Beliefs

“In essentials unity,

in non-essentials liberty

and in all things love.”

- Often quoted, origin unknown

If you have questions or would like scriptural support for what you read here, we would love to talk with you. 

We have divided our beliefs into two categories, Essential & Important.  

 

Essential beliefs are those things a person must believe in order to have a saving relationship with God. 

 

Important beliefs are things the church will have a definite teaching on, but a person’s acceptance or rejection will not affect their salvation. 

 

Essentials Beliefs

 

The Godhead

We believe there is only one true God. He is eternally existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory.

 

The Father

We believe in God the Father. He is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. He concerns himself mercifully in the affairs of mankind. He hears and answers prayer. He saves from sin and death all who come to him through Jesus Christ. 

 

Jesus (The Son) 

 We believe that Jesus was God's only begotten Son, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, voluntarily died on the cross for our sins, and was bodily raised from the dead. He ascended into  heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father and acts as an intermediary on our behalf. One day Jesus will return to earth and initiate the consummation of human history.     

 

The Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son of God. The Holy Spirit provides power to overcome sin, insight into Scripture, and personal directions in life. All believers are given the gift of the Holy Spirit at conversion, and through the Holy Spirit's presence and power are enabled to attain spiritual maturity in Christ. Through the Holy Spirit each person in the body is given certain gifts to use in ministry.

Mankind

We believe people were created in the image of God. We were created to be in loving relationship with Him. However, we have rebelled against God, choosing to go our own way. Because of this we are alienated from God and suffer the corruption of our nature because of our sin. The effects of this fall can only be reversed through entering into the new covenant that God offers. He promises to forgive our sin and indwell us with His Spirit.

 

Salvation

We believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from separation from God and the eternal penalty of sin. No amount of good works or human effort can restore us. It is only by God's grace that we are saved. This grace is given by faith, through a change of heart toward God's leadership in our lives, by reliance on Jesus to forgive our sins, and a commitment to follow him. We believe that you enter into this new covenant with God when you submit yourself to being immersed in water. Baptism (immersion in water) is the means by which we entrust and commit ourselves to God through Christ in a visible, historical, and covenant making moment. 

 

The Bible

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, fully inspired, without error in the original manuscripts, and the infallible rule of faith and practice.They are the uniquely supreme, reliable, and the final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.

Important Beliefs

 

The Church

Discipleship is the fundamental ministry of the local church which facilitates the development of Christ-like people. The scripture commands believers to gather together for the teaching of God's Word, fellowship, prayer, encouragement. Wherever God's people meet in obedience to these commands, there is a local expression of the church. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the obligation to seek to appoint godly men as leaders, as they rely upon Godʼs wisdom and daily guidance. 

 

Spiritual Gifts

We believe God still enables his people to accomplish His work. However, we also believe the miraculous spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament were for a particular time and purpose. These gifts were given by the laying on of hands of an Apostle and ceased shortly after God had finished revealing the New Covenant through them. 

Eternal Security

We believe each individual has the freedom to accept or reject Godʼs offer of forgiveness. We also believe those who accept that offer still retain the ability to reject God and His grace. Your salvation, once received, is something the Christian must work out on a daily basis. 

 

End Times

Though there are many differing ideas about the events that will lead up to the end of time there are five basic facts that we believe are important for every Christian to acknowledge.

 

    1. The resurrection of the dead 

    2. The literal return of Jesus Christ 

    3. The final judgment by God

    4. The existence of Heaven

    5. The existence of Hell 

 

Though the teaching of First Christian Church will come from an Amillennial perspective, we acknowledge those who have a different understanding on this topic.

 

The Lord’s Supper

We believe the taking of the Lordʼs Supper (Communion) is a commemoration and proclamation of Jesus death until He comes again. It is a reminder how Jesus supplied for our need. We take the Lordʼs Supper every Sunday and encourage Christians to remember Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf as often as they meet together.

 

Giving

We believe Christians should be generous, giving people. We also believe as Christians meet together they should give to support the ministry of the local congregation as well as other works of evangelism and benevolence. Though 10% was given as a standard of giving in the Old Testament, we believe the standard for the Christian is to give as they have been blessed. This means a Christian should decide the amount he/she is going to give and give it joyously. There is nothing wrong with using 10% as a standard for giving, however the Christian should never use 10% as a limit. 

 

Opinions

 

There are many other issues about which Christian people feel strongly. When they do not fall into what First Christian Church considers Essential or Important, we have made the commitment to not allow these issues to become divisive. We encourage Christians to share things that are important to them, but do not condone making matters of opinion a test of fellowship or orthodoxy. 

503 North Main Street Extension  Meadville, PA 16335

(814) 336-3540    fcc1@zoominternet.net