Statement of belief
At Stratford Church of Christ, We Believe Jesus Christ is the head of His Church (Ephesians 1:22-23) and that authority for life and doctrine rests in Him. (Hebrews 1:1-14)
We believe the scriptures to be the only inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God. We accept Old Testament writings as the history of God's dealings with His people and that what soever things were written before, were written for our learning, this is meant to bring us to a fuller understanding of the will and mind of God (Romans 15:4, 1 Cor 10:11) We also accept the New Testament together with what is written in the Old, these sacred writings are meant to give us greater understanding and hope in Christ.
We Believe there is one, true God who is the creator of the heavens and the earth and the creator of life. God is eternally existent in three personalities: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Regarding our Lord Jesus Christ, we believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, atoning death on the cross, bodily resurrection, bodily ascension into heaven, and His return once again in power and glory.
We Believe that salvation cannot be gained by human effort, but only through God's grace in the redemption He provided in Jesus Christ, a redemption which is responded to by faith and which leads to a life devoted to obeying God.
We Believe in the ordinances authorized for the Church in the New Testament, namely Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Immersion, as commanded and exemplified in the New Testament, is a burial in water with Christ for the remission of sins and resurrection to a new life with Him in the Spirit (Romans 6:3-4). We believe in the observance of the death of our Lord and Savour Jesus Christ, this we do weekly by taking the holy communion (I Corinthians 11:23-26; Acts 2:42; 20:7).
We believe the indwelling of Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is given to every person who obeys Christ and becomes a member of His body which is the Church. The Holy Spirit also empowers and equips believers for service in God's Kingdom.
We Believe that all who by faith are baptized into Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the Church, of which Christ is the head.
The purpose of the Church is to glorify God by building its members up in the faith, by instruction of the word, by fellowship, and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world. The Establishment of the church occurred on the day of pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter two.
We Believe that Christians are called to work together in unity to promote the will of God and spread His message to the lost. The abiding unity will serve as a demonstration of our love towards our heavenly Father
One of the most important questions ever asked is, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). This question demonstrates a concern for the status of our souls and a willingness to find a solution. The bible provides just such answers and tells us clearly that in order to be saved, one must do the following.
What must I do to be saved?
1) Hear the Gospel
Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing God’s word. It is important that we obtain that knowledge and understanding of who God is and what he has done for us. We can learn about sin and its consequences. We can learn about God’s amazing love and his unmerited favour. Such knowledge can cause trust and faith in God, to be ignited and grow. God’s word is the source of our faith and without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6) By learning about God we can know the truth about life here on earth, and that truth is able to set us free from sin, guilt and condemnation. (John 8:32)
2) Believe that Jesus is Christ, Son of the Living God.
In order to be saved one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 8:24 Jesus said “… if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins” Jesus is the son of God, He is the way, he is the Truth and He is the life. (John 14:6) The realisation and acknowledgement of Jesus as the saviour of the world and the Son of God, is an important part of developing a closer relationship with God, especially for someone who is not in fellowship and obedience to God. Additionally, John 3:16 declares that God gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth on Him should not perish but have eternal life. See John 20: 30 & 31 it helps us to understand that the scriptures were written so we could believe.
Repentance is a "change of mind" that results in a change of life style. We need to repent of our past sins. Jesus said that “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 (KJV)
The act of repentance involves turning away from sin or wrongdoing. Sin can sometimes be fun and attractive however it separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:1&2) Repentance on the other hand is for the forgiveness of sins Acts 2:38
"Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32 & 33) these words spoken by Jesus, clarify for us the importance of confession. A study of Matthew 16:16-19 reveals that the confession mentioned, is that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. We see another example of this in the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8: 36&37, here the Eunuch confesses 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” In order to be saved one must be willing to confess that Jesus is The Christ.
Finally, baptism into Christ is a necessary step in obtaining salvation or being saved. When this happens you become a member of the church of Jesus Christ. The bible says that “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved"(Mark 16:16). In Acts 22:16 Ananias told Saul to "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" 1 Peter 3:21 tells us that obedience in baptism, can give one a clear conscience. You can also read about Jesus and Nichodemus as they discussed the importance of baptism. John 3:1-5. One who is baptized into Christ must remain faithful (Revelations 2:10)