The Kerygma (Greek for “Proclamation”) or Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed by the Apostles.
We believe that this gospel, proclaimed by the Apostles, can be summarized as follows:
- This gospel was prophesied beforehand in the Scriptures as part of God’s unfolding plan to bless the families of the earth through the seed of David. It was given in the form of a New Covenant, promising forgiveness of sins, and placing God’s Spirit within man.
- This gospel was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the seed of David, the King of Kings, born of the Holy Spirit. He came in the flesh, lived a sinless life, died, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- This Jesus will come again to judge the earth and set up the kingdom of God for all time. After abolishing all rule and authority, He will reign forever and ever.
- Those who hear this message and believe will receive forgiveness of sins. They will be given the Spirit of God as a pledge of their inheritance, as they eagerly await the Savior who will return for them.
- We believe that there is only one gospel of Jesus Christ. Each individual who places His faith in the person and work of Christ alone for forgiveness of his sins is at that moment forgiven of his sins once and for all time, is permanently a child of God, and is part of Christ’s Church.
The Didache (Greek for “The Teaching”) or Doctrine of the Apostles.
We believe that God revealed His plan for the churches in the epistles, and that the Apostles expected the churches to follow their instructions. We believe that this teaching can be summarized as follows:
- We believe that the Church is at the center of God’s purpose for this age and that God’s wisdom will be displayed to the entire universe through the Church to the praise of His glory.
- We believe that Christ’s central purpose is building His Church, and ultimately His kingdom; and nothing can stand in His way, even Satan and all his forces.
- We believe that the Church is the pillar and support of the truth and that this truth was delivered once and for all through the Apostles and that this deposit of truth ought to be preserved in all churches.
- We believe in the perpetual command of the Great Commission to take the gospel to the world. We believe that Christ’s strategy for building His Church can be clearly identified in the book of Acts as a multiplication of churches—communities of Christians committed to maturing in Christ and to furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is made up of those who have believed the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These need to be baptized, signifying their identification with Jesus and with His believing community, His Church.
- We believe that once one has identified with Christ and His Church through baptism, special care should be exercised to see that the baptized believer becomes a vital, functioning member of a body of Christ—a local church.
- We believe that each believer should celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly with the church. This will serve as a way of remembering his identity with Christ, as one whose sins are forgiven and in a covenant relationship, and as a way of remembering his identity with Christ’s body, the Church, as one who is to live in fellowship with the church.
- We believe that all matters concerning the life and beliefs of the churches are to be settled by the Word of God. Though the churches are to be guarded and protected by elders and men gifted as pastors and teachers, all are subject to the authority of the biblical text.
- Each believer is instructed to lay aside his old life, renew His mind in the teaching, and conform his new life to the will of God.
- A set of virtues, which are only possible through God’s resources, are to characterize each believer.
- Individual households must be ordered properly, consistent with God’s created design for man and for the Church.
- God’s household, the church—the pillar and support of the truth—must be properly ordered according to sound doctrine received from the Apostles, especially Paul.
- Each believer must be committed to do his part, both generally in one-another ministry and specifically in the use of his gifts in the building up of the church.
- A pattern of relationships within the church must be observed—characterized by love, brotherhood, mutual acceptance and respect—in which each is to diligently pursue unity in the bond of peace.
- A pattern of relationships in the world must be observed—characterized by respect for government, employers, and other authorities, and love and good deeds toward neighbors and those in need.
- Individuals must lead responsible and sober lives—working hard, providing for their own, making the most of the time (because the days are evil), and keeping on the alert for Satan and his strategies in their lives.