Our message is that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). We require no other creed than this one. He alone is our Lord and Savior.
A Church of Christ
The Church belongs to Christ. We have no authority to change the teachings, rewrite the rules, offer altered member- ship requirements, or usurp His authority. In the strictest sense, the Church is not a democracy in which the vote of the people can overrule the commands of our one and only Lord.
A Church Seeking Unity
Like the countless thousands of others throughout history, members of this Church seek to be one in Christ with all others whom He calls His own.
A Church Seeking Restoration
As much as possible, we are trying to imitate the New Testament precedents. That is why our baptism is by immer- sion, our communion is every Lord's Day, our preaching is about Christ, and our prayers are in Christ's name. Even our church name is an attempt to imitate the earliest disciples who were called Christians first at Antioch (Acts 11:26).
An Apostolic Church
The Church, as Ephesians 2:19-20 states, was built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone. Whatever we know about Christ and His Church, we have learned through the teach- ings and writings of Jesus' closest companions, the apostles. Therefore, we carefully study the New Testament because it records their testimonies. We want to build on no other foundation than the one Christ intended.
A Thinking Church
In the same Ephesian letter, Paul prayed that God would give us "a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him" and that the eyes of our hearts "may be enlightened," so that we "will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:17-18). Christian faith demands the best our minds can give. So, we are a studying church, wanting to know what the Bible teaches, and how we can intelligently apply its teaching to today's world.
A Feeling Church
Ours is not a dryly intellectual approach to God, however. We rejoice in the Lord; we praise; we pray; we love; we serve from the heart. We are as excited about our Lord and our service for Him as any football fan is about his team's games. We are not ashamed of the Gospel, and we are not embarrassed to let our excitement be seen.
A Sharing Church
Because of our excitement about Christ, we eagerly share the Good News about Him with others. We want to win as many other people to life in Him as possible, not because we care about numbers, but because we know that the only way to live a life of pure joy is to live it at the center of God's will. This is why we share our faith. We also share our possessions. Our money, our property, and our lives belong to the Lord. We want to use everything we have to help His cause and to be good neighbors to all we touch. Jesus Himself said that whenever we reach out and help someone in need, we are really helping Him (Matthew 25:34-40).
A Free Church
Like the earliest churches, ours is an independent congregation. We have no denominational bishop, superintendent, or national headquarters to determine our policies. As a congregation, we elect our own leaders, call and support our ministers, and decide where our mission money will go. In every way, we determine the program of the Church. We are not too independent to cooperate with others, however. We freely associate with other congregations and Christ- ians who share our convictions. Realizing that we cannot carry on an effective mission program alone, for example, we cooperate with other churches in supporting missionaries and mission causes that merit our money. In this sense, we are an interdependent, not an independent, Church.
A Growing Church
We want to grow numerically because we are under Christ's commission to disciple the whole world. We want to grow spiritually because we know we have not yet achieved all Christ asks of us. We want to grow as individuals. The Christian who has stopped developing in service and love for Christ has lost the joy of His salvation. We want to grow in faith because Jesus promised that those who truly believe in Him can ask whatever they want (within the will of God), and it shall be done for them. We want to ask much so that we can do much and thus help do His will "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
A Bible Teaching Church
At Buffalo Christian, we place much emphasis upon what the Bible says because the Bible is the authority for the church's faith, doctrine, and practice. Today, people often pay little attention to the revealed word of God. We live in a time where men have a tendency to make their own traditions, creeds, or emotions the authority for what they teach and practice. In the Bible, God's revealed word to mankind, His will is made known. God has revealed what He requires of men who wish to please Him and spend eternity with Him and His Son Jesus. He gave us the Bible through men who were inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, so that we might know what God requires of us as members of the Church of His dear Son. For this reason, the practice of using traditions, creeds, or emotions as the authority for one's faith is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Once, when Jesus' Disciples had broken one of the many man-made traditions of the Pharisees, the Pharisees criticized the disciples and accused them of spiritually defiling themselves. When they attempt- ed to rebuke Jesus for the actions of His Disciples, Jesus told them,"Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the traditions of men" (Mark 7:6-8). The Pharisees, who regarded themselves as religious people, were following the traditions of men rather than the word of God. Instead of basing their faith upon that which God had revealed, they based it upon the traditions of their religion. As a result Jesus said they were worshipping God "in vain." "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition" ( Mark 7:9). It is possible for people to worship God in vain, that is, to offer Him worship which He will not accept. It is possible for religious people to ignore that which God had revealed in order to follow their own doctrines and traditions. We at Buffalo Christian Church are making every effort not to make the same fatal mistake made by the Pharisees. We place extraordinary emphasis on what the Bible says because it is the Bible which is able to give us the knowledge that leads to eternal life. Paul wrote to Timothy, "And from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" ( 2 Timothy 3:15). The wisdom that leads to the salvation which is in Christ Jesus is found in the sacred scriptures. For this reason, we at Buffalo Christian Church make every effort to understand and teach the Bible. The Bible is able to build us up and give us an eternal inheritance, which is given to those who obey Jesus as Lord. Paul once told a group of elders from the church at Miletus this truth. He said, as he was preparing to depart from them, "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inherit- ance among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). The Bible contains the will of God, which grants us the wisdom we need to receive the inheritance of Jesus. If we do not make every effort to understand God's will, revealed in the scriptures, we cannot legitimately claim to be honoring God as the object of our worship. At Buffalo Christian Church, we do not elevate ourselves above any other religious body, but we do invite all who would honor Jesus as Lord to set aside those man-made doctrines and traditions which have not been authorized in the sacred scriptures. We seek to honor Jesus as Lord and worship according to the word He has given us. We place much emphasis upon knowing, understanding, and following the Bible.
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