The Mission of Jesus' Church
Jesus Christ established the church in order to continue his work: “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 18:10). He gave himself as a ransom to redeem mankind from sin (Mark 10:45), and the church proclaims the Gospel message that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ reconciles us to God. Jesus Christ gave to the church the mission of making disciples of all men (Mt. 28:18-20). The Chatham Church of Christ seeks to fulfill this mission through its teaching, worship, and benevolent activities.
No other institution can substitute for the work of the church. Though we engage in works of charity, we are not merely a civic organization. Though we teach, we are not just an educational society. The church is a worshipping community through which the Kingdom of God is proclaimed and through which people are reconciled to God. Good works and education alone cannot accomplish this task. We perform works of charity because they reflect the nature of God, and we teach because the Gospel is the means of salvation for all men. This is a message that only the church provides. Beyond good works and education, the proclamation of this fact represents the church's essential mission.
What The Church of Christ Believes...
God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present creator and sustainer of the universe. He is one God and there is no other (Deuteronomy 5:7 & 6:4). He revealed himself to Moses and the patriarchs in the Old Testament, but his most complete revelation comes in the New Testament through his only Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:18). Because of this we know that though God is still one there are three distinct persons known as the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each is made of the divine substance and each has existed from eternity. God is a personal being not to be confused with a "spiritual essence" or an "inanimate force," and because he is personal, he desires communion with his created beings.
...About Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ is the second person of the divine trinity. His human birth constitutes the doctrine known as the incarnation: God became flesh (John 1:14). Though fully human he is also fully divine (John 1:1-4) and was present at creation. In fact the Bible says that through him all things were made (Colossians 1:15-18). By his death on the cross he is also the savior of humanity. He was born to save men from their sins (Mt. 1:21), and his death on the cross has made redemption from and forgiveness for sin possible (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:20-22). He is the only mediator between God and mankind (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5), the only means by which our severed communion can be reconciled.
All humanity has been created by God in his image. However, the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God and so plunged all humanity into a state of sin. God’s judgment against this rebellion demanded that a sacrifice be made to redeem mankind. At the present time all people stand under the condemnation of sin unless they have been redeemed from it through Jesus Christ. Despite sin, man was made for fellowship with God and with one another, and because all people were made in his image, we have the potential to be like him.
Sin is rebellion against God, a transgression of his moral laws which are explained and illustrated in the Bible. All humanity is caught in the grip of sin (Romans 3:21). Defiance of God’s moral order is the reason humanity has experienced so much suffering and death (Romans 6:23).
...About The Bible:
Written during a period of over 1,000 years, the Bible—both Old and New Testaments— is the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In it God has revealed himself and the history of how he has redeemed mankind from sin. We believe the Bible should be at the very center of the church’s worship, learning, and daily practice.
...About the Church:
As mentioned in the mission statement above, the church was established as Christ's means of redeeming mankind from sin. The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), and each individual Christian is a part of it (1 Corinthians 11:27). The Apostle Peter goes as far as calling us living stones that make up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). The church is not the building where we meet; the church is literally the people of God which makes up the body of the living Christ on earth.