Here are the answers to some commonly-asked questions. If you have further questions, please contact us.
Please see our Children’s Ministry page.
We use music as a vehicle to express praise to God and to teach and remind believers of truth so that they might be encouraged to godliness, according to the commandments of Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16, and James 5:13. Therefore, we strive to sing music that is Bible-saturated and biblically accurate, as our highest priority in music is sound lyrical content. In light of these biblical passages, we also strive to use music that encourages hearty congregational singing. We delight in, and desire to use, a wide variety of musical styles, so long as they meet these criteria.
At Doxa, we are led by multiple biblically-qualified elders (also known as “pastors” or “overseers”; see 1 Peter 5:2 and Acts 20:28). These elders all carry equal authority though they have differing roles and gifts. We also hold that deacons are to help these elders by assisting them in serving the church, though the office itself does not carry any kind of inherent authority.
Our long-term plan is to purchase or construct a facility of our own once we are able to do so. We have not yet determined the location of our permanent home.
We encourage people to bring a Bible to church in order to help them get the most out of what is read and taught, and to hold teachers accountable to what is in the biblical text.
We normally teach from the New American Standard Bible, though we feel there are many good and useful English translations available.
If you do not have a Bible, we would be glad to help you find one that is best for you.
Please see our Philosophy of Ministry page.
Doxa Church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for the purpose of joining with others in ministry and mission. Because we understand the value of working alongside other faithful churches to accomplish biblical goals, as well as the need to strive for unity with other believers in the body of Christ, we have connected with The Pillar Network.
We also understand that we as a church are accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ as the head of the church, over which he exercises authority through his written word.
You can get to know us a little bit better by looking at some ministries we benefit from and are glad to endorse:
• Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – Chad’s alma mater and a Great Commission Equipping Center.
• The Master’s Seminary – A place that exalts biblical ministry in the local church setting. For free online lectures of many classes from the seminary, visit www.theologicalresources.org.
• 9Marks – A ministry started out of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. 9Marks has numerous helpful resources for thinking biblically about how to develop healthy churches.
• Association of Certified Biblical Counselors – Formerly known as NANC, this organization exists to certify biblical counselors after a thorough training process. We agree with the mission and philosophy of ACBC and desire that many of our members would become ACBC certified.
Though we share much in common with Reformed theology, there are enough differences that we would not identify ourselves simply as a “Reformed church.”
Where We Agree
We agree with Reformed theology in its affirmation of the “doctrines of grace,” including man’s radical depravity and inability, the need for God alone to bring regeneration (the new birth), the effectual nature of God’s call to salvation, and the final perseverance of all who have truly been saved by him. In other words, we teach a high view of God in his sovereignty, and a low view of man in his sinfulness.
We also heartily endorse the “Five Solas” of the Reformation: Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, and the glory of God alone. We believe that the Bible is God’s word and is the sole source of authority in matters of church life and of faith and practice. We believe that a man stands righteous before God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We believe that all things are to be done to the glory of God alone.
We also support the Reformed tradition of establishing detailed confessions of faith. Our “What We Teach” statement is meant not only to teach our church on the specific points contained it, but to ensure that we are a confessional church that requires adherence to certain doctrinal standards for all who would teach in its midst.
Where we differ
We differ with traditional Reformed theology in that we believe that there are many promises to Abraham, David, and a future remnant of Israel that have yet to be fulfilled, and that can only be fulfilled in an earthly reign of Christ (the “Millennial Kingdom”) before the eternal state.
We disagree with Reformed theology in its view of the idea of “covenant”; though we see all of God’s redemptive activity as consisting in one gracious plan designed before the world began, we do not teach a “covenant of works” or a “covenant of grace” as that terminology is not found in the Bible and often confuses or overrides the meaning of the covenants that are actually mentioned in Scripture.
We also similarly disagree with Reformed theology on its view of the degree of continuity between Israel and the church. Though the church shares many similarities to Israel and there are Israelites who are part of the church, and though Israel and the church are both appropriately known as “God’s people,” we teach that the Bible does not refer to them as the same institution.
For more details on what we teach as a church, please see our What We Teach page.
Will you choose your sin or the Savior? Will you cling to this life or turn to Christ for eternal life?
John 5:24 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. “ (NASB)
Displaying the Glory of God is the succinct, simple and direct mandate of Scripture. All of God’s creation is to be absorbed with putting God’s glory on display. When the angels announced the Savior’s birth, they were joined by the heavenly host, glorifying God (Luke 2:14). The shepherds responded by glorifying God following their visit to the Christ-child in the manger (Luke 2:20). Even the physical creation incessantly declares His glory (Ps 19:1-2).
While the importance of this mandate is not lost on most Christians, its fulfillment frequently is. We give lip-service to it, often closing our prayers of petition with the phrase, “and we’ll be sure to give you all the glory.” But when the answer comes, we, like the nine lepers, are often so elated that we fail to make good on our promise.
How can we follow the example of the physical creation or join in the chorus with the shepherds and the heavenly host in glorifying God? The answer, we believe, is found in Exodus 33:18-34:8. When Moses asks to see God’s glory, God puts His glory on display by rehearsing His attributes, and thereby demonstrates how we can give God the glory that belongs to Him. Here are six ways you can put God’s glory on display:
When we confess sin, we are putting His glory on display by declaring His righteousness. That is David’s point in Psalm 51:4: “Against You, You only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when you judge.”
Our God is a forgiving God (Ps 130:3-4; Mic 7:18-19). When we forgive others, we are proclaiming His compassion and eagerness to forgive. It has been said that we are never more God-like than when we forgive. That is why the Lord places so much emphasis on forgiving others in the disciples’ prayer (Mt 6:12, 14-15). Forgiving others puts His glory on display.
