In essential beliefs — we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…” Eph. 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters… Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us will give an account of himself to God… So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” Romans 14:1,4,12,22
In all our beliefs — we show charity.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:2
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE:
1. ABOUT GOD
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
2. ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by miraculous conception, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days demonstrating His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory where He is the only Mediator between God and people, and will return again to earth. He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
3. ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make people 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. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
4. ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible, both Old and New testaments, is God’s Word to all. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are inspired by God, and are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
5. ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience/rebellion toward God called “sin”. Sin separates people from God.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2
6. ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can a person be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full completion.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:17
7. ABOUT GOD’S DEPENDABILITY
Because God gives people eternal life through Jesus Christ, and adopts them as His own, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives believers the assurance of salvation. No power in the universe can separate God’s children from Him.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
8. ABOUT ETERNITY
People are created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God after death is to be in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is to be in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-9
OUR LIFESTYLE STATEMENT
What We Practice
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
BIBLE AS OUR SOLE AUTHORITY
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..” 2 Tim. 3:16
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
AUTONOMY OF EACH LOCAL CHURCH
“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Col. 1:18
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control. In relating to our “daughter churches” that we sponsor, we encourage each congregation to determine its own strategy, structure, and style.
PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Rev. 1:6
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Pet. 2:9
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
“A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” Lev. 26:30
At ROC Ministries we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s body, the church, as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.
BAPTISM BY IMMERSION
“having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Col. 2:12
We practice baptism by immersion under water — the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
Jesus said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 5:18)
TELLING OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.
ROC Ministries is in partnership with three groups of churches:
The Saint Louis Metro Baptist Association, 140 churches connected for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission.
The Missouri Baptist Convention, churches that fellowship together with the goal of evangelizing our state.
The Southern Baptist Convention, churches that cooperate together ins a world-wide effort of missions.
We now wholeheartedly support these three groups in helping start many other new churches through our giving.
WHAT IS THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION?
It is the largest association of Christian churches in America
One out of every 10 churches in America is affiliated with the SBC (42,000 churches and 16 million members – more than most other denominations combined).
It is the most diverse association of churches
SBC churches include every race, nationality, and ethnic group. Each Sunday, services are held in over 80 languages in the U.S.
It is one of the fastest growing groups
The SBC baptized over 400,000 new Christians in the year 2000 in the U.S. and begins nearly five new churches a day!
WHY NOT JUST BE AN INDEPENDENT CHURCH?
We are an independent church! Every SBC church is completely independent. There is no denominational control or hierarchy, as there are in most other denominations. Each church is self-governed and determines its own affairs.
Every SBC church chooses its own pastor.
Every SBC church owns its own buildings and assets.
Every SBC church determines its own programs.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AFFILIATING WITH THE SBC?
1. It allows us to identify with other Christians around the world who are known for their commitment to the Bible. Unlike other groups, the SBC has no man-made “creed”. The Bible is our only authority.
2. It allows our church to participate in the largest missionary organization in the world. Through the SBC “Cooperative Program” we help support over 5,000 missionaries in 153 countries around the world.
THE ROC MINISTRIES MEMBERSHIP COVENANT
“Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with ROC Ministries’ statements, strategy and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the ROC Ministries’ church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
I. I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
…By acting in love toward other members
…By refusing to gossip
…By following the leaders
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Rom. 14:19
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus” Rom 15:5
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs…” Eph. 4:29
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no advantage to you.” Heb. 13:17
II. I WILL SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MY CHURCH
…By praying for its growth
…By inviting the un-churched to attend
…By warmly welcoming those who visit
“To the church…we always thank God for you and pray for you constantly.” 1 Thess. 1:2
“Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.”
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God..” Rom. 15:7
III. I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF MY CHURCH
…By discovering my gifts and talents
…By being equipped to serve by my leaders
…By developing a servant’s heart
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
“God gave…some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” Eph. 4:11-12
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ…who took on the very nature of a servant…” Phil 2:3-4, 7
IV. I WILL SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF MY CHURCH
…By attending faithfully
…By living a godly life
…By giving regularly
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” Heb. 10:25
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…” Phil. 1:27
“Each one of you, on the first day of each week, should set aside a specific sum of money in proportion to what you have earned and use it for the offering.” 1 Cor. 16:2
“A tenth of all you produce is the Lord’s, and it is holy.” Lev. 27:30