What We Believe – Expanded Version

Our Core Value Statement

Central to who we are as a church is what we believe as a body of Christians.  

Our Non-Negotiable Beliefs

We believe in God as He has revealed Himself in history, in Jesus Christ, and in the Bible; one God, in three coequal persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is the creator of the universe and the giver of life. The most central attribute in His eternal existence is love.

Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1ff; 14-17; 20:28


 

We believe in the historical Jesus. We believe that Jesus is Lord, the Christ, the Son of the living God. We believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, that He was buried, that He rose from the dead, and that He will return to bring His believers to heaven, the home that He is now preparing.

Matthew 27, 28; John 3:16; 14:1-6; Romans 5:6; Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:4; 6:1; John 5:12


 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. We believe He speaks through Scripture, that He convicts the world of sin and testifies about Jesus, that He blesses the church with gifts, and that He indwells the hearts of Christians, working sanctification within them.

Matthew 3:16; John 3:5-6; 16:8-10; Acts 1:4,8; 2:38; Romans 8:9-16


 

We believe the Bible is the Word of God, written by man through God’s inspiration. We believe it is authoritative for the church, the supreme source of Christian truth, and that through it God has revealed Himself.

2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21


 

We believe salvation is God’s free gift to us.  There is an inability on our parts to save ourselves, and we can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works.  As a result, we need God’s saving grace to end our alienation from God.  Salvation from sin and eternal life comes only through God’s grace as it is personally received by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

John 3:14-16; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 3:23; 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-5


 

We believe every person believing in Jesus Christ is to repent of his or her sins, confess Jesus Christ as Lord, be baptized by immersion in water, and live a life committed to Jesus Christ, as outlined in the New Testament.

Matthew 3:16; 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-5; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21


 

We believe that those who are saved through Jesus Christ will be with God forever, this is called Heaven.  Those who aren’t saved through Jesus Christ will be separated from God eternally, this is called Hell.  God desires that all people be saved.  Our personal choice to accept Christ’s salvation or to reject Christ will determine where we spend eternity.

John 3:16; Matt. 25:46; 2 Peter 3:9; Rev. 20:15; Rev. 21:2-3


 

We believe there is one church universal, comprised of all those who have been added to the church by God as His saved children.  The universal church finds expression in local bodies of Christians that regularly meet for mutual encouragement and worship to God.

Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12; 13:3; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 4:11-16; I Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 2:9


 

We believe in the importance and sacred nature of the Lord’s Supper.  This communion is a memorial and proclamation of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  We share in this communion every week in our church assembly.

Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30


 

We believe in the necessity of growth through discipleship. We desire that every Christian progress in his or her Christian journey toward more of a Jesus-like character – a deepening relationship with God, loving service, making sacrifices for the growth of God’s Kingdom, sharing Jesus with others. We encourage every believer to grow through prayer, Bible reading/study, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. We desire that all Christians participate in relational environments in which they share their faith with those around them by word and action.

Ephesians 1:15-19; 4:12-16; I Peter 2:1-2


 

We believe giving financially is a key factor in our spiritual growth and our growing confidence in God which enables us to accomplish our mandate of making more and better disciples. The New Testament has a lot to say about giving and stewardship in the life of the believer. We are instructed to give willingly, to give cheerfully; to give generously; to give regularly and proportionately; and to give expectantly.

Matthew 6:33; Mark 10: 28-31; Luke 6:38; 1 Corinthians 16:1,2; 2 Corinthians8:12;  2 Corinthians 9:6,7


 

We seek to demonstrate a “spirit of unity” within our church as we follow Christ so that with one heart and mouth we “may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” in everything we do. While our church has people from many different backgrounds, we are one body, one community in Christ. We strive to be unified on our non-negotiable issues and will allow for differing opinions on disputable matters. We believe we are to be known for our love for one another and our commitment to accepting one another in love as Christ has accepted each of us. In this, we will bring praise to God who will continue to add to our numbers.

