Our Lifestyle Statements: What we practice
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel strongly about following seven practices:
Bible as our absolute authority: (2Timothy 3:16-17). Since God’s word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living and belief. Our first question when faced with a decision is, “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily reading, Bible study, and Scripture memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we practice and believe.
Autonomy of each local church: (Colossians 1:18). Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe that every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control from other congregations.
Priesthood of every believer: (1Peter 2:9). The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister in the body of Christ endowed by God with individual gifts, talents, and abilities to be used as God directs (1 Peter 4:10). Every believer has direct access to God through Jesus Christ. In the churches of Christ, we have no “Clergy / Laity” structure.
Giving: (2 Corinthians 8:7). At Branch of Christ Mission int’l Church we practice giving for the support and work of the Body of Christ as God commands through tithes, offerings, seeds and freewill donations. God expects us in the New Testament to give as we have prospered. God loves a cheerful giver and promises to take care of all our needs.
Immersion: (Colossians 2:12). We practice baptism by immersion under water, the way Jesus was baptized, and the way that the Bible commands. Immersion is an act of obedient faith in the power and promises of God. In baptism, we believe God forgives sins, gives the gift of the Holy Spirit, puts a person into Christ, and into the body of Christ (the one church) all at the same time (see Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27; 1Corinthians 12:12-13).
Spirit-led living: (Romans 8:5-6). We believe the only way to live a faithful Christian life is through the power of God within us. We practice daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right and live our lives in accordance with the Spirit (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18).
Telling others about Christ: (1 Peter 3:15). It is the responsibility and privilege of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom we have contact. We share our faith in Christ by inviting friends to church and LIFE Groups and one on one Bible studies together.