We Have Liberty
- “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.” – Romans 14:1
We cannot expect everyone, even in the best possible church, to agree on every subject. Through sharing ideas we can come to a fuller understanding of what the Bible teaches. Differences of opinion need not cause division. They can be a source of learning and richness in our relationships. We are to be like-minded on essential biblical truths; on the other hand, we must have liberty on non-essential issues. We strive to maintain unity without compromising biblical truth.
In All Things
We Have Love
- “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. ” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
- ”Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15
- ”The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14
We Have Unity
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. There is only one God, but He exists eternally in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. He was born of the virgin Mary, and lived a sinless human life. He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose bodily from the dead after three days. He ascended to heaven where He is presently seated at the right hand of the throne of God from where he reigns over His kingdom. He will return again someday to take believers home to heaven with Him.
- (Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; 9:5; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:25-27; Titus 2:13).
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the God the Father and God the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of their baptism. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.
- (Acts 2:38-39; 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 3:16,6:19; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; Galatians 5:25)
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is God’s inspired and authoritative word. The human authors wrote as they were guided by the Holy Spirit. Since God’s word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living and the basis for all we believe.
Salvation is offered to us through the grace of God in the person of our Savior Jesus Christ. We initially respond to that offer of grace by accepting Christ as our Lord. In doing so we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, repent of our sins, confess faith in Him, and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins. In baptism we are united with Christ and receive His Holy Spirit. At this time we are added to His church Gods family.
- (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; John 8:24; Acts 2:38, 17:30; Luke 13:3;Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9, 10; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:22; 1 Peter 3:21; Revelation 2:10; 2 John 9)
Eternal life means a certain quality of life that God imparts to those who are His children. It begins here in this world when one comes into a transforming, saving relationship with Jesus Christ, and continues after death for all ages to come in heaven. Heaven is reserved only for those who belong to God. Those who have rejected Christ as Lord and Savior are forever separated from Christ and condemned to hell. Heaven is the place where God is described as an unbelievably wonderful place, while hell is described as a lake of fire, outer darkness, and a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Heaven and hell are real places of everlasting existence.
- (John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Rev. 21:1-7)
The Christian life is lived by faith and trust in Christ and fellowship with Him, for He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The Christian life demonstrates itself in service to God and service to fellow men of all positions in life. It is summed up in the two great commandments: Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and love your neighbors as yourself.
The Church, which is described in the Scriptures as Christ’s body, is composed of all people who have accepted Christ in faith and have surrendered their lives to Him in baptism (see Salvation). The Church, spiritually conceived, is a living organism that expresses itself through dedicated Christians under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each congregation is independent and autonomous. The local congregation is overseen by a group of men called bishops, elders, pastors, or shepherds; (these words describe their function). The church, while not identical with the kingdom of God, is a present manifestation of it.
The Kingdom of God is the rule of God and now manifests itself in the spiritual realm through believers, those who have accepted and responded to the claims of Gods kingdom through Christ. The Kingdom of God will be consummated when Christ comes again.