John 17:20-23; Acts 2:47; Romans 14; 15:1-2, 5, 7; Ephesians 4:1-6, 29-32; Philippians 2:1-15; Colossians 3:12-17; Titus 3:8-11; 1 Peter 3:8-11

 

Our Views on Controversial Doctrines

Differences of opinion exist between Christians on some matters of teaching and doctrine. Our Non-negotiables, listed above, are matters on which the Calgary Church of Christ’s stance will not change. We insist that all teaching and leadership reflect these Non-negotiables. To change these would make us something other than the Calgary Church of Christ. On the list of subjects below we take into account the fact that differences of opinion exist between Christians. Although our church has traditionally taken a stance on the matters below, and while our leadership currently accepts and holds a specific perspective on each of the matters stated below, on these subjects we recognize the need to allow for differences of opinion and belief, and our members are not necessarily expected to be in agreement with our accepted position on these matters. What is crucial, and what we insist on, is that where differences of opinion exist, and when discussions take place about the subjects below, that existing differences be discussed in a spirit of unity and peace. The “we” expressed in the following statements represents the view of our leadership and what we take to be the view of the majority of our church.

 

Leadership

The Calgary Church of Christ is an autonomous congregation that is guided by a group of Elders as they care for the spiritual welfare of members and provide general oversight. The work of the congregation is led by Staff and Ministry Leaders as they carry out their responsibilities. We believe in biblical instruction concerning male leadership in direction setting roles (e.g., the role of Elder and Lead Minister). However, as we consider the priesthood of all believers and people’s spiritual gifts, whereby every Christian is a minister who should be encouraged to find a place of service and ministry, other roles in the congregation may be determined by giftedness, passion for ministry, and suitability, rather than by gender.

Titus 1:5; Acts 2:17-18; 6:3; 20:28; Romans 16:1-2

 

Predestination, Eternal Security, and Free Will

We take seriously the notion that God desires all people to be saved, extending His grace to all, and we believe that salvation is a possibility for every human being. People may freely choose to reject or accept Christ, and we do not believe that God typically predestines specific individuals to heaven or hell apart from their freedom to make a decision about Christ. We believe it is possible for Christians to lose their faith and salvation. We will accept as brothers and sisters and show respect to all who hold views that are different from our traditional beliefs on these matters, but we insist that teaching on these subjects occurs in a way that does not lead to divisiveness and disunity within our church family.

 

Views on End Times

Traditionally, the Calgary Church of Christ has tended toward an amillennial perspective concerning the end of time, meaning that we do not take the millennium mentioned in Revelation 20 to be a literal 1000 year period. We believe the biblical witness to be clear about the fact that Christ will bring earthly history to an end with his literal return at the end of time. We believe in the resurrection of the dead. We believe that those who belong to Christ will enjoy heaven with God following their judgment by God and that those who at the end are not accepted by Christ will experience hell. We will accept as brothers and sisters and show respect to all who hold views on these matters that are different from our tradition, but we insist that teaching on end times occurs in a way that does not lead to divisiveness and disunity within our church family.

 

Spiritual Gifts

God gives each person one or more spiritual gifts.  These gifts are different and necessary for a healthy functioning body—the church.  God expects all whom he has added to His number to use their gifts to build up and unify the church, bringing glory to His name. We believe that the Holy Spirit is capable of miracles today and that He answers our prayers, but we also believe that God has acted variously throughout the history of the church, in each era gifting the church differently, as He sees fit. What He has done at one time in the church He may choose not to do at another time. We interpret I Corinthians 14 as prohibiting the use of uninterpreted tongues in the gatherings of the church. We will accept as brothers and sisters and show respect to all who hold views on these matters that are different from our tradition and practice, but we insist that teaching on spiritual gifting occurs in a way that does not lead to divisiveness and disunity within our church family.

Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:4ff., 23-25; I Corinthians 14; Eph 4:11-16

 

Instrumental Accompaniment of Singing

We believe that congregational singing is an important way of expressing our worship to God, proclaiming biblical truths and encouraging our fellow believers in faith. Traditionally and historically congregational singing in the Calgary Church of Christ has been a cappella (without instrumental accompaniment), but since 2012 we have included alongside our Sunday morning a cappella worship service a Sunday morning instrumental worship service, believing that congregational singing that includes instrumental accompaniment can be an encouraging, fulfilling worship experience that is also an offering of praise that is pleasing to the Lord. At times when the church offers only one Sunday morning worship service (as during the summer months or on special occasions), for the sake of unity and love our current decision is to have this service be a cappella.

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