Knowing the priority God places on His Word (Ps. 138:2) and its authority in the life of His people (2 Tim. 3:15-17), the leadership of Christ Community Church is committed to the reading, the exhortation and the teaching of the Holy Scripture (1 Tim. 4:13).
The following theological truths set forth our position with regard to the major Bible doctrines and reflect the heart of our teaching here at Christ Community Church.
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe the Bible, both Old and New Testaments in its sixty-six books from Genesis through Revelation, is the only verbally inspired written Word of God (1 Cor. 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). We believe it is without error in its original manuscripts (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Ps. 119:89) and is the full and complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of man and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and conduct (John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12). It is God’s objective (Ex. 17:14), propositional revelation (1Thess. 2:13) and is verbally inspired in every word (2 Tim. 3:16). We believe the canon is closed, and all who add or take away from it shall suffer the wrath of God (Rev. 22:18, 19; Deut. 4:2; Jude 3).
THE ONE TRIUNE GOD
We believe in the One God who is personal, spirit and sovereign (Mark 12:29; John 4:24; 14:9; Ps. 135:6). He is perfect, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, holiness, love, mercy, wisdom and power (Ps. 18:30; 147:5; Deut. 33:27; Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). He is absolutely separate and above the world as its Creator (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2), yet everywhere present in the world as the upholder of all things (Gen. 1:1; Psalm 104; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). He is self-existent and self-revealing in three distinct Persons–the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7-8; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14), each of whom is to be honored and recognized equally as true God (John 5:23; Acts 5:3-4).
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Triune God, the eternal Word and Only Begotten Son, our great God and Savior (John 1:1; 3:16; Titus 2:13; Rom. 9:5). Without any essential change in His divine Person (Heb. 13:8), He became man by the miracle of virgin birth (John 1:14; Matt. 1:23) and continues forever as both true God and true man, one Person with two natures (Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:24). As Man, He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet He was without sin (Heb. 4:15; John 8:46). As the perfect Lamb of God, He gave Himself in death upon the Cross, bearing there the sin of the world and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead (Is. 53:5-6; Matt. 20:28; Gal. 3:13; John 1:29; Matt. 27:46-50). He rose from the dead the third day and was glorified in the same body in which He suffered and died (Luke 24:36-43, 46; John 20:25-28). As our great High Priest, He ascended into heaven, there to appear before the face of God as our Advocate and Intercessor (Heb. 4:14; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
We believe He will come again to receive the Church, which is His body (Eph. 1:22; 5:23; Col. 1:18), unto Himself at the rapture and will return with His Church in glory to establish His kingdom in its millennial manifestation (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:1-15).
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23): believers (1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10), living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matt. 25:31-46) and the unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15). He is the final judge of all who refuse to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matt. 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune God (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4). He is the divine Agent in nature, revelation and redemption (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30; 1 Cor. 2:10; 2 Cor. 3:18). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11). He regenerates those who believe (John 3:5). He indwells, baptizes, seals, empowers, guides, teaches and sanctifies all who become children of God through Christ (1 Cor. 6:19; 12:13; Eph. 3:16; 4:30; Rom. 8:14; John 14:26; 1 Cor. 6:11).
THE CREATION AND FALL OF MAN
We believe man lost his innocence through Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God and incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death. Man became corrupt, subject to the wrath of God, incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace and, therefore, is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is wholly of God’s grace by the redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1 Tim. 2:13-14; Titus 3:3-5; 1 John 1:8).
We believe because all men were in Adam, his sin nature has been transmitted to all men, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are sinners by nature, by choice and by divine declaration (Ps. 14:1-3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12; Eph. 2:1-3).
We believe salvation is solely by the grace of God on the basis of the redemptive work of Christ, through His shed blood and not on human merit or performance (John 1:12, 13; Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18, 19).
A. Election and Predestination
We believe election and predestination are acts of God according to His foreknowledge before the foundation of the world. He chose those whom He will regenerate, save, justify and sanctify. He predestines all believers to be adopted as heirs in His family and to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:15, 23, 28-30; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
We believe God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Repentance unto salvation is not merely an intellectual change of mind, but a sincere and thorough change of heart and life with respect to sin, self and God (2 Cor. 7:9-11; 1 Thess. 1:9). This act of repentance does not add to faith or believing as a condition for salvation (John 3:16; Acts 20:21; 26:20), but is an integral part of it. Saving faith is repentant faith, a gift from God (2 Tim. 2:25; 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 24:47; Acts 11:18).
We believe faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is a gift from God (2 Peter 1:1; Acts 3:16). It is the sole condition of salvation and involves the committing of our lives to the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone (John 1:12; 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9-10).
