Beliefs are highly personal and as such are often hard to pin to paper. No written statement can suffice to include all the conviction, detail, and nuance of personal belief or even corporate theology. Understanding the weakness of a written statement of belief, we list here these important doctrines which have been foundational in building our picture of God. This statement does not serve as a wall to separate us from others—for we are called to respect and honor even those who disagree with us—but instead serves as the center-point from which we move to experience life.
Truly, the single core belief at Bridge City is simple: along with the Apostle Paul we proclaim, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Salvation is a gift made possible through Jesus Christ and offered freely to each person. It cannot be attained through our own merit or behavior, for obedience to God is only a response of grateful love and worship. The teaching at Bridge City Community Church springs from this one core belief.
We also hold these other foundational doctrines as formative for our picture of God. Our beliefs are a living part of our current and active relationship with God and as such this statement remains open to development as God leads us in a relentless pursuit of truth guided by the Holy Spirit.
- We Believe in a supreme creator God who lovingly creates, whose character was fully revealed in the Son, Jesus Christ, and who draws hearts and leads into truth by the Holy Spirit.
- We Believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ reconciles us to God and provides the free gift of complete and completed salvation for any that accept Him as the Son of God and their Savior.
- We Believe the writers of the Bible were inspired by God and that their writings are our most accurate source of knowing God’s character and will. The Bible will stay central in our community serving as our basis for belief and practice, especially as it relates the life of Jesus, His death and resurrection and the plan to reconcile us to God and each other through that process.
- We Believe that the Church is made up of all believers in every place and time, bound by their adoption into Christ’s family and their mission in the world and that Christ alone is the head of the church. The local congregation is a small visible expression of the universal Church, committed to God’s purposes in their immediate community and providing a context for believers to come together for worship, service, evangelism, fellowship and discipleship.
- We Believe that God commissioned this universal church, of which our local congregation is one expression, as the primary tool for communicating reconciliation and salvation to our broken world.
- Since Apostolic times the Church has looked for the soon coming of Jesus. We believe that His return is the only eventual solution for this world’s brokenness and we actively look forward to that event.
We affirm and value the following Biblical practices which were given to Christ- followers as life and faith-enriching gifts, but the practice of which in no way adds to salvation. Each of these symbols serves to remind us of a greater reality and by practicing them with attention to their significance, these tools can deepen our Spiritual journey.
- Baptism — Following Christ’s example, a new believer is asked to participate in water baptism as a public statement of their new commitment to God, of dying to the old self and being raised with Christ into a newly created, eternal life.
- Communion — Participating regularly in the “Last Supper” reminds us of Jesus’ love and His sacrifice for us. We take the bread and cup as symbols of Christ’s broken body and spilled blood which were the price of our reconciliation to God and the gift of grace so freely given. While we have no set schedule, we provide the opportunity to participate in communion during worship services approximately every six to eight weeks.
- Sabbath — We celebrate God’s gracious gift of rest in Jesus Christ. Many in our community of faith also choose to exercise the spiritual discipline of a weekly Sabbath. This is a day to rest from work, to invest in relationship with God and each other and to serve others for the sake of Christ. It is an opportunity to regularly remember Christ’s completed work on our behalf, to have a recurring chance to check our priorities, and to joyfully celebrate in community the gift of grace.
Unity in the Spirit
We Believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ unites us and calls us to create an inclusive community. We will be sensitive to differences among us, especially in areas of conviction, practice and worship expression, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3) We will not seek to persuade one another or judge in matters nonessential, or in which the Bible itself is silent, but seek instead “that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13) Above all, we will appreciate our differences and be thankful to God who gives different gifts, ministries and calls “for the profit of all.” (I Corinthians 12:7)