The Theology Of The Church Of Christ
I. What We Believe
(A) About God
- God is a Spirit who is intelligent, eternal, holy, true, good, sovereign, just and merciful.
- He is infinite in power and wisdom, who lovingly creates and sustains all things.
- God the Father’s greatest desire is to enjoy His children’s companionship.
(John 4:24; Psalm 139; Eph. 4:6-7)
(B) About Jesus Christ
- Jesus Christ is God the Son and is both divine and human.
- He is coequal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross.
- Through Him alone can we reach the Father in heaven.
- He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.
- He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to bring His people home.
(Isaiah 9:6; Matt. 1:22-23; John 14:6-30; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Tim. 6:14 Tit. 2:13; Heb. 4:14-15)
(C) About The Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is divine, coequal with the Father and the Son of God.
- He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ.
- He is given to live in every Christian at baptism to provide them with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.
- He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved.
- As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
(John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; I Cor. 2:12, 3:16; II Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:25; Eph. 1:13, 5:18)
(D) About The Bible
- The Bible is God’s Word to us.
- It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- It is the supreme truth source for Christian beliefs and living.
- Because it is inspired by God, it is trustworthy and without error.
(Psalm 12:6, 119:105, 160; Pro. 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
(E) About Human Beings
- People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character.
- People are the supreme objects of God’s creation.
- Although every person born has tremendous potential for good, eventually everyone is marred by an attitude of selfishness and disobedience toward God. This is called ”sin.”
- This attitude separates people from God and His blessings and causes our problems in life.
(Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 59:1, Romans 3:23)
(F) About Salvation
- Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it.
- We can never compensate for our sin by self-improvement or good works.
- Only accepting by faith God’s gracious offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty.
- When we turn from our self-ruled life, confess Jesus as Savior and Lord, and are baptized into Him, we are born again, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life.
(Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 6:3-4, 6:23, 10:9-10; Galatians 3:27, Titus 3:5)
(G) About Eternity
- People were created to exist forever.
- In the afterlife, we will exist either separated from God by sin, or with God because of grace and salvation through Jesus Christ.
- In eternity, to be separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven.
- Both Heaven and Hell are actual and real places of eternal existence.
(John 3:16, 5:24-29; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:15)
II. We Know What This Belief Means In Our Lives
(A) Spirit-Led Living
Living by the Spirit means that we do not gratify the desires of the flesh/sinful nature.
- Being Spirit-filled means that we live in accordance with the Spirit and have our minds set on what the Spirit desires.
- We acknowledge that it is God who works in us to act according to his will and purpose and therefore deserves all the credit for the good that we do.
- We believe the only way possible to live up to the standards of the Christian life is by the Holy Spirit within us and that the power does not belong to us.
- We seek to be boldly open to the opportunities the Spirit provides in service and outreach.
(Gal. 5:16; Rom.8:5; Phil. 2:13)
When we pray, we are intimately worshiping our loving Father in Heaven and that prayer is absolutely necessary for the believer to build a powerful and personal relationship with God.
- Our attitude in prayer is one of devotion, gratitude and thanksgiving as we petition God to forgive us, bless our loved ones and use us to touch the lives of the hurting with the love of Christ.
(Matthew 6:6; Philippians 4:6; Col. 4:2)
(C) The Bible Is Our Sole Authority
- The entire Bible was given to us by God to teach us what is true and makes us realize what is wrong in our lives and helps us do what is right. It is our manual for living.
- The Scriptures alone are the reliable and truthful authority in religious matters today. It corrects false theologies, when interpreted the way the Lord intends.
- Our first question when faced with a decision is ”What does the Bible say?”
- We practice regular Bible reading, Bible study, and try our best to obey strictly the commands of Christ.
(2 Timothy 3:15-17; Matthew 28:20)
(D) Sharing Our Faith In Christ With Others
- We prepare ourselves to be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us the reason for the hope that we have.
- It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the gospel with those to whom God brings us into contact.
- We fulfill our great commission by teaching about Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected and by inviting friends and loved ones to worship.
(1 Peter 3:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
(E) The Priesthood Of Every Believer
- We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of him who called us and offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
- The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation.
- We practice this truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry.
(1 Peter 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:5)
(F) The Autonomy Of Each Local Church
Christ is the recognized head of this body of disciples, His church.
- No other person, group, or council has the authority to dictate our beliefs or practices.
- We believe every local congregation to be self-governing and independent from any outside control.
- Although autonomous, the churches of Christ fellowship with each other because of their commonality of the gospel message and their cooperative interpretation of Scripture.
- In matters of faith and salvation we have unity. In disputable matters of opinion we have liberty. And in all things we have mutual love and respect.
(Colossians 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:15)
- We practice the New Testament blueprint for the supporting of the mission of Christ’s church.
- We recognize that giving God the ”first-fruits” of our income is the Biblical standard.
- Many give beyond ten percent in expression of their love for God.
III. We Know Why We Enjoy God’s Favor In This Church
(A) We Protect The Unity Of The Simi Church
- By acting in love toward other members.
- By refusing to gossip.
- By following our leaders.
(Rom. 15:5, 1 Peter 1:22, Eph.4:29, Hebrews 13:17)
(B) We Share The Responsibility Of The Simi Church
- By praying for its growth.
- By inviting the seeker to attend.
- By warmly welcoming those who visit.
(I Thess. 1:2, Luke 14:23, Rom. 5:7)
(C) We Serve The Ministry Of The Simi Church
- By discovering my gifts and talents.
- By being equipped to serve by my ministries.
- By developing a servant’s heart and becoming involved and involving others.
(1 Pet. 4:10, Eph. 4:11-12, Phil. 2:3-4,7)
(D) We Support The Mission Of The Simi Church
- By attending faithfully and being involved.
- By living a godly life.
- By teaching the Gospel to all interested.
- By giving regularly.
(Heb. 10:25, Phil. 1:27, 2 Cor. 8:3-5)