At the Stolley Park church of Christ, we believe…
… that the Bible is the inspired word of God – a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. (2 Timothy 3:16 & Psalm 119:105)
… that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, who died for our sins and arose from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15: 1-8 & John 3:16)
… that forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life are available to all who will accept it. (John 3:16)
… that those accepting Christ must believe that he is the Son of God, repent of their sin, confess their faith, and be baptized into Him. (Romans 10:9 & Acts 2:38)
… that the Church is the body of Christ on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit and exists to save the lost and edify the saved. (Ephesians 4:1-16)
… that Jesus Christ will one day return to earth bringing judgment to unbelievers and eternal life to believers. And he will reign forever as King of kings and Lord of lords. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
What we believe about…
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God and that it was written for our instruction and learning. The Bible speaks with the authority of God and at the same time reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the inspired writers. We believe the Bible is the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
We believe that there is one true, holy God. We believe that God is eternal, that he is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. The bible teaches that God exists in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes and qualities of deity. In the beginning God created the world and everything in it. He continues to sustain His creation today by his sovereign power.
Jesus Christ is referred to in the bible as the Son of God. He was and is 100% God in every way. By a miraculous conception and virgin birth he became a man and walked on earth for about 33 years. He lived a life of perfect obedience to God the Father and voluntarily sacrificed his life for the sins of all mankind by dying on the cross as our substitute. After three days in the grave, God raised him from the dead. He later ascended into heaven, and is now reunited with the Father. At the end of time, He will come again to bring judgment to those who continue to rebel against God, and eternal life to those who have trusted in Him.
From the beginning, God desired a relationship with his creation. In the beginning that was possible for Adam & Eve. But when they rebelled and chose to go their own way, they were alienated from God and began to suffer the consequences of that decision. This is often referred to as “the fall of man” – because man fell out of that perfect relationship with God. This took place at the very beginning of human history, and all people since have suffered the same consequences for sin. Since it was man who broke the relationship, the only way it can be restored is for God to offer forgiveness. God offers forgiveness through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. We accept this offer by faith, repentance, confession, and obedience.
The book of Acts in the New Testament tells the story of the first generation of Christ followers. As they learned about their sin and the sacrifice of Jesus to be their Savior, people believed the message and began turning to God for salvation. They expressed their faith in two ways:
- Verbally – they acknowledged their need for a savior and their belief that Jesus was the way.
- Baptism – they were immediately baptized. Baptism was a decision and choice made by believers. Following that practice, we do not baptize infants. Only adults and children who are old enough to make this decision for themselves are baptized. Baptism in the bible was done by immersion – completely covering a person in water.
The Christian Life (The Holy Spirit)
A genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ will be seen in the life of a believer by holiness and obedience. The Bible teaches that at the point of salvation, God sends the Holy Spirit to live within all believers and guide them in knowing and understanding the will of God. The Holy Spirit empowers every believer with gifts for encouraging and building up the church. The Bible also teaches that the evidence of the Spirit working in a believer will be a wonderful mix of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.
Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body, and a judgment day that will determine the fate of each individual. The Bible teaches that each individual will be judged based on their own actions. Unbelievers – those who have rejected God in this life – will be separated from God forever. Believers will be received into the eternal presence of God and will be rewarded for their faith and obedience.
The church is the fellowship and family of believers. In the Bible, the church is called the body of Christ. Believers become members of His body and are added to the church by God himself. The bible teaches that believers should gather together for encouragement and fellowship, and to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of the Word, and Communion. Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church. Each church is overseen by elders and other supportive leadership. It’s members work together in love and unity with the purpose of glorifying Christ in the world.
Faith and Practice
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. Through the centuries, traditions have developed that give each church a distinctive flavor, but the ultimate authority in what should and should not be done rests with God.