What We Believe – A Brief Explanation of Our Views on Matters of Faith:
Madison Christian Church is affiliated with Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Even though we have a connection with these churches we are non-denominational. We trace our recent historical roots to the Restoration Movement begun in the early 19th Century on the American frontier under the leadership of men such as: Barton Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott and many others. We believe it is displeasing to God to embrace extra-biblical creeds as tests of fellowship. We believe we should stand on the Scriptures alone as the foundation for faith and practice. The statements that follow are descriptive of our understanding of some important doctrinal issues. These are meant to help people understand positions generally held by Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, including MCC.
We believe that:
GOD – is the one and only God. We believe He is One being in three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is the source of all creation (Gen. 1:1; John 1:1,2), which He sustains (Col. 1:17) and is currently redeeming mankind and all of creation (Romans 8:19-22). We believe God is all that Scripture teaches about Him.
JESUS – is the eternal Son of God…who was Immanuel (God with us), the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), the exact representation of His (God’s)being (Heb. 1:3) and the Word who became flesh (John 1:1,14). We believe He holds all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). We believe salvation and eternal life can be found ONLY in Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). We believe when Jesus came to earth He was fully God and fully man. He was born of His mother Mary who was a virgin at the time of His conception up to the time He was born. We believe He lived a sinless life, and died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and was literally/bodily raised from the dead. We believe He is seated at the right hand of God the Father and will return some day. He is our High Priest and Advocate with the Father and is the head of His body the Church.
THE HOLY SPIRIT – is actively working in the world seeking to glorify God the Son – Jesus Christ. We believe He convicts people of sin, righteousness and judgment to come (John 16:5-11). The Holy Spirit indwells believers individually and corporately in the Church. He develops within each Christian a pure heart which results a growing Christ-like character expressed in private and public conduct and action. We believe God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit normally in our baptism into Christ (Acts 2:38). The Holy Spirit then gives each Christian a gift whereby we are to serve the body of Christ.
THE BIBLE – (the Old and New Testament Scriptures) is the uniquely inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21). God not only created everything and every person, He also communicated who He is to us not only in creation but more specifically in the Bible (most specifically in Jesus). The Bible is the rule of faith and practice for Christians. We affirm that Scripture is the authoritative revelation from God by which we know God’s will and the authority of Jesus. We are striving to stress what we believe the Bible clearly stresses and allow freedom in what we believe are matters of opinion. We are striving to become better students of the Word of God. We approach Scripture with absolute confidence that it is God’s word in its entirety. We also approach this Holy Word with humility knowing that there are some things too marvelous for us to understand and knowing we may be flawed in our interpretation at times. But we are pressing on to understand it better as we endeavor to use sound principles of Biblical interpretation.
THE CHURCH – is the body of Christ on earth, the community of believers throughout the world. Upon surrender to Christ (in faith, repentance, confession and baptism) a person enters into a family of believers called the Church. We believe God intended the church to be for the glory of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:12), a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). We believe the church is a community of God’s ambassadors holding out the gospel of Jesus to the world (2 Cor. 5:20) with the goal of leading all people to become disciples (fully devoted followers) of Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20). We believe the church should hold to the things the very first Christians believed to be vital for their growth: the Apostles teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread (communion) and prayer. We also believe Christians should follow the example of the New Testament Church by worshiping together the first day of every week (Acts 20:7 & 1 Cor. 16:1,2) in honor of the resurrection of Jesus. Involvement in the church is needed for encouragement and accountability (Hebrews 10:24,25).
SALVATION – is found only in Jesus Christ. We are saved by God’s grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10). When a person precisely crosses over from being “lost” to “saved” is God’s call! That said, we believe God has commanded how we come under His umbrella of grace: believe and place our trust in Jesus Christ for salvation and in Him alone (John 1:12; 3:16; 20:31; Romans 10:10); repent of sins by turning away from sins and turning to Christ (Acts 2:38); confessing Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9,10; Matt. 10:32,33); being baptized for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), to have our sins washed away (Acts 22:16), to be clothed with Christ (3:27). We practice believers’ baptism by immersion as we believe this mode represents the meaning of the word and was the practice of the New Testament church. We also believe immersion captures the picture of being buried and raised with Christ (Romans 6:1-4). We urge people to remember that if God’s grace was removed from the equation, all of these actions (believing, repenting, confessing and being baptized) would be absolutely worthless. We simply believe these are the normative responses of anyone in the New Testament who wanted to be a follower of Jesus. Therefore, we should respond in the same way.
THE RETURN OF JESUS – is going to happen when God alone knows. Our responsibility is not to attempt to determine when that will be. We are responsible to be ready whenever that day comes in our lifetime or not. We believe He will return and bring with Him those who’ve already died in Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The details of how all of this will come about and when are in God’s very capable hands. At the return of Jesus we believe all of humanity will be divided into two groups: those who are saved and those who are lost. The saved will experience an eternity of fellowship with God and the saved in the new heavens and new earth. The lost will experience eternal separation from God (1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:1-5; 2 Thess. 1:8-10; Rev. 20:11-15).
For other matters of doctrinal significance, or if you have questions about our beliefs as stated above, please feel free to contact Tim Baines at any time: 615-426-4963 (mobile); 615-868-2873 (office). You can also e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Facebook.