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Berea Christian Church is committed to the principles of our Christian church heritage in the Restoration Movement, as expressed by phrases like these:
1. Bible Version
A. We value the daily study of scripture and continually seek to share Biblical Truth in a “down-to-earth” way.
B. We believe human language is dynamic and changing, although we adamantly hold the conviction that God and His Word never change. (Hebrews 13:7-9; James 1:16-17) Consequently we strive to share the unchanging Truth of God, in a common language for modern mankind.
C. We encourage the use of the New Living Translation (NLT) for daily Bible reading, and utilize the NLT in church services.
D. Individuals attend Berea weekly utilizing various versions of the Bible. We encourage all people to daily read and study a version of God’s Word they best understand, and more importantly, apply the new found Truth to their lives! (James 1:22-25)
E. Consequently, we find no scriptural reason to disassociate with other churches or believers who use a different version of scripture (i.e. King James Version, New International Version, New American Standard Version, Living Bible, The Message, or Today’s English Version).
A. We observe communion every worship service, as was the apparent practice of the first church. (Acts 2: 42-46; Acts 20:7)
B. We observe communion as elements which represent the body of Christ (bread) and His blood (juice) shed for our sins, as Jesus instituted at the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20)
C. We believe the elements of communion remain constant in form as physical bread and juice (consubstantiation), meant to symbolize the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins. We do not believe the elements miraculously transform into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus, as each believer partakes (transubstantiation). (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20)
D. We believe the biblical directive in observing communion clearly addresses an individual’s attitude and mindset. The Apostle Paul speaks to partaking of communion in an “unworthy manner”. We believe an “unworthy manner” would be any attitude or mindset that dishonors the sacrifice of Christ, such as, partaking of communion light heartedly, without thought or consideration of the sacrifice of Christ, or partaking with unrepentant sin (i.e. unforgiveness, lust, addictions, bitterness, anger, etc.) in our lives. (I Corinthians 11:17-34)
E. Consequently, communion is a time for each individual to refocus on Jesus’ sacrifice and our personal unworthiness, which accordingly results in humble thanksgiving and praise to God! It is also a time to look forward to His promised return as we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
F. Consequently, we find no scriptural reason to disassociate with other churches or believers who observe communion on a more or less frequent basis than is our custom.
3. Conditional Security
A. The concept of eternal security is the belief that once a person has been “saved” through a redeeming faith in Christ, that person cannot lose the gift of salvation. Another description of this belief is the term “once saved, always saved.”
B. The Apostle Paul warns believers that continuing to willfully live in sin, without repentance, can cause a believer to fall away. He also expresses grief that one could be “disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:27; 1 Timothy 1:19-20)
C. The letter of Hebrews also warns us about falling away from God. (Hebrews 2:1; Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-29)
D. As a result, we believe in what we call “Condition Security”, which simply states that a person can choose to walk away from a saving faith in Christ (Luke 8:13-14; John 15:1-8), but they should be secure in their faith (1 John 5:13) and not afraid of losing their salvation with every sinful stumble.
E. We do not believe that God plays an “in-again, out-again” game, as some believers would suppose; where by a person’s eternal destination is continually in flux, heaven, hell, heaven, hell, heaven… until their death.
F. Consequently, we find no scriptural reason to disassociate with other churches or believers who hold the view of eternal security, as we would both be of the opinion that a self-professing “Christian” who willfully lives a sinful lifestyle is in grave spiritual danger!
4. Spiritual Gifts
A. We believe scripture teaches that God the Father gives every believer the “Grace Gift” of the Holy Spirit to indwell them (John 14:15-17; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
B. Scripture also teaches that the purpose of the Holy Spirit, among other activities in our lives, is to work through each believer in a way that edifies or improves the Church body as a whole (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
C. We believe all spiritual gifts are ultimately purposed to bring glory and honor to God, not attention to a person. We believe that no gifts are taught by man, but empowered by the Holy Spirit.
D. We believe the more miraculous spiritual gifts (i.e. speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, healing, miracles) are not as widespread as some churches practice today. However, we do not doubt the Holy Spirit’s ability to still move in unexplainable and miraculous ways, should He desire.
E. We do not believe that speaking in tongues is a sign of true salvation.
F. We do not practice the public expression of praying in tongues, speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, or divine revelation apart from the Bible. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33)
G. Consequently, we find no scriptural reason to disassociate with other churches or disavow believers who practice the gifts of tongues, interpretation, or miraculous healings, as long as the use of these gifts fit within the guidelines and examples of Scripture. We do, however, encourage any practice and use of those gifts be expressed outside of corporate services.