We believe justification of believers is the act of God whereby He declares them righteous apart from any human effort or merit. Justification by God’s grace is based on the redemption we have in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:28; 5:1-11; 2 Cor. 5:21).
We believe regeneration is the imparting of the divine nature and, as a result, all believers have eternal life. All believers are born again by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, are heirs of God the Father and joint heirs with Christ (John 1:12-13; 3:1-6;5:24; Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 3:26; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23).
We believe positional sanctification is an act of God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross by which believers are set apart from the penalty of sin and its power to enslave them (Rom. 6:1-23; 1 Cor. 1:30; 6:11; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 10:10-14; 13:12; 1 John 3:9).
We believe there is also a practical sanctification that is accomplished by the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of a believer. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus (John 17:17-19; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4; 5:23).
We believe the eternal security of believers is based on the eternal purpose of God, the power of God, the unconditional love of God, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the permanent, indwelling presence and sealing of the Holy Spirit and the eternal character of salvation (John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:9, 35-39; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Heb. 2:10; 1 John 2:1-2).
We believe the glorification of believers involves the transformation which will occur when they leave behind the limitations of this life and enter into the presence of the Savior. At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s purpose for His children will involve the resurrection of their bodies (Rom. 8:23; Eph. 1:14; Phil. 3:20-21), the cessation of all suffering (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor.4:17-18), complete conformity to Christ (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2) and the enjoyment of all that God has prepared (1 Cor. 2:9).
We believe the Church of Jesus Christ consists of all Jews and Gentiles out of every country and culture who from the day of Pentecost to the Rapture have been born of the Spirit of God and by that same Spirit have been baptized into the body of Christ (Matt. 16:16-18; Acts 2:1-21, 47; Eph. 2:14-22; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Heb. 12:22-23; 1 Peter 1:3, 22-25; 1 Cor. 12:12-13).
We believe Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church. All those who are born again should be members of a local assembly of believers (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18; Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 1:1). They should associate with other assemblies of like precious faith and maintain a regular assembling of themselves together (1 Cor. 11:18-20; Heb. 10:25; Rom. 12:6-8).
We believe God has given the Church spiritual gifts. He has gifted men for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:7-12) giving special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:5-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11). As each believer discovers, develops and employs his spiritual gift or gifts, the body will be edified and the work of Christ will be accomplished in the world (Rom. 12:3-8; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
We believe the gifts of tongues (unlearned languages) and their interpretation (1 Cor. 12:30; 13:8-13; 14:22), the gift of healing and the working of sign miracles have ceased to be necessary in the ministry of the church (1 Cor. 13:8-10; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4; Acts 19:11-12 with (1 Cor. 12:1-31). These gifts were intended to confirm the message and ministry of the apostles (Mark 16:17-20). Because the Bible was completed at the end of the first century A.D., the purpose of these gifts has been achieved (Heb. 2:1-4). Although no one possesses the gift of healing today, we believe God does hear and answer the prayers of faith on the part of every believer for the sick and afflicted and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; 2 Cor. 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15).
We believe in the autonomy of this local church with biblically designated officers who serve under Christ as elders, also called bishops and pastors (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; 1 Peter 5:1-5; 1 Tim. 3:1-17; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 15:1-6). They lead and direct as servants of Christ (1 Tim. 5:17-22) with the congregation submitting to their leadership (Heb. 13:7, 17).
We believe the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph. 3:21). This is accomplished by edification, which involves building one another up in the faith (Eph. 4:13-16); by instruction in the Word of God; by the maturing of every believer in Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:2, 15; 3:16-17); by evangelism to communicate and advance the Gospel of Christ to the entire world (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:41-42; John 20:21); by discipleship (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:2); by the development of mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Heb. 10:25; Matt. 18:5-14); by the disciplining of sinning members of the congregation in accordance with biblical standards (Matt. 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; 1 Tim. 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16); by fellowship (Acts 2:42, 47; 1 John 1:3); by prayer (Acts 2:42) and by the keeping of the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42).
We believe our Lord Jesus Christ gave His church two ordinances that are to be practiced faithfully in local congregations worldwide. These are water baptism and the partaking of the bread and the cup (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:23-28).
We believe the bread and cup symbolize the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are commanded to remember His death until He comes. Its observance provides regular opportunity for self-examination (1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-28).
A. Holy Angels
We believe angels are created beings and, therefore, are not to be worshipped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Heb. 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Rev. 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9).
B. Fallen Angels
We believe Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator, involving numerous angels in his fall (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ez. 28:11-19) and introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Gen. 3:1-15).
We believe Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Matt. 4:1-11; 25:41), the prince of this world who was defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:20) and he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Is. 14:12-17; Ez. 28:11-19; Rev. 20:10).