If God does all things for our good (and He does), then demonstrating our trust in Him puts His nature and character on display. We reflect who He is. The life of Abraham provides a remarkable example of this. Romans 4:20 notes that “with respect to the promise of God, Abraham did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.” At the end of his life, Paul recounts how the Lord stood with him, strengthened him, and rescued him from every evil deed, and concludes that the Lord will bring him safely to his heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever (2 Tim 4:17-19). Trusting God declares His glory.
Jesus says: “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8). Living a life that adorns God’s attributes puts His glory on display. When His communicable attributes are reflected in our lives, it not only produces fruit but it glorifies God.
Psalm 50:23 says, “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies Me.” Expressions of gratitude to God sets His glory on a pedestal. Thanksgiving directs our focus on the One who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). First Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us of God’s sovereign orchestration of all of life for the believer (cf. Rom 8:28). Thanksgiving acknowledges that and thereby reflects His glory.
Like giving thanks, prayer shines the spotlight on God’s attributes of goodness and omnipotence. The Lord encourages and invites us to “Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will rescue you and you will glorify me” (Ps 50:15). In John 14:13 He adds, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Glorifying God is not a memorized mantra of special words or phrases. Rather, it is a life that reflects the attributes of God, a lifestyle that is consumed with putting His glory on display. Like a city built on a hill or a lamp set on a lampstand, glorifying God entails letting the light of God’s attributes shine before men so that others will join with us in glorifying our Father in heaven (Matt 5:14-16).
To God be the Glory!
(Taken from an article written by Dr. Irv Busenitz from The Master’s Seminary.)
At the heart of every sound church is sound instruction in the Word of God. The goal of Christian character is love for Christ and love for others, but this can only be accomplished through a right understanding of biblical truth. Therefore, our desire is to see that this truth is faithfully taught in the church.
In light of this, our church leadership has developed a confessional document entitled What We Teach. With the Bible as our sole authority, we have summarized many of the main points of the Bible’s teaching as the required standard of what is taught at Doxa Church.
The purposes of this statement are:
1. To give a concise introduction into many of the key truths of the Bible for the purpose of teaching people what the Bible says, and
2. To protect the church from false teaching on these subjects.
This statement impacts people in the church as follows:
•We require all elders in the church affirm the statement in its entirety.
•We require that all deacons and teachers agree not to teach against what is taught in the statement.
•Applicants for membership are not required to agree with all of the statement, though they are expected not to teach against it. All are encouraged to speak with the church leadership concerning any difficulties they may have with the material contained in it.
We teach that the Scriptures are God’s written revelation of himself to man (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), and consist of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, otherwise known as the Bible.
We teach that the Scriptures are inspired, being breathed out by God as his very words (2 Timothy 3:16). This inspiration occurred by a process of dual authorship, in which God worked through the experiences, styles, personalities, knowledge, and circumstances of the human authors of Scripture so as to record exactly the words he desired (2 Peter 1:20-21). This inspiration is plenary and verbal; it extends to the whole Bible and in every word “ not merely parts of the Bible, or simply the general ideas, but every single word itself, and even down to the smallest parts of each letter (Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 5:18).
We teach that the Scriptures are absolutely inerrant, being perfectly truthful and completely without error in the original documents (John 17:17; Titus 1:2; John 10:35). Therefore, the Scriptures are infallible and cannot lead someone astray from the truth.
Authority and Sufficiency
We teach that the Scriptures are fully authoritative, having the right to direct the actions of all people and of the church, and as God’s words they are to be believed and obeyed at every point (Titus 2:15). We also teach that the Scriptures are sufficient to teach and to enable everything God requires man to do; that they contain everything that a believer needs to know in order to respond properly to God; and that they reveal everything that the church needs to know in order to carry out its commission before God (2 Peter 1:2-4). Any attempt to supplement or improve the word of God with the traditions and wisdom of men, or with claims of God speaking, directing, or revealing anything new, should be viewed as a direct attack on the sufficiency of Scripture.
We teach that the Scriptures are to be understood in light of the historical context of each passage and according to the meaning of the words and grammar used in the text. This is known as the historical-grammatical or literal-historical method of interpretation, and it is to be applied consistently across all of Scripture. We teach that the meaning of the text is determined by the author alone and not by the reader. The responsibility of the reader is to carefully and accurately seek to understand the one correct meaning of the text and to apply diligently what is understood (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:21-22).
We teach that there is one true and living God, revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and that his essential nature is personal, invisible, living spirit (John 1:18; 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; John 5:26). We teach that this one God eternally exists in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). These three persons comprise the Trinity, each of whom possesses the whole divine essence: the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Spirit is God (John 6:27; 10:30; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Acts 5:3-4). Each member of the Trinity is at work in God’s accomplishment of salvation for sinners (1 Peter 1:2; Matthew 3:16-17), carrying out a unique role within the Godhead, but without any division of nature, essence, or being.
We teach that God is uncreated and self-existent, and is the one who created all things, out of nothing, in six literal days (Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 20:9-11, 31:17; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3, Psalm 90:2, 148:5-6). He continually sustains all things, sovereignly ruling over his creation and controlling everything in it in his providence (Colossians 1:17; Psalm 103:19; Job 12:9-10, 34:14-15; Daniel 4:34-35; Ephesians 1:11). God is perfect in holiness and is therefore distinct from all his creatures in essence and from sinful man in moral purity (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). God is perfectly righteous and is unable to be charged with evil (Deuteronomy 32:4; Genesis 18:25; Romans 3:3-6; 9:14; James 1:13). He is infinite in all perfections, and deserves perfect worship, honor, thanksgiving, and love from his creatures (Rom 1:20-21; Rev 4:11; Jeremiah 10:6-7). God is completely unchanging in his attributes and is perfect in love (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8; 1 John 4:8).
