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What We Teach

 The document below, entitled “what we teach�����, is just that. It is a temporary document created to give an indication of where we stand on Biblical doctrines. It does not indicate what one has to believe in order to be an active part of our congregation – we have no theological requirements for participation. The document is subject to small changes, but no major changes will be made. If you have feedback on improvements that can be made, please let us know.

The Bible: By “the Bible” we mean the Old Testament (the completed Hebrew/Aramaic form, finalized before Christ) and the New Testament (in its original manuscripts, written by the apostles or disciples of the apostles).  The Old Testament contains the 39 books also recognized by the Jews, Jesus, and the apostles; the New Testament contains the 27 books recognized by the church as a whole.

The Bible is written by men to be understood by men.  This means that human language is used, and that the language is to be interpreted the same way language is normally interpreted in its genre.  As a consequence, every person with God’s help can and should read and understand the Bible on their own, though they may find helpful explanations of language and cultural/historical context by discussing with others and using commentaries and sermons.

The Bible is God’s word and teaches us everything we need to know about how to live godly lives.  This means that everything written in the Bible (if understood the way it was intended) is theologically, historically, and scientifically true.  It is therefore edifying to read the Bible, and obeying the principles in the Bible is obeying God.

God: There is only one God.  He is almighty, all-knowing, eternal, uncreated and unchanging.  He is righteous, merciful, gracious, and loving.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three divine persons.  Each of them is God, and together they are God.  He created all that exists and sustains it for His name�����s sake.  God has planned everything that happens, and nothing happens except by His will.

Humans: God created Adam and Eve, physical humans, in His image on the sixth day of creation.  When they disobeyed God, their sin affected nature itself and all their descendants.  All humans, descendants of Adam, are disobedient to God and seek their own glory instead of worshiping Him.  According to the principles of righteousness they deserve punishment.   The righteous consequence for sin is eternal punishment in Hell.

Salvation: God loved humans and did not wish that they be righteously punished in Hell.  The Father therefore sent His Son, Jesus, as predicted by the Old Testament, to be punished in our stead.  The only way to avoid righteous punishment and rather be forever with Jesus is to admit and repent of sin and trust God’s salvation.  This happens by trust in God alone, independent of good deeds.�� When we turn to God we are forgiven and the Holy Spirit lives in us and leads us in good deeds.  God has beforehand chosen those that will be saved, and those that are saved cannot lose their salvation.  No one can be saved except through Jesus.  Those that are saved seek to glorify God by everything they do, but still continue to sin and repent of their sin until they die.

The end times: Jesus will return to judge all humans who have ever lived.  He will separate those who have trusted God and repented of their sins from those who have not.  The first group goes to heaven to live with Jesus because He took the punishment they deserved; the second group goes to Hell to receive the just punishment for their own sin.

The church: Jesus’ church, or Jesus’ body, is comprised of all humans on Earth that are saved.  A local church is comprised of a group of saved individuals who gather to serve Jesus.  The head of the church is Jesus, and each local church should be led by a group of qualified elders.  The church should meet regularly to correct, exhort, and encourage each other, stirring one another up to love and good works, edifying others with each other’s spiritual gifts, hearing the Bible preached, worshiping God in song to remind one another of Biblical truths, praying together, and spreading the gospel of Jesus to the rest of the world.