LIFEWAY FELLOWSHIP
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Disciples Making Disciples

 

I am often asked “What does this church believe?” or “Can I have a copy of the church’s doctrine statements?” To both questions I usually just hold a copy of the Bible out as an answer. But I realize that the questions  are legitimate and deserve a more specific answer.The difficulty in answering those questions is in the truth that no one can, or should, attempt to clarify what the entire congregation believes. While faith and doctrines are clearly spelled out is some faith groups, under what I believe to be the doctrine of Priesthood of the Believer, I can only share what “What I believe;” and challenge each of you to examine and clarify your own faith statement. That’s what Simon Peter meant when he wrote, “always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). This church is anautonomous body of individual believers with a consensus of basic doctrinal beliefs, with God as the author, the Bible as the source, the Holy Spirit as the guide and Jesus as the substance.

Pastor Jimmy Towers

 

PASTOR'S CORE BELIEFS…

BIBLE: The Bible is the Word of God. It is His revelation of Himself to us and a clarification of what He desires our response to Him and one another to be. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that (each of us) may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are to “handle accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). While “no Scripture is a matter on one’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20), we are, none the less, encouraged to study the Bible, allowing the Holy Spirit and complimentary verses to aide us in understanding it.

SALVATION: The Bible reveals that we “have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). But it also reveals that “God is not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4). “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Salvation is a process, beginning with spiritual birth -“unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) – continuing daily through sanctification, or spiritual growth – “which is the will of God” (2 Thessalonians 4:3), progressing toward glorification, when “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

JESUS: Jesus is the eternal, sinless Son of God, through whom all Scripture is to be interpreted and by whom salvation is offered. He is, in the life of every believer, the “Hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

CHURCH: The church is both the universal redeemed of all the ages as well as the local congregation. In this local church, believers are associated by a covenant relationship of faith and fellowship. The Bible refers to the church as both the Body and Bride of Christ. Jesus builds His church on the foundation statement of faith that He is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16-18). Jesus instructed us to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). He commits to partner with us in the process of reaching people for Him and to empower us to grow as disciples ourselves.

BAPTISM: Biblical baptism is the immersion of a believer in water symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, as well as the death of the believer to sin and self, the believer’s union with Christ, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life with Him (Romans 6:3-4). While baptism is not essential for salvation, it is a clear public testimony; an outward expression of an inner experience of faith.

LORD’S SUPPER: The Lord’s Supper, like baptism, is a symbolic expression of faith. It memorializes what Christ has done for us in salvation, is doing for us through sanctification and service, and what He promises to do for us in the future of His return. I believe that the Lord’s Supper should be open to all believers. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).

PERSONAL and CORPORATE GROWTH: We are to strive to be “equipped for the work of ministry to the building up of the Body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). We are to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).I believe that every participant in this church should commit to the support of the ministry of the church through faithful stewardship of time, talents and treasures.

What do you believe?