God is one Being in three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe God is the creator and ruler of heaven and earth (Gen 1:1, John 1:1-3), which He sustains (Col. 1:17) and is in the process of redeeming (Rom. 8:19-22). God created man good and in His own image; not materially, but spiritually, to be like him in character. God the Father loves us and desires that we have fellowship with Him as His children (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 8:3; John 4:24; Ephesians 4:24; Revelation 4:11).
Jesus is the incarnation of God the Son, born to the virgin Mary. He is the Word become flesh (John 1:14) and he now holds all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). We believe Jesus is fully God and left his place in heaven to become fully human. He made human salvation possible through His sinless life, death on the cross, and resurrection. He was raised on the third day to live and reign forever in heaven. He is the head of the Church (John 1:14, 14:9; Philippians 2:6-11; Hebrews 2:14-17).
The Holy Spirit is fully God, co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit works actively in the world, seeking to glorify Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness and Judgment to come (John 16:5-11), making people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives to every believer one or more spiritual gifts. As Christians we seek to live under his control daily (John 14:16-17, 16:7-14; Acts 1:8, 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16, 12:4-7; 2 Corinthians 3:17).
The Bible contains the accurate and authoritative Word of God (2 Tim 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21). It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian belief and living, and our final authority in all matters of faith and life. We seek to assert what the Scriptures clearly assert, allowing freedom of opinion in areas where Scripture is silent. (Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12).
The Church is the body of Jesus Christ on earth, the community of believers throughout the world united by their submission to Jesus Christ as the Lord and leader of their lives. Upon surrender to Jesus Christ, a person is added to the Church. In addition, the priesthood of all believers means each Christian is called to be a serving minister (1 Peter 2:9-10). The Church’s mission is the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Sin is our rebellion against the commands of God. Sin separates man from God, and apart from God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we are dead in our sins (Romans 3:9-12, 5:18-19; Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:11-14).
Salvation is God’s free gift to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we must accept it. We believe that all people are destined for eternal life. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. We can never make up for our sins by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. We are saved by grace, through faith, in baptism, and our faith manifests itself in godly living (Matthew 25:46; John 3:16-17, 14:6; Romans 3:23-24, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:12; James 2:20-22; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:18-21; Revelation 20:11-15).
Human beings were created by God, in His image, to walk in fellowship with Him, However, all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and must rely on God’s grace and forgiveness through Jesus and His atoning work. Every human, from the moment of conception is created In the image of God, and is a person for whom God gave His only Son so that he/she may come to have and know true and eternal life.
Gender. We believe in the immutable and purposeful biological creation by God of each person as either male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
Marriage was created by God to be exclusively the union of one male and one female and that intimate sexual activity is to occur exclusively within that union. Established in the Creator’s original design (Genesis 2:18-25) and confirmed in the words of Jesus (Matthew 19:4-6), marriage is both the foundational relationship in society and a reflection of Christ’s relationship with his Church (Ephesians 5:21-33).
The Lord’s Supper is the celebration of the New Covenant, in which the Christian community remembers Jesus Christ and celebrates the covenantal relationship that we have with Him and each other. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly, partaking of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine as a memorial to the body and blood Jesus sacrificed on the cross (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34).
The Final Coming of Jesus Christ is a time when He will personally come again as Savior and Judge of the world. At that time, there will be the bodily resurrection of the dead—believers to eternal life with God and unbelievers to eternal judgment. Sin will be no more and believers in Jesus Christ will live in fellowship with God forever (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:11-15).
James A. Garfield, former President of the United States, is one of the best-known individuals associated with the Christian churches/churches of Christ. He even served as a “lay preacher.” To answer the many questions he received about the group of believers with whom he worshiped, he wrote a classic statement:
- We call ourselves Christians, or Disciples of Christ.
- We believe in God the Father.
- We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We regard the divinity of Christ as the fundamental truth of the Christian system
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, both as to His agency in conversion and as indwelling in the heart of the Christian.
- We accept both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.
- We believe in the future punishment of the wicked and the future reward of the righteous
- We believe that the Deity is a prayer hearing and a prayer answering God
- We observe the institution of the Lord’s Supper on the Lord’s Day. To this table we neither invite nor debar; we say it is the Lord’s Supper for all of the Lord’s children.
- We plead for the union of God’s people on the Bible and the Bible alone
- The Christ is our only creed.
- We maintain that all the ordinances should be observed as they were in the days of the apostles.