What We Believe
Central’s Theological Distinctives
Every church is unique. But our doctrine (beliefs) shouldn’t be.
Acts 2:42 lays out the basics for what a church does. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” At Central, you’ll find that much of we do is centered around those very things. We don’t try to invent new rules, new scripture, or new practices. We passionately cling to God’s Word as the first and final basis for everything we do.
But first, we think it’s vital that you know and understand who Jesus Christ is. If you have questions about who Jesus is or why we follow him, check out the next session that talks all about the Gospel. After that, we encourage you to scroll down to learn more about our beliefs and doctrine.
Then, if you want to know how all of this applies to you and how we strive to make the Bible practical to your life, check out our Next Steps page.
What is the Gospel?
The Good News
Wherever you find yourself in life, you may be asking, “What is the gospel?”
You’ve heard words like “Jesus and the cross,” “sin and salvation,” “heaven and hell,” and you’re asking, “What does this all mean?”
This video lays out a simple explanation of what the Gospel is using 4 words to help you remember the gospel story.
What Do I Do Now?
If you just prayed to receive Christ for the first time or have any questions about the Gospel, please give us a call (901-888-4673) or email us and let us know! We would love to help you grow in your faith, because accepting Christ is just the beginning of an awesome life-long journey!
If you’re a new Christian, your next step is baptism. We believe that baptism is how we outwardly express our belief in and love for Jesus Christ. You can find out more about baptism here.
If you’re looking for a church and want to get to know us better, our beliefs are a good place to start. If the language used on this page is confusing or if you aren’t sure if you’re a Christian, then check out The Gospel. It lists the very basics on what it means to be a Christian. If you feel comfortable with your belief in Jesus Christ, this section briefly describes the most important aspects of our faith.
Our beliefs listed here cover the basic aspects of Christianity and what we believe at Central. If you want to take a deeper dive into our beliefs, you can learn more about our doctrine here.
The entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is without error.
We believe in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ is the second member of the Trinity (the Son of God) who became flesh to reveal God to humanity and to become the Savior of the lost world.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian should strive daily to live under His control.
All people were created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him, but all became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. People are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through their own efforts.
The blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, God freely offers salvation to those who place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin.
The Christian Life
All Christians should live for Christ and not for themselves. By obedience to the Word of God and daily yielding to the Spirit of God, every believer should mature and be conformed to the image of Christ.
The church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head. The members of the church are those who have trusted the finished work of Christ through faith in Him. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by loving Him and by making Him known to a lost world.
Christ instituted the ordinances of the church, which are Baptism and Communion.
Individuals should be baptized after they have trusted Christ as Savior as an outward sign of their identification with Christ. Baptism does not merit salvation; it is an act of obedience.
Communion is a commemoration of Jesus’ death until He comes again, the elements being symbols of His body and blood. The Communion table is open to all self-examined believers, regardless of church affiliation.
Our Core Doctrine
If you’re looking for a more in-depth review of our beliefs, this section will help you come to a more full understanding of Central’s doctrine. Every group has a set of language they use with others in their circle, and this section is better understood if you have previous experience with Christian beliefs and terminology. If you need help working through our doctrine, feel free to contact us and we’ll help you out. Again, our deepest desire is that you first know about Jesus Christ and why we believe He is the true path to salvation. Afterwards, you can use the information listed here to grow in your understanding of Christianity.
The Divine Creation of Man and the Universe
- The universe is not eternal but had its beginning in the creative work of God (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3)
- Man was created especially to reflect the character or image of God (Genesis 1:26,27). Thus, man bears a special moral responsibility to God (Revelation 4:11).
- Living things on earth are not the result of organic evolution from simpler life forms (Genesis 1).
The Verbal Inspiration of the Word of God and It’s Consequent Absolute Authority
- God caused the human authors of Scripture to write just what He wanted written, yet through their own personality (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21).
- As such, God’s Word is without any error in all matters, it gives instruction on and is absolutely authoritative (Matthew 5:17,18).
One God, existing and manifesting himself in three persons: father, Son and holy spirit
- God is one in essence or nature. (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 10:30; 1 Corinthians 8:4).
