THE WELL’S THEOLOGICAL BELIEFS
– The Holy Bible is true, authoritative, and sufficient to lead every part of humanity, the Church, and the world toward eternal good. The Bible leads us to know God and how to love, worship, and serve Him. We hold that the Bible is inerrant in the original autographs without any mixture of error. (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
– There is only One true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is real! (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Genesis 1:26; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
– All things (you, this world, everything) exist for the glory of God! We were created specifically for relationship with God. (Psalm 148; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 61:3; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 1:3-14). Adam and Eve enjoyed a perfect relationship with God in Eden until they chose to rebel (sin) against their Creator.
– Because of Adam’s sin, all humanity (Christ excluded) is now sinful even from birth (= our sin nature) which is demonstrated through personal, willful, & sinful actions (= our moral choices). (Genesis 6:5; Romans 5:12; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21; 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3). Our sin nature and willful sin choices separate us from perfect and holy God. This is bad news and it affects every human on the planet!
– Because God is perfect, Holy, and righteous, God does not allow sinful humans into His perfect presence in heaven; the deserved penalty for our sin is physical and spiritual death. Sin is devastating to every part of humanity. Because of sin, our relationship with Holy God is irreparably broken. (Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12; 6:23; James 1:14-15).
– But there is GOOD NEWS: God sent His sinless Son, Jesus, to the earth for us, to rescue us from our own sin and eternal death. Jesus Christ is GOD, the eternal Son of God, was miraculously born of a virgin (thus, not having an earthly father’s seed or original sin), and is both fully God and fully human. (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).
– Not only did Jesus live a perfect, sinless life, Jesus Christ died on the cross as our sacrificial substitute to pay the penalty for all sin. Christ died for you! Christ’s death made provision that all mankind could have salvation through a new spiritual relationship with Him based on faith and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (John 1:29; 10:1-18; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18). You can ask Jesus into your life and believe that Jesus is God’s Son who died for you and who was raised by God from death so that all who trust upon Jesus may have eternal life in Heaven with God. If you want to know more about giving your soul to Jesus for salvation, email Matthew@thewellargyle.com
– Being perfect as both man and God, Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, reigns with His Father in heaven at present, and will one day physically return to earth to judge this world. (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7).
– There will be a future physical resurrection of all the dead. Only those who turn from sin and to Jesus in faith and repentance will be raised to eternal reward (heaven). Those who do not turn from their sin and to Jesus will be raised to eternal punishment (hell). (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).
– Only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith which leads to true repentance from sin, can one be reconciled to God and experience true life both (in the here and now with truest joy) and in eternal life with Christ in heaven. (John 3:18, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).
– God loves YOU and desires a relationship with you. Ask Jesus Christ (right now) to forgive you of your sin and accept His gift of forgiveness and new spiritual life. Only through a relationship with Jesus, can you ever know God fully or have eternity when you die on this earth. (John 3:16; John 14:6) God is ready & willing to forgive you and save you today! Just ask!!
THE WELL’S THEOLOGICAL BELIEFS
While the THEOLOGICAL TENETS expressed in What We Believe section are recognized to be universal and basic to all Believers within the Church (what is called “orthodoxy” in historical Christianity), there are a number of secondary (“doctrinal”) beliefs that we hold are both biblical and needful within the Church. Not all Christians hold these beliefs, but they are nonetheless important and true as we understand Scripture. Complete agreement is not required for the sake of membership, but it should be known that we will preach, teach, and counsel in accordance with these biblical convictions:
These Doctrinal distinctives represent four areas of doctrine and practice:
– Divine Sovereignty
– Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
– The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
– The Complementary Roles of Men and Women
The Bible teaches unreservedly that God is sovereign over all things – such that there is no aspect of reality outside of His ultimate, providential control (hence, sovereignty). Though God’s rule extends to all peoples, places, events, and things, one particular area of importance is God’s sovereignty over the work (the process) of salvation (in our life).
