CHAPEL HILL

CENTRAL BELIEFS

As a local body of Christ followers these are the central beliefs that unite us.

We believe...

The Trinity

God eternally exists as three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The three distinct persons of the Trinity are all fully God; each of the persons has unique roles and characteristics, but together they are one God.

God the Father

As Creator and Sustainer of all things, God is both sovereign and infinite, which means He has no limitations. God has revealed His power to everyone through creation. God the Father can be intimately known but because He is absolutely holy and perfect we can only have a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ the Son.

Jesus Christ

Jesus is the Son of God, who dwelt on earth, both fully God and fully human. He was born of a virgin, Mary, and conceived by the Holy Spirit. He lived a perfect and sinless life in order to be a holy and worthy sacrifice. 

He was tempted as we are temped, He suffered as we have suffered, yet He never sinned. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, mocked, and crucified on the cross where He died. Jesus' life was not taken from Him by anyone; He gave it as a willing sacrifice for everyone. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and showing His power of both.

After He rose from the dead, He was on earth for 40 days before He ascended into Heaven and now acts as the only mediator between God and people. Jesus will return one day to rule and reign forever, judge the world, and take those who follow Him to live in the presence of God for eternity.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is promised to those who profess faith in Jesus; the Holy Spirit is the presence of God living inside each follower of Christ. The Holy Spirit directs believers back to the words of Jesus and helps us apply Christ's teaching to our lives. He empowers those who follow Jesus for different forms of ministry; He gives different spiritual gifts to followers of Jesus for the purpose of ministry. He empowers prayer. He gives strength and empowers followers of Jesus to overcome spiritual opposition. He sanctifies followers of Jesus. He convicts the world of sin. he guides. He gives assurance of salvation to followers of Jesus.

Man & Sin

People were created in the very image and likeness of God for a loving relationship with Him, however beginning with the first man & woman we have all rebelled against God. Each of us have individually rebelled against God through sin and therefore have separated ourselves from the glory of God; we are in need of redemption and restoration in order to return to a right relationship with God. This occurs through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Gospel of Salvation

Salvation is a gift from God that can never be earned through good works, ritual, or self-improvement. Salvation is only given by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Bible speaks of salvation in the past, present, and future tense. When Scripture uses the past tense, it means you were saved from the eternal penalty of sin by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When Scripture uses the present tense, it means you are still being saved from the power of sin through the work of the Holy Spirit. When Scripture uses the future tense, it means that one day you will be saved from the presence of sin when you experience the fullness of God’s presence forever in heaven.

Scripture

The Bible is the authoritative and infallible Word of God; it is God’s revelation about Himself to man. It is historically accurate and internally consistent, telling one story of redemption pointing to Jesus Christ. The Bible is the living Word of God, applicable to all time, and is not only the measure and standard of truth, but truth itself.

Church

The church is the universal community of all true followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ of which Jesus is the head, with the given mission to make disciples and spread the Gospel of Salvation. All true followers of Jesus should take an active part in the body of a local church to worship God, to receive spiritual teaching, to pray for and encourage one another, to make disciples of Jesus, to serve, and to be nurtured in order to grow to maturity in faith.

Baptism

Baptism in the New Testament is performed only by immersion on those who understand their need for God’s grace through Christ. The Greek word for “baptism” means to plunge, dip, or immerse. Jesus modeled this form of baptism and also commanded his disciples to continue it at the Great Commission. Baptism by immersion represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and this signifies the death of our old self, being buried in the water, and the resurrection of our new self in Christ Jesus.The clear pattern in Acts is that a person be baptized as soon as they recognize their need for God’s grace through Christ.

Communion

Following the example of the early church, communion is to be observed by Christians as an ongoing sign of fellowship with Christ and his people as well as a symbolic reminder of what He accomplished through the cross. The bread represents Christ’s body and the cup represents His blood. Jesus commanded His disciples to regularly partake of the communion meal, so we do so on a weekly basis in our services as a response to the proclaimed word of God. When followers of Christ participate in communion together, it serves as an act and display of unity.

Eternity

The Bible promises Jesus will one day return and at that time everyone will be judged. For those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation, meaning they will spend eternity with a resurrected body in the presence of God. This eternal life with God will take place in what Scripture calls the New Heaven and the New Earth. Those who reject Jesus will be separated from Him by their sin in a real place of eternal conscious punishment called Hell or “the second death.”