2019 © West Springfield Church of Christ. All Rights Reserved.
The teachings of Scripture weave together like a giant tapestry. Tugging at one piece of thread will not only reveal its connection to the greater whole but will also expose the complexity of the greater story. A robust confession of faith is forged in the furnace of historical biblical interpretation, theological reflection, and real life. While God anchors us in healthy and consistent biblical teaching, he continues to fill us “with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may life a life worthy of the Lord…” (Colossians 1:9-10). We hope that this summary of our core theological beliefs will help you understand who we are as a church. Feel free to ask any questions about these and other biblical teachings.
We believe in one God who is the creator of all and who manifests as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [Genesis 1:1; Exodus 15:11; 1 Chronicles 16:8-36; John 1:1-3; 14; Colossians 1:15-20; 2:9-10; Hebrews 1:1-14; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:8-14]
Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and is the only source of salvation. He became flesh and lived on the earth to demonstrate the true nature of the kingdom of God and to be the perfect sacrifice to take to take away the sin of the world. Upon his death and burial, he was resurrected in bodily form and ascended to the original glory of God. One day, he will return to the earth to redeem those who await him and to restore the new heavens and the new earth. [John 1:1-14, 29; Luke 4:14-21; Mark 8:31; 9:30-31; 10:32-34; 1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews 9:26-29]
The Holy Spirit is the Divine presence of God that has worked from the beginning of creation to our present day. The Holy Spirit has empowered human beings in a variety of ways throughout history, indwells those who believe in Jesus Christ, and is the guaranteed of eternal life. The Holy Spirit guided the apostles and prophets in the proclamation of the gospel and in the inspiration of Scripture. The Holy Spirit is the power of God that continues to work through prayer, intercession, the living Word of God, and through whatever means God deems fit to accomplish his purposes. [John 7:37-39; Luke 24:45-48; Acts 1:1-5; 2:1-41; Romans 8:1-17; 1 Corinthians 12:1-14; Ephesians 2:19-22]
Scripture (Old and New Testament) is the testimony of God’s actions on our behalf. The Old Testament reveals God’s character – his steadfast love, his graciousness, and his holiness. The narrative of the Old Testament chronicles the covenant relationship established between God and his people. The New Testament continues the covenantal promises found in the Old Testament and reveals the new covenant relationship established in the Messiah – Jesus. The majority of the New Testament addresses specific concerns faced by the new covenant community (church) in its global expansion into the world. [Matthew 5:17; John 5:39; Romans 3:2; 2 Timothy 3:14-17]
Salvation refers to our covenantal relationship with God through Jesus. Our sinfulness creates a barrier between us and God. God has provided grace and mercy through the faithful actions of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice of death provides forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the mediator between us and God. Our trust in Jesus’ faithfulness is demonstrated in our daily confession that Jesus is Lord and Son of God, in our daily repentance of sin, and in our baptism (water immersion) into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We trust that God forgives our sins and renews us with his Holy Spirit. That is salvation. [John 1:14-18, 29; 3:1-24; 6:35-40; 8:24; 11:17-27; 14:6; Luke 24:44-48; Acts 2:22-41; Romans 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 5:1-11; 6:1-14; 8:1-17; 10:1-13; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Galatians 2:19-21; 3:26-29; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-10, 19-22; 3:7-21; Colossians 1:13,14; 2:6-15; 3:1-17; 1 Timothy 1:15-17; 2 Timothy 1:9-12; 2:8-13; 3:14-17; Titus 2:11-14; 3:3-8; Hebrews 2:9-18; 9:11-28; 11:6; 12:22-29; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 3:18-22; 1 John 1:1-10; 2:1-2; 4:7-12; 5:1-12; Revelation 1:4-6]
The continuity of God’s actions (revealed in Scripture) reveals that the people of God are established by the steadfast love and graciousness of God. The covenant relationship established through Jesus’ continually builds the people of God (the church). The foundation of the church is the work of Jesus. The assembly of followers (disciples) of Jesus forms a covenant community that is identified as the body of Christ. This assembly lives out the life Christ in the world by proclaiming the gospel, by praise and worship, by doing justice, and by working against the schemes of Satan. Therefore, the church is God’s missionary presence in the world. The church functions as a family intent on the purpose of glorifying God. Members of the church are equipped for ministry to advance God’s missional purposes and to edify the body. We seek to practice a non-denominational structure of church governance as each local assembly governs itself, is not bound by an ecclesiastical authority outside of the local church, and appoints gifted individuals to provide leadership, spiritual shepherding, and oversight. [Matthew 16:13-18; 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-34; 6:1-4,6; 8:4; 9:31; 14:21-25; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:1-17; 12:12-31; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:2-6, 14-21; 4:1-6,11-16; Colossians 1:18-20; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Hebrews 12:22-24; 1 Peter 2:4-10]
The Lord’s Supper (Communion) is a special covenantal meal established by Jesus and shared by followers as a memorial to Jesus’ salvific actions. We celebrate communion each Sunday and invite all those who believe in Jesus to be partakers. [Matthew 26:17-30; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 11:17-34]
Worship is a lifestyle of offering ourselves to God. We encourage daily worship on the part of every believer. On Sundays, we assemble together for a time of corporate worship. This typically involves prayer, singing, preaching/teaching and communion. These assemblies are special times when we invite the presence of the Lord to be with us as we glorify his name. These assemblies also are occasions when we seek to strengthen each other in faith and commitment. [Psalms; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 14:26]