We teach that God is all-sufficient in and of himself, having no need of anything, but that he still created all things for his own glory (Acts 17:24-25; 1 John 4:8; Romans 11:33-36). He is all-powerful; he knows all things, whether past, present, or future; and he is present everywhere (Job 42:2; Matthew 19:26; Jeremiah 32:27; Psalm 139:1-12). He delights in the exercise of his own perfect attributes, including justice, righteousness, truth, grace, and love (Jeremiah 9:24; Exodus 34:6-7).
We teach that God the Father is infinitely great in wisdom and knowledge (Romans 11:33); that he works all things according to his purpose (Ephesians 1:11); that he has all authority, including directing the Son and the Spirit (1 John 4:13-14; Galatians 4:4); that he demonstrated his incomparable love in giving his Son (Romans 5:8; 8:32; Acts 2:23; John 3:16); and that he is eternally glorious (Ephesians 1:17; Romans 11:36). We teach that God is the Father of Jesus Christ, and that only believers in Christ can rightly call him their spiritual Father (1 Peter 1:3; Romans 8:14; John 8:41-44).
Paragraph: We teach that the Son of God is uncreated and is fully God, possessing all the divine attributes (John 8:58; Hebrews 1:8); that he existed in the beginning with God (John 1:1-2); that he is the one through whom and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16); that he was born of a virgin and took on human flesh, yet without sin, becoming forever the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, existing as real man without losing any of the attributes of his deity (Matthew 1:18-23; Hebrews 2:14, 4:15; Philippians 2:5-7). He humbly lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and performed many miraculous works, proving himself as the promised Christ (1 Peter 2:22; John 8:29, 17:4; John 5:36; Matthew 12:22-23; John 7:31), and he died on a cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins for his people according to the Scriptures (1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4), accomplishing for them redemption and propitiation (Hebrews 9:11-12; Colossians 1:14; Romans 3:24-25).
We teach that Jesus Christ was buried; that he was raised bodily on the third day according to the Scriptures; that he appeared at various times over forty days to over 500 eye-witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Acts 1:3, 2:24-32, 3:15); that he ascended to heaven (Acts 2:33-35), where he is now at the right hand of God, interceding for his people as a faithful high priest and advocate (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1); and awaiting the time when the Father will send him back to earth to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31) and to set up his throne in the Davidic Kingdom (1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Daniel 7:13-14; Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33; Romans 11:26-27). He is the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5); he is head over all things, especially the body of Christ, which is the church; and he rules heaven and earth with all authority (Ephesians 1:21-23; Matthew 28:18).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is fully God, a divine person with all the attributes of personhood, including mind, emotions, and will (1 Corinthians 2:11, 12:11; Ephesians 4:30), and all the attributes of deity. He is the agent of regeneration, causing believers to be born again, and no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8). He is the one who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).
We teach that the Spirit of God places all believers into the body of Christ through the baptism of the Spirit and that this happens immediately upon faith in Christ, not through any kind of post-conversion event, except for a few unique, non-normative works of God during the foundational era of the church to demonstrate the inclusion of non-Jews and Old Testament-era believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; Acts 8:14-17, 11:15-18, 19:1-6).
We teach that this baptism of the Spirit began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5, 2:33, 2:38-39, 11:15-17), and also results in all individual believers being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19), who is the guarantee of the believers’ future inheritance in Christ’s kingdom (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5). The indwelling Spirit distributes gifts to each believer for the building up of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 14:12, 26). Further, the Spirit of God dwells in the church corporately, which therefore functions as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), and he unites all believers to Christ and therefore to one another (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 4:3-4).
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the agent of the believer’s growth in godliness as he gives the ability for believers to overcome sin and as he transforms them into the image of Christ (Romans 8:10-13; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18). It is every believer’s responsibility to walk in the Spirit and to be controlled by the Spirit (Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18).
We teach that the Spirit speaks today only through his revealed word, which is preserved only in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, which he so superintended that every word of the Bible written by men was a word that originated from God (Hebrews 3:7, 15; 4:6-7; 2 Peter 1:20-21). God spoke in Old Testament times in various ways, and spoke in New Testament times in the person of Christ and through the apostles and prophets who testified about him (Hebrews 1:1-2, 2:1-4; Ephesians 2:20, 3:5).
We teach that God created man in his own image, and made them male and female (Genesis 1:27). He formed man of dust from the ground and woman from the body of man (Genesis 2:7, 21-22). Mankind is God’s highest creation on earth and was made to rule over the earth and all its creatures (Psalm 8:3-8; Genesis 1:28-30). Man was designed by God to be responsible for representing God on the earth and doing the work of God, and woman was made from him and for him, designed as his perfect and necessary helper without which man’s situation was not good (Genesis 2:15, 18, 20-22).
We teach that man was created in a state of righteousness (Ecclesiastes 7:29), but through the temptation of the serpent Adam and Eve fell into sin, violating God’s commandment to them (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-6; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14). This one sin resulted in expulsion from the Garden of Eden and from access to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22-24); a curse upon the serpent, man, woman, the marriage relationship, and creation (Genesis 3:16-19); and a condemnation of death upon every person to be born through Adam, as well as a heart of sinful rebellion against God (Romans 5:12-14; Genesis 6:5).
