ with His indwelling presence in our lives. 
[Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23; John 1:1-3; John 5:19; John 14:16-17; Romans 5:6-10; I Corinthians 8:6: Ephesians 4:4-10; Hebrews 4:14-16; I Peter 3:21-22; I John 5:6]
  
Saved by grace

We believe that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.  However, we have Good News of great joy:  a Savior is born!   We can repent of our sins, return to God, put our faith in Christ and live renewed lives through the healing He offers.  Salvation is made possible when we encounter the truth of God's Word and allow it to transform our lives – in both thought and action.  Faith that leads to obedience is rewarded by God.  Jesus Christ teaches that He is the only path to eternal life and accepting His power to free us from our sins is the only true hope we have.  God blesses those who seek forgiveness of sin, repent, and follow Christ with all their heart, mind, and soul.  However, we are unable to save ourselves no matter how hard we may try.  It is His grace alone that saves us.  
[II Chronicles 7:12-14; Isaiah 7:14; John 14:6; Acts 15:8-11; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:4-13; I Corinthians 6:9-11: II Corinthians 7:10; James 5:16; I John 3:6-10]   

Washed in the blood of Christ

Because of His great love for people, God offered Jesus as the only perfect sacrifice worthy to redeem us of our sins.  When we are baptized into Christ, we are crucified with Him, raised to life with Him, cleansed by His blood, and freed from death.  Baptism evidences our faith and trust in Jesus.  In the same way that Jesus was immersed in the Jordan River to fulfill all righteousness, He also taught His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We show a good conscience and unconditional commitment to God by obeying this command. 
[Matthew 3:16; Matthew 26:28; Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 3:21-22; John 3:13-17; Acts 2:37-38; Romans 6:5-10; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 9:11-15: I Peter 1:18-19; I Peter 3:21; I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5]
 
Answered by prayer

Jesus taught his disciples how to pray simply and effectively.  He also has given us the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf.  Just as Jesus led a prayerful life, we also are commanded to pray on all occasions.  Prayer gives us access to God's throne; it is the conduit established by God for us to communicate with Him.  We have confidence to approach God because of the cleansing power of Jesus.  God hears our prayers, answers our pleas, and transforms us to become like Christ through our submission to Him. 
[Mark 1:35; Luke 11:1-4; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 10:19; James 4:7; James 5:16; I Peter 5:7]
 
Uplifted in worship

As members of the Body of Christ, in relationship with each other, we are honored to submit to God, praising and exalting Him for His mighty deeds, His great love, and the amazing blessings He pours out on us in this life and on into eternity.  Christ is both the founder and foundation of the church.  He established His church on earth and gave instructions on its organization and practice to His apostles directly and through the Holy Spirit.  Every person who joins His church must confess faith in Christ as the Son of God.  After Christ ascended into heaven, His followers regularly came together on the first day of the week to hear the Good News preached, and since that time, it has been in existence as one church.  We are privileged to worship God in fellowship with other believers and we are also commanded to meet together with followers of Christ, just as the early disciples met on the first day of the week.  
[Psalm 95:6; Matthew 16:18; Luke 24:46-47; John 4:21-24; Acts 2; Acts 8:37; I Corinthians 3:11; I Corinthians 10:16; Ephesians 4:4-6; Philippians 2:9-11; I Timothy 3:15; I Peter 2:5-6]
 
Structured in family
 
God has ordained the family as the basic foundation for human society.  God intends for marriage to be a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman, although He also cares deeply for families who experience the pain, loss, and hardship of broken relationships.  A husband is called to sacrificial love for his wife just as Christ loved the church, and he is called to protect, lead, and provide for his family.  A wife is called to respect her husband, work in alliance with him, and submit herself graciously to his servant leadership just as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.  The husband and wife are of equal worth before God since both are created in God's image and His plan for marriage is best exemplified by a strong partnership between man and wife living in submission to Christ and to one another.  Ideally, their effective teamwork will nurture and strengthen the next generation of children, who from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.  
[Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:18-25, Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:46; Mark 10:2-12; Mark 10:6-9, Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:26-27]
 
Humbled by service

God made people as the very special and crowning work of His creation.  People bear the image of God and are loved by Him.  It is our privilege to love people as God loves us by demonstrating care and compassion and putting the needs of other people above our own.  A positive attitude, grace, and truth should prevail as we interact with others, and proper respect should be shown for every person.  Although we may not always agree with people, we can treat one another with honor and dignity on all occasions, while striving to follow the Bible’s instruction to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  We are thus privileged to be the hands and feet of Jesus, working in this world for Him. 
[Genesis 1:26-31; Mark 10:45; Mark 12:28-31; Philippians 2:4; I John 3:23]

Destined for eternity
 
Every person's soul is precious, equal in the sight of God, and made in His likeness; therefore, every person is intended for eternal life in Christ.  God promises an eternal home in heaven to those who faithfully trust in Jesus Christ.  Jesus completely conquered death and through faith in Him, we also have this power.  In the "twinkling of an eye," followers of Christ will be resurrected to be like Him.  By His sacrifice for our sins, Christ has made a way for us to share in His inheritance as children of God.  When we confess His Name in this life, He will acknowledge us in the presence of God where He has prepared a special place for us. 
[Psalm 23:6; Matthew 10:32-33; Matthew 25:45-46; Mark 8:34-38; John 3:16; John 5:19-30; John 14:1-4; Romans 8:9-16; Corinthians 15:42-53; Ephesians 1:12-14; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 1:4-7]