BELIEFS


WHAT WE BELIEVE


TRINITY

We describe God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These are commonly used to refer to the threefold

nature of God. We may sometimes use other terms such as Creator, Redeemer, and Counselor.


GOD

We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it.

We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.

We believe that God is loving.  We can experience God's love and grace.


JESUS CHRIST

We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.

We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.

We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. Christ and messiah mean the same thing-God's anointed.

We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.

We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.


THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us.

We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God

We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God's will and empowers us to live obediently.


HUMAN BEINGS


We believe that God created human beings in God's image.

We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.

We believe we were created to be in relationship with God. As worded by an early church leader, " Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you" (Augustine 354-430). God works actively to restore whatever is broken and/or unhealthy in our relationship to Him.  2 Peter 3:9 says "He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." Jesus described it this way: "will he not leave the 99 on the hills and go look for the one that wondered off?" Matthew 18:22   "In the same way, there is joy in the pressence of God's angels when even one sinner repents." Luke 15:10

THE CHURCH


We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today.

We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

The specific mision of CCF is ministering to spiritually unfilled people in Polk County AR by teaching the ancient truths of Scripture in fresh ways that are practically applicable in modern daily life, and by modeling healthy, authentic, personal relationships with God.

We believe that the church is a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.

We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

THE BIBLE

 

We believe the Bible is "God Breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16) and that it's teaching is true from beginning to end.

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

We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.

We believe that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).

 

It’s a STORY

We’re telling news here

Keeping alive an ancient epic

The grand narrative of paradise lost and paradise regained

The greatest “Once upon a time” tale ever told

The beautiful story which moves relentlessly toward—

“They lived happily ever after”

Never, never, NEVER forget that before its anything else it’s a story

So let the Story live and breathe, enthrall and enchant

Don’t rip out its guts and leave it lifeless on the dissecting table

Don’t make it something it’s really not—

A catalog of wished-for promises

An encyclopedia of God-facts

A law journal of divine edicts

A how-to manual for do-it-yourselfers

Find the promises, learn the facts, heed the laws, live the lessons

But don’t forget the Story

 

Learn to read the Book for what it is—

God’s great big wild and wonderful surprise ending love story

Let there be wonder

Let there be mystery

Let there be tragedy

Let there be heartbreak

Let there be suspense

Let there be surprise

Let it be earthy and human

Let it be celestial and divine

Let it be what it is and don’t try to make it perfect where it’s not

This fantastic story of—

Creation

Alienation

Devastation

Incarnation

Salvation

Restoration

With its cast of thousands, more Tolstoy novel than thousand page sermon

It’s a Story because we are not saved by ideas but by events!

Here’s a plotline for you: Death, Burial, and Resurrection

Yes, it’s a story — not a plan, not ology or ism, but a story

And it’s an amalgamated patchwork story told in mixed medium

Narration, history, genealogy

Prophecy, poetry, parable

Psalm, song, sermon

Dream and vision

Memoir and letter

So understand the medium and don’t try so hard to miss the point

Try to learn what matters and what doesn’t

It’s not where and when Job lived

But what Job learned

In his painful odyssey and poetic theodicy

It’s not how many cubits of water you need to put Everest under a flood

But why the world was so dirty that it needed such a big bath

Trying to find Noah’s ark

Instead of trying to rid the world of violence

Really is an exercise in missing the point

Speaking of missing the point—

It’s not did a snake talk?

But what the damn thing said!

Because even though I’ve never met a talking snake

I’ve sure had serpentine thoughts crawl through my head

Literalism is a kind of escapism

By which you move out of the crosshairs of the probing question

But parable and metaphor have a way of knocking us to the floor

Prose flattened literalism makes the story small, time confined and irrelevant

But poetry and allegory travel through time and space to get in our face

Inert facts are easy enough to set on the shelf

But the Story well told will haunt you

Ah, the Story well told

That’s what is needed

It’s time for the Story to bust out of the cage and take the stage

And demand a hearing once again

It’s a STORY, I tell you!

And If you allow the Story to seep into your life

So that THE STORY begins to weave into your story

That’s when, at last, my friend, you’re reading the Bible right.

 

Reading the Bible Right by Brian Zahnd

SALVATION

 

Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life. Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God- not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2: 8-9).  Did you have to memorize John 3:16 when you were a kid in Sunday School?  There was a good reason.  This one verse summarizes the gospel.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

 

 Spiritual conversion begins as God's grace stirs within us a desire to know God and seek a relationship with God.  God takes the initiative in relating to humanity.  We do not have to beg and plead for God’s love and grace.  God actively seeks us, offering reconciliation, pardon and restoration.  There are no religious hoops we have to jump through in order to enter a relationship with God “for whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

 

Conversion is both an event and a process. The Bible says we have been saved (Ephesians 2:1), we are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18), and we will be saved, “being confident of this, that he who began a work in you will carry it on the completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Conversion is a turning around, leaving one orientation for another. It may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative.  But in any case, it is a new beginning.  As Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). 

Conversion is more than a static, one-time event in our lives.  It is the on-going experiences of God’s renewing, transformative power, moving us toward God’s ultimate goal as described in Romans 8:29, “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the first born among many brothers and sisters.“    We growin Christ-likeness as we study the scriptures, worship, and build relationships with other Christians.  Our inner thoughts and motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are increasingly aligned with God’s will and testify to a healthy relationship with God.  So a growing Christian lives out the words of Romans 12:2 – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

We believe the kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.

We believe that wherever God's will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present. It is also present with us whenever people are reconciled with God and each other, thereby experiencing healing and restoration.

We believe the fulfillment of God's kingdom- the complete restoration of creation- is still to come. In the mean time, the church is called to live out and demonstrate what God's Kingdom is and will be like and we grow more Christ-like.

We believe the Kingdom of God is open to individuals, churches, communities, and ultimately, to the entire world. In our churches and our personal lives, we display the presence of God's Kingdom when our attitudes and behavior are transformed, and we grow more Christ-like. As this metamorphosis occurs, people in the world around us have opportunity to see the visible Body of Christ on earth (1 Corinthians 12:27) and personally encounter "Christ in you, the hope of glory"(Colossians 1:27)  Jesus said the Kingdom of God, no matter how small or insignificant it may appear; will grow large and eventually effect all of creation. Bible believing Christians hold various and differing opinions on the details of Last Things, but all believers can trust that "God, in his own way, will bring the world to its approprate end" (Baptist Faith and Message , 2000). That is, the happy ending described in Revelation 21:3-5.  "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes: and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; for the first things have passed away.  And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.' "

BAPTISM

 

Baptism is one of the two rituals Christ gave us in his final words after his resurrection. Christ said to his followers, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).  We believe baptism by immersion is a new Christian’s first public profession of faith.  This is in keeping with the custom of the early church as described in the book of Acts.  We read repeatedly in Acts that people who came to faith in Christ were immediately baptized.  We believe Baptism by Immersion beautifully pictures a spiritual re-birth, as well as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

THE LORD'S SUPPER (COMMUNION)

 

The Lord's Supper is the other ritual Christ instructed his followers to keep “On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, this is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.  In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying this cup is the new covenant between God and his people- an agreement confirmed with my blood.  Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.”  Therefore, we observe the Lord’s Supper regularly.