Concord Church of Christ

267 Concord Church Road
Stuart, VA 24171

276-694-3530/2397/6033

   
Purpose

Our purpose is to live as Christ would have us to and carry out the great commission here in Patrick County as stated in Matthew 28:16-20. We believe the teachings mentioned in Matthew 28 are recorded in the Old and New testament.  The following are a summary of our core beliefs found in Scripture.


SUMMARY

Part 1

God and His Word

One God

There is one God in heaven who created all things, and who is revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1; Isaiah 40:28; John 1:1-18; Ephesians 1:3-14; Hebrews 11:3; 1 John 4:7-21).

The Word of God

The Bible is God's word and our final authority for all matters of faith and practice (Psalm 119:105-112; John 14:23-26; Romans 1:18-23; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 4:12-13; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

Part 2—Sin and Redemption

Sin Separates People from God
Every person has intrinsic value as a creation of God. However, because of sin, every person who is mentally capable of assuming responsibility for one's self deserves eternal punishment (Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 3;
Isaiah 64:1-7; Romans 2:5-11; Romans 5:12-21).

Redemption by Grace
Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, whose death and resurrection conquered death and brought the forgiveness of sins, and it is only by this undeserved grace that we can be saved (John 3:16-21; Acts 4:8-12;
Romans 3:21-26, 5:8-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Ephesians 2:4-10).

Part 3—Salvation and Church

How to Receive Salvation
The Bible teaches that a person receives God's grace by putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, publicly confessing Christ, and being immersed or baptized into Christ (Luke 24:45-47; Acts 2:36-41; Romans 1:16-
17; Romans 6:1-7; Romans 10:9-10; Galatians 3:26-27).

Christian Living in the Church
The Church, made up of God's people, is the body of Christ on earth and is empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a sign of God's desire to bless all people. It exists to be a witness, in word and deed, to what God does in
Jesus, and to raise up mature disciples for the mission of the gospel (Matthew 16:13-20; John 13:35; 16:5-15; 1 Corinthians 1:2-3, 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:19-22, 4:1-16; 1 Timothy 3:15).

Part 4—Leadership and Unity

Local Church Leadership
Elders or shepherds are elected by the local members to exercise servant leadership to give direction within local churches (Acts 20:17- 30; Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 10:19-25; 1 Peter 5:1-4). Ministers are under the direct leadership of the Elders. Ministers may also be an Elder but only on special occasions when there is insufficient members qualified to be an Elder.  Ministers are not so called Pastors as recognized by denominational groups. 

Unity of Believers
God expects Christians to demonstrate unity and respect for one another as a testimony to unbelievers (Psalm 133:1-3; Mark 9:38-50; John 17:20-23; Romans 14:1-15:7, 1 Corinthians 1:10).

Part 1

God and His Word

One God
There is one God in heaven who created all things, and who is revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  There is one God who created everything that we know. He is eternal and all-powerful. Scripture teaches that we can understand God as perfect and infinite love. We see him revealed to be the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:1-3
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

Isaiah 40:28
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. John 1:1-18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning...12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Ephesians 1:3-14
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ...13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

Hebrews 11:1-3
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see...3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

1 John 4:8-21
...7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  ...8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love...16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them...

The Word of God
The Bible is God's word and our final authority for all matters of faith and practice.  While many things about God can be understood from observations of nature itself, God has revealed his desires through what is known as the Bible, the scriptures, or his word. The Holy Spirit not only inspired these writings but also influenced humans to gather them into the Bible that is now available. This serves as our final authority in all things regarding faith and the practice of spirituality. Human understanding or writings are always secondary to the scriptures. Where there are no biblical teachings, we seek not to make rules or expectations. Where there are scriptural teachings, we are careful to obey them.

Psalm 119:105-112
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws...

John 14:23-26 
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Romans 1:20-23
...20 Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

2 Timothy 3:15-17
...15 The holy scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:12-13
The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart...

2 Peter 1:20-21
...No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Part 2

Sin and Redemption
Sin Separates People from God  Every person has intrinsic value as a creation of God. However, because of sin, every person who is mentally
capable of assuming responsibility for one's self deserves eternal punishment.  God created humans in his own image for relationship with himself and also with one another. Of all creatures, humans are the ones who were created "in the image of God," reflecting his creative and relational nature.  However, when trust was broken by sin and disobedience, the result was separation from God.

Genesis 1:26-31
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them...

Genesis 3:17-19
To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' Cursed is the ground because of you...by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

Isaiah 64:1-7
...When we continued to sin...you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away...

Romans 2:5-11
Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give each person according to what he has done...

Romans 5:12-21
When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. And though there was no law to break, since it had not yet been given, they all died anyway...So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now
God's wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Redemption by Grace
Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, whose death and resurrection conquered death and brought the forgiveness of sins, and it is only by this undeserved grace that we can be saved.  It is not possible for a human to do something adequate to re-establish a right relationship with God. For this reason, the only possibility of redemption, forgiveness and complete acceptance by God comes through his initiative. This undeserved favor from God is called "grace." In Christ, God himself came near and lived a real human life in the flesh. In his life, death and resurrection, the power of death over us has been defeated. Because of this, all of our sins are forgiven and we are given the promise of eternal life. He is the only way through whom we are able to renew a proper relationship with God. Despite this reality, many people try to develop rules and guidelines by which they intend to reach God or to become their own god. Every person must recognize that salvation comes only through the free gift of God's grace. No person is smart enough, lucky enough, or good
enough to reach God in any other way.

John 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him...

Acts 4:8-12
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead...is "the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone." Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Romans 3:21-26
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement...

Romans 5:8-11
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us...10For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!.
..
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
...3 What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, ...4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...

Ephesians 2:4-10
Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved...8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—-not by works, so that no one can boast.

Part 3

Salvation and Church

How to Receive Salvation
The Bible teaches that a person receives God's grace by putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, publicly confessing Christ, and being immersed or baptized into Christ.  Membership in His church requires that a person responds to God's offer of salvation in the way taught in scripture. This includes a personal decision of faith, a change of heart demonstrated in repentance or turning away from sin, the willingness to confess or proclaim one's allegiance to Jesus Christ, and a baptism by immersion in
water to participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Because baptism in scripture was based on an individual's decision to follow Christ and decision to repent, we believe only people who are old enough to make such a decision should be baptised. Also, based on biblical examples, historical evidence, and the fact that the word "baptism" means to dip or immerse, we believe an obedient believer should actually go under the water when baptized.  We trust God to be the ultimate judge of every person and to judge fairly and mercifully any person who does not complete these actions in the way.  We acknowledge that God can and has judged some people apart from spiritual laws that are written in scripture (Romans 2:12-16). However, we remain committed to respond to God as the Bible teaches.

Luke 24:45-48
The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be
preached in his name to all nations...

Acts 2:36-41
36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit...

Romans 1:16-17
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the
Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 6:1-7
...All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life...

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Galatians 3:26-27
You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Christian Living in the Church
The Church, made up of God's people, is the body of Christ on earth and is empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a sign of God's desire to bless all people. It exists to be a witness, in word and deed, to what God does in Jesus, and to raise up mature disciples for the mission of the gospel.
God adds every person who is saved to his universal church. This is made up of those people who respond to God's call to demonstrate the example of Christ in our world. Members are not expected to be perfect, but trust the Holy Spirit to give strength to live like Christ. The word "church" in scripture often referred to people assembling together in worship to hear God speak. This openness to God's will shows up as a willingness to submit to God's will, to pursue righteous living, and to work together in love and unity to bless other people.

Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus replied, "...on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it..."

John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

John 16:7-15
...7b  It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you...When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to righteousness and judgment ...8 but when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.

1 Corinthians 1:2-3; 12:12-13
(1:2-3) To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (12:12-13) The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Ephesians 2:19-22, 4:1-16
(2:19-22) You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household...And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
(4:1-16)...3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all....11It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up...

1 Timothy 3:15
...You will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

Part 4
Leadership and Unity

Local Church Leadership
Elders or shepherds are elected to exercise servant leadership to give direction within local churches.  Biblical teaching indicates that the believers gathered regularly to encourage one another in their journey of faith.  These encounters were filled with praise for God and also served as a time to equip one another to serve or teach people who are not yet followers of God. Examples of these earliest groups, or local churches, teach us how to structure local churches for the greatest impact. Identifying with such a group, or placing membership with a local
church, provides mutual accountability that facilitates worship, spiritual growth, and outreach to the world.  As soon as practical, every church in scripture was led by spiritually mature men who were called elders, shepherds, pastors or bishops (overseers). In the Bible, these titles seem to be used interchangeably to describe different aspects of the same leadership role.  This local leadership structure allows each church to set expectations and guidelines to help that particular church
function best given its unique makeup of individuals in a certain time, culture and location. There is no reason to expect every church to be exactly like all others at any given time nor in any given location. The Bible and church history teach that cultural changes over time demand that each church continually restore its commitment to apply God's word to its current setting.

Acts 9:31
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit; it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

Acts 20:17-30
From Milieus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church...28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood.

Philippians 1:1-6
...1b To the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ...

Hebrews 10:19-25
Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus...let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

1 Peter 5:1-4
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers...

Unity of Believers
God expects Christians to demonstrate unity and respect for one another as a testimony to unbelievers.  Even the earliest churches did not always have the same understanding about matters of faith, but they were
encouraged to focus on key principles that would bind them together in unity and respect for one another. We believe that variations may exist from one church to another. It is important for each church to celebrate common practices and encourage growth in a spirit of love. Since Satan would have all believers fighting with one another instead of converting others, we must pursue unity based on truth.  Christians may have different opinions about matters of opinion that are not clearly specified in scripture, but should never make these points matters of division. To help identify what issues were fundamental to Christian unity, leaders in the reformation and restoration movements have pleaded for churches to "speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent." To recapture God's intent for his church, we are always willing to reexamine
any practice to see how it measures up to Biblical teaching.

Psalm 133:1-3
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!...

Mark 9:38-40
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us...

John 17:20-23
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me...

Romans 14:12-15:7
... 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God....
17 The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual
edification...
15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves...5 May the God who gives endurance and encourage grant you to be the same mind with one another according to
Christ Jesus... 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.



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