All of us in the Westhill Church of Christ want you to know we care about your soul and want to do all we can to help you to know God and understand his will for your life. We especially want to share with you here our convictions about the Bible, Jesus Christ, his church, and our salvation.
The Bible and Our Faith
We in the churches of Christ believe the Bible is the word of the one, true God. The sixty-six books of the Bible compose collectively what is called Scripture, and based on convincing evidence, we accept the claim of Scripture to be the all-sufficient revelation of God’s will for man. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible provides us with all the information we need in order to know God’s will, to be saved, and to live a life that is pleasing to him. It is our complete guide for all we believe and do. Our essential religious convictions thus begin with a recognition of and respect for the Bible as the only, authoritative source for determining God’s will for our lives.
Our Sin and God’s Son
The Bible tells us God created us for fellowship with him—to love us, and for us to love him in return. But we have sinned against God, breaking our fellowship with him. Because God is perfectly just and holy, our sin brings his condemnation and wrath upon us. Our greatest need, therefore, is to have our sins forgiven and our fellowship with God restored. But our problem is that there is nothing we can do of ourselves to bring about this restoration and make things right with God.
The good news is that God has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. Because of his great love for you and me, God became a man in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ, and took upon himself the penalty for our sins. “But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus Christ is the only way we can be saved from our sin and be right with God. Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
His Grace and Our Response
God offers us salvation through his Son as a gift of his grace. We cannot earn that gift by our works; we receive it by faith, by believing in him (Eph. 2:8-9). We must believe Jesus Christ is Lord, the One who died for our sins and was raised from the dead. “For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10). But to be saved by believing in Christ, our faith in him must move us to repent—to be sorry toward God for our sins, and determine in our hearts that we will turn away from sin and turn to God. We must publicly acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God through our confession (Rom. 10:9-10). And then we must be baptized—immersed in water—for the remission of our sins. God’s word tells us that to be saved by faith we must “Repent and be baptized...in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins” (Acts 2:38; see also Acts 22:16). That is how we receive salvation and become born again to begin new lives as children of God, members of his family, which is his church (1 Tim. 3:15). Set free from sin, we then strive to live as servants of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:1-18).
The Lord and His Church
The work of God to save us from our sins through Christ includes his church. The Bible tells us the church is part of the “eternal purpose” of God for every one of us that was made possible through Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:10-11). But there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the importance and identity of that church.
The church is the body of the saved, “the body of Christ” (Eph. 1:22-23). And God’s word tells us that there is but “one body...one Lord, one faith” (Eph. 4:4-6). So there is only one church; there are no denominations in the Bible. Yet today we see so many different churches, different faiths, different teachings. All of this religious contradiction is confusing and contrary to God’s will (1 Cor. 1:10).
But if we set aside the denominations, doctrines, and traditions of men and simply go back to the Bible, we can belong to the Lord’s church which is an essential part of God’s eternal plan to redeem us and glorify his name through his Son. If we follow the New Testament of Christ and do today what the first Christians did then, we can be today what they were then—simply Christians (Acts 11:26). Nothing more, nothing less—just Christians. Not members of any denomination; just members of Jesus’ church we read about in the Bible.
So this is what we in the churches of Christ are striving to do: to glorify God by following his Son, by loving others as he loves us, and by worshipping and serving him together according to the pattern he has given us for his church (Acts 2:42). We seek to be Christians only, a part of the Lord’s family, the church which he died to save with his blood (Eph. 5:23-25).
We invite you to examine these beliefs in the light of God’s word (1 John 4:1). Please let us help you receive salvation in Christ and become a part of the Lord’s family, his people, his church.