THE BIBLE

The Old and New Testaments are inspired of God. The Bible is the word of God given by inspiration (2Tim. 3:16,17). It is not of private interpretation (2Pet. 1:20), and may be twisted to one's destruction (2Pet. 3:16). The Sunnyside church tries to preach and teach the Bible. We are bound by the New Testament not to preach or teach any other creed or dogma (Gal. 1:6,7). Faith comes not by listening to the word of men, but comes from hearing the words of Christ (Rom. 10:17). The Old Testament is not binding on Christians today but should be read and studied for instruction, encouragement and patience (Rom. 15:4). When the Bible is correctly read and studied (2Tim. 2:15), it contains all that is needed for life and godliness (2Pet. 1:3).

 

HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN

Men and women are saved by the grace of God (Eph. 2:8,9). It is unthinkable that one could ever merit their own salvation. To access that saving grace, God has outlined in His word, how a person comes to have their sins forgiven, becomes a Christian, and is added to the church. To those who have never obeyed the gospel the following is how to be saved:

Believe the word; including that Jesus is the Son of God (Heb. 11:6).

    Repent of your sins; a change of mind, heart, and action (2Cor. 7:10).

    Confess the name of Christ; He alone can save (Mt. 10:32,33).

    Be baptized [immersed] for the remission of sins (Ac. 2:38; 22:16).

    [This automatically adds one to the church] (Ac. 2:47; KJV).

 

Sometimes those who have become Christians, later turn away and go back to the world. They live in sin, not wanting to please God any longer (Heb. 10:26-29; 2Pet. 2:20-22). But things are not hopeless; if they come to their senses and desire to come back to faithfulness they may do so:

    Repent of your sins again (Ac. 8:22).

    Confess them as needed (Jas. 5:16,19,20).

    Pray to God for forgiveness (Ac. 8:22).

 

The Bible instructs Christians to live a faithful life, and this unto death (Rev. 2:10). Fellow Christians are to encourage each other so that no one falls away (Heb. 3:12,13).

 

THE CHURCH

The church was built by Jesus Christ, just as He promised (Mt. 16:18). This took place on the first day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, following the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Ac. 2:1ff). There is only one true church for which Jesus died, which is His body (Eph. 1:22,23). The church is the kingdom that was to come. It fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament (Dan. 2:44; 1Pet. 1:10-12). Those who have become Christians are added to the church by virtue of their obedience to Christ. One does not become a Christian, and then later join the church (1Cor. 12:12,13).

 

There is not one exclusive name for the church. Phrases in the New Testament are not various names, but descriptive phrases about the church and how it functions. The church is called "the church of God" (1Cor. 1:2); the "churches of Christ" (Rom. 16:16); the "church of the Lord" (Ac. 20:28); the body (Col. 1:18); the kingdom (Heb. 12:28); God's building (1Cor. 3:9); and the flock (1Pet. 5:3). Differing congregations are usually named, not to promote a particular doctrine or person, but to designate location (i.e.; the Sunnyside Road church of Christ is on Sunnyside Rd. in Decatur). When a name is chosen for the church it should glorify the One who died for it.

 

Christians are called by several names in the New Testament. Such names include "brethren" (Jas. 5:7), "saints" (Col. 1:2), "priests" (1Pet. 2:5), and "disciples" (Ac. 6:1). The work of the church can be viewed from three distinct ministries. First, there is the work (or ministry) of evangelism. This is the preaching of the gospel to the lost. Jesus gave the great commission in support of this work (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15,16). The church is to make known the wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10,11). Second, there is the ministry of teaching the saved. Edification builds up and encourages Christians to remain faithful to their Lord. Love edifies (1Cor. 8:1) and the different ministries in the body were given to instruct the saints (Eph. 4:7-15). All things that are done in the worship are to be done for the edification of the body of Christ (1Cor. 14:26). And third, there is the work of benevolence. This is to be done for needy brethren as well as all others (Gal. 6:10). The church is to help the saints (Rom. 12:13), the poor (Gal. 2:10), and the widows and orphans (Jas. 1:27).

 

Each congregation is independent of the others (1Pet. 5:2). They control their own moneys and ministries. While they may cooperate with other congregations in various works of evangelism and benevolence they are under no compulsion to do so.

 

COOPERATION

The Sunnyside Road church is happy to cooperate with sister congregations when necessary to help with the spread of the gospel or in benevolent works. We support many other central Illinois churches of Christ in their gospel meetings and other evangelistic efforts. When special needs arise, Sunnyside tries to help with financial assistance to those in need.

 

The Sunnyside Road church also believes in having our young people attend Christian colleges if at all possible. While not perfect, the Christian college setting has much to offer that secular or state schools do not. Sunnyside does not financially support these schools, but encourages those who want higher education to attend.

 

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Not a creed or dogma, but a brief statement of what we practice.

 

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Trusting His Word, Receiving His Grace, Sharing His Love