It is not reasonable or advisable for any group of believers to undertake to produce an exhaustive doctrinal statement. We at Acts Church believe diverse things about many different secondary matters of the Christian faith. What we outline here are those teachings that we consider to be the essentials of the faith. No human can know the status of the soul of any other human (Matthew 7:1); therefore, to call a person a Christian must be something less than an authoritative comment upon that person’s ultimate salvation. To that end, we have attempted to lay out what C.S. Lewis would have called “Mere Christianity,” that is, the true elementals of Christian belief. These are teachings to which all orthodox, professing believers in Jesus Christ have believed for more than 2,000 years of history.
While disagreement is appropriate on many matters of doctrine and theology, and robust discussion can lead to a more powerful understanding of who God is and how we, as humans, relate to Him, there must be a baseline of beliefs that are the indisputable teachings of Christianity. What follows is what we at Acts Church believe.
Our guiding principle in making our Statement of Doctrine:
“In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.” – Rupertus
Meldenius, c. 1627
Meldenius, c. 1627
This Latin phrase means, “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity,” and is a wise rule for the Christian life in general.
This is an outline of our beliefs:
One God: We affirm our belief in one God: Infinite spirit, creator, and sustainer of all things, who exists eternally in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence, but distinct in person and function.
God the Father: We affirm that the eternal Father is the person of the Trinity who is the source of all that God is and does. As the one who is the very will and mind of God, He is the designer of creation, the speaker of revelation, the author of redemption, and the sovereign of history. No one has seen Him but the Son, who declares and images Him to us.
God the Son: We affirm that the eternal Son of God is the person of the Trinity who is the Ancient of Days, the very image and likeness of God, the Word who was before all things, and by whom all things were created, according to the sovereign will and decree of the Father. He is co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, the Eternal Son of God was expressed in flesh and embodied as our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the pure and sinless Lamb of God, the first-born of many brethren, our Kinsman-Redeemer who came to take away all the sins of His people. He was conceived by the virgin Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. As the God-Man, He lives forever as perfect God (the eternal Word) and perfect man (our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ): two distinct and holy natures inseparably united in one person.
God the Holy Spirit: We affirm that the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity who empowers, active in the creating and ordering of the universe; He is the agent of inspiration and the new birth; He restrains sin and Satan; and He indwells and sanctifies all believers. He is equal in deity with both the Father and the Son, and is the very power of God. Like the Father, He is revealed in the Son, who is the very image and likeness of God.
Salvation: We affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the only name under heaven by which we must be saved, by the grace of God and the new birth by the Holy Spirit, through repentance from sin and by faith in Him alone as Savior. Those of an age to know and understand must believe in, receive, and confess Jesus Christ to be saved.
The Bible: We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired and written by God through men, so that all its words are the written and true revelation of God. It is therefore inerrant in the original documents and completely authoritative.
The Church: We affirm that a church is a local assembly of believers, under the discipline of the Word of God and the lordship of Christ, organized to carry out the commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ, to teach, and to administer the ordinances of baptism and communion.