We believe the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God and, as such, is our only authority and guide concerning matters of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3). According to the scriptures there are certain steps which must be taken in obedience to the commands of the New Testament. Such steps bring about salvation, while also making one a member of the Lord's church. These steps consist of:
FAITH: This results from HEARING the Word of God (Romans 10:17), and is essential to salvation (Mark 16:16; John 8:24; 20:30-31; Hebrews 11:6)
REPENTANCE: This too, is commanded (Acts 2:38; 3:19). Repentance is a change of mind which, realizing disobedience to God's law, causes one to turn away from sinful practices. It is required for everyone (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3; Romans 3:23)
CONFESSION: This is an outward confession of faith in Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10)
BAPTISM (Immersion): This is not taught as being a “church ordinance,” but as a “command” of Christ. The New Testament teaches baptism, for the remission of sins, is essential to salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-7; 1 Peter 3:21)
REMAINING FAITHFUL: Following the obedience of these commands it is important that the Christian live faithfully, because the Bible teaches the possibility of falling from the grace of God.
• Paul said he had to guard himself, lest after preaching to others he himself should be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27)
• He warned the Christians at Corinth to take heed lest they fall (1 Corinthians 10:12)
• He told some of the Galatians they had “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4)
• The Hebrew writer sounded warning: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12)
• He also spoke of those who had known Christ Jesus, but who had reverted to their old ways … and said it would have been better for them never to have known the truth (2 Peter 2:20-21)
• Remain faithful until death (Revelation 2:10).
People in the New Testament became Christians and were added to Christ's church by obeying these steps (Acts 2:37-47). Likewise, in believing and obeying this same gospel today, one can be saved and added to the same New Testament church.
His church! (Matthew 16:18).