WITHIN OUR COMMITMENT TO THE FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS OF HISTORICAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, WE AT CROSSWAY CHAPEL HOLD TO SEVEN BIBLICAL DISTINCTIVES THAT MAY DISTINGUISH US IN TEACHING, ALTHOUGH HOPEFULLY NOT IN SPIRIT, FROM SOME CHURCHES AND OTHER BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE UNIVERSAL BODY OF CHRIST.
1. THE SCRIPTURES (THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT)
The Bible as God's Word is the genuine believer's ultimate authority. And because of the spiritual new birth the believer practices obedience. The Bible is both inspired and without error in its original copy or manuscript (Process - 2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; Product- 2 Pet. 3:15,16) and authoritative for us today in all areas of life (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; 1 Cor. 2:13, 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; I Pet. 2:2).
Because of the inward transformation of the Spirit, commonly known as being "born again", believers practice as a direction of their lives obedience to God's Word (Ezekiel 11:19-20, Jeremiah 31:31-34; Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:3-4; 3:9-10).
The Bible has the miraculous ability to have multiple applications. Yet, there is but one true biblical interpretation or meaning (2 Pet. 1:20,21). The meaning is found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation.
It is the responsibility of every true believer to carefully ascertain the true intent and meaning of Scripture (Acts 17:11), recognizing that proper applications are binding on all generations. The truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it (Matt 5:18; 22:31; 1 Cor. 2:12-16; Heb. 4:12). The leadership of Crossway Chapel will seek to honor and obey the Word of God to their greatest ability regardless of popularity or culture (Acts 20:27; Colossians 1:28; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
2. GOD, THE AUTHOR OF MAN'S SALVATION (THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION)
We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace (unearned favor) on the basis of Jesus' shed blood, with which we were bought from the penalty and power of sin.
God alone provided an acceptable sacrifice for man's rebellion or sin in Jesus' crucifixion, death and resurrection (Is. 53:6; 59:2; 64:6; Heb. 9:27; I Pet. 3:18; 2:24; Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:6; I Cor. 15).
Because of the lost, rebellious, darkened condition of man's heart (Ro. 3:10-11, 2 Cor. 4:4), no man would seek God or believe had it not been for God's gracious working and drawing of man to Himself (Eph 2:4-10; Jn. 6:35-40, 44; 2 Cor. 4:4-6).
True salvation will be evidenced in an individual's life over time through a process of increased bearing of fruit - change in world view, thought, and lifestyle, "Like Father like Son" (Matt. 7:21-23; Jn. 10:25-29; Ro. 6; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:22-23; Ja. 2:14-26; 1 Jn. 1:9; 2:3-4; 1 Jn. 3:5-10; 5:11,12).
Because salvation is wholly of God, man cannot lose salvation. The true believer is eternally secure (Jn. 6:37-40, 44; 1 Pet. 1:2-5; Eph. 1:4,5, 11; 2:4-10; Ro. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 15:2; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn. 2:19, 5:11-13).
3. SPIRITUAL GIFTS - BIBLICALLY SOUND AND SPIRIT EMPOWERED
The Scriptures teach that the Spirit gives supernatural enabling for the purpose of building up His church and expanding His kingdom. Crossway Chapel believes that all the spiritual gifts are operative today as outlined in the Bible.
Crossway Chapel believes in God's supernatural power to save, heal, intervene, and empower in unmistakable ways for the purpose of putting His glory and grace on display (Matthew 19:23-26; James 5:13-18; Romans 8:28; Romans 12:3-8).
God has given gifts to each believer for edifying or building up of the Church Body and advancing His kingdom (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10-11). It is important to understand that spiritual gifts are not for self-edification or self-expression but for the edification of others (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:3, 12, 17, 20-25, 26, 31).
Tongues are a supernatural enabling to speak in known languages that the individual does not know (Acts 2:2-21). There has been untold confusion in the misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:1 "tongues of angels" and 1 Corinthians 14:2-4 "For the one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men". From 1 Corinthians 14 many have developed a sincere practice of tongues that is a linking together of non-decipherable syllables for self-edification. This is not biblical tongues. In the Scriptures it is a divine enabling to speak in a known language, previously unknown to the speaker, which authenticated God's unmistakable outpouring of His grace and Spirit (Acts 2:2-21; 10:44-48; 19:6). Many fail to understand the context of 1 Corinthians 14 and interpret the apostle Paul's admonition against the misuse and practice of self-serving tongues to be an affirmation. The immediate context makes this clear (1 Corinthians 12:7; chapter 13; 14:3, 12, 17-19, 25-28, 31-33, 40). In 1 Corinthians 12-14 there is further clarification that tongues is a sign to the unbeliever (1 Corinthians 14:20-25). Biblical tongues is not what is normative today in most churches or with most Christians who say they "speak in tongues". It is a divine enablement to speak in a language one did not previously know for God's glory.
