When it comes to theology and doctrine, Disciples Church trusts fully in the authority and teaching of the holy Bible.
We affirm 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Since the first few centuries, the Christian Church has found it helpful to summarize its biblical doctrine– its core beliefs and teachings– through summarized points in creeds and confessions (also called Statements or Affirmations). Over the many centuries, this approach has proven to be helpful in communicating God’s truth, clarifying biblical convictions, and protecting from/refuting false teaching.
Below you will find the Statement of Beliefs of the members of Disciples Church.
Disciples Church has also been blessed by the historic and longstanding orthodox teachings of those throughout church history. We have come to increasingly benefit from the faithful work of the historic Baptist Confession of 1689, which can be found here: THE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF 1689
Disciples Church Statement of Beliefs
We believe God is the almighty Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of everything. He is perfect and the standard by which all things are measured. There is only one true God. God exists eternally as one God, three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. God is eternal, self-existent, and self-sufficient. He has ordained all things that come about, is all-knowing, and is in control of all things.
We believe the Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant, authoritative, written word. The Bible is completely true and without error in its original manuscripts. The holy Bible is sufficient and the final authority for our understanding of God and His will for His creation.
Creation, Sin, and Humanity
We believe God created humanity and every other created thing.
God made all things to glorify Him, so His glory would be known and praised.
God created Adam and Eve in His image. They were created good, blessed, and with no sin.
Sin is any disobedience in heart or deed to God’s perfect law and commands.
God chose Adam to act as the representative of the entire human race. Adam disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden fruit, which brought about the fall of mankind. As a result of the sin of Adam, all people are guilty: born sinful by nature, enslaved to sin, and practice sin willingly and continually; therefore, all are due the just penalty of God’s perfect wrath. In and of oneself, a person can do nothing that honors God and has no will that longs to trust in Jesus, apart from effective saving grace exerted by God to transform them. In addition to the curse on mankind, creation is also cursed and broken because of sin. It does not function in the “good” way in which God created it.
We believe God’s law is the requirements on man often expressed through commands that God has given. God’s law displays His perfections and glory, informs mankind what is required of us, and reveals our sin and our desperate need for Jesus. Throughout time, God has given certain commands for a particular people, a particular purpose, and a particular time, while all people in all times are accountable to His eternal, unchanging moral law.
God the Son
We believe Jesus is eternally God the Son and is co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus took on human nature at the incarnation yet remained eternally, fully divine at the same time. Jesus Christ is one Person, fully God and fully man. He was conceived in the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, and He obeyed God’s law perfectly: He never sinned. By His death on the Cross, Christ fully satisfied God’s divine wrath as the atoning sacrifice and the perfect substitute in place of the elect. On the third day, Jesus rose physically from the grave. Jesus is alive, and His body is exalted in heaven, where He is preparing a place for His redeemed people and interceding for them in the presence of God the Father. Jesus will physically return according to the will of God.
We believe the gospel is the good news of the grace and power of God to redeem undeserving sinners to eternal life through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life; substitutional, sacrificial death; and victorious resurrection from the grave. These sinners are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone from the eternal wrath they deserved and are reconciled into an eternally secure relationship with God.
We believe God commissions His saved saints to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people everywhere, unto the ends of the earth. God has ordained that this gospel proclamation is the means by which He brings about salvation. By God’s will alone and according to His sovereign timing, the Holy Spirit causes each of His elect to be born again, giving new life and saving faith in Jesus. We believe the gift of saving faith includes both repentance and belief (trust) in Jesus Christ alone. In repentance, we joyfully and willingly turn away from sin, including self-reign, and turn instead to Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Lord of our lives. In belief, we trust wholly in the deity and work of Jesus Christ, rather than trusting our own assumed worth, works, will, or ability.
Among other blessings, salvation includes the forgiveness of all our sins, justification, reconciliation, adoption, progressive sanctification, and final glorification. Justification is the legal declaration in which God declares a believer not guilty based on being credited Jesus Christ’s perfect righteousness. Adoption is the gracious act of God in which He makes a believer one of His children, giving the privileges of sonship.
Progressive sanctification is growing in holiness, which is a lifelong process powered by the Holy Spirit to make us more like Christ.
