Doctrine: What We Believe
Doctrine is a particular set of beliefs about a particular subject and it is critically important. We all have doctrine; the question is "what kind of doctrine do we have?"
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He came to earth, was conceived in the virgin Mary and lived a sinless life. He died and rose again to reconcile all people to God and to free them from the power of sin and the devil. He will return someday and consummate the building of his Kingdom. All who are his bride shall reign with him. All who reject him shall suffer eternal destruction. (Matthew 1:18-25 ; Luke 1:26-38 ; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13)
All people are separated from God by the fall and need to have a saving relationship with God through faith in Jesus. People become the children of God though adoption when they repent of their sin, place their trust in Jesus Christ, and commit their life to him. (Genesis 1:26,27; 3:1,24; Romans 3:25; 5:12-18 ; 1 John 1:8)
The Holy Spirit continually draws believers closer to God, transforms them into the image of Jesus Christ, empowers them for ministry, and distributes spiritual gifts to the Church. Believers are to always seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (John 16:5-15 ; Romans 8:16, 23, 26, 27; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
Though it has multitudes of diverse expressions, there is only one Universal Church of Jesus Christ. It consists of all who have a relationship with Jesus Christ. The primary purpose of the Church is to use every possible means to advance the Kingdom of God against the kingdom of Satan. (Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:12-16; Hebrews 10:24-25)
Our understanding of the Bible informs our doctrine at Christ Church; which could be described as Evangelical, Protestant, Baptist and Continuationist.
Evangelical means, “Of or according to the teaching of the gospel or the Christian religion.” (dictionary.com) This adjective simply means that we understand the gospel of Jesus to be the central message of the Bible and the interpretive key to understanding the whole Bible.
Protestant means that we affirm the five “sola’s” of the reformation. “Sola” is a Latin word that means “alone.” Reformed also means that we affirm the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of mankind. The term has come to be synonymous with Calvinism and while we do affirm the doctrines of grace there are several important distinctions that keep us from describing ourselves as Calvinists.
Baptist simply means that we affirm that the sacrament of baptism is for the believer and professor of Christ and must be administered to an individual who is capable and willing to make a decision to follow Jesus. We practice baptism by immersion (that is what the Greek word for baptism literally means “to immerse”) and teach all new converts to Christianity to be baptized immediately as their first act of obedience to Jesus.
Continuationist means that we affirm the on-going empowering activity of the Holy Spirit as described in Scripture including the continuation of the Spiritual Gifts. We understand the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” to be a reference to the inward transformation, empowerment and indwelling of the Holy Spirit that occurs at conversion, but we also affirm the intention of God for us to have additional empowering experiences with the Holy Spirit (fillings) post conversion. We believe in the continuation of the gift of tongues as a language of prayer and praise is given to some but not all and we do not believe it is required as a sign of ones spiritual maturity or spirit baptism.