Church of Christ
Declaration of Faith
1. We believe…God Almighty is the Creator of Heaven and Earth. His nature is a Trinity consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. His words and works are endless, and His ways are unknown by man except man is redeemed and quickened by the Spirit in a new birth.
2. We believe…Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God who is One with the Father. He was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, Israel, and He was conceived by the Holy Ghost. He lived a sinless life in the flesh, and He was baptized by John the Baptist. After He was baptized by water, then the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. He performed mighty works among the Jews that no man has ever done before, such as healings, miracles and resurrections. He was crucified by the hand of the Roman Empire (at the demand of a Jewish mob) on Mount Calvary near Jerusalem. Jesus Christ was resurrected on the 3rd day, along with many other Saints, who ascended to heaven in a cloud after 40 days. He will return at the time of the restitution of all things as written by the prophets, according to Acts 3:21. This finished work of Jesus Christ, which is the death of Christ and the shedding of His innocent blood, is called the infinite atonement in Scriptures. It is by this means which the dead letters and stones of the Law of Moses (the ministry of death) was fulfilled and rendered obsolete.
3. We believe…The Church of Christ in its purest form is a non-denominational and spiritual Body of Christ, and not necessarily an organized religious group or church building. The opinions and traditions of men (otherwise known as heresy) are never to be used in place of Holy Scripture. The Holy Ghost is sent by the Father and Son in order to guide the affairs of the Church of Christ on earth. The Holy Ghost is the author and the inspiration of Holy Scripture.
4. We believe...The Holy Bible is the primary witness of God and His Son Jesus Christ on earth. There are other witnesses of Jesus Christ, such as the Modern Scriptures (consisting of the Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). According to Scripture, there must be at least two witnesses to testify of any truth. Any writing that claims to be divinely inspired must agree with the previous canon of Scripture. Scripture must always be checked and verified by Scripture, and not by the opinions of men. The new birth and the infilling of the Holy Ghost is what is needed to understand and comprehend Scripture, as it is written, “the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
5. We believe...For a man or woman to be saved into the Kingdom of God, they must first be born again as spoken by Jesus Christ in John 3:3 and John 3:5 to Nicodemus. Being born again happens by believing in the heart on the Lord Jesus, and confessing with the mouth that He is the Lord and Christ who was raised from the dead, as written by the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:9. After being born of God, a believer must grow into the likeness of Christ through daily walking in Him by the Holy Ghost, eating the bread of life and repenting of sins. Contrition for sin, and gratitude for grace must be part of the walk of a Christian man or woman. If a man or woman endures till the end, they will be glorified and crowned with eternal life and glory, but only if they overcome all things. (Revelation 21:7) According to Scripture, it is not possible to lose the salvation of Christ after the new birth, but it is only possible to lose the rewards of higher blessings and honour. (1 Corinthians 3:14-15)
6. We believe…In order to preach the Gospel, one must be called by God into ministry. The Holy Ghost calls people to ministry after the ancient order of the Church of Christ, which consists of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are to be in operation in order to prove that the Church of Christ has power from on high, such as gifts of healing, miracles, gifts of tongues and interpretations, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, and any other gift that the Holy Ghost desires to use. The Holy Ghost baptism is a source of infinite power and wisdom for the use of the Holy Priesthood of the Church of Christ.
7. We believe…According to Scripture, there will be a literal ingathering of Saints upon the United States nation prior to the coming of Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven. According to modern revelation, this place of gathering is in northern Missouri starting at Independence, and round about that area. This will be a place of great glory and the establishing and purchasing the stakes of Zion. This event in Scripture is called “the redemption of Zion” so that the Lord has a gathered and spiritually organized assembly of Saints. The old Jerusalem will one day be restored as well, but before that happens there must be a greater glory for the remnant of Jacob who will receive the fullness of God on earth in order to make jealous the Jews, as it is written, “I will make them jealous by a foolish nation.” (Deuteronomy 32:21) According to D&C 85, only those who are written in the Book of Life and also the Book of Remembrance will have a mansion, an estate, or an inheritance among the Bride of Christ (which is Zion, or New Jerusalem).
