Our Distinctives

As a body of believers, we believe that the Church exists to train Christians in knowing, understanding, and obeying God’s word. The Bible is (as the old baptists used to say) “sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness”. So our job as a Church is simple, teach people God’s word. Since this core belief is much different then the approach of some, we wanted to take the time to explain some things that we emphasize here, or do differently then other churches.

Expository Preaching-A-Caution-for-Expository-Preaching_769_245x169 All this means is that when we teach God’s word, we teach it verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book. The reason for this is because it is in understanding and applying God’s word that believers will grow. We have to understand the context in which the Bible was written and then mine it for all its meaning so the we can understand exactly what God is saying in his word. The worst thing a Church could ever do is replace the preaching and teaching of God’s word with something else.

An Emphasis on Church Membership- ID-10058110 We believe that when someone joins a Church they are making a statement about something that Jesus Christ has done in their lives. They are in effect saying that “I have passed from death to life, and from darkness to light”. When we repent of our sins and trust Christ alone as savior we literally become new creatures in Christ. As such, the bible tells us to meet continually with other born again believers to admonish, exhort, encourage, and if necessary rebuke. All of this is for the sake of living out our new profession of faith in Christ in the context of community, to grown in holiness and love for one another. The Bible actually says that a love for God and a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ is one of the primary ways that we know we are saved! This means that we as a Church put a strong emphasis on Church membership, so that we know exactly who our brothers and sisters are. Who to pray for, who to ask for prayer from, who to keep accountable, and who to seek guidance and wisdom from. Christianity is a team sport, but like all other sports you have to know whose on your team.

BaptismBaptism_by_immersionTo dove tail off of church membership, we believe that the way in which someone makes a public profession of their new found faith in Christ is to be baptized in the presence of the gathered local Church. We as a Church practice what is called believers baptism, which means the only biblical form of baptism is performed after someone professes to faith in Christ. We also practice baptism by immersion, which means we dunk you! This act is actually the first command that Jesus gives to those who would follow him. While salvation is strictly by grace alone through faith alone God does a miraculous work in our hearts when we repent and believe the gospel, so that after we become believers we have a new desire to be obedient to all that God commands us. It would be concerning for a new convert to Christianity to neglect to do the first thing that God asks of them, which is to identify publicly before a local Church as having decided to follow Christ by entering into the waters of Baptism.

The Gospel and Conversion- ID-10060136We really wish that everyone who identified themselves as Christian actually was saved, but scripture does not allow us to believe this. Jesus says that many people who claim to know him actually don’t and really aren’t saved at all. At our Church we take people at their word because we can’t see their hearts, and if they say that they trust Jesus as Lord and Savior then we believe them and welcome them with open arms. However, the Bible says to “work out you salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do””. What that mean is that the ultimate test of whether or not someone knows Jesus Christ is the fruit they bear in a changed life. We teach people the gospel and we teach them what happens when someone truly believes the gospel. We don’t go around telling people that they are not Christians just because they make mistakes but we do hold each other accountable which means calling each other to repentance continually. See your sin for what it is, admit that its wrong and that God hates it and so should you, turn from it and ask God to give you victory over it, and what you should see is gradual (some times very gradual!) victory over that sin. All it takes to be a member of God’s family is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Repentance from sin. It’s not perfection but direction, and we teach people to ask themselves if they really are moving closer to Christ.

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