What We Believe
Churches, as described in the New Testament, are made up of people. A church is not a building in which people meet, nor is it an organization that people join, like a club. The churches established in the first century (Acts 14:23) were people who had obeyed the gospel & became disciples (Acts 14:21).
How were these churches identified? Paul described several groups of disciples as “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16). This was an appropriate description because these groups of people (churches) belonged to Christ in a special way. Jesus had saved them when they obeyed the gospel. As a result, they were dedicated to Him & His teaching. How do we authenticate our claim to be a “church of Christ”? We simply do what churches of Christ found in the New Testament did - no more, no less. This is the only basis for any group to claim to be “of Christ.” These included:
- Complying with what He requires for our entrance into His church. See Membership.
- Speaking with & displaying a proper attitude in our personal lives each day of the week.
- Worship offered sincerely in spirit & truth in our public assemblies.
- To learn & recognize God’s will in every area of our lives both collectively & individually.
In short, the teaching of God’s Word is our guide for all aspects of our lives & we constantly seek a closer relationship with God through Christ.
The Monroe Valley church of Christ is made up of individuals that are committed to serving in God’s Kingdom. We have willingly decided to work together in this area. We understand that our labor is for the Lord & not to bring glory to man or some man-made organization. This relationship with God begins by our obedience to the gospel. God tells us that when one is seeking Him that hearing His word [the Bible] concerning what Jesus has done for us should move one to believe it (Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:6, & Acts 2:37). As we are deeply affected by the sacrifice Jesus made for us, He asks us to repent & turn away from sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, & Acts 17:30). The motive is especially important in this action. In 2 Corinthians 7:10, the Bible reads, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Our motive for changing our lives (repentance) should be from being sorry we have sinned against God. He has given the ultimate sacrifice for us. He gave His son to die for our sins so we can live eternally in heaven. How should I react to the greatest act of love? This should cause sorrow that leads us to repent. The rest is easy. He would have us to confess our belief in Christ before man (Matthew 10:32-33 & Romans 10:9-10). The last thing He instructs us to do to become one of His children is be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, 1 Peter 3:21, & Romans 6:3-7). If we follow the New Testament pattern for conversion, we are added to His church (Acts 2:47), then we should be part of a group that assembles regularly to worship & serve Him (Acts 9:26).
If you desire to be “in Christ” (Galatians 3:27), we would be honored to assist you to see what God would have you do.
This church (group of Christians) is without any denominational ties. We do the Lord’s work independently of all other congregations, even other churches of Christ. This is not because we consider ourselves better than other churches. We do the Lord’s work this way because the Lord has not authorized us in His word to be organized with other churches. Each New Testament church did its work with its own funds & overseers (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Acts 20:28, & 1 Peter 5:2).
We seek to be organized according to the pattern outlined in the New Testament. God’s plan is for there to be:
- Overseers (pastors, elders, bishops) of the congregation (Acts 20:28), appointed as a result of meeting God’s qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-6) have the oversight of the work here and are entrusted with watching out for every member (Heb 13:17). We have three Elders: Steve Grimes, Olivier Peter-Contesse, and Chad Lynch.
- Deacons, who are qualified, carry out the necessary work to keep the congregation moving smoothly (1 Timothy 3:8-13). They are servants that help the elders get the necessary work done. We have 3 Deacons: Eric Ciocco, Jarrod Williams, and Matthew Dill.
- We are currently looking for an Evangelist.
The religious world of our day is one of chaos & confusion! Each year brings the birth of many new religious groups. When Jesus Christ came to this world, He declared He would build His church (Matthew 16:18). The results of His effort as described in the New Testament produced “ONE” body (Ephesians 4:4) & “ONE” faith (Ephesians 4:5). While the Bible makes it clear the Lord is not pleased with religious division (1 Corinthians 1:10 & John 17:20-21), it was prophesied from among His own followers people would “turn away from the truth” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 & Acts 20:28-30).
- How can believers know they follow the one true faith?
- How can believers be united?
The Christians who make up this congregation believe firmly if men & women will commit themselves to follow the Bible as their only guide, then these believers in Jesus Christ can be one! It is our goal to imitate the New Testament pattern of the Lord’s church by basing all our activities on Biblical instructions. By so doing, we labor together as a non-denominational congregation of God’s people endeavoring to be an example of the “One Body” of the New Testament.
The objective of the church here is to follow Jesus Christ in all He teaches. Jesus tells us we can be true disciples only when we live by the teaching of His word (John 8:31-32). The Old Testament is a valuable source for such spiritual growth (Romans 15:4). We study the whole Bible in our classes & constantly use it in our preaching. However, we recognize & follow the New Testament as the covenant through which Christ directs His people how to live today. It clearly shows us the way to Heaven (Hebrews 1:1-2 & Hebrews 8:6-7).
The New Testament is our guide in all matters of faith & practice. We have no desire to conform to any man-made creeds or doctrines. Each member accepts individual responsibility as disciples to study & apply the teaching of Christ (John 8:31-32). We wholly trust it as our only guide. The result has been a spiritual family that works together with love, unity, & consensus…not chaos or power struggles. If you look carefully, you will see activities that make us a family that is close knit & actively involved with one another, both encouraging & receiving encouragement. Please ask about anything you see & be our guest at any of our worship services or Bible studies.