Who We Are
We are Christians. Christians just like those first century disciples of Jesus Christ. We seek only to follow the words and instructions of Jesus and believe in the inspiration and authority of the Bible. Doing this means that we are an independent and autonomous church. It means we worship like first century Christians did. It means we believe and practice what the New Testament church believed and practiced. We seek to maintain the unity of the faith as presented by Jesus Christ and the apostles (Ephesians 4:3,Ephesians 4:13; cf Jude 1:3). The division of the religious world today is vastly different from the unity enjoyed by first century Christians (Acts 4:32). We believe denominationalism and division are not according to the revealed word of God. We are a spiritual family. We share a common relationship to God as "sons and daughters" (2 Corinthians 6:18). Because of this relationship, we sustain a common kinship to one another, and strive diligently to be "kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another" (Romans 12:10).
The Vermont Street church of Christ specializes in being a church, not a recreation center, day-care provider, counseling service, etc. We make no apology for that. Jesus Christ established His church for spiritual purposes.
Who We Are NOT
We are not a denomination, nor are we part of any denomination. We are not in any way tied to any inter-congregational or denominational organizations such as the United Church of Christ, Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the International Church of Christ. We are not Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant. Neither are we Buddhist, Moslems, or Cultists.
We are not perfect, nor do we pretend to be. We do strive for perfection (Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 6:1) in the biblical sense of seeking spiritual maturity.
The Bible. We believe the Scriptures (The Bible) to be the inspired word of Jehovah God. We do not submit ourselves to any denominations Manual, Discipline, Catechism, Confession of Faith, or Creed. We accept and submit to the Bible as our sole standard of authority (Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11). While we do not pretend that we know the answer to every question, we do believe that all things pertaining to life and godliness have been revealed to us in the word of God (2 Peter 1:3). We believe that we must search the scriptures for the answers. We ask everyone to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11 to search the scriptures daily to see if what we are teaching is according to the revealed word of God.
We appeal to all men to reject the division of modern denominationalism and simply follow the Bible pattern for being Christians. We implore honest truth-seekers to lay aside denominational creeds and beliefs and accept the pure and simple doctrine of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. He, Himself is God who came to earth and put on the likeness of man. (Matthew 1:23; Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7). He is our Savior as He is the one who died for us (Romans 5:8). His blood became the payment in full for our sins (1 John 2:2) so that we might "become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). We believe and teach that salvation is a gift of God (Romans 6:23), that man is saved by the grace of God through faith, and that man cannot save himself by works of merit (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This does not mean that we make the mistake of many and appeal to an aberrant gospel (Galatians 1:6) that states that "faith alone" eliminates the requirement of God for us to be obedient to His plan of salvation! Even Jesus was required to "learn obedience" and thus become "the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8-9). The Bible teaches, and thus we obey, follow, and teach the Holy Spirit inspired instructions for receiving the grace of God (salvation):
1. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and only Begotten Son of God (John 3:16; John 8:24);
2. Repentance toward God and for sin (Acts 20:21; Acts 17:30);
3. Confess one’s faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10);
4. Be immersed (baptized) in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16).
After becoming a Christian, we believe that a consecrated, godly, and faithful life identifies us as belonging to the family of God (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 1:10). The Holy Spirit dwells within Christians to strengthen them in their walk and provide spiritual understanding and wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
Our worship is simple, and based upon the New Testament pattern because we want to be like the first Christians and worship God how He wants. Therefore, we are a family integrated church in one assembly including children. We are told that unless we are like these little ones we cannot see the kingdom of God so we know that God has a special place for innocent children and we believe they should be part of the assembly and not separated. We do have 2 quiet/nursing rooms for mothers and young children. We sing "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" to God who is the object of our praise, and pray together making requests and expressing thanks (Ephesians 5:19; Philippians 4:6). Teaching and preaching is an important part of our assembly and it is our responsibility to proclaim only the truth as recorded for us in God's word. We follow the example of the assembly in 1 Corinthians 14: 26-39 and learned brothers take turns with the edification instead of a paid pastor. Every Sunday, we remember the death of Jesus Christ by sharing the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7).
When You Visit With Us
People often do not know what to expect when they visit for the first time. We assure you that we will not embarrass you in some way. Our guests are welcomed and respected. We do not expect you to eat the Lord's Supper with us or to contribute to the collection (these are primarily for members of the Lord's church). You may hear something preached in a sermon that you have never heard before. We make no apology for proclaiming what we believe is the truth and ask that you consider your life in view of what is said. No pressure tactics are used. We ask visitors to reason with us (Isaiah 1:18) and invite people to obey the gospel of Christ, but the decision is left to each individual.