Everyone who has been truly born again will persevere in saving faith forever by the power and work of the Holy Spirit. God will lose none of those He saves.
God the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is eternally the third Person of the triune God and is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit does the work of new birth, indwells every genuine believer at salvation, and seals them forever. The Holy Spirit enables believers to understand God’s word, convicts us of sin, comforts us, prays for us, leads us, progressively sanctifies us, and gives us the desire and ability to obey God. He also gives us spiritual gifts, which are to be used to build up the body of Christ and are to be exercised according to biblical guidelines and priorities. In accordance with His sovereign power, the Holy Spirit uses means such as the Bible, prayer, preaching, discipleship, trials, and Christian fellowship/accountability in the process of maturing Christians.
The universal Church is all the members of the body of Christ, made up of people from all times and all around the world. It is all who are called out of darkness, regenerated, and set apart by God’s saving grace. It is all the genuine believers in Jesus. Christ Jesus commissions His Church to be discipled and make disciples among all nations.
The local church is a group of professing believers who have covenanted to unify together to worship and glorify God by fulfilling the commands and mission God has given to the body of Christ. The Bible distinctly instructs a local church to have qualified elders and committed members, of which some may be qualified deacons. The local church is to submit to the authority of the Bible, follow the leadership of qualified elders, regularly gather together, serve one another, practice higher levels of accountability, and live missional lives together.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned two ordinances to the local church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both serve as a physical testimony of the gospel and are to be celebrated and practiced by the redeemed until He returns.
Baptism is a holy, New Covenant ordinance from our Lord Jesus and in no way contributes to one’s salvation. Baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection.
The Lord’s Supper is a holy, New Covenant ordinance from our Lord Jesus, whereby professing and accountable believers gather together regularly to remember, celebrate, and testify of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ by consuming the elements which represent His body and blood.
Marriage and Singleness
Marriage is a covenant relationship whereby God joins together one man and one woman into a one flesh union designed to be faithful and last until the couple is separated by death.
According to Scripture, marriage is the sole context God has ordained for sexual intimacy and sexual engagement.
Men and women are equal in dignity and value; both are created in the image of God.
God has ordained the role of the husband to lovingly lead his wife and family. God has ordained the role of the wife to joyfully submit to her husband’s leadership as his helper.
God has blessed some with the gift of singleness and some with the gift of marriage. Both singleness and marriage are valued and used by God to accomplish His purposes.
We believe all Christians are to joyfully submit to biblically-based accountability. This accountability is loving correction to someone who professes to be a Christian when he/she is out of step of core sound doctrine or practicing other sin. If he/she does not repent after biblical efforts are made, then God’s instruction is dis-fellowship until he/she does. We practice Christian accountability because of our love for God and our love for one another. It glorifies God when we trust and obey His commanded will, and it is loving to others to treat them the way God has ordained.
Last Things: Resurrection, Final Judgment, and Eternity
We believe that beyond this one life, there are no additional chances to repent and trust in Jesus alone.
God has appointed a day on which He will righteously judge the world by Jesus Christ, in Whom is all power and judgment. On that day, the fallen angels and all people who were conceived to life will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of all their thoughts, words, and deeds–whether good or evil.
God’s purpose for this day is for the manifestation of the glory, both of His merciful grace in the eternal salvation of believers in Christ Jesus and of His justice in the eternal damnation of the unbelieving.
The souls of people who did not have saving faith in Christ Jesus will be united forever with their bodies, and upon their final judgment, they will be thrown into hell and punished by God’s wrath forever because of their guilt.
Hell is the place of eternal death with dreadful and endless torment. The worst part of hell is not getting to enjoy the blessed presence of and reconciliation to God. In hell, God is rightly punishing both humans who did not repent and trust in Jesus and fallen angels.
The souls of people who had saving faith in Christ Jesus will be united forever with their bodies, now finally glorified. Upon their final judgment, these people will go into everlasting life and receive fullness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards in the blessed presence of the Lord.
Eternal life in the new heaven and new earth will be a more intimate communion with God, and we will be free from sin, evil, sickness, suffering, and death. We will be in the Lord’s presence and glorifying Him for all eternity. It is better than we can even imagine.