We believe in what is stated historically in the ancient documents known as The Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed as embodying fundamental truths of the Christian faith.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
We believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
THE NICENE CREED
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Our theology is not innovative—anyone familiar with historic Christian doctrine will find that these statements fall in the center of historic church theology.
We try not to be dogmatic about matters on which Bible-based believers have held divergent views. We want our core beliefs to be centered in Christ and His message as found in and supported by the clearest passages of Scripture. More obscure doctrine or teachings with debatable support are left to individuals to sort out on their own—we take no official position in these areas.
We accept those areas of doctrinal teaching on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true Christians. Because of the clear and focused purpose of CLC, we desire to allow for freedom of conviction on other doctrinal matters, provided that any interpretation is based upon the Bible alone, and that no such interpretation shall become an issue which hinders the ministry to which God has called us.
“Let there be real harmony among you so there won’t be any split in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Christian Life Church recognizes diversity among Christians in nonessential areas. We do not press for uniformity in these areas, but rather encourage people to search the Scriptures, seeking balance, mutual understanding, humility and love. Additionally, we seek to respect one another´s differences without a quarrelsome, arrogant or divisive spirit, and to return continually to the great commandment, to love God and one another. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Romans 14:1-15:7, 16:17; 2 Timothy 2:14-17, 23-26; James 3:13-17; Philippians 2:1-5
In essential beliefs (EXPLICIT Scriptural Principles) – we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit… there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…” Ephesians 4:4-6
Disunity hurts the body of Christ and His cause. We guard our unity and diligently seek to honestly confront and work through differences in God-honoring ways that both respect the individual (made in God’s image) and preserve the oneness in Christ we need to manifest.
In non-essential beliefs (DEBATABLE, HISTORICALLY CONTROVERSIAL OR IMPLICIT) – we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters… Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. …So then each of us will give account of himself to God… So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” Romans 14:1, 4, 5,12, 22
In all our beliefs – we show love.
“…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains-but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.” I Corinthians 13:2
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, fully inspired, without error in the original manuscripts, and the infallible rule of faith and practice.
We believe that God speaks to us in the Bible, and that it is our privilege to seek to understand God´s message and apply it responsibly to our lives. The Bible is our standard in all we say and do. God’s unchangeable Biblical message ought to be presented in relevant and contemporary ways, free of religious jargon and understandable to the people of our community.
Scripture thus at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
Because God cannot lie, this written Word is completely reliable, so we must let it judge us instead of us judge it. Though other books, both modern and ancient, may contain helpful spiritual truth, no other writings are “God-breathed” in the way the Bible is—truth is mixed with error everywhere except in the Bible. That is why we base our beliefs on its teaching and submit all our thoughts and plans to its scrutiny.
SOME PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
We endeavor to regularly read and study the Bible, privately and publicly, to understand its message.
We reject claims that any human or ecclesiastical intermediary is necessary for us to know and relate to God—we have His Word, and we are each individually responsible to learn what it says.
All aspects of our life and conduct must be submitted to what the Bible teaches about that area—we must obey what we discover God has commanded.
Messages given by Christian Life Church teachers must provide teaching supported by Scripture.
We do not accept doctrines, no matter what is claimed as their source, if they do not square with what the Bible says; supposed “modern prophets”, “new revelation”, or any message—even if apparently given miraculously—must be tested by the Bible.
Matthew 5:17-19; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrew 4:12; 2 Peter 1:16-21 and 2 Peter 3:14-18; Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:9-16; Joshua 1:7-8; Acts 17:11
We believe that there is one Living and True God, eternally existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; and that this triune God created all, upholds all and governs all.
Genesis 1:1; John 14:6-9,15-17; John 16:7-15; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 4:9-10; Matthew 3:16-17; John 17
We believe all people are created in the image of God and are eternally loved by Him ,but became alienated from that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, man is totally incapable of coming back into a right relationship with God by his own effort.
Romans 3:19-23; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1-2,12
We believe that God expressed himself in human form through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified for the sins of us all, was buried, rose again from the dead, and ascended to heaven.
Colossians 1:13-23; Colossians 2:8-14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Matthew 22:36-40; John 14:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 10:42-43; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Luke 1:26-38; John 14:1-3; Acts 2:36; Acts 3:14-15; Philippians 2:5-12
We believe Jesus Christ will come again bodily and visibly to the earth to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
Acts 1:10-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; James 5:8; Revelation 1:7
We believe that all people are created with dignity and value in the image of God, to live in a vital relationship with God. However, through our sin (failing to live by God´s moral standards), we break our intended relationship with God and we experience the destructive consequences of that broken relationship, spiritually and socially, in this life and beyond. However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from those consequences and to restore our broken relationships with God and others, through Christ´s death on the cross, a perfect act of redemption for each of us. Salvation comes to people on the basis of God´s grace through their faith in Jesus alone. They receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn through repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus Christ. Good works and a holy life, although totally unable to save anyone, are the natural product of repentant, believing people.