As a result of this fall into sin, the heart of man is now completely corrupt by nature, his sin graciously hindered only by conscience, circumstances, lack of ability, or perceived adverse consequences, but still fundamentally opposed to God (Jeremiah 17:9). An unredeemed person is hostile toward God, being morally unwilling and unable to subject himself to God’s commandments (Romans 8:7-8). The result of this is that sin continually takes place in the motives, desires, thoughts, words, and deeds of every man, so that he always freely chooses to do evil, and even the deeds that appear good are, in reality, actually sinful at heart (Luke 12:2-3; Romans 2:16; Psalm 90:8; Mark 7:20-23; Isaiah 64:6).
These things are done despite God’s revelation of his holy and righteous character to all men both in creation and in conscience so that they have no excuse before God for their sin (Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-16). All men therefore are completely and fully deserving of death, judgment, and facing the wrath of God when he judges the world in righteousness through Jesus Christ (Romans 1:32; 2:2, 5, 16).
We teach that election is God’s loving, gracious choice, before time began, of certain sinners to salvation and eternal life. Though God perfectly knows the future, these persons are chosen not on the basis of their works or even their faith, but solely by God’s kind decision (Ephesians 1:4-5; Romans 9:14-18). God’s choice does not remove the responsibility of man to respond rightly to God (Romans 9:19); nor does it remove the necessity of hearing and believing the gospel for salvation to occur (2 Timothy 2:10). It does, however, guarantee that all whom God has chosen and predestined to eternal life will indeed come to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and receive all of its eternal blessings (Acts 13:48; John 6:37; Romans 8:29-30). No one can know or say whether someone is chosen by God until that person truly believes the gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:4-7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
We teach that regeneration is the gracious act of God by which he imparts new life spiritually to one who is dead in his sins, causing him to be born again by the Holy Spirit and the word of God (John 3:3-8; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23). Regeneration opens a person’s spiritual eyes to the glory of Christ so that he will believe the gospel and trust in Christ for salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6). Though regeneration and saving faith occur together at the moment of salvation, regeneration is not the result of faith, but rather the cause of it, as the sinner is made willing to believe (Acts 16:14). A person cannot cause himself to be born again, but is rather commanded to turn from his sin and to put his faith in Christ (John 1:12-13; 3:14-16). Because regeneration is a work of God, it will necessarily result in a changed heart and life (John 3:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 4:7).
We teach that conversion consists of two essential elements: repentance and faith (Acts 20:21). Both of these are heart responses to the preached gospel, and both are necessary for someone to be saved from his sins (Luke 13:3; John 3:18). The results of repentance and faith are forgiveness of sins and a righteous standing before God, as well as eternal life and all the other blessings of salvation in Christ (Acts 11:18; John 3:16; Ephesians 1:3).
We teach that repentance is the heart response to the gospel that consists of turning away from false worship and evil deeds and turning toward God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). It is brought about by the Holy Spirit convincing a sinner of his sinfulness before God, of the judgment he deserves, and of the need to obey God’s command to turn from his sins (John 16:8; Acts 17:30-31). Repentance is more than mere sorrow over sin or its earthly consequences, but a hatred for it, and a resolution to turn away from it out of a changed attitude toward sin itself in light of God’s view of it (2 Corinthians 7:10-11). True repentance will produce good works in obedience to God’s word that prove repentance has taken place (Luke 3:8-9). Though the believer’s life will be one of continual repentance (Luke 17:3-4), initial repentance occurs at the time of conversion and salvation. God does not delight in man continuing in sin, but in his repentance and salvation from judgment (Ezekiel 18:23; Luke 15:7, 10)
We teach that faith is the heart response of trust in God and his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the truthfulness, facts, and promises of the gospel (Acts 16:31; Romans 4:24). Its basis is the certainty of the promises and power of God as found in his word, no matter how difficult any of them may seem to believe (Romans 4:16-22). It does not consist in simply believing that that God is exists or even that his word and the gospel are true, but rather also in committing one’s trust to Christ alone for salvation from sin (James 2:19; John 8:31). Sinners who believe are made right with God by faith alone and not by their works, but that faith never comes alone; instead, true faith that saves also produces good works after a person has been reconciled to God (James 2:14-26). Saving faith stays with a believer until the end of his life (Hebrews 3:6; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2). Saving faith also produces a willingness to forfeit immediate pleasures for the honor of God and for future glory (Hebrews 11:13-16; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Faith in the God of the Bible and his revealed truth, and not works of any kind, has always been the means of salvation from the earliest times (Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Galatians 3:14-17).
We teach that, in justification, God graciously credits righteousness to all who turn from their sins and place their trust in Christ alone for salvation. This crediting does not in any way depend upon the person’s good works, or upon anything that God works in them, but only upon the once-for-all legal declaration by God that the person is forever pardoned of the guilt and penalty of all his sins “ past, present, and future (Romans 4:1-8; 3:20; Galatians 2:16; Hebrews 10:14-18). Though a believer will be vindicated and even rewarded in light of his Spirit-empowered good works (2:21-26;Romans 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:10), this righteousness which God credits to him does not consist of the person’s faith, or of his own righteousness in any way, but rather the righteousness of God in Christ, credited to the sinner as a free gift on the basis of faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 3:26, 28; 10:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). The basis of this righteous standing is the forgiveness of sins by virtue of the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ and his shed blood on the cross, as well as his resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; 5:9; 4:25).
