We believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God and the final authority in all things pertaining to Christianity. Christ promised the apostles that they would be guided into all truth (John 16:12-15). Therefore we believe that apostolic precedent (example) was directed by God and is as authoritative as verbal apostolic commands; that which the apostles led the church to do we seek to emulate.

It is clear in the teaching of the New Testament that the requirements for salvation and the requirements for church membership are identical. One becomes a Christian and member of Christ’s universal church at exactly the same time and in exactly the same way. One cannot just “join” the church of our Lord. Rather the Lord adds to His church those who are saved (Acts 2:47). The following requirements are stated in the New Testament as essential for salvation and are prerequisites to being a part of the spiritual body of Christ which is the church:

 

  1. FAITH
  1. Faith in God and in His Son is the absolute foundation and basis for all else that God asks of man and God has never asked a human being to do anything apart from faith in Him.
  2. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
  3. Jesus commissioned the preaching of the gospel and He said, “Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved but whoever does not believe shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:15, 16).
  4. The children of God live by faith (Romans 1:16, 17), and that is an eternal principle (Habakkuk 2:4).

 

  1. REPENTANCE
  1. Jesus repeated the warning: “Except you repent you will all perish” (Luke 13:1-5).
  2. The first time the Gospel was preached and convicted sinners asked, “What shall we do?”; the first word from the mouth of the apostle Peter was, “Repent” (Acts 2:38).
  3. Repentance is a “turning” from self and sin and human dictates in obedient response to the authority of Jesus.

 

  1. CONFESSION OF FAITH
  1. The Greek word which is translated “confess” in English means literally, “to say the same thing.” In true confession of faith in Jesus, one lays his life on the line for Him saying in that act, “Whatever Jesus has said I say with Him.”
  2. One must confess that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9).
  3. Added to that initial confession of personal faith which is “unto salvation”, the believer continues to confess Jesus throughout his life (Matthew 10:32).

 

  1. BAPTISM
  1. It is associated with forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
  2. It is attached to salvation (Mark 16:15, 16; 1 Peter 3:21).
  3. By baptism one becomes a member of the spiritual body of Christ which is His church (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). There is “one baptism” which is the universal experience of all Christians, and by that act of obedient faith one is added to the “one body” (Ephesians 4:4 and I Corinthians 12:12, 13).
  4. Confession is faith speaking; repentance is faith changing; baptism is faith obeying, and not one of these is a work which makes us worthy of salvation. One is no more worthy of salvation after believing, repenting or being baptized than he was previous to experiencing these responses to God. Good works are expected and will be rewarded (John 15:1-6; Revelation 22:12). Salvation is a “free gift of God” (Romans 6:23). A reward for good works and the free gift of salvation should never be confused. We are saved by grace, not by works            (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
  5. It is the blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin               (I John 1:7). When one’s hands are dirty it is soap which is the cleansing agent and water is merely the means of application. “Or are you ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.” (Romans 6:3). His blood is the cleansing agent and it is God’s plan that water is the means of application.
  6. It is by immersion (Acts 8:26-40).

 

 

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