Crossway Chapel recognizes that in the Scriptures there is a unique display of the miraculous associated with God's special servants, His apostles and prophets, and special events (Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Acts 2:2-21; 10:44-48; 19:6). Also, contrary to what many would teach, biblical tongues are rare in the Scriptures, appearing only three times in the historical account of the first 30 years of the church (Acts 2:2-21; 10:44-48; 19:6) and once in the epistles (1 Corinthians 12-14). Also, in the limited four occasions for biblical tongues (Acts 2, 10, 19 and 1 Corinthians 12-14), it is a known language. Even though in the Bible, these are not normal daily affairs, we understand that God is free to empower whom He wants for what He wants when He wants. Crossway Chapel desires all that God has for His people. Crossway Chapel is committed to the powerful expression of God's working through the giftedness and prayers of His people as outlined in the Bible. Although there is much to learn from many of our charismatic brothers and sisters, there is humble exception taken here with what is normative.
God the Spirit often works in uniquely powerful and repeated ways over the lifetime of a believer. Biblically, these are usually in times associated with unique service or renewed commitment (Acts 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9 and Ephesians 5:18). In the last almost hundred years of the church, these special occasions are often linked with terminology that has become very confusing--"second blessing”, or "baptism of the Spirit". For clarity, the Bible teaches there is only one baptism of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13). The baptism of the Spirit takes place at salvation, where the Christian is indwelt (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19), sealed (Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30), and adopted as God's child (Romans 8:9-18; Ephesians 1:5). Then subsequent to being born again or saved, there is a daily commitment to be filled, empowered, or yielded to the Spirit's control (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16,17; Romans 12:1,2).
God's church is to be a worshiping church (Psalm 2:11; 115:1; John 4:23,24; Romans 12:1,2; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:22,23; Revelation 5:11-13-worship of the saints). There is to be authentic expressions of worship (hymns, songs, giving of thanks, prayer, lifting of hands, reading and teaching of Scripture - Psalm 18:49; 26:12; 81:1; 28:2; 63:4; 149:1; Ephesians 5:18-20; 1 Timothy 2:8). Worship is to be active and meaningful! God is not pleased with dead orthodoxy (Isaiah 29:13).
4. THE LOCAL CHURCH
God's perfect design for the maturity of the individual believer and the vehicle in reaching the world is the multiplication of local churches.
The local church is a family of families (1 Cor. 12:20-26; Eph. 2:19, 4:11-14; 1 Tim. 3:5; Titus 2:1-8; Heb. 10:23-24).
God's perfect strategy in evangelizing the world is through the multiplication of churches. There is no other entity in the New Testament other than the Local Church (Matt. 16:13-18, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 2:41-43, 8:1-3, 11:22-26; 13:1-3; 14:21-28, 15:2-4, 22-36, 18:22, 20:17, 28, 32; 21:18-19; Phil. 1:27; 2:12-16).
5. LEADERSHIP IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
God's design for leadership in the church is a group of biblically qualified men who are respected and followed.
The local assembly is to be led or governed by a group of elders. These are men, who qualify to the biblical standard for elders/overseers/pastors (Acts 14:23, 20:17,28; Eph. 4:11; Titus 1:5; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
These men are biblically qualified based on 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
6. CHURCH RESTORATION (DISCIPLINE)
God has provided the safety net of church restoration to lovingly keep individual believers from being ensnared by Satan and to maintain the purity of His Church.
The Scriptures teach that the Body is to be committed to one another in love. It instructs how we are to pursue a brother or sister trapped in sin against God or another individual. This process could culminate with a professing unrepentant believer no longer being welcomed in gatherings of the church family (Gal. 6:1; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-8; Heb. 3:12,13).
The purpose of the discipline process is to restore the repentant professing believer and to maintain the purity of the church body, not to punish or to exclude that person (Gal. 6:1,2; Matt. 18:15; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:5-13; Heb. 12:4-13).
7. BIBLICAL COMPLEMENTARY DESIGN OF MEN AND WOMEN
God has created men and women wonderfully different as complements, of equal value, and with differing functions for the good of all mankind.
God created men and women different and complementary, and of equal value (Gen. 2:7-25; 1 Cor. 11:1-16; Eph. 5:21-23; 1 Tim. 2:9-15 and Gal. 3:23-29; 1 Pet. 3:1-6).
This distinct and complementary design is seen fundamentally in the marriage relationship where the husband is called to sacrificial leadership as head of the home; as the wife is voluntarily called to follow her husband's leadership (Gen. 2:7-25; 3:1-19; 1 Cor. 11:1-16; 14:34-35; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:18-19; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)
God's creative design is to be modeled also in the Church Body dynamic. Although equally gifted, women are not to be in a position of leadership, authority or teaching over men. This would apply to any gathering of God's people - worship celebration, small groups, workshops, or seminars (Gen. 2:7-25; 3:1-19; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:1-16). Qualified women who are gifted in leadership and teaching will have wonderful service opportunities at Crossway Chapel in women's ministries, service teams, children's ministries and many other areas of ministry which function under the authority of an elder.