We teach that sanctification is the work of God in believers to set them apart from sin and to God in purity of character and purpose. This is according to his eternal purpose to conform to the image of Christ those whom he has chosen for eternal life (Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 1:4). Sanctification begins at conversion with positional sanctification, wherein every believer in Christ is set apart by the Holy Spirit from sin and the world for God’s purposes and is declared immediately to be a saint (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 10:10, 14). This takes place by means of the shed blood of Jesus Christ and faith in him (Hebrews 13:12; Acts 26:18).
This sanctifying work continues throughout a believer’s life in progressive sanctification, as his holiness of character grows to match his holy position. This occurs as the believer is transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit of God and by means of the written word (2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:17). Progressive sanctification entails growth in godliness as the necessary outcome of regeneration; putting off sin and putting on righteousness according to one’s standing as a new creature in Christ; and, by the Spirit, fighting against the desires of the flesh in order to live righteously before God by his strength (1 John 3:9; Ephesians 4:22-24; Romans 8:12-13). This progress only occurs by the means of grace, including the word of God, prayer, and the work of the church in the building up of one another (1 Peter 2:2-3; Philippians 1:9-11; Ephesians 4:15-16). This takes place only so far as the believer lives by faith in the Son of God and in obedience to his commandments, walking by the Spirit in the good works which God has prepared beforehand for him to do (Galatians 2:20; John 15:4-10; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 2:10).
The final phase of sanctification is ultimate sanctification, which occurs at the coming of Christ, when believers will see him as he is and become like him in purity (1 John 3:2-3). This action is ultimately the work of God and he will certainly perform it for all believers (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
We teach that a believer in Jesus Christ is secure forever; that God has planned each believer’s salvation from before time began; and that nothing can separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus (John 6:37-40, Romans 8:28-39). God desires for those who demonstrate proof of knowing him to have an assurance of their possession of eternal life (1 John 5:13). One can only be rightly assured of his own status as a true believer through an enduring, correct profession of faith in Christ and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit unto personal godliness (1 Corinthians 15:2; Romans 10:9, 8:12-17; 2 Peter 1:10-11). God protects and guarantees the final salvation of all true believers in Christ by his power through their faith, and faith that saves is also faith that endures to the end (1 Peter 1:5; Hebrews 3:6, 14; 10:36-39; Colossians 1:23).
We teach that believers in Christ will one day be transformed physically into a body like that of Jesus Christ’s glorified body (Philippians 3:21). This will occur at the time of the rapture both for those who have died in Christ and are resurrected, and for those who are still alive at that time, as they are caught up to be with the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). It is the future guaranteed by the indwelling Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14), and it is the believer’s eager hope as he considers what he will one day be and his freedom from sin’s corruption (Romans 8:23-25; 2 Corinthians 4:17-5:5).
We teach that the church consists of all those who possess saving faith in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2). Though eternally planned by God, the church was a mystery that was only revealed at Christ’s first coming, and through the message he entrusted to the apostles and prophets (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 3:4-6, 10-11). It is a new entity, beginning on the day of Pentecost, and consisting of both Jews and Gentiles with equal access to God through the indwelling Holy Spirit by virtue of the work of Christ (Ephesians 2:14-18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
We teach that the church is the body of Christ, who is the head, and is made up of all individual believers, who together also constitute his bride (Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:32; 2 Corinthians 11:2). Every believer is commanded to unite himself to a particular local manifestation of the church and to carry out in that setting the numerous commands believers are given concerning their conduct toward one another (Hebrews 10:24-25; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10, 13:8-10).
We teach that the primary purposes of the church are to glorify God through worshipful obedience and verbal praise; to proclaim the gospel to all nations and thereby make disciples; and to build up these disciples to become more like Christ as they serve one another in love (Ephesians 3:21; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Matthew 28:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Peter 4:10). This is all to be done according to the standard of God’s word, with which the church is entrusted in order to protect it as originally delivered (2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:15; Jude 3).
We teach that the spiritual authority of the church (both universal and in each local manifestation) rests in its head, the Lord Jesus Christ. Under the authority of Christ, through the Scriptures, each local church is to be ruled by a group of men called elders, who are also known as pastors or overseers (Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 3:1; Acts 14:23, 20:28; Ephesians 4:11). An elder may be appointed only if he meets the biblical qualifications contained for the office (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9). Elders are responsible to lead, care for, and protect the flock of God, by instruction from the word and by godly example (1 Peter 5:2-3; Titus 1:9). Believers are to joyfully submit to the elders of their own local church as those who will give an account for their leadership (Hebrews 13:17).
1 Timothy 3:8-13; Philippians 1:1).
Paragraph: We teach that each local church, under the leadership of its elders, is accountable directly to the Lord Jesus Christ through his word and not to any higher spiritual authority above the local church level. Local churches are to be united with one another in following biblically accurate beliefs and practice (1 Corinthians 4:17, 14:33, 36), and multiple local churches can join together in various ways to accomplish God-honoring goals (1 Corinthians 16:1; Acts 20:4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-6). Moreover, all believers are called to diligently seek to preserve the unity of the church (Ephesians 4:3-6).
However, the biblical commands for Christian unity do not demand or imply the necessity for a local church to join or submit to any overseeing spiritual organization, institution, or association.
We teach that each local church is responsible to humbly and lovingly correct and restore its sinning members by calling them to repentance (Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15-17). If, after careful inquiry into the matter, and after carefully following the biblical process to correct them, starting on the individual level, they still refuse to repent, they are to be removed from association with the local body until they do (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:14). The goal of church discipline is the spiritual good of the one who is sinning and the purity of the local church (1 Corinthians 5:5-8).
By virtue of the indwelling Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ, each believer has a unique gift for serving the church (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:7-11; 1 Peter 4:10). Christ has given gifts to the church for its growth in likeness to himself, and they are to be exercised for the common good of the church, for the building up of the body of Christ, and in the strength supplied by God, all so that God may be glorified (Ephesians 4:12-16; 1 Peter 4:11; 1 Corinthians 14:26).
We teach that certain gifts were intentionally designed by God to exist only during the initial time of the church. Though God is always able to do whatever he wishes, and though he still does things that people cannot explain, this is not the same thing as the continuation of these certain gifts. Among these are gifts that brought revelation of truth from God concerning Christ, as the foundation of the church, such as apostleship, prophecy, and tongues, as well as gifts that attested to the truth of the message being proclaimed, such as signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of healing (Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The church’s foundation being laid, God has chosen not to continue to reveal new truth or to empower particular individuals with miraculous gifts, and this will be the case until the time of great tribulation (Revelation 11:3).
We teach that baptism is given by the Lord Jesus to the church as a commandment to perform for all believers upon their profession of faith in Christ (Matthew 28:19; Acts 19:4-5). Baptism is a statement of the believers’ identification with Christ and does not have a saving effect (1 Corinthians 1:12-13; Acts 10:47-48). We teach that the word baptism means immersion and that this is the proper mode of conducting this ordinance.
The Lord’s Supper
We teach that the Lord’s Supper is a commandment of the Lord Jesus, handed down through his apostles, to be practiced by the church as a memorial of his death until he returns (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). It consists of the elements of the bread and the cup, which, though only a representation of the body and blood of Christ, picture his death and bring communion with him and with his people (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). It is to be practiced as gathered believers with greatest reverence for what it represents (1 Corinthians 11:27-30).
We teach that all people will one day be raised bodily from the dead, some to everlasting life with Christ in his kingdom, and the others to everlasting, conscious judgment in hell (John 5:28-29; 6:40, 44; Acts 24:15-16; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Daniel 7:14, 18, 27; Isaiah 66:23-24; Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:47-48; Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:10-15).
We teach that Christ will judge all people, even the secrets and motives of their hearts (Luke 12:2-3; John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; 8:34; 1 Corinthians 4:5). He will judge and punish unbelievers on the basis of all their sins (Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:12-14). He will not condemn believers, but will judge and reward them for the deeds they have done in Christ, having borne the punishment that was due them for all their sins (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Romans 8:34).
We teach that those who die as believers in Christ depart from this life to be with him, awaiting the time of the resurrection (Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8), when the Lord Jesus Christ descends from heaven and his saints, both the living and the dead, are caught up ( raptured ) to meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). At this time the bodies of his saints, whether living or dead, will be transformed to become imperishable and incorruptible, forever to dwell in the presence of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
We teach that before the Lord Jesus returns to earth at his second coming, there will be a seven-year period of intense distress in which God will afflict the world with great judgments unlike any ever seen before or after (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). During this time, Antichrist will rule the earth with great power, but will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire at the appearing of the Lord when he comes to set up his kingdom on earth (Daniel 7:23-26; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:19-20).
We teach that when Christ comes to rule, God will fulfill literally the unconditional promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of a land, a seed, and a blessing (Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 17:8; 26:3-5; 35:11-12). He will gather the remnant of Israel from among the nations, give them a new heart, forgive their sins against him, cause them to live in their own land that was promised to their forefathers, and make them a blessing to the nations, as they put their faith in Christ (Isaiah 11:11-12; Ezekiel 36:22-28, 37:21-28; 39:21-29; Genesis 15:7-21; Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Jeremiah 31:31-34; 33:1-13; Micah 2:12-13; 7:18-20; Isaiah 19:24-25; Romans 11:25-32).
We teach that at this time God will also fulfill his covenant with David, as Christ will sit on the throne of David as the ruler of Israel, ruling also over all the other nations (2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 89:35-37; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 33:14-26; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 19:15). The saints will reign with Christ, including those killed during the time of tribulation (Revelation 2:26-27; 5:10; 20:4-6; 1 Corinthians 4:8, 6:2). This state will continue for 1,000 years, will be centered in Jerusalem, and will be a time of great prosperity and peace upon the earth, though not yet being the perfected eternal state (Revelation 20:4-6; Isaiah 2:2-4, 65:20; Zechariah 14:5-17). During this time, Satan will be bound, and will no longer deceive the nations (Revelation 20:1-3). At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, and will lead a final, futile battle against Christ and his saints before he is defeated and cast forever into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). At this time, all those who have died as unbelievers will be raised from the dead, judged at the Great White Throne according to their deeds, and thrown forever into the lake of fire for their evil (Revelation 20:11-15).
We teach that after this, God will then bring about a new heavens and new earth, and bring in the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, in which his redeemed people will live, and in which there will be no sin, death, suffering, sadness, or wicked person (Revelation 21:1-4, 7-8, 27; 22:15). At this time Christ will hand over the kingdom to the Father, and God will continue forever to dwell with his people and show them the riches of his grace, all so that he might be glorified forever (1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 5:13; 21:3, 22:3-4; Ephesians 2:7, 3:21).
