STATEMENT OF BELIEFS: BLC does not shy away from defending the orthodox doctrine of Christianity. However, our desire is not to build fences to keep people out, but bridges to bring people in. For this reason, we hold to the following rules when discussing issues of doctrine and dogma:
- In essential beliefs we have UNITY
- In nonessential beliefs we have LIBERTY
- In all our beliefs we show CHARITY
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
God is Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and are one God. (Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
About JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is coequal with the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords. (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22,23; John 1:15; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3,4; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14,15)
About the HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christians with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we should seek to live under His control daily. (John 14; 16,17; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18)
About the BIBLE
The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. (Psalm 12:6; 119:105,160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21)
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." This attitude separates people from God and causes problems in life. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:36; Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1,2; Romans 3:23)
Salvation is God's free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sins by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith. (John 1:12; 15:6; Romans 5:1; 6:23; Galatians 3:25; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5)
About ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If we have been genuinely saved, we cannot "lose" it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us that security. (John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:35)
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with God is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. (Matthew 25:46; John 3:16,18; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15)
STATEMENTS OF PRACTICE: Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practical applications of our beliefs:
I. OUR SOLE AUTHORITY IS THE BIBLE
"The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right." 2 Timothy 3:15
Since God's Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is "What does the Bible say?" We believe in practicing daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
II. EVERY LOCAL CHURCH IS SELF-GOVERNING
"Christ is the head of His Body, the Church, He is the source of the Body's life..." Colossians 1:18
Christ is the recognized head of our Church; not any person, group, religious organization or denomination. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local Church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
III. EVERY BELIEVER IS A PRIEST
"You are... the King's priests... God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God." 1 Peter 2:9
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full time" Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible study.
IV. TITHING IS THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE FOR GIVING
"On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income..." 1 Corinthians 16:2
"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality." 2 Corinthians 8:13
We believe that the Biblical means of supporting the work of Christ through the Church is through tithing, a biblical principle that teaches that our giving is based on a percentage of our income. We believe that the goal of every believer should be to give 10%, which is what the word "tithe" literally means.
V. BAPTISM IS DONE BY IMMERSION
"For when you were baptized, you were baptized in Christ, and in baptism, you were raised with Christ..." Colossians 2:12
We practice baptism by immersion under water. This is the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
VI. OUR LIVES ARE TO BE SPIRIT LED
"For all who are being led by the spirt of God, these are the sons of God." Romans 8:14
We believe the only possible way to live the Christian life is by God's power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God's Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18)
VII. EVERY BELIEVER IS TO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15
We believe it is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those God brings them into contact with. We teach that believers should personally share with their friends and acquaintances about what Christ has done in their lives and invite them to church.
This material is taken from our Introduction to Church Membership Class. We welcome all inquires and look forward to the opportunity to answer all questions.