We believe physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev. 6:9-11; Matt. 10:28). We believe the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Phil. 1:23), there is a separation of soul and body (Phil. 1:21-24) and such separation will continue until the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6) when spirit, soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:35-44, 50-54; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:8).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (Job 19:25-27; Rom. 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Cor. 4:14) and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Dan.12:2; John 5:29; Rev. 20:6, 13-15).
We believe the souls of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades (Job 3:11-19) where they are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Rev. 20:1-15), when the soul and a resurrection body are united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) and shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matt. 25:41-46), cut off forever from God (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).
B. The Rapture of the Church
We believe in the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 4:16; Titus 2:11-13). He will translate His Church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 4:15-5:11) and reward believers according to their works (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10). We believe sufficient time will elapse between this event and His glorious return with His Church to allow for the judgment of believers’ works, and this period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:15-31; 25:31-46).
C. The Tribulation Period
We believe subsequent to the removal of the Church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18), the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Joel 2:1-11; 3; 2 Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 16:1-21). These judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matt. 24:15-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 2:7-12). At this time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Dan. 12:2-3; Rev. 6:9-11; 20:4-6).
D. The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign
We believe, after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matt. 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His Messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Rev. 20:1-7). During this time the resurrection saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ez. 37:21-28; Dan. 7:17-22; Rev. 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet and by the removal of Satan from the world (Dan. 7:17-27; Rev. 20:1-7).
We believe the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Deut. 30:1-10; Ez. 37:21-28; Zech. 8:1-17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through disobedience (Deut. 28:15-68; 30:1-10). The result of that disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matt. 21:43; Rom. 11:1-26), but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer. 31:31-34; Ez. 36:22-32; Rom. 11:25-29).
We believe this period of time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness and long life (Is. 11:1-16; 65:17-25; Ez. 36:33-38) and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev. 20:7).
E. The Judgment of the Lost
We believe following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign (Rev. 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan’s army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev. 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10), whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment.
We believe this resurrection of the unsaved dead will be a physical resurrection. Receiving judgment (Rom. 14:10-13), the unsaved will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:11-15).
We believe after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God. At this time, the elements of this earth are to be “dissolved” (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph. 5:5; Rev. 20:15; 21; 22). The heavenly city that comes down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2) is to be the dwelling place of the saints where they will enjoy eternal fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Eph. 2:11-16; Revelation 21; 22). The Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (Eph. 1:18-23; 1 Cor. 15:24-28), that in all spheres the Triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Cor. 15:28).
We believe Christians should live righteously and produce good works, not to obtain salvation, but as evidence and fruit of salvation (1 John 3:9-11; 4:19; 5:4; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 2:14; Matt. 7:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:10). Christians should keep the Word of the Lord (John 14:23), seek the things which are above (Col. 3:1), walk as He walked (1 John 2:6), be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8) and give the Gospel to a lost world in order to bear much fruit (Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:19; John 15:16). A victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who have learned they are not under the law, but are under grace (Rom. 6:14) and who in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God have presented themselves wholly to Him for His service (Rom. 12:1-2).
SEXUALITY AND MARRIAGE
A. Sexual Identity
We Believe God, in His perfect wisdom and knowledge, determines each individuals’ sex (Ps. 139:18; 147:5). From the beginning, He created male (Adam) and female (Eve), equal in nature yet with distinct roles (Gen. 2:4-25; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:22-23; Titus 2:3-5). Although different by design, men and women are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27-28) and glorify Him in their maleness and femaleness by embracing and embodying their God-given sexual identity (1 Cor. 10:31).
We believe God created the institution of marriage between one man and one woman at the beginning of creation (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:21-25; Matt. 19:4-6). This institution is entered into when a man leaves his family and is united in a one-flesh union with his wife (Gen. 2:24). Although marriage is not God’s design for everyone (Matt. 19:12; 1 Cor. 7:6-9, 25-40), it is the norm for society (Gen. 2:18).
C. Sexual Purity
We believe that God has called all people to honor the institution of marriage (Heb. 13:4), and remain sexually pure (1 Thess. 4:2-8). Sexual sin does not produce a more damning eternal consequence (James 2:10). but does have different relational, emotional and spiritual effects (1 Cor. 6:18) because it is the means by which one man and one woman consummate their marriage union (Gen. 2:24; 1 Cor. 6:16). Sexual relationships or actions that do not take place within the realm of marriage between one man and one woman (1 Cor. 7:2) are sinful and unnatural. Those whose lifestyle is marked by unrepentant sexual sin demonstrate they are not members of the God’s Kingdom (Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9).