The Bible is God’s self-revelation to humanity and was written by individuals through divine inspiration. Because God is the ultimate author of Scripture, the Bible is free from error and totally true and trustworthy. The central purpose of Scripture is to show God’s saving purposes in Christ. (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:21)
There is one, and only one, living and true God. This God eternally exists as one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 3: 16,17; 1 John 5.7). God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of human history. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all-wise. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Psalm 19:1–3; John 4:24)
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son and himself God, in His humanity was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Born of the virgin Mary, he lived a sinless life, died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and rose bodily from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven, where he intercedes for His people as an eternal high priest and from where he will return bodily and visibly to earth. (Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–23; John 20:30–31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8; 6:9–10; Hebrews 7:25; 9:28; 1 Timothy 3:16)
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He proceeds from the Father and the Son to regenerate and indwell believers and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He cultivates Christian character, grants spiritual gifts, and constitutes the church as God’s family, the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit also sanctifies believers and seals them for the final day of redemption. (John 4:24; Acts 1:8; 2:1–4; Romans 8:9–11; Ephesians 1:13–14; 2 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6–7)
Humanity is the special creation of God, made in His image for His glory, as both male and female. Therefore every person possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. The first man and the first woman were created innocent of sin, but rebelled against God and thus introduced sin into the human race. Ever since, people are born with a sinful nature. Only God’s grace in Christ can restore people to a right relationship with God.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband is to be the head of the wife, which entails loving nurture and spiritual leadership. The wife is to respect her husband and to submit to him willingly as unto the Lord. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing from the Lord. They are to obey their parents in the Lord. Parents are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The Bible opposes all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. (Genesis 1:26–30; 2:5–7, 15–25; Deuteronomy 6:4–9; Joshua 24:15; Romans 1:19–32; 3:10–18, 23; 1 Corinthians 1:21–31; Ephesians 2:1–22; 5:21–6:3; Colossians 1:21–22; 3:9–11)
Salvation is offered to all people and comes by grace alone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It entails justification through spiritual adoption and regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. (John 1:12,13; Ephesians 2:4–10; Romans 3:23–24; Romans 8:28-39; 2 Corinthians 5:17–20; 1 John 3:2)
A church is an autonomous, local congregation of baptized believers operating under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The congregation is to be committed to the teachings of Scripture, exercising gifts for the work of service and enjoying common fellowship and unity in Christ. Every church member has the responsibility to give faithfully of his or her time, talents and material possessions. The church is to obey the Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations by both local evangelism and global missions. (1 Timothy 3:1–12; Galatians 6:1–2; Matthew 18:15–17; 2 Corinthians 8–9; Philippians 4:10–19; Matthew 28:16–20; John 20:21–23)
There are two ordinances instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, signifying a believer’s death to sin and resurrection to new life as a result of faith in and obedience toward the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper is to be observed regularly to remember the Lord’s sacrificial death for His people and to anticipate His return (Matthew 4:16,17; Mark 14:22-25; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34). Church discipline is to be exercised according to scriptural principles (Matthew 18:15-20).
There are two scriptural offices: Elder and Deacon. The Elders are charged with overall spiritual responsibility of the church before God. Deacons are chosen from the congregation and are to function as servants to the church, assisting the Elders in caring for church members. (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Peter 5:1-3)
In His own time and way, God will bring the world to its appropriate end. Jesus Christ will return to the earth bodily and visibly in glory; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all people in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to hell, the place of eternal punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and forever dwell in heaven with the Lord. (Matthew 24 and parallels; 1 Corinthians 15:24–28, 35–58; 1 Thessalonians 4:14–18; 5:1; Revelation)
Doxa Church, as a Southern Baptist Church, affirms the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. We also affirm the biblical convictions expressed more recently in The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Our first goal of church missions is to edify believers and proclaim Christ to unbelievers in our own community. We believe that being a strong local church is a requirement for being good sending church. Further, we believe that our immediate area is included in “all the nations” of Jesus’ command to make disciples (Matthew 28:19).
As we are established and strengthened, we desire to send and support people with a similar theology and philosophy of biblical ministry in other areas of the world. This includes everything from local church planting and pastor-sending to international pastoral training and frontier missions.
Our desire in local outreach is to cultivate a “culture of evangelism.” We desire to make gospel proclamation a part of who we are. We desire to preach the gospel in every legitimate biblical way, both in our daily lives, and as a church in organized events. Further, we desire to support and to start other churches that will also carry out the tasks of the Great Commission, including evangelism.
These are the key principles, derived from our understanding of what the Bible teaches, that shape our approach to ministry as a church.
Authority – We believe that the Scriptures are not only inerrant as God’s very word, but that this inerrancy makes them authoritative over every area of life. We strive to ask “What does the Scripture say?” as a filter for all of our decisions as a church. We must not make our choices based upon cues from what we have learned from living in the world or the ideas of other people, but from the truths learned from God’s word.
Sufficiency -The Scriptures are sufficient for church ministry. This means that the church is to preach, disciple, counsel, and proclaim the gospel only with truths found in the Bible, and to trust that God’s word is sufficient to do everything he desires for the church to do. It also means that the church rejects any modern claims to new revelation and trusts the Bible as its only rule of faith and practice.
Proclamation – Because the Scriptures are authoritative and sufficient, the church’s teaching must be expository; that is, it must set forth and explain the word of God. The full authority of the word of God demands that it must be known, understood rightly, and obeyed by all in the church, without omitting any parts of it. Because God’s word is sufficient to instruct and equip believers for ministry, it is this word that must be taught to them if the church is to function properly.
Holiness – God is not like man and should not be treated as though he were. Though man bears God’s image, God is distinct from his creatures in their nature and their sinfulness. The church’s worship and conduct before God must contain an attitude of dreadful awe at his majesty and glory. Further, the church should reflect God’s holiness and purity in its conduct and in the way it responds to sin within the church.
Righteousness – God’s standard of righteousness is his own perfect character. Christians, who claim to know and love God, must respond to God’s holiness and righteousness by shunning sin and exercising all legitimate biblical means to persuade others to do the same, beginning with preaching the gospel to them so that they might believe and thereby have the power to obey God’s word.
