What We Believe
What We Believe
The church we read about in the New Testament was established by God. It began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). It was purchased by Jesus Christ with His own blood. It belongs to our Lord. He is the head; therefore, it should function as He designed it. To be a member of the Lord’s church means…We are reconciled to God (Eph. 2:16).We are united with Christ (1 Cor. 12:27; Col. 1:24).We are a laborer (Mt. 20:1; Lk. 10:2).We are a stone in the spiritual house of God (1 Pet. 2:5).We are a citizen in Christ’s kingdom (Col. 1:12-13).We are a child in God’s family (Gal. 3:26-27).We have fellowship with the saints (Acts 2:42-47).We have a hope of an eternal inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4). So, how does one become a MEMBER of the Lord’s church? The answer to that question starts with another question, “What must I do to be saved?” The New Testament teaches that when one…HEARS the gospel (Rom. 10:17),BELIEVES the gospel (Acts 15:7),REPENTS of sins (Acts 2:38),CONFESSES faith in Jesus (Rom. 10:10),And is BAPTIZED for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16),Then, that individual is added, by God, to the church. He/she is expected from, that point forward, to live FAITHFULLY (Rev. 2:10).To be a member of the Lord’s church means that…Children of God are free from God’s wrath (Rom. 5:8-9).Children of God are free from the bondage of sin (Rom. 6:22-23).Children of God are free from the Law (Rom. 7:6).Children of God are free from death (Rom. 8:1).What a blessing it is to be a member of the Lord’s church! If you are interested in becoming a New Testament Christian and, thus, a member of the New Testament church, we ask that you speak to one of our shepherds or ministers. Let us help you discover the hope and belonging found in Christ and His church!
We believe that worship is a verb. It is an action demonstrating our hearts. God is our audience. He is the One we are seeking to please with our praise. Therefore, our supreme desire is to worship Him in the manner in which He has set forth—in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:24). You will notice that our worship includes many prayers. We frequently go to God to thank Him, to praise Him, to ask forgiveness of Him, and to bring our concerns before Him. Every Sunday, we also take communion. This is a signature part of our worship as we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. We also set aside a time, each Sunday, to give a portion of our means. If you are visiting with us, we want you to know that you are not obligated to give, nor is there an expectation for you to give. The members here at Oldham Lane abide by the New Testament pattern of giving monetarily to support the work of the church. Singing is a big part of our worship as well. We love to sing. You will notice that our singing is absent of the accompaniment of any musical instruments. We refer to this as a cappella, which means “in the style of the church.” Like the first church we read about in the book of Acts, we seek to use only the purity of our voices as we lift our hearts in praise to our Heavenly Father. You will also notice that our preacher will present a lesson from God’s word each time we gather. These lessons come straight from the Bible and are intended to help all of us live a life that is pleasing to God.
Our desire is to make getting connected as easy as possible; therefore, we provide several opportunities for you to get involved. The first thing we would encourage you to do is grab a New Member Packet. These can be found in the hallway just outside the auditorium. We have many ministries and programs that could use your talents and abilities. Just ask and we can help you find a place to serve. Small groups are also a great way to get to know your church family. Our small groups meet the first Sunday night of the month. We also have a New Members/New Christians Class that meets quarterly. This class provides a good overview of Oldham Lane—who we are and what we are about. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the shepherds, ministers, deacons, or contact the church office and we will assist you. Our goal is for you to be an active part of this family!
Man is not born sinful. Sin is not genetic. It’s not hereditary. We are not born with what some call “original sin.” Sin is a choice that is made from our own free will. Adam and Eve brought sin into the world (Gen. 3), but we did not inherit their sin. The Apostle Paul states that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Sin is a universal problem. It affects all individuals who are capable of discerning right and wrong. However, while sin is condemnable, it’s also forgivable. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God (Jn. 3:16), sent to this earth to seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10). He is God’s gift of grace. Jesus Christ is grace personified. God’s word teaches that Jesus is the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:6), and that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” Jesus was crucified, He died, and was buried. On the third day, He rose again; triumphant over sin and death. This good news is what we refer to as The Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-8), and man’s response to The Gospel is the cure for our sin problem. Salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). Faith describes man’s part in the salvation process. Faith is not simply a mental assent. Faith is not merely acknowledging that you believe in God. No, faith is an action (Jas. 2:26). Faith should move an individual to action. In the case of salvation, faith should move one to repentance (Lk. 13:3, 5), which is the resolve to live life in a godly direction. Repentance is indicative of change. It’s a change of heart, a change of mind, a change of will, and a change of direction. A saving faith should also move one to confessing Jesus as Lord and savior of their life (Rom. 10:9 & 10; Mt. 10:32 & 33). And finally, an active faith should respond to God’s gift of grace through being baptized (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21). Scripture defines baptism as a burial (Rom. 6:3-6). We are buried with Christ, in the likeness of His death. We are “burying” our old, sinful self and being resurrected a “new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Since baptism is a “burial,” then baptism must be immersion. Sprinkling or pouring water over someone does not match the Biblical description of baptism that we see throughout the New Testament (c.f. Jn. 3:23; Acts 8:36-38). Baptism is also the point at which we symbolically contact the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:22). Therefore, baptism is the point at which sinners receive salvation. From this point forward we are called to live a life of faithfulness (Rev. 2:10), as we seek to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). Baptism is also the point at which we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). We believe that the Holy Spirit dwells within each Christian and remains an abiding presence in their life. Scripture speaks to the fact that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are, indeed, children of God (Rom. 8:16). The Spirit is also given to us as a pledge (2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5; Eph. 1:13 & 14). The Apostle Paul writes of how the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26 & 27)).” God’s word also speaks of the fruit that is produced through living a Spirit-filled life (Gal. 5:22 & 23). We do not believe, however, in a direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon man allowing him to perform miracles such as speaking in tongues or healing. We believe that certain spiritual gifts were miraculous powers given at the laying on of the apostle’s hands. They were given so that the word of God could be revealed and confirmed. Though these miraculous gifts were vitally important, they were never intended to be permanent. They were vital to equipping the fledgling church and helping it grow to maturity. Once the written word was completed, these miraculous signs ceased. Why? Because they were no longer needed. Paul speaks to this in 1 Corinthians 13:8 & 9. God’s word has been confirmed. Now, in the place of the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit, we have the results of Christianity. We believe in the Holy Spirit as part of the trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe that the trinity is the divine essence of God represented by three distinct personalities. All are personal deities, and all function to shape who we are as a child of God. In summary, we believe that salvation has two parts: 1) Man’s part, which is faith and 2) God’s part, which is grace. We believe that faith saves the sinner, but only the type of faith that leads to repentance, confession, and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. This is how we respond to The Gospel. This is how we receive God’s gift of grace.