What We Believe

 

OUR CORE BELIEFS

We believe in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture and the entirety of the teachings of Jesus and the other writers of the Bible who were empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim and provide all that is necessary for truth, Godliness and eternal life in Christ (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3). The foundation and basis of our beliefs are found in the Bible and not in opinion or religious tradition. Our theology is derived first, foremost and directly from the Gospel of Jesus Christ along with the complete teachings of the Bible.

 

THE BIBLE

There are 66 combined books of the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. We understand that all Scripture originated with God and was revealed to human authors (2 Peter 1:21). Scripture speaks with the authority of God while simultaneously reflecting the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. We believe that the Bible contains all Holy Scripture that has been given or will be given by God to humankind (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Bible contains God’s final word on all matters of faith and practice. There are no other writings inspired by God and no other writings which man must know in order to be saved.

 

GOD

We believe that there is one true, holy God, existing eternally in three personal identities who are “separate, but one” – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). God has demonstrated his power, wisdom and love by creating the world and everything in it (Genesis 1; Colossians 1:16). Through his power and providence, God sustains his creation, always operating to fulfill His redemptive plan (Colossians 1:17).

 

JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ fully experienced human flesh by miraculous birth to the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; Galatians 4:3-4). He lived in complete obedience to God, the Father, and voluntarily paid the price for the sins of all people by dying on the cross as their substitute (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus satisfied divine justice and brought salvation to any person who will obey, trust and follow Him (Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 5:9).

 

HOLY SPIRIT

People who have become followers of Jesus are to live in holiness and obedience as they yield to the work of the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit transforms the believer in mind and lifestyle into the image of Jesus. He indwells each believer after baptism in accordance with Holy Scripture and becomes their source of assurance, strength, wisdom and gifting for the building up of the local church (Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:22-23).

 

SALVATION

The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with him. Originally created to live in relationship with God, every person left the innocence of childhood and sinned, resulting in alienation from God (Romans 3:23). The consequence of sin is separation from God and the result is eternal death (Romans 6:23). God’s grace and eternal life are available to all who will accept Jesus Christ on His terms and will live their lives in obedience to His will (Hebrews 5:9).

The salvation of humanity is dependent on God’s grace and is not the result of human work or effort (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rather, our good work and good conduct is our way of pleasing God and is the recognition and result of His grace to us (2 Corinthians 5:8-9; 1 John 4:19). Each person may receive salvation by repentance and faith in Jesus expressed through baptism in his name (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:1-7; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21). Those who faithfully follow and are obedient to Christ are promised eternal life in Him (1 John 1:7; Revelation 2:10).

 

HUMAN DESTINY

Every person is destined to experience death unless Christ makes his second coming. Every person will experience a bodily resurrection from death and God’s judgment that will determine the eternal fate of each (John 5:28-29; Hebrews 9:27). Having rejected God, unbelievers and the disobedient, will suffer eternal separation from God in hell (Matthew 13:41-42; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9). Faithful and obedient believers will be received into joyful communion with God in heaven (John 14:1-6).


THE CHURCH

All persons who have submitted their lives to the Lordship of Christ are united with him and with His body, His church. A person who submits is one who hears (understands), believes (has faith), repents (changes to please God), confesses (makes known) Jesus as the Son of God, and then is baptized by being immersed in water (Acts 2:37-38; Acts 8:26-39; Acts 16:11-15; Acts 16:25-34). God then adds them to Christ’s body, the one church (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:18). Scripture teaches many principles which can only be understood and followed when a person is a believing member of a local congregation of Christ’s church. Believers in local congregations of Christ’s church are to gather for worship, prayer, fellowship and the study of the Word (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:24-25). Believers also celebrate Baptism and Communion together. The local congregation is the place where each person’s faith is developed, their gifts used in service, and where believers work together to reach those who have not heard the message of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Led and fed by elders (shepherds or pastors), deacons, and ministers, members are to work in unity and love for the ultimate purpose of glorifying and obeying God and Jesus Christ.

 

FAITH AND PRACTICE

In all matters of faith and practice, Scripture is the final authority. In essential matters of faith, the church should be unified. In matters of personal opinion, members have freedom to follow their consciences. In all matters of belief, love and respect should be shown within the church.

 

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