There is often confusion and uncertainty about the churches of Christ concerning many different topics. This is an attempt to state beliefs and understandings of some of these topics. It is not meant to try to cover all aspects of those beliefs and practices, but should help to clarify some of these areas. We must strive to be united in and founded on God's word in our approach and our actions.
From God's Word we know ... There is only one God, who is made up of three distinct personalities: 1) God the Father, who is all powerful, knows all things, and is present everywhere. He is the creator of all things. 2) Jesus the Son, who was present with the Father in the beginning, and through whom all things were created. He was born of a virgin, walked among men as a man, performed many miracles, even healing the sick and raising the dead. He was crucified on the cross and shed his blood to make provision for the forgiveness of our sins. He is risen from the grave and is now with God, the Father, in Heaven, and will return to claim those who are his own. 3) The Holy Spirit, who also was with the Father in creation, who guided the writing of the Holy Scriptures, and who now dwells in each person who has been obedient to the Father and is living according to the Spirit.
God's Word teaches ... The Bible is the inspired, complete and infallible word of God, which contains facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be enjoyed. The New Testament is the only authority in religion today. We know what God wants of His people through direct commands, approved examples, and necessary inferences in the New Testament. [2 Tim. 3:16]
God's Word points out ... That salvation is promised only to those people who believe in Jesus as the Son of God, who are sorry for past sins and turn away from them, and who are baptized through immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for remission of sins. At this point in the conversion process, God adds us to His church and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. Then we must continue to acknowledge Christ by living the Christian life according to the teachings of the New Testament. [Acts 2:1-47]
God's Word is clear ... That we cannot possibly EARN our salvation, but that we are saved by God's Grace. That Grace must be accepted, through faith, by doing the things God requires to become a Christian, and by doing the good things God expects of a Christian. [Eph. 2:5,8,9; Js.2:14-26]
God's Word tells us ... That Christians are to meet on the first day of every week (not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together), to praise God through teaching, praying, singing, giving, and partaking of the Lord's Supper. We also believe that every Christian will want to take advantage of other opportunities offered by the church to study, sing, pray, and be built up and encouraged spiritually. [Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25]
God's Word shows ... That only men are to lead in the public worship; that women are not to teach or have authority over men in such assemblies. Women may, however, exercise their gifts in many ways, such as ministry to others, teaching children, teaching other women, serving on committees, or making suggestions to church leaders. [1 Tim 2:12]
God's Word teaches ... us in the New Testament the kind of music He wants in worship to Him: singing (vocal). (There is no reference to instrumental music in church worship found in the New Testament.) Worship, while designed to edify and strengthen worshipers, ultimately is Praise to God and not subject to our preferences. [Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16]
God's Word tells us ... That Christ is the head of the church, and there is no earthly hierarchy or headquarters. Each congregation is independent, and determines it's own affairs. The elders of local congregations direct the affairs of that congregation, provide spiritual teaching, and have oversight of all the work. Deacons, preachers (ministers), teachers, and all members are to serve under the oversight of the elders. This does not preclude congregations cooperating together on a voluntary basis to accomplish tasks of interest to each of them, if they decide to do so. [Eph. 5:23; 1 Tim 5; Titus 1]
God's word instructs ... That each Christian has an individual responsibility, and must work out our own salvation (with fear and trembling). Each person is responsible for what he says, what he does, and for how he handles God's gifts to him, whether physical or spiritual. We must continually try to live the kind of life that Jesus wants us to live, and to be holy and pure, and to avoid the sins of the flesh. As members of the church, all of us have the responsibility to bring people to Jesus, build each other up, and serve others. [Phil. 2:12]
God's Word teaches ... That Christians will want to continually study and learn more about what God wants, and will try to grow closer to God day by day. [2 Peter 2:2; 3:18]
God's Word says ... That Christians are to be together in peace, to love one another, to consider how we can serve others, rather than trying to please ourselves. We consider it a privilege and a joy to be together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and ask ourselves, "how can we help others?" We look upon our work as being a "Mission Work", wherever we are, because we are on a mission for Christ. [John 13:35; Matthew 28:18-20]
What you and I "believe" or "feel"... Has no effect on the truth of God's Word. All of us must align our "beliefs" with His word and not our own "preferences".
We are not interested in winning arguments but seek the truth of God's will in all things. The only way to be RELEVANT in the 21st Century is to be ROOTED in God's Holy Word.
We simply want to go to Heaven and take you with us!
It would be our privilege to study God's word with you on these or any other subject.