This declaration of our faith is a synopsis of our faith in God and belief in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrine of the Church of Christ agrees with the Holy Scripture. It is not good enough for us to accept a statement of faith independent of scripture. The totality of the scripture supports our belief. Note: God is no respecter of persons, and neither is God's Church. In this statement; the use of male pronouns also includes women in references to members of the Church as well as to members of the ministry. There is no male or female in the work of the Lord, "for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
THE FOUNDER-JESUS CHRIST We believe that Christ Himself instituted His Church and that He received full authority from God to do so (Mark 9:7). In Matthew 16:18, Jesus tells His disciples that the Church would be built on Him, and because of this Satan would have no lasting power over it. THE
MOTIVATION-LOVE The Church is founded on the love of God (John 3:16). This is an unchanging love, a love that cares tenderly for a person even when she or he is wrong. God's love loves the sinner, but hates the sins in the person's life. "But God commands his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH The Church of Christ Disciples of Christ is a New Testament Church. This does not in any way preclude our belief in the Old Testament, for it served as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:23-26). We believe the entire Bible from Genesis to Malachi and Matthew to Revelation; to be the revealed Word of God. We are a New Testament Church because our salvation, hope, and eternal life came through Christ Jesus.
THE MEMBERS "DISCIPLES" We believe that Christ designated a name by which His followers are to be called. That name is "Disciples" (Matthew 10:42; Luke 14:26; John 8:31). We believe that because Christ chose this name for His followers, it should be held in reverence.
THE EMBLEM-THE FISH Among the first Disciples of Christ nearly 2000 years ago, it is said that in the struggle of the Church with the civil authorities, the early Disciples used the sign of the fish as a secret code to protect their identity in the midst of their enemies. The Church of Christ Disciples of Christ carries that same emblem today.
THE PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD The Doctrine of God We believe that God created all existence and without God was not anything made. We believe that there is but one God, who is infinitely perfect, existing externally in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. THE WORD OF GOD We believe that the doctrine of the Church of Christ is scriptural and spiritually based on the Word of God (Matthew 16:18, Acts 1:8). We believe that the revealed word of God (scripture) is the only authority by which Disciples of Christ are to be governed. We believe that all claims of spiritual knowledge must be supported by the Bible). We believe that the word of God is the final revelation in their faith from God (Isaiah 8:16; Revelation 22:18-19). We believe the word of God is complete, and was made complete when Christ redeemed us from the sentence of hell by offering Himself as a ransom for our sins (Romans 5:8). The word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Heb. 4:12). The Spirit is quick (effective and fast-acting), powerful (alive and active), sharp (piercing, to the point, dagger sharp), and discerning (revealing). We believe all scripture is given by inspiration of God (revealed), and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof (criticism), for correction (righting wrong or discipline), for instruction in righteousness (direction for holy living) and (2 Timothy 3:16).
THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS CHRIST In the Gospel of John, we hear it most directly: "The Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). Christ is not just a man, sent from God (like John the Baptist). He was not just a prophet or an angel. He is Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23, John 14:8-11). We believe that Jesus Christ is the only true Son of God. We believe that Christ was in the creation act with God in the beginning (John 1:1). We believe that Jesus was incarnated through the giving of birth by a young virgin named Mary. Jesus came to forgive men and women of sin, heal of sickness, give abundant life, save of its shortcomings, and to introduce the Holy Spirit. We believe Christ died on a cross in Calvary, and then He rose from both death and the grave. We believe that Christ is active in the lives of all who worship Him. We believe that He is preparing a resting place for His Church (John 14:3). THE
DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT The Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is a Person. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God Himself, therefore the Holy Spirit is someone and not something. Receiving the Holy Spirit brings about conviction, sanctification, regeneration, adoption, salvation, guidance, comfort, teaching, gifts, fruit, and eternal life. The Holy Spirit, empowers the believer to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit / working of/ listed in Corinthians 12 and (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongue, interpretation of tongue, and the tenth gift, the gift of love (to which Paul devotes the entire 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians). Believers also gain the fruit of the spirit and fruit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST THE GREAT COMMISSION The Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ International recognizes preaching and teaching the Gospel as its first priority in obedience to the command given to the first disciples by Jesus Himself. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). WATER BAPTISM We believe that if one is to follow the path of righteousness of Jesus Christ, she or he must be totally submerged under water, which is known as "water baptism." Baptism symbolizes death and new life in Christ Jesus. "We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
THE LORD'S SUPPER The Bread and the Fruit of the Vine We believe that the observance of the Lord's Supper (Communion) by all believers is essential. The Lord's Supper symbolizes God's love for us through Christ's suffering and death for our salvation. We believe that as often as we keep this observance, we show forth (symbolize) His death and suffering (John 13:15; John 13:1-7; Luke 22:19-20).
FEET WASHING We believe that, according to scripture, Christ demonstrated one of the greatest acts of humility, love, and self-sacrifice by lowering Himself to wash His Disciples' feet. While we agree that feet washing is not in and of itself a prerequisite to salvation, we do believe that all who confess salvation (baptism of the Holy Spirit) should partake in the ordinance of the washing of one another's feet.
ON SALVATION AND GRACE We believe that men and women are carnal and, thereby, sinful. Because we are born in sin, there needs to be an atoning and redeeming process undertaken between Christ and the individual. We can only be restored to divine favor through salvation. This redemptive operation, which comes only through the initiation of the Holy Spirit, is brought about by repentance (a change of heart) toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which brings about conversion and sanctification (purifying) (Romans 10:8-13).
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