We believe that God calls us to worship him and obey him through Jesus in faith and works. We acknowledge that God is our Creator (Genesis 1:1); that Jesus is God's son (John 5:18); that Jesus is our Savior (II Timothy 1:10), and that Jesus is our Lord and that we seek to know and serve him fully; and that the Holy Spirit lives and works in the lives of obedient Christians (I John 3:24). We confess that we would be nothing without Jesus.
We believe that only God saves! Man is wholly and completely incapable of 'working' his way into heaven of his own volition, desire, and determination. There is nothing that man can do to earn salvation. Even in living a life of faith and action (James 2), we acknowledge that God is the ultimate judge and arbiter and will grant salvation and damnation to whom he chooses. (Matthew 25:31-46) This should be an humbling understanding!
Having admitted God as the supreme judge, much is said in the Bible about salvation of mankind and the interaction that takes place between God and mankind as long as this earth exists. For your study and edification, consider the following passages (in no particular order) from your Bible. You should take the time to sort, study, analyze, and pray about these passages. In each case, consider the context, the original intent of the words, and any conclusion that might be drawn from the passages.
As you study, consider what each passage has to do with the other passages and what the general understanding, then, can and ought to be with regard to God's salvation. In the end, what is the ultimate relationship and understanding of all of the passages combined together?
- Acts 22:16 - Wash sins
- Galatians 3:27 - Clothed in Jesus
- John 3:15-16 - Belief and eternal life
- Romans 6:1-6 - Baptize into death; keep sinning?
- I Peter 3:18-21 - Noah saved through water
- Colossians 2:12 - Bury, raise, faith, baptism
- Acts 2:38, 47 - Forgiveness
- Matthew 28:18-20 - Baptizing them...
- Mark 16:16 - Believe and is baptized...
- I Corinthians 6:11 - Wash, justify, sanctify
- I Corinthians 12:13 - Baptized into one body
- John 3:5 - Water and spirit
- Acts 8:26-40 - Eunuch
- Acts 9:1-31; 22:1-16; 26:1-23 - Paul
- Acts 10:1-11:18 - Cornelius
- Acts 16:11-15 - Lydia
- Acts 16:16-34 - Philippian jailer
- Romans 3:23 - All have sinned
- Matthew 1:21 - Jesus will save people
- I John 1:9 - Confessing
- Ephesians 1:7 - Blood and forgiveness
- I John 3:4; 5:17 - Lawlessness and wrongdoing
- Acts 17:30 - Repentance
- Romans 10:17 - Hear the word
- II Corinthians 5:17 - New creature
- Matthew 10:30-31 - God is with believers
- Matthew 16:18 - Jesus and the church
- Hebrews 11:1, 6 - Faith
We believe in the inherent infallibility of God's original words as given to about sixty Bible writers over a period of about 1,500 years. The words left for our instruction and edification in the Old Testament are just as alive, poignant, and applicable as the words left for us in the New Testament. Bible study is a never-ending effort and can span a lifetime for many. (II Timothy 3:16-17, I Peter 3:15, Colossians 4:6)
In that we believe in the infallibility of God's original words, we think it is important to carefully use the many Bible translations and paraphrases that are available today to better understand the intent and meaning of the original writers and authors. Thankfully, the general message of God's salvation is powerfully revealed in all of today's reputable translations. Most all translations, however, do have very slight or nuanced styles and intentional word usage that may not properly or appropriately reflect the intent of the original Hebrew or Greek writers. We believe it is very important to carefully study and grapple with the words of God as revealed in today's translations. This kind of careful study can only help us more accurately and precisely understand and appreciate the intent and meaning of God's original words.
An expert in the Law of Moses asked Jesus which was the greatest of God's commandments. Jesus stated that the greatest command was, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:34-40) Jesus also said in the same passage that the second greatest command was to "love your neighbor as yourself".
We believe that God calls us to this love in our daily lives. The Hebrew writer informed the believers to whom he wrote that through Jesus they were to "continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name" and to "not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." (Hebrews 13:15-16)
Paul told the church in Ephesus that, having been saved by grace through faith, "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)
At NSCofC, we work and meet together to honor and praise God; to encourage each other so that each of us can deepen our love for God and our neighbors; to mature in our faith and hope in Jesus; and to become better prepared to serve God while spreading the good news about Jesus every day.
We believe in the importance of faith and works even as James discussed the matter in James 2:17-26. James explained that "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." The writer of Hebrews said, "...without faith it is impossible to please God..." (Hebrews 11:6) So which is it? James attempted to sum up the affair by saying, "You see that [Abraham's] faith and [Abraham's] actions were working together and [Abraham's] faith was made complete by what [Abraham] did." We strive to attain the balance that Abraham was credited with. We desire to be faithful but to also demonstrate our faith in action. One cannot 'be' without the other, we believe. This is the tension that we live within as Christians. We pray about and discuss often our faith and faith-actions in our church family.
Even as we believe that God is love and is of peace (Philippians 4:7), we also acknowledge that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5), a vengeful God (Isaiah 34:8), and a just God (Luke 18:7). We can have complete confidence in the knowledge that God loves us, but we must also know that God will ultimately hold all of us individually accountable for our actions and beliefs in this life.
Matthew 25:31-46 describes how God will, in fact, "separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." Later in the passage, Jesus tells that God will say, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." We, as believers, relish God's love, patience, and empathy. We also, however, acknowledge that God will, at some point, mete out his eternal justice.
For the same reasons that New Testament Christians came together, we also regularly come together. We assemble to praise God in community and to edify and encourage each other in fellowship, song, the sharing of the Lord's Supper, prayer, and Bible reading and study.
New Testament assembly worship instances
- Acts 2:42-47
- Acts 20:6-12
- I Corinthians 11-14
General worship passages
- Psalm 40:3
- Psalm 86:9
- Psalm 105:1-2
- Psalm 57:9
- John 4:21-24
- Acts 16:25-30
- 1 Peter 2:9-10
Sun 9am Bible Classes
Sun 10:15am Assembly Worship
Wed 7pm Devotional