We believe the Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to us. Therefore, the Bible is a perfect treasure of divine instruction that has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. All Scripture is completely true and trustworthy and is designed for our practical instruction in faith and conduct.
(II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21)
We believe in one sovereign God, existing in three persons. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, unbounded in power and measureless in love. God is the source of all creation, and that through the immediate exercise of His power all things came into being. (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 3:22; Colossians 1:15-17).
We believe that Jesus the Messiah was eternally pre-existent and is co-equal with God the Father; that He took on Himself the nature of man through the virgin birth, so that He possesses both divine and human natures. (John 1:1-3; John 14:9; John 1:14; Matthew 1:18-23).
We believe in His sinless life and perfect obedience to the Law; in His atoning substitutionary death, burial, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, high-priestly intercession and His personal return in power and glory. (Hebrews 4:15; II Corinthians 5:21; Luke 24:36-43; Hebrews 4:14-16; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Thessalonians 2:1-8).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son; that He was active in the creation of all things, providence and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures; that He regenerates, baptizes into the body of Christ, indwells, seals, fills, sanctifies, illumines, guides, enables acceptable worship, and bestows His gifts to all believers; that He restrains and convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. (John 14:16-18; John 16:7-11; Acts 2:1-3; I Corinthians 12:13; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22-23).
We believe that God created man in His own image. Through Adam’s sin all humankind inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God. Humankind is dead in their sins, and of themselves, utterly unable to remedy their lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 3:22-23, 5:12, Ephesians 2:1-3)
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. All who are thus saved are thereby born again of the Holy Spirit into the family of God, a relationship in which they have eternal life and that there is no other name under heaven by which mankind can be saved. (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 10:27-30).
We further believe that true faith results in believers seeking to live to please Christ in all areas of life because of their position in the relationship to the Lord Jesus. They should grow daily in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord resulting in the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit. (Ephesians 4:1-7, Hebrews 4:14-16, 2 Peter 3:14-18, Galatians 5:22-23)
THE RETURN OF CHRIST & ETERNITY
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; II Timothy 4:1; I Corinthians 4:5; II Thessalonians 1:7-10)
We believe in the observance of the ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ, which are (1) water baptism of believers as a public profession of faith in Christ, and (2) communion which is a remembrance of Christ’s death on our behalf until He comes again. (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
We believe in one true church, the body and bride of Christ composed of all true believers; and the organization of its members in local churches for worship, for edification of believers, and for worldwide gospel witness; each church being autonomous, but cooperating in fellowship and work. (Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:25-32; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16)
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct and complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27).
We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union as defined in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6). We believe God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. The Bible defines all sexual activity outside of that single, exclusive, male-female marriage union to be sin. (Hebrews 13:4)
We used to be called Countryside Chapel. In October of 2018, we as a church majority voted to change our name to The Branch Church of Northeastern Ohio (The Branch Church for short). We have been functioning fully as The Branch Church since January 2019.
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This document serves a different purpose than our “What We Believe” statements above. “What We Teach” exists to better inform our church what our elders' beliefs are in relation to some of the “non-essential” tenants of the faith. These are beliefs on different topics that Christians have freedom to disagree on, yet still remain united in our identity as Christ followers.
We hope these articles can help inform you on what you should expect to hear from us as we preach and teach at TBC. We don’t hold these beliefs to be exhaustive or inexorable from change. We admit we are fallible humans with limited understanding. However, after much study, prayer, and discussion, these beliefs mark our understanding of what Scripture teaches to the best of our ability as your elders.