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What does Berea believe?

Doctrine

Berea Christian Church is committed to the principles of our Christian church heritage in the Restoration Movement, as expressed by phrases like these:

  • Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent.
  • In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; and in all things, love.
  • We are not the only Christians, but we are Christians only
  • No creed but Christ.
The following biblical principles affirm our belief in key issues of biblical doctrine. We offer this document as a theological framework to help unify our faith community under the authority of Christ and His Word and to advance our efforts to communicate the gospel to the world.

  • We believe in one God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:16, 45; 6:1, 4, 8, 9; James 1: 17; John 1: 1; 14:9; Genesis 1:2; John 4:24; 14:16-20; 2 Peter 1:21).
  • We believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of all things visible and invisible (Genesis 1: 1; Acts 17:24-28; Hebrews 11:3).
  • We believe in Jesus Christ, God's one and only Son, our one and only Savior (John 1:14; 1 John 4:9; John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18).
    • Who was born both fully human and fully divine, conceived of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and lived a sinless life (Matthew 21:11; John 19:19; John 1:14; Romans 5:15-17; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 1:1; Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:26-38; 1 Peter 1:22).
    • Who suffered and was crucified (Luke 23:1-46).
    • Who died and was buried, and Who rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Luke 23:44 - 24:8; John 20:24-29; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8),
    • Who ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father (Luke 22:69; Acts 1:1-9; Colossians 3:1),
    • And Who will return to earth to judge both the living and the dead (Matthew 24:36-42; John 14:1-3; Acts 1: 10-11; 10:39-42; 1 Peter 4:5).
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit, Who is a personal and active part of the triune God (John 16:5-15; Acts 1:7-8; Romans 8:26-27),
    • And Who indwells every Christian (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Timothy 1:14).
  • We believe in the Bible—God's Holy Word. We believe God inspired the original writings of the Scripture, and therefore the Bible is completely trustworthy in all its parts (Mark 12:36; John 14:26; 16:12-15; Acts 1:16; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:14-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
  • We accept the Bible as the final authority for all matters of faith and practice (Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 4:12).
  • We believe that people created by God willfully sin against God and are consequently lost and without hope apart from Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Romans 3:23).
  • We believe that salvation—the forgiveness of sins—cannot be earned, but is given to us only through the blood of Jesus Christ and by God’s grace (Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:1-11, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 10:19-22; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 John 1:7).
  • We believe that we must respond to God by admitting our sin and our need for God’s grace (Romans 3:23; Titus 3:3-7),
    • Believing and confessing the truth about Jesus (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9, 10),
    • Turning away from sin (repenting—Luke 24:45-47; Acts 3:19, 17:30),
    • Trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord (Romans 10:11-13, Philippians 2:11),
    • And being baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-4).
  • We believe in the church of Jesus Christ, consisting of all Christians everywhere (Matthew 16:13-18; Acts 2:14-47, Ephesians 1:22, 23).
  • We believe in the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death (Genesis 9:5-6; Exodus 20:13; Psalms 139:13-16).
  • We believe in the holy institution of marriage between one man and one woman, rooted as it is in God's creation of man and woman in His image and in the relationship between Christ and His Church (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-23).
  • We believe in God’s creation of each person as a male or a female at the moment of conception (Genesis 1:27; 2:7, 22; 5:2; Isaiah 45:12).
  • We believe in the Church’s mission: making disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all of Jesus’ commands (Matthew 28:18-20).

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What does Berea believe?

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Non-Essential Beliefs

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).

 2.   Communion

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.


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