- Three distinct persons share that one undivided essence (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 2:18).
- Each person is equally God (the Son: John 1:1; the Spirit: Acts 5:3,4).
The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man
- God caused Mary, Jesus’ mother, to conceive him without a human father (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-35).
- By this means the Son of God took on human nature and became fully man, apart from sin (John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:21; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
- The Son of Man is also fully God (Hebrews 1:8).
The Pre-existence of the Lord Jesus Christ as God, the Son
- Christ, as God, has existed from all eternity (Micah 5:2; John 1:1-13; Colossians 1:15-17; Revelation 1:11).
- Jesus did not become the Son of God by virtue of the virgin birth but has sustained the relationship of Son to God the Father from all eternity (Hebrews 1:1-3; Isaiah 9:6; John 17:5).
The fall of man, his moral depravity, and his need of regeneration
- Adam fell from a state of righteousness into a state of sin and incurred guilt for the whole human race (Genesis 3: Romans 5:12-21).
- All men are consequently incapable of pleasing God by any of their works and incapable of ridding themselves of guilt (Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:9-20).
- Only God can bring man to life and salvation by His drawing power (Ephesians 2:4-10; John 6:44).
The atoning work of the lord Jesus Christ and the “whosoever will” gospel for all mankind
- Christ’s death paid God’s penalty for our sin in order that those who believe might gain forgiveness and eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:11-14; 1 Peter 2:24).
- We are to extend an invitation to any and everyone to believe in Christ and His atoning work and so be saved from paying the penalty for their sin themselves (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Revelation 22:17).
The Personality of the Holy Spirit, Who is the Seal and Witness of Salvation
- The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force but the personal God (John 14:16,17; 16:13-15; Acts 5:3,4; 1 Corinthians 2:10).
- The Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation, meaning that His presence in the believer’s life attests to and makes secure the believer’s salvation (Ephesians 1:13).
- The Holy Spirit witnesses with the believer’s spirit and gives certainty of faith to the believer that he or she is God’s child (Romans 8:14-17).
Justification by Faith and the Imparting of the Divine Nature to All Who Accept Jesus Christ as Lord
- A person cannot be justified (pronounced righteous) on the basis of his own personal “good works” because God demands perfection and because man’s so called “good works” are tainted by their rebellion against God’s authority (Matthew 5:48; Romans 3:9-20; Ephesians 2:1-10).
- By faith only in Christ and His sacrificial death, God credits to our account the righteousness of Christ and so views us as perfectly righteous before Him. This is justification (Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-10; Romans 5:19).
- God is actively at work in each one justified to produce actual righteousness or Christ-likeness (Philippians 2:12; Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 2:10).
- Being baptized is the appropriate sign and symbol of one who has been justified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:34-38), but is not a requirement for salvation (Acts 16:29-33; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17). The mode of baptism (sprinkling or immersion) is inconsequential.
The Eternal Punishment of All Who Reject the Lord Jesus Christ
- There is no “second chance” for salvation after death (Hebrews 9:27; John 3:36; Luke 16:19-31).
- Hades, the present place of torment, will eventually be emptied into the Lake of Fire where the torment will continue for eternity (Revelation 20:13-15; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).
- There are degrees of punishment in hell (Matthew 11:20-24; Revelation 20:13).
The Resurrection of the Body, both of the Just and the Unjust
- The body is not evil but is God’s creation and, for believers, will be raised and transformed into the likeness of Christ’s body at His return (1 Corinthians 15:20-24, 35-44; Philippians 3:20-21).
- Unbelievers’ bodies will be resurrected to face judgment after the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:25-29).
The Lord Jesus will Personally Return and Set Up His Kingdom upon Earth Wherein He Will Reign Righteously.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ will personally and bodily return to earth to establish personal rule over the earth for 1,000 years (Acts 1:9-11; Luke 22:29-30; Revelation 20:1-10).
- After this a new heaven and earth will be created and the eternal form of the kingdom of God will be established (Revelation 21:1, 1 Corinthians 15:24).