What we believe.
At the Naples Church of Christ, we ground our core beliefs in Jesus and in his message which is found in Scripture. Our beliefs are rooted in Scripture, not merely in opinion or religious tradition. Anyone familiar with the great historical Christian doctrines of the Bible will recognize that our theology is derived directly from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The basis of our beliefs is the Bible – the 66 combined books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God and given to human authors. Scripture speaks with the authority of God while simultaneously reflecting the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that Scripture is inspired by God and has the final word on all matters of faith and practice. There are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
We believe that there is one true, holy God, existing eternally in three equal persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God has demonstrated his power, wisdom and love by creating the world and everything in it. Through his power and providence, God sustains his creation, operating within history to fulfill his redemptive plan.
The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call people into fellowship with him. Originally created to live in relationship with God, every person has gone their own way, resulting in alienation from him and a sinful inability to please God. Every person is a sinner who suffers the consequences of a fallen world and is in need of the saving grace of God.
The salvation of humanity is entirely dependent on God’s grace and is not the result of human work or conduct. Each person can receive salvation by repentance and faith in Jesus expressed through baptism in his name. Those who follow Christ in faith are promised eternal life.
Jesus Christ, the eternal second person of the Trinity, fully experienced human nature by miraculous birth to the Virgin Mary. He lived in complete obedience to the Father and voluntarily paid the price for the sins of all people by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and bringing salvation to all who trust in him.
CHRISTIAN LIFE (HOLY SPIRIT)
People who have become followers of Jesus are to live in holiness and obedience as they yield to the work of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit transforms the believer in mind and lifestyle into the image of Jesus. He indwells each believer upon salvation and becomes their source of assurance, strength, wisdom and gifting for the building up of the local church.
Every person is destined to experience death. Every person will experience a bodily resurrection from death and a judgment that will determine the fate of each. Having rejected God, unbelievers will suffer eternal separation from God. Believers will be received into joyful communion with God.
All who have submitted their lives to the Lordship of Christ are united with him and with his body, the Church. Scripture makes numerous commands which can only be comprehended and followed as a member of a local church family. Believers in local churches are to gather for worship, prayer, fellowship and the study of the Word. Believers also celebrate Baptism and Communion together. The local church is the place where each person’s faith is developed, their gifts used in service, and where believers work together to reach those who have not heard the message of Jesus. Led and fed by Elders and other leaders, church members are to work in unity and love for the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.
FAITH AND PRACTICE
In all matters of faith and practice, Scripture is the final authority. In essential matters of faith, the church should be unified. In matters of personal opinion, members have freedom to follow their consciences. In all matters of belief, love and respect should be shown within the church.