8. We believe…The Scriptures promise the salvation of all men in their own order (1 Timothy 2:4). The Scriptures promise that all people will bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ, both in heaven, on earth and under the earth (which is hell). The Scriptures promise a resurrection of all men and women from the dead, and being judged according to their works. Men and women are free agents to act and worship according to their free will. The Scriptures promise that salvation is a free gift of Grace and not something earned by merit. The Gospel is also preached unto the dead, due to the promise of resurrection life, as written by the Apostle Peter. (1 Peter 4:6)
9. We believe…In being subject to the powers and principalities that are now in heaven and on earth. In honoring and allowing the execution of the law of the land and living within the boundaries of the law. To do unto others as we want done unto us is the entirety of keeping and fulfilling any righteous law, according to Jesus Christ. (Matthew 7:12)
10. We believe…The merchandising of spiritual things is a false doctrine inasmuch as it can be avoided, as Jesus told the Jews, “do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise.” (John 2:16) The publishing of the Gospel should be a high priority, but it should not be motivated by financial gain or market value. People who minister should rely on God’s provisions and not serve Jesus Christ merely for money. The Gospel message should be free of charge inasmuch as it is possible, but it is not wrong to have a secondary option to purchase the writings of God, so long as people have a bountiful eye in sharing profits with the poor as well.
11. We believe…God greatly rewards financial giving, as pertaining to tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:9-10 is an important Scripture that shows the massive blessings that God promises to those who support the ministry and also the promotion of the poor. It also says there is a cursed condition for people who refuse to give to God, or refuse to share with the poor, in the appropriate amounts (between 10%-20% at least). Giving is not a necessity for common salvation, but it is a requirement for larger blessings and open heavens. Also Isaiah 58 promises speedy health and spiritual vitality to those who give to the work of God and the support of the poor. People must be careful to only support godly ministries that promote godly wisdom, Grace and purity, and not funding lavish lifestyles that do not befit the name of Christ.
12. We believe…Marriage is between one man and one woman. This is a holy institution of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ on earth and in heaven if people inherit a celestial body of flesh and bone as Jesus received on Easter morning. The bodies we have in the resurrection are immortal and glorified according to the transforming work and ministry of Jesus Christ and the Holy Priesthood. For marriage to be legitimate in God’s eyes it must be a union made according to the Word of God and the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Also we believe we are loosed from the letter of the law in the death of Jesus Christ, and we must serve and live according to the Spirit and grace of Christ (See Romans 7:4, 7:6). In other words, in the resurrection of Christ we are not legally bound to any person or thing, but we must daily offer to God our possessions into His keeping. We must accept only God’s will in all things, and not seek our own will.
13. We believe…The two main sacraments of Christianity are merely dead works that symbolize a spiritual reality. Water baptism does not truly save a soul, and neither does eating communion elements. The baptism that saves the soul is our identification with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection, as written by the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:21). Also being washed by the water of the Word, as written by the Apostle Paul. (Ephesians 5:26) The communion that saves a soul is our daily eating and drinking of Christ in the Scriptures, our communing with God in the secret place, and fellowshipping with and edifying our fellow saints. We do not forbid anyone to be baptized with water, or take holy communion elements, but we must know that this is not enough to save a soul into the Kingdom. There must be genuine faith, repentance of all things that offend the Spirit, and spiritual growth by feeding on the Scriptures daily with a single eye unto His glory.
14. We believe…The name of Jesus Christ is the only name by which a man or woman can be saved into the Kingdom of God and it is the only name by which the Churches of God should be called by, namely, “The Church of Christ”. Anything we do is in the name of Christ, whether in word or deed, so long as we are founded on sound doctrine and not the doctrines of men or demons. The Church members were called “Christians” in the ancient sacred writings, and that is the only appropriate name for professing Christians who are true children of God. We must also know there are many false Christians, mere religious professors, and nominal Christians that are not true to the faith. Denominational and sectarian names are not legitimate names for the Churches of God. This is the case if they are not called by the name of Christ, nor founded on His rock of Gospel truth, and have not separated themselves from dead religious assemblies. The Church of Christ is called to be a vibrant and living spiritual Body, not a dead religious formality, and we must be the pillar and ground of all godly truth and wisdom.
15. We believe...The death of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His innocent blood on Calvary, was the atonement for the sins of all the world. God punished sin and dethroned Satan in the bruising of the body of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Forgiveness of sins is freely available to all people, and His love is for all people, but this is on a provisional and judicial level that God has done this. People must still confess Jesus Christ and repent of their sins if they desire to live better and holy lives. As the Apostle John wrote, there are sins unto death, and there are sins not unto death. (1 John 5:16) Sins like shedding innocent blood and rape are both punishable by the law of the land and must require punishment. God has different ways to deal with wrong behavior, and one of them is chastening. So people must know that even though God has atoned and forgiven all the sins on the Cross of Christ, there still must be repentance and departure from sinful lives in order for salvation into the Kingdom. We believe the Grace of God is the only way to be delivered in conjunction with faith.