What do we teach, and how do we practise it? Here you can read and find answers about some of the most central areas in our Christian life and teaching.
As a Christian church, we believe in the Almighty God, in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. The forgiveness of sins, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion) are the fundamental elements of our faith. However, there are some points that we emphasize differently than other Christian assemblies.
This especially applies to our Christian life after we have received the forgiveness of sins, when according to God’s word we should “bear fruits worthy of repentance”. Matthew 3:8 and Acts 26:20.
Jesus was a man like us
We believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that He was born of the virgin Mary, and that He rose from the dead on the third day, as it says in the Bible. The Bible also teaches that Jesus Christ was a man like us, born “of the seed of David".
If we were to follow Jesus, who committed no sin, we have to know whether Jesus in fact had been tempted as we are. If it had not been equally challenging for Jesus as it is for us, it would have been unreasonable to expect people to live in the same way.
Living according to your own will and living according to your flesh were the very same thing. Jesus had a flesh (self-will) just like mankind (Matthew 26:39), but He always denied it so that He never sinned. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). Understanding that Jesus denied sin when He was tempted, gives us faith in complete victory over the sin in our own lives.
Victory over conscious sin
We experienced that by the power of The Holy Spirit, it was possible to overcome all conscious sin (which the Bible calls ‘works of the flesh’), because Jesus had opened a way for us. The scripture in Hebrews 2:18, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted,” means that Jesus Himself had the Holy Spirit and overcame by His power when He was tempted.
Therefore, we believe that when we also are tempted to do what is wrong in God’s eyes, we can get power to deny ourselves and overcome. Romans 6:1-2. We believe in victory over all conscious sin, spiritual growth and development in all that is good, just as the Bible tells us.
This is far more than controlling the sin that is manifested outwardly in thought, word and deed. It means that the very inclination to sin that we have inherited after the fall (original sin) can also be completely destroyed while we live here on earth (Romans 6:5-6).
We understand that there is a way on which to go after being converted, receiving forgiveness for your sins, and putting your affairs in order. This way is the way of transformation toward perfection so that you can become like Jesus.
We believe that the Holy Spirit will bring all things to our remembrance and guide us on our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. When we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, an inner transformation takes place in us. In the light that comes from God’s word and the Holy Spirit, we see more and more of our own nature and those aspects of our own will which strive against God’s will. When we agree with God about what we see in our nature, we must take up a battle in which we must choose to do God’s will in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). Life becomes a journey of increasing acknowledgement and cleansing, and our human nature is replaced by divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4). This inner transformation from being human or carnal, to being holy as He is holy, is what the Bible calls sanctification.
The church—the body of Christ
The church is the body of Christ, Christ is the head, and each member has his or her place in the body. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” 1 Corinthians 12:27.
We believe that the spiritual fellowship that grows up between those who live in accordance with the light and guidance in God’s Word, is the church, also called the body of Christ. All those who live their lives “crucified with Christ” belong to Him and are a part of this body—regardless of time or place, race, background, culture or tradition.
What we believe about:
Culture, language, education, civil status and background vary a lot within our church. Nevertheless we agree on good life values and personal Christianity, according to the words of the Bible: “Life was the light of men”.
In the church we work to bring forth and nurture the life values that God has given us for our lives. These values are based on what the Bible calls the perfect law of liberty. For this reason we give each other, as individuals and as families, full freedom to make our own choices and to form our own lives. This liberty and these good values are also the basis for giving our children a happy and natural upbringing.
Faith in Jesus is a personal matter for each individual. Therefore, only voluntary, conscious choices can provide the necessary foundation for personal faith, development and growth as a Christian.
Even though faith is a personal matter, Christian parents naturally want their children to share in the same faith and joy that they have themselves. We encourage and teach our children, and experience that most of our young people choose to stay in the church. Of course we also respect the choice of those who choose a different way.
We practice baptism of believers, that is, adult baptism. Baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God”. 1 Pet. 3:21.
Baptism doesn’t remove sin, but by being baptized you testify before God and people that you want to live a new life. You enter a covenant, and agreement, with God that from now on you no longer want to live according to your own will, but live for Him and do His will.
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom. 6:3–4. A little child doesn’t have an “old life” that it can consciously “put off” or stop with. Neither does it have enough consciousness to enter a covenant with God according to its conscience. Therefore we don’t baptize (christen) small children. Instead the children are blessed in the presence of the congregation and the church leader prays for them, just as Jesus blessed the little ones.“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.” Matt. 19:14–15.
Communion is a gathering where we search ourselves and remember the great work of salvation that Jesus did for us, and the work that He wants to do in us.
Communion is a “meal” in remembrance of Jesus, and is held from time to time in our local churches.
“The Lord Jesus ... took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Cor. 11:23-26.
Communion is a confession. We confess that we share in the same death as Jesus did in our daily lives; death over the sin that lives in our human nature. By sharing one bread we testify that we are all members of one and the same body.
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” 1 Cor. 10:16-17.