What we Believe (and why)

37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 10:37-43
Two thousand years ago, Jesus truly lived among men, and was the Son of God. He was the Christ—which means the anointed one—and as prophets had foretold even longer ago, he would be rejected, and suffer and be killed. This he did, and was raised again from the dead. And because of this, we can be forgiven of our sins against God and instead live as children of God, now and eternally. This is the good news, the gospel of Christ, preached by the apostles. This, first, we believe.

And because we believe this, we can not help but realize the love that Jesus had for us and that God the Father showed in sending his Son. And since we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of that love, and by the absolute selflessness of His sacrifice, we put aside all of our own selfish desires and put first in our lives what God wants from us. We strive to say, as Paul said, "20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. " (Galatians 2:20). Whatever it takes to make us pleasing to God, that is what we desire to do.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

I Corinthians 11:1-2
Sometimes it appears that Christianity across the world is a complex, confusing tangle of differing beliefs and disagreements.

But we believe there is a very simple way to ensure that God is pleased with us. We have the well-recorded examples of thousands of disciples who lived those two thousand years ago—many of whom heard Jesus teach in person, and many others who learned directly from His apostles and others who spoke and wrote by the Holy Spirit. If we do and teach the things that they did and taught, how can we go wrong?

Therefore we study their example and imitate it. We have no president or worldwide headquarters, because they had no president or worldwide headquarters—since they had a King and a kingdom not of this world (John 18:33-37), we want to have the same. We have no creed book or official doctrinal statement because they had none—they had the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, and so do we. And if they could learn how to please God that way, we can too.

for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things.

I Timothy 4:8-11
This is the fundamental approach that guides everything that we do, from the most important thing to the least.

It is why we forsake everything if necessary to follow Christ (Matt 19:29)—because they did. It is why we call on the name of the Lord and are baptized (Acts 22:16)—because Paul and many others did. We meet on the first day of the week to break bread because Christ's disciples did the same. Everything, from the way we love our spouses to the way we sing in our assembly is guided by this one, simple principle.