I Peter 2:24; 3:18; Romans 3:9-28; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-8; James 2:14-26
We believe the true universal church consists of everyone who through faith in Jesus Christ are united together in the one body of Christ. The universal church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations throughout the world, local churches. Local churches are expressions of the universal church in a particular place and time, who assemble to worship, carry forth the Great Commission, and minister as the Holy Spirit leads.. We value and respect all of God’s people, past and present, and desire to partner with other churches in solidarity and unity.
Matthew 16:18; 28:19-20; Acts 2:40-47; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:22-32; I Timothy 3:15
We believe that the two sacraments of the Church are Water Baptism and Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper). We believe that the sacraments are open to all believers.
Water Baptism: Water baptism is a symbol of identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, typifies the death of the old man and the resurrection of the new man in Christ, and is done in obedience to Divine command of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper): A remembrance of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and a time of self-examination and renewal for the believer.
Luke 22:13-20; Matthew 3:15-16; 8:19-20; Acts 8:38; Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:12
Christian Life Church provides the opportunity for Christian parents to present their children for the ceremony of Dedication, whereby God’s blessing is formally invoked upon the children, and the parent’s public ally commit themselves to raise the children in accordance with the Scripture.
Christian Life Church offers the option of believers’ baptism in the modes of sprinkling and immersion on the basis of a sacramentarian view of the ordinances whereby their value lies in the symbolism they convey and in the faith of the participants rather than the nature or amount of the elements used, as bread and wine for communion, and water for baptism.
We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself. By obedience to the Word and daily yielding to the Spirit, every believer will mature and become conformed to the image of Christ.
We believe that believers should seek, as the early disciples did, to practice standards of conduct which shall exalt our Lord and His Church. When it is deemed best for the life of the fellowship and the testimony of the Lord, the church authorities may discipline, in the spirit of love, any member who departs from the doctrines set forth in these articles, or whose conduct is contrary to the spirit and practice of this church body.
Romans 12:1-3; II Corinthians 6:17; Galatians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11; Colossians 3:17; Matthew 18:15-20
We believe the Scriptures clearly set forth the doctrines of eternal judgment.
Matthew 24:34,41,46; Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:11-15
We believe the Holy Spirit to be the third Person of the Triune God, equal with the Father and Jesus Christ as being God. We believe in the Holy Spirit’s immediate gracious presence and power through His fruit, gifts and ongoing enablement.
We believe that the Holy Spirit, sent from God to live inside all who believe in Jesus Christ, teaches, comforts, and empowers us, giving each follower diverse gifts, fostering unity, interdependence, productivity, Christ-like character, and love among Christians.
Romans 5:5; Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 4:3-4; Ephesians 5:18; John 14:26; John 16:7-14; Luke 11:13; John 14:16-17; 16:7-14; Acts 2:39-48; I Corinthians 12:8-11; Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:4,5,8; Acts 2:38-41; Acts 2:4, 10:44-47; 19:1-6
FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
We believe in freedom of conscience, that all individuals are responsible for their own choices and behavior. Even though God has ordained both civil and spiritual authorities, we believe each person to be directly accountable to God; thus all service, civil and religious, should be rendered voluntarily, joyfully, and from a free conscience.
This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.
Truth is found in the Scriptures—but truth is not found ONLY in the Scriptures. The Bible is sufficient for our spiritual lives, but many other beneficial things can be learned through other means. We embrace whatever we can learn from whatever legitimate source, always passing it through the discerning grid of God’s unerring Word. What Scripture teaches, we embrace. Beyond that, no person, organization, or writings have authority to dictate our beliefs.
We do not take stands on controversial issues about which the Bible is silent; individuals are left to their own conscience before the Lord rather than depending on the church to tell them what to think or do.
We believe that our core beliefs are an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not mentioned in such a way as to cause dissension.
We believe that our core beliefs is not teaching of our own design, but an accurate reflection of the Bible’s main themes, true for all people at all times in every place.
This final statement simply asks that everyone in our fellowship agree that, even if they have differing opinions, there be no divisiveness.
We are free to express our own opinions among our brothers and sisters, but we don’t want to ever harm the church by gathering a following around ourselves (or an interpretation of a controversial issue) to create a splinter-group.
We value the well-being of Christ’s body above our desire for self-expression; though no authority has a right to police our thoughts, we agree not to speak with unwarranted conviction when our opinions pertain to non-biblical matters or when our views differ from this Statement of Faith.