What we believe about God, Jesus, the Bible, baptism, communion, and more.
1. We live by the what the Bible says
2. Jesus is the Lord of our lives
3. We always work to reach the unsaved with the news of Jesus’ love
4. We teach and train believers in Jesus
5. We live in unity with each other
6. We glorify God in all we do and say
First Christian Church of Malvern is affiliated with Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. These churches arose from the “Restoration Movement” begun in the early 19th century on the American frontier under the leadership of such men as Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell. Churches within the Stone-Campbell heritage seek to honor Jesus’ prayer in John 17, promoting world evangelism by practicing unity in the church based upon the restoration of biblical authority and the elements of New Testament Christianity. This movement refuses to embrace extra-biblical creeds as tests of fellowship, standing on the Scriptures alone as the foundation for faith and practice. Furthermore, each congregation is self-governing under Christ, so individual churches may differ from one another on matters not specifically addressed by Scripture. Therefore, the statements that follow are descriptive, not creedal—designed to help people understand the positions generally held by Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, including First Christian Church of Malvern.
God is one Being in three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
He is the source of all creation (Gen. 1:1; John 1:1-2), which He sustains (Col. 1:17) and is in the process of redeeming us (Rom. 8:19-22). God the Father loves us and desires that we have fellowship with Him as His children (I John 1:3)
Jesus is the incarnation of God the Son. He is the Word become flesh (John 1:14), and He now holds all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). He is Savior and Lord. He made human salvation possible through His life, death on the cross, and resurrection. He ascended into heaven where He is now our high priest and advocate. He is head of the Church.
The Holy Spirit works actively in the world, seeking to glorify Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come (John 16:5-11). The Holy Spirit indwells believers individually and corporately in the Church. The Holy Spirit helps to develop within the Christian a pure heart which results in Christ-like character expressed in private and public conduct and action.
The “Bible” consists of the sixty-six (66) “books,” letters, and epistles which comprise both the Old and New Testament scriptures. The “Scriptures” or “Scripture” is the uniquely divinely inspired Word of God (2 Tim, 3:14-17; 2 Peter1:16-21). The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice for Christians. FCCM affirms that Scripture is the infallible, authoritative revelation from God by which we know God’s will and Christ’s authority. We seek to follow what the Scriptures clearly assert and allow freedom in other cases. We seek to understand divine intent, through authorial intent, and we seek to apply its teaching to the contemporary church and culture.
Human beings were created by God to walk in fellowship with Him. However, all (except Jesus) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and must rely on God’s grace and forgiveness. Every human from the moment of the conception of life is in the image of God (imago deo), a person to be nurtured, protected, and developed.
God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27).
Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
The term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated by Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Salvation is by God alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. One accepts Christ as Lord and Savior through a process of conversion that includes faith, repentance, confession, and baptism (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 10:47-48; Rom. 10:9). God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). The requirements for salvation and for church membership are identical.
Baptism is by immersion and is essential for salvation. In baptism a believer is immersed— crucified and buried with Christ (Rom. 6:3-4); receives forgiveness of sin and the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38); is resurrected (Col. 2:12); clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27); and becomes saved (1 Peter 3:21) because of God’s free gift of grace received through faith (Eph. 2:8)
The Church is the body of Christ on earth and the community of believers throughout the world. At the moment of salvation a person is added to the Church. In addition, the “priesthood of all believers” means each Christian is called to be a serving minister (1 Peter 2:9-10), using his or her spiritual gifts to help build the Church and to edify believers (1 Cor. 12:4-7; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Thess. 5:11). The Church’s mission is the Great Commission (Matt. 8:18-20) (See also 1 Cor. 6:15; 1 Cor. 12:27; Col. 1:24)
The Lord’s Supper is the celebration of the New Covenant in which the Christian community and the Church remembers Christ—His death, burial, and resurrection—and recalls the covenant relationship they have with Him and with one another. FCCM and other congregations in this fellowship typically observe the Lord’s Supper at least weekly (1 Cor. 11:17-34)
The Final Coming of Jesus is a prophesied event when Christ will personally and bodily come again as Savior and Judge of the world. At that time there will be the bodily resurrection of the dead believers to eternal life with God and the bodily resurrection of unbelievers to eternal punishment. Sin will be no more and believers will live in fellowship with God forever (1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:11-15).
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