South Baton Rouge Church of Christ Core Beliefs
We use the term “core beliefs” to designate those beliefs that we consider essential Christian
beliefs that we as a church unite around. They are not simply what we affirm, but are the
foundation for how we live our individual and corporate lives, a framework for how we interpret Scripture,
and express a shared faith that binds us together in unity.
There is one true and living God, the eternal triune God who reveals Himself to us
as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our highest calling as humans is to love God with all our being and devote our lives to obeying and serving Him.
GOD THE FATHER
God is Creator of the universe, in particular our world, and by His power sustains and rules over it. Central to His character is His great redemptive love for us, which has been most clearly and importantly demonstrated in the coming, death, and resurrection of His
eternal Son, Jesus, an event that lies at the heart of the biblical story and the Christian faith.
Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God. Although co-equal with the Father, he humbly came to earth and fully became a man. He demonstrated God's love toward us and made His grace available to us by dying a sacrificial death on a cross, voluntarily suffering in our place the penalty that our sins deserve. After three days He rose from the grave, conquering death and offering forgiveness, a new relationship as a child of God, and eternal life for everyone who believes in Him and becomes his follower (disciple). His desire is for everyone to enter that relationship. He now reigns as Lord and as High Priest intercedes for his people.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
Through the Holy Spirit God dwells within God’s people. The Holy Spirit comes to us as a gift at the time of our salvation to be a Helper and Guide. He gives assurance that we are God’s children, unifies us together in Christ, and equips us with spiritual gifts for Christian service. He instructs, guides, molds, and comforts us, and produces godly virtues in our lives.
We are created in the image of God, designed to recognize and honor Him as God, live in fellowship with him, and share in his oversight of creation. But God gave us the choice to love Him, or to turn away. The first man, Adam, chose to sin, and every person since has followed in his path. Through our moral failings and mistreatment of others (sin) and through our self-serving life-style, we have lived apart from God and alienated ourselves from Him. It is impossible for us through our own efforts to make amends and experience reconciliation with God. Only Jesus, through the grace of God, can bridge this gulf.
When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for our sin. When he rose again, he conquered death for us as well. When we believe in Jesus, turn from our old way of living (repent), confess our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and are baptized into Christ, we receive, through the grace of God, the gifts of forgiveness, salvation, and the Holy Spirit. We are adopted into God’s family as His children and know Him henceforth as our Heavenly Father. We are blessed with the abundant life Jesus brought and the great hope of sharing in the resurrection of Jesus at the end of time and live our lives in light of that hope. All this is possible only through the gracious work of God through Jesus.
The church was founded by and belongs to Jesus and consists of those who have accepted this salvation and become followers of Jesus. It is the Body of Christ on the earth. We gather regularly to worship and fellowship and to remember, celebrate and proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus, primarily through the Lord’s Supper. But beyond that our whole lives are to be a worship of devoted service to God. We are to live together in Christian unity, to love and encourage one another, and to use our gifts in service to God and one another. And we are to be molded with the help of God’s Spirit to be people who reflect more and more the character of Jesus, those moral and spiritual qualities that please and honor God.
CHRISTIAN MISSION AND LIFE
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the church as well as individual Christians continues the task of reaching out to and sharing the good news of Jesus with non-believers. Those already believers need to be encouraged and instructed, so that they can mature in the faith, become fully devoted followers of Christ, and be transformed more and more into his image. Believers are also called to be a loving community and to follow the example of Christ in serving and helping those in all kinds of need or distress and encouraging a good and just society. In short, the church seeks to establish God’s Kingdom on earth.
The Bible is the inspired word of God written by men guided by the Holy Spirit to whom God had revealed Himself. It is our trustworthy guide for truth, faith, and life. It records the story of God’s redemptive love to win a lost world back to Him. It tells us who God is, why He loves us, what He has done for us, and what His plans are for us. Through Scripture God reveals to us the truths He wants us to know and equips us for living fruitful lives of service to Him.
At the close of his ministry and resurrection appearances, Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, where he reigns as Lord. At the end of time He will return in power and glory. There will be a resurrection and a final judgment of all, with faithful believers and followers of Jesus being welcomed into God’s presence and eternal kingdom.
Each of the preceding paragraphs should be carefully considered in the light of the accompanying scriptures. The scriptural references root the texts in scripture and amplify on them. Conversely the texts identify and focus on key ideas from the scriptures and attempt to
express them clearly. Paragraphs and texts should be read and studied together.