We view Jesus Christ as the head of the church; therefore, we depend upon Him for our life and direction. We believe the church is God’s holy, indwelt people and, as such, the church is to:
- Worship Him
- Be in community with one another
- Extend His redemptive life and message into the world
Northside Christian Fellowship is structured in such a way as to promote these priorities. We emphasize the priesthood of believers and encourage all members to a life of worship and service. This calls for a high degree of involvement on the part of all the people in the church. We are committed to healthy relationships and see people as a priority. We believe in actively loving and caring for one another, and as a church, we seek to channel our time, money, personal resources, and energy into people; consequently, before programs and facilities, we are interested in a substantial ministry to people. In order to accomplish this, our church life is simple and not highly structured. The Sunday morning meeting is informal with emphases on worship, teaching, and fellowship. (Acts 2: 47, 4: 35, Romans 12: 17; Gal 6:2; Eph. 1:7-12, 22-23, 2:19-22, 3:20-21, 4:1-2, 32, Col. 1:18, 3:12-17; Heb. 12:1-17; 1 Peter 2:5-12)
Northside Christian Fellowship is a non-denominational, evangelical church. While we did not originate from a particular denomination, do not belong to a conference or denomination, and do not adhere to any one denomination’s doctrinal statement, covenant, or constitution, we pursue and welcome working together with other bodies of Christians. Seeking the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, we have fellowship and association with many groups of Christians and Christian pursuits. We welcome opportunities for expressing our unity with the worldwide Body of Christ and working together for His kingdom. (Eph. 4:3-6)
Webster’s Dictionary defines an evangelical as one “emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching with minimal ritual.” At Northside Christian Fellowship, we stand in this evangelical tradition.
We believe the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word. It is without error in all its teaching, including origins (creation), history, its own origins, and salvation. Christians are to submit to its divine authority, individually and corporately, in all matters of belief and conduct (John 5:39; II Tim. 3:16-17; I Pet. 1:23-25; II Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe in the Trinity: that God is three Divine Persons in One Nature, co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent. The Trinity is the basis of all reality and exists as infinite and personal. Because He is infinite, God is limitless in power, in presence, and in knowledge. He exists above and apart from all He created. Because He is personal, He may be known by man (Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19-20; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:18; 14:8-20; II Cor. 13:14; I Pet. 1:1-2; Jude 21).
In lieu of the misunderstandings about the person of Jesus Christ, we state clearly what we believe regarding Him. To that end, we believe that the following doctrines, which have their basis in the Bible, are essential:
1. Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity; therefore, He has always been God.
2. He became a man through the virgin birth and yet did not cease to be fully God.
3. He led a perfectly sinless life, even while He was tempted in all respects as are we.
4. He performed supernatural miracles as acts of compassion and proofs of His deity.
5. He gave up His mortal life as a sacrifice to God the Father in order to redeem humans from sin and its consequences.
6. That He rose from the dead in order to show His victory over sin and death.
7. That He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.
8. He will come again at the end of the age to judge all mankind:
to the righteous, He will give eternal life with Him
to those who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be eternal separation from Him
We believe that the salvation of an individual is a free gift of God received through repentance and faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. We believe that this salvation expresses itself in a public confession through baptism and participation in the church, the Body of Christ (John 1:12, 3:16-18, 10-28; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:41; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe baptism and the Lord’s Supper were initiated by Christ and are intended for our participation in this age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation. We believe Christians should be baptized and encourage all members to participate regularly in the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 1:18-17, 28:19-20; Acts 2:37-41; Mt. 26:26-30; 1 Cor. 11:23-34).
We believe the government of the local church is best carried out by an eldership that is committed to serving the congregation. The elders have authority under God; the people are devoted to their serving leadership. The elders meet regularly to study, pray, and administer the Word of God. Their primary functions are ministry of the Word, prayer, and pastoral care (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3).
The elders do not have absolute authority and may not “lord it over” the congregation (I Peter 5:3). Accountability runs two ways. Because of this, it is important that the following be maintained.
1. Regular, open “family meetings” where members of the congregation may freely express ideas, insights, concerns, and even offer guidance to the elders. We believe that “seeing and hearing from God” is a gift to all the members of a local church and not the elders alone.
2. Any member may bring a charge against an elder on the basis of two or three witnesses (I Tim. 5:19) in order to bring correction and maintain the holiness of the church.
3. When it is known that an elder is living in sin, his sin is to be made public so all “may be fearful of sinning” (I Tim. 5:20).
4. An elder may be removed by a majority vote of the congregation.
The deacons have a Spirit-guided ministry to physical needs. They oversee the building and its use and administer the church finances, including the care of the poor, missionary giving, and the general finances of the church (I Tim. 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-7). Deacons are appointed by the elders.
We believe each member of the body of Christ has at least one spiritual gift. Not all members have the same gifts, or the same ministries, or the same effects; but all gifts are given for the common good of the body. All members and gifts should work together. Spiritual gifts are to be used to serve others, build up the body of Christ, and glorify God (Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:1-11, 28-31; Eph. 4:7-13; Pet. 4:10-11).
We believe in the hope that has always characterized the church of Jesus Christ. We look forward to the second coming of Christ in bodily form and our participation with Him in the kingdom that he will fully establish (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28; 1 Peter 5:4).
We teach and hold those doctrines, which have their basis in the Scriptures, are in keeping with the creeds of the early church councils, and have been held in common by all communions of orthodox believers. We desire to be in the “mainstream” of what the church has always taught, both in doctrine and practice. We are not interested in new or novel doctrines. Therefore, as concise statements of our belief, we have chosen three creeds that are accepted by all orthodox communions of the universal Church. They are the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Chalcedonian Creed.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
The holy catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.
THE NICENE CREED
We believe in one God, the Father All-Sovereign,
Maker of heaven and earth,
And of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God,
Begotten of the Father before all ages,
Light of Light, true God from true God,
Begotten, not made;
Of one essence with the Father,
Through whom all things were made,
Who for us men and for our salvation
Came down from the heavens,
And was made flesh of the Holy Spirit to the virgin Mary,
and became man,
And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
And suffered and was buried, and arose on the third day
According to the Scriptures,
And ascended into the heavens,
And sits on the right hand of the Father;
And comes gain with glory to judge the living and the dead.
Of whose kingdom shall be no end;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and the life-giver
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son is
Worshiped together and glorified together
Who spoke through the prophets;
In one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one baptism unto remission of sins.
We look for a resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the age to come.
THE CHALCEDONIAN CREED
Therefore, following the holy fathers,
we all with one accord
teach men to acknowledge one and the same son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood,
truly God and truly man,
consisting also of a reasonable soul and body;
of one essence with us as regards his manhood;
like us in all respects, apart from sin;
as regards his Godhead,
begotten of the father before the ages,
for us men and for our salvation,
of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten,
recognized in two natures,
the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union,
but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved
and coming together to form one person and subsistence,
not as parted or separated into two persons,
but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word,
Lord Jesus Christ,
even as the prophets from the earliest times spoke of Him,
and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us,
and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.