What is the Church?
The Church is a collection of God’s children. One must be in right standing with God in order to be part of the church. This means they must believe in Jesus as the Son of God, confess Him as Lord, be immersed into Him for the forgiveness of sins, accept the Spirit into their lives, and walk according to God's revelation. There are nuances to each of these and further studies to unpack them. If you have questions about them, please reach out to us. We will continue to share articles and scriptures to help build this picture.
The word 'church' means 'assembly' or 'gathering'. It is a meeting of persons for a designated purpose. (For this reason, some refer to the definition 'called out', because the gathering of church denotes an intentional purpose rather than an accidental or social party.) The scriptures describe two kinds of assemblies: the gathering of all saints of all time around the throne of God, and the local timed gatherings of saints who live in proximity to one another. When one is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, one is added by God to the grand assembly (sometimes called a universal church). This church extends beyond time, physical boundaries, nations, political ties, finances, and even the devil’s grasp. God’s church cannot be broken or hindered, even when persons choose to leave it.
When one participates with other saints for worship and spiritual edification then they also join a local 'church'. This is the closest we can get to the universal church while we are on earth. When the time of 'heaven' comes, we shall all be together with the Lord as a single people. Until then, the children of God meet together on a regular basis to encourage each other to be like God. They worship God and teach His Words. The churches of God are not amenable to each other, but to God alone. This is important because no local church is required to do what another church says. It also means that each location is responsible for accurately teaching the word of God. One local assembly cannot represent or speak for another group. As such, the local group which meets here cannot comment concerning what the 'church of Christ' denomination teaches or believes. We are not part of such a man-derived structure. We can only speak for our own understanding of what God has already spoken.
Jesus is the head of the church. He calls all the shots and tells us what we may do as a church. We must be very careful to do all that God has commanded, and not to extend our actions as a church beyond what Jesus has told us to do. Even doing good works in addition to what Jesus has permitted is pretentious, and does not respect what He has told us to do. We study Jesus’ words carefully to make sure we conform to what He tells us to do, leaving everything else to the individual child of God to do on their own.
He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Colossians 1:18 Ephesians 4:15-16
The Church is also called a family. This description treats God as the Father of us all, Jesus Christ His Son as our elder brother 'in charge', and each other as brothers, sisters, mothers, etc. In this family we are all equal, although we may have differing roles. We believe God alone determines the boundaries of our roles. In the scriptures we sometimes read of the Holy Spirit providing a gift of prophecy or healing. That is a role God alone assigns, and one we are incapable of assuming upon ourselves. We also read about the roles of leadership and public speaking. These roles God has given to men. He has assigned qualified elders ( or overseers) to care for the members of the local gatherings (also called congregations). He has assigned qualified deacons (also called servants) to represent the church on certain projects that are needed for the local group to thrive. He has assigned preachers to study the word of God and teach others what they have learned. All members have been given work to do. If you wish to know more about the work God has given you, please reach out and we will open the scriptures with you.
We firmly believe the Bible teaches:
We have sinned and are accountable for our sins. Without forgiveness, our souls will be eternally separated from our Holy Creator.
Jesus is the only way for man to be saved from his sin.
Jesus’ death grants us an opportunity for salvation.
We must repent of our sin-stained life and turn it to Jesus.
Through Baptism (immersion into water) we: Die with Jesus on the cross, Place our sins on the cross, Are buried with Him, Are raise up as a newly resurrected person, May walk a new life under the oversight of Jesus’ blood and covenant.
If we live under Christ’s grace after properly dying with Him, then we have hope for a final resurrection and eternal life in the presence of a loving and perfect God.
God tells us that His church:
Is a collection of those who have been made holy by Jesus’ blood
Meets on the first day of every week to remember Jesus’ sacrifice
Eats a meal consisting of bread and grape juice to remember Jesus’ body and blood
Builds each other up through teaching God’s words and encouraging each other to love and good works
Sings songs of encouragement and thanksgiving
Offers up prayers of thanks for forgiveness, for healing, and for blessing
Provides for the needs of those who preach the gospel, who take care of the church as leaders, and who are dedicated members who are completely unable to provide for themselves.
Shares with saints who have need