What We Believe
We are a Bible-based congregation of the Lord's church, meaning that we rest our beliefs on the inspired word of God found in the Bible. Because the Bible is such a large work which many people have interpreted in many different ways, it becomes necessary to publish on our website some of our beliefs. These beliefs have come from careful, prayerful, study of the Bible. Also, while there are a few verses referenced for each section, by no means are these the only passages dealing these topics, but are included to show the basis of each section. The following list is not a comprehensive study covering all of our understanding of the Bible, and it is not intended to be taken as a man-made creed or set of doctrines. The purpose of this list is so that a visitor to our assembly can know what we believe the Bible teaches on a few of the more common issues. If you have questions about any of the issues listed below, or any other issue please feel free to contact us.
Inspiration of Scripture:
“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.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
The word "inspiration" denotes that all scripture has been God breathed, that it is from the mouth of God. This process of inspiration is a beautiful process through which God gave His word to men to write down. Those who wrote the scriptures did not invent their writings themselves, but were given the words to write by God. Further we learn that we must allow the scriptures to interpret themselves because;
“knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21, ESV)
God had specific meanings for each sentence that He had the prophets write down. Thus when we study we must strive to discover the meaning that God intended for His scripture, rather than inserting our own bias into the words of God. Please contact us for more information on the inspiration of the scripture or how we got the Bible that we read today.
Salvation in Christ:
Salvation is the process through which we come into a right relationship with God. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, ESV). Because of this we are in need of salvation; “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, ESV).
Now the question that has been debated by different religious groups through the ages is "how do we obtain salvation." Lucky for us, the Bible is quite clear on this fact.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6, ESV)
Jesus is the only way through which we can come to a right relationship with God. The words of Jesus teach us how we must come to God, for Jesus said;
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24, ESV)
Now Jesus said that you must hear His Words and believe in God in order to have eternal life. Next we have to ask what it means to believe. To truly believe in something, means to allow your knowledge to affect your actions. If you believe the house is on fire, then you will get out of that house! Simple mental acknowledgement of who Jesus is does not give salvation. The Bible states;
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19).
True belief affects our actions. The Bible speaks of the relationship between belief and obedience by saying;
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:26, ESV)
The teachings of Jesus should cause a person to turn from their sinful lifestyle to live the way that Jesus taught us to. This is called repentance. Jesus Himself preached that we all need to repent;
“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:17, ESV).
Since we, as fallen people, cannot save ourselves through good works, we still need the sanctifying work that Jesus performed on the cross and through His subsequent resurrection from the dead. The Bible states;
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, ESV)
Just before Jesus returned to heaven He finished instructing His apostles about how people could have their sins washed away and become His disciples.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Mathew 28:17-20, ESV)
Jesus commanded that people must be baptized in order to become His followers, and that they should continue to be taught to obey (or observe) all of His commandments. The Apostle Paul expounds on the importance of baptism when he writes;
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:1-7, ESV)
From this we see that it is through baptism that we are joined with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. If we are joined with Jesus in this, the gospel, then we can be freed from the punishment for our sins. The rest of Romans chapter six goes on to explain that we must live the rest of our lives as servants of Jesus by obeying His commands otherwise we will not receive the promised reward of spending eternity with Christ.
This has been a short discussion of the salvation that is found in Christ. By no means is this an exhaustive list of passages that deal with salvation, or a complete exposition of all the passages listed. If you have questions about the great salvation that is found in Christ, please contact us!
The Church that belongs to Jesus:
The apostle Paul, arguably one of the best missionaries in history as well as one of the most prolific writers in the New Testament, wrote;
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:1-5, ESV)
The church is considered the “body of Christ” (cf. Colossians 1:18; 2:18-19), this passage talks of the fact that there is one body, one Spirit, one faith and so on. But today we see thousands of different denominations, all with slightly different beliefs. When informed about this problem arising in the early church, Paul wrote the following.
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-17, ESV)
It is obvious that Christians are not supposed to take on the names of men, or form new churches based on the teaching of popular human teachers, but instead should take the name of Christ and follow His teachings. Because of this we strive to follow the Bible’s teaching as closely as possible so that we can be part of that one church that is spoken of in the Bible! Again, if you would like more information about this, please contact us!
Music in the Assembly:
An essential part of our Christian worship to God is music. Music can move the heart in ways beyond the ability of a sermon or a Bible class alone. Because of the potent power of music it is of utmost importance that we use music in the way the God has commanded us to. Paul states the proper use of music when he writes;
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-21, ESV)
We see the purpose for music shown here is to be filled with the Spirit. Furthermore we see here the type of music that God wants us to use in our assembly is singing, or vocal music, as this is the way that we are able to teach one another with our music. Paul gives us more information on the subject of music in the assembly when he writes;
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17, ESV)
Here we see again that singing is the specified form of music to be used. Through singing we allow the word of Christ to dwell in us richly. Paul also points out that we are to teach each other through our singing. Boiling these down we see that the music in our assemblies is supposed to be singing (we call this a capella music), that the songs we sing must teach correctly about Christ, and that we should give thanks to God through our singing. Contact us for more information!
The Lord's Supper:
Often called the Communion, the Lord’s Supper is a time for us to memorialize the death of our Lord. Jesus Himself instituted this memorial at the last supper with His apostles the night that He was betrayed.
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’” (Matthew 26:26-29, ESV)
In following with the example of the early Christians, we observe this memorial every first day of the week (cf. Acts 20:7). All Christians are invited to join us in this memorial whether or not they are from our local area.
The Bible is clear in its instruction about the leadership of the church.
“And what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:19-23, ESV)
It is clear that Jesus is the head of the church, He is the King, the ruler of the church and we must follow His will as it is outlined in the Bible. Considering the vast scope of the Bible and the varying degrees that any given Christian is knowledgeable of the Bible, God saw fit to specifically outline how the leadership of the church should function. God did not set up an earthly headquarters for the church, with a ruling body or person that governs all the congregations of the Lord’s church. Instead He wants each congregation to be self-governing (also known as autonomous), with multiple elders in each congregation serving as shepherds. We see that Paul and Barnabas set up elders in every congregation they established (Acts 14:21-23), and that Paul commanded Titus to establish elderships in every congregation on Crete (Titus 1:5). The Bible gives very specific requirements which a man must meet in order to be an elder, as well as outlining the scope and limits of their authority (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
The Lakes Region congregation is now blessed to have a qualified eldership. Our elders Dan King and Rob Blouin strive to shepherd the flock acording to God's Word being mindful of the importance of the position.