6.01 Through Jesus Christ, God frees persons from the shackles, oppression, and shame of sin and sinful forces, from the guilt and penal consequences of sin, and enables them to have free access to God. This freedom, rooted in love, not fear, enables persons to become who God intends them to be, to bear witness to their Lord, and to serve God and neighbors in the vocations of their common life.
6.02 While God alone is Lord of the conscience and in matters of faith and worship God frees believers from the opinions and commandments of others that are contrary to his word, this does not preclude their need for the instruction and discipline of the church.
6.03 Believers who, under the pretext of Christian freedom practice sin, thereby violate the nature and purpose of Christian freedom. Believers are free to love and serve the Lord rather than evil.
6.04 Believers who, under the pretext of Christian freedom, defy the proper exercise of just and lawful authority, either civil or ecclesiastical, are subject to the discipline of the church.
6.05 Christians owe ultimate allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord, and must never yield that ultimate allegiance to any government or nation, and should in Christian conscience oppose any form of injustice.
6.06 Believers are saved by grace through faith which produces the desire to do the good works for which God creates persons in Christ Jesus.
6.07 Good works are done in thankful response to the gift of God's grace. God graciously accepts the works of believers despite their many weaknesses and imperfect motives.
6.08 Good works are the result of and not the means of salvation.
6.09 Good works encompass not only those deeds of service and mercy exemplified by Christ, but also those ethical and moral choices that reflect Christian values and principles in all of life's relationships.
6.10 Christian stewardship acknowledges that all of life and creation is a trust from God, to be used for God's glory and service. It includes the conservation and responsible use of natural resources as well as the creative use of human skills and energies. These gifts of God are to be shared with all, especially with the poor.
6.11 The motive for Christian stewardship is gratitude for God's abundant love and mercy, accompanied by the desire to share all of God's good gifts with others.
6.12 God gives to the human family a variety of gifts, including gifts to each person for which each person has responsibility. God desires that each person engage in the mutual sharing of these gifts so that all may be enriched.
6.13 Proportionate and regular giving of all that God entrusts to the human family is an act of devotion and a means of grace. Giving to and through the church is the privilege of every believer. Tithing as a scriptural guide for giving, is an adventure of faith and a rich and rewarding practice. The tither not only experiences the grace of God but even the grace of sharing.
6.14 All believers are responsible to God and to the covenant community for their stewardship.
Marriage and the Family
6.15 God created the family as the primary community in which persons experience love, companionship, support, protection, discipline, encouragement, and other blessings. It is the normal relationship into which children are born.
6.16 The church recognizes and ministers to people living in a variety of family patterns, including those persons who by choice or circumstances are single. It seeks to embrace each person and all groups of persons within the family life of the covenant community.
6.17 Marriage is between a man and a woman for the mutual benefit of each, their children, and society. While marriage is subject to the appropriate civil law, it is primarily a covenant relationship under God. As such, it symbolizes the relationship of Jesus Christ and the church, and is that human relationship in which love and trust are best known.
6.18 As a covenant relationship under God, marriage is a lifetime commitment, and should not be taken lightly.
6.19 Because marriage is primarily a covenant relationship under God, between a man and a woman, it is morally wrong and unlawful for any person to have more than one living marriage partner.
6.20 When human weakness and sin threaten a marriage relationship, the covenant community has responsibility to uphold the sanctity of marriage and to help partners strengthen their relationship. If a marriage is dissolved by divorce, the covenant community is responsible to minister to the victims, including any children of the marriage, and to counsel divorced persons who are considering remarriage.
6.21 The church has responsibility to help persons prepare for marriage, for parental responsibilities, and for family life under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
6.22 The church has responsibility to minister to the needs of persons in every crisis, including physical and emotional illness, economic distress, natural disasters, accidents due to carelessness, and death.
The Lord's Day
6.23 The Creator has given one day in seven for special reflection on God's nature and deeds. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the seventh day of the week, known as the sabbath, was the Lord's Day. Subsequent to Christ's resurrection, Christians celebrate the first day of the week as the Lord's Day.
6.24 Appropriate activities on the Lord's Day include worship, study, doing good works, and other activities leading to renewal. The proper observance of the Lord's Day enriches the quality of life for all other days.
Lawful Oaths and Vows
6.25 Christians should bind themselves by oath or pledge only to those good and just promises they are reasonably able to perform.
6.26 A vow is similar to an oath and should be made with care, performed with faithfulness, and honored with integrity. Persons should vow to do only that which is consistent with the scriptures.
6.27 The purpose of civil government is to enable God's creation to live under the principles of justice and order. As it faithfully upholds the welfare of God's creation, civil government lies within the purpose of God and functions as a useful instrument to enable people to live in harmony and peace.
6.28 It is the duty of people to participate in civil government in such ways as are open to them, especially in exercising the right to vote. It is the duty of Christians to enter civil offices for which they are qualified and for the purpose of working for justice, peace, and the common welfare.
6.29 Civil government and persons elected to civil office may not assume control over or administration of the church in matters of faith or practice. Yet their duty is to protect the religious freedom of all persons and to guard the right of religious bodies to assemble without interference.
6.30 The covenant community, governed by the Lord Christ, opposes, resists, and seeks to change all circumstances of oppression--political, economic, cultural, racial--by which persons are denied the essential dignity God intends for them in the work of creation.
6.31 The covenant community affirms the lordship of Christ who sought out the poor, the oppressed, the sick, and the helpless. In her corporate life and through her individual members, the church is an advocate for all victims of violence and all those whom the law or society treats as less than persons for whom Christ died. Such advocacy involves not only opposition to all unjust laws and forms of injustice but even more support for those attitudes and actions which embody the way of Christ, which is to overcome evil with good.
6.32 God gives the message and ministry of reconciliation to the church. The church, corporately and through her individual members, seeks to promote reconciliation, love, and justice among all persons, classes, races, and nations.