Sovereignty – God is sovereign over everything in his universe, including the actions of all his creatures. Nothing happens outside of his control or his eternal plan to do good to all those who would one day come to know him. This drives us to humility, worship, and trust in his ability and desire to do good for his people.
Love – God’s love exceeds that of any of his creatures and is completely perfect in all its expressions. God’s love is demonstrated most powerfully in the giving of his son, Jesus Christ, for the sake of sinners. Believers must let this drive their thinking and living: they are to know both that God’s love for them is unchanging and abounding and also that this love compels them not to live for themselves but for Christ. God’s undeserved love toward believers is the model for their own love toward one another and all people.
The nature of man – Man was created righteous, but through Adam’s fall, man’s nature is corrupt and will not respond properly to God or to his word. His efforts at self-reformation are all self-serving and he cannot change his fundamental nature on his own.
The nature of salvation – Because man is wicked, he will view the gospel of Christ as foolish apart from the divine intervention that takes place at conversion, as the Spirit of God opens the sinner’s heart to believe the gospel and to radically transform his entire nature. Because only God can bring about this change, Christians can and must confidently proclaim the fullness of the gospel without fear that it will be too hard for people to believe. God is therefore also to receive full credit for every person who has ever been saved. The church must also reject any kind of manipulation as deceptive and ultimately ineffectual.
The necessity of evangelism – Salvation is found in hearing of and believing in Christ alone, and therefore the gospel must be preached. The church must be eager, truthful, and kind in its evangelistic efforts, and proclaim the whole gospel to as many people as it can. Because the Holy Spirit uses God’s word to bring regeneration and change a sinful heart into a believing one, the church must be fervent about proclaiming the word.
The nature of faith – Salvation is by faith alone, but this is more than mere assent to facts. Faith in Christ is that which is always accompanied by repentance, as the sinner believes God’s command to turn from sin and trust in Christ. In so doing, the sinner recognizes Christ as Lord, counts the cost of becoming a follower of Christ, and commits to follow him as the only Savior. Christians must proclaim these truths as part of the gospel.
The nature of believers – Because believers are new spiritual creatures, they will have new desires resulting in new, godly actions. Though they still battle sin in the flesh, there is in all believers a real and growing desire to honor Christ in obedience to his word.
God’s view of the church – The church is the instrument through which Christ carries out his command to “make disciples.” It is the bride whom Christ loved and therefore for whom Christ gave his life. It is of the highest value to God in this world and therefore believers are to regard it with the highest value as well.
The Christian’s need of the church – The local church is the place in which Christians receive their necessary encouragement – from preaching and teaching, from corporate singing and prayer, and from growing together with “one another” in the church in myriad ways. Therefore a believer’s life should be oriented around his involvement in the local church. Refusal to do so places a person in a very dangerous position and deprives others in the body of the needed ministry they are gifted to exercise.
The mission of the church – The mission of the church is to make disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching. All church activities must keep this mission in mind and be tested by it. These things take place as the church is edified and equipped by the word of God and as it evangelizes by the word of God. Therefore, the church must deliberately take time both for teaching believers and for taking the gospel to unbelievers. If it neglects either of these responsibilities, even for the other, it will fail in its task.
Corporate prayer – God has ordained prayer as a primary means through which he accomplishes the things he desires according to his word. It is the church’s proper place to submit itself to God through praise, adoration, and thanksgiving, as well as making requests to God for what is needed and what seems honoring to the Lord.
Individual prayer – Believers are to pray for one another as well as going to the Lord in private to pray to him. A vibrant church will only come from vibrant believers, and these come only as far as people pray.
Number and qualifications – We believe in the crucial importance of a plurality of godly leaders whom the Bible calls “elders” (as well as “pastors” and “overseers”). These men must be qualified according to biblical standards and are to work together with their varying gifts to care for and lead the church of God with servants’ attitudes.
Authority – These men are entrusted with authority in their own local church according to what is charged in the word of God, and it is to be used not for their own benefit but that of the church. Those under their authority in the church are to gladly submit for the eternal benefit of all involved. The giving of this authority demands the very careful testing of men who would be placed into this kind of leadership role.
Function – The elders of the church are to model godliness and to speak the truth of God to the rest of the church. Proper biblical leadership does not do everything in the church, but rather does everything in its power to equip believers for the work of ministry, which is what causes the growth of the church.
Training – Because of this important function it should be the priority of elders to encourage others to pursue this kind of leadership and to train them for the responsibility. The truths of God’s word are to be put into the hands of faithful men who will teach others these truths also. They are to be exhorted in godly living, as well as a constant, accurate, and growing knowledge of the Bible.
Future focus – The church is to live and function with the recognition that it is not in its permanent home. It must be careful to remember that its reward is as yet unseen and its true impact and effectiveness only known in the age to come. It must not seek after the passing things of this present age, but rather the reward of the Lord Jesus when he comes. It must be willing to endure loss in this life to honor the Lord and proclaim Christ to people who need his salvation. It must seek to transform not earthly institutions, which will pass away, but the hearts of people, which will endure to eternal life.
Christian labor – The coming of the Lord brings urgency in gospel proclamation in light of the judgment that he will bring. It also encourages the Christian to faithful Christian labor, no matter how difficult, knowing that even death will not remove the believer’s reward if he does not lose heart.
Godly living – The coming of the Lord also must cause a holy and godly conduct in believers as they look to the new heaven and earth where righteousness dwells. They know that there is a judgment coming in which they will give an account for all their deeds. Therefore they strive to live in readiness, not being caught off guard, but looking for the Lord’s coming and acting accordingly.