Though seemingly mysterious and misunderstood by Christians within the Church and those outside of it, we believe the Bible perfectly teaches both God’s sovereignty in salvation and man’s true (= un-coerced) choice to receive or reject Christ’s offer of eternal salvation through faith alone – by God’s grace alone! Therefore, we believe that it is exceedingly good and glorious news that salvation is not dependent on the desires and deeds of man, but is grounded instead in God’s perfect work in redemption (Ephesians 2:8-9). Though man is utterly responsible for all his choices, personal sin in his life, and his genuine choice to accept or deny Christ as Savior, – God is ultimately and entirely responsible for drawing those He would save unto Himself and wonderfully transforming man’s sinful and rebellious heart for salvation (= ultimately overcoming man’s natural rebellious resistance to the gospel).
The biblical mystery is therefore that: While God is sovereign over every person’s salvation, mankind is still responsible for his/her own choice to receive or reject salvation. Take heart, this paradox, though true, has confounded Believers for centuries.
God’s Sovereignty: God is sovereign in the work of salvation in that, from eternity past (Predestination/Foreordination), God has knowingly and perfectly made provision through Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world and uses His Holy Spirit to (A.) draw men to Christ, (B.) provide saving faith to those whom He draws, and (C.) wonderfully regenerate man’s heart to salvation – a salvation which is birthed in God (Election/John 15:16) and cannot be lost or discarded (Preservation). (Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Ephesians 1:3-14, Romans 8:26-9:23; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
Man’s Moral Choice and Limited Free Will: Because God sovereignly works in the unseen heart and we (humans) are unable to see God’s spiritual leading inwardly, it is the Church’s (and every Christian’s) responsibility to preach the gospel to all mankind and appeal to every soul that they would repent of their sin and invite Jesus Christ into their lives as Savior, Lord, and King (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). AND it is mankind’s responsibility to believe (actively choose) Christ and repent of his/her sin in receiving the gift of eternal life (John 3:18). The Bible commands that we choose Christ and believe upon His Name for salvation (Matthew 7:7; Mark 16:16).
Though, outwardly, we can see man struggle or “wrestle” with the decision to accept or reject Christ’s offer of salvation, the appearance that man is in total control of this process is an illusion. Man is simply participating in the greater spiritual reality of what God is doing in his heart, though man does outwardly choose and freely accept or reject Christ. Man does have a free will to choose or reject certain things in his life, but man’s free will (= truly un-coerced decisions) is limited by both the physical and spiritual constraints God has ordered in this universe (i.e. man cannot overcome gravity for long, nor can man decide to change himself from a human being into an animal/bird even if he really wants to). Similarly, parents are not to give their children complete free will to do whatever they want either. This is natural and godly parenting. Children are unable to understand all the consequences of each free decision they might make – and would only end up hurting themselves or others left unrestrained. Thus, Mankind, in many ways is limited in this universe as a creation/creature of God the Creator. Therefore, man has a Free Will, albeit limited (restrained) by God’s great mercy toward mankind.
Thus, though we see the actions/benefits of man’s (outwardly) spiritual actions by choosing Christ for Salvation, we also Know God is divinely leading the unseen heart in perfect sovereignty – for His glory and man’s eternal blessing! As God works spiritually (internally), we can only observe the outward actions of faith and watch man’s acceptance or rejection of the gospel.
Therefore, one cannot base their understanding or doctrine of salvation solely on what man can observe (see) during the process of salvation. Much more is happening spiritually (in man’s heart which is unobservable). God is sovereign over (in charge of) man’s salvation because it is first and foremost a spiritual matter (a matter of the heart which is invisible).
Though, outwardly, we can see man struggle or “wrestle” with the decision to accept or reject Christ’s offer of salvation, the appearance that man is in total control of this process is an illusion. Man is simply participating in the greater spiritual reality of what God is doing in his heart, though man does outwardly choose and freely accept or reject Christ. Man does have a free will to choose or reject certain things in his life, but man’s free will (= truly un-coerced decisions) is limited by both the physical and spiritual constraints God has ordered in this universe (i.e. man cannot overcome gravity for long, nor can man decide to change himself from a human being into an animal/bird even if he really wants to). Similarly, parents are not to give their children complete free will to do whatever they want either. This is natural and godly parenting. Children are unable to understand all the consequences of each free decision they might make – and would only end up hurting themselves or others left unrestrained. Thus, Mankind, in many ways is limited in this universe as a creation/creature of God the Creator. Therefore, man has a Free Will, albeit limited (restrained) by God’s great mercy toward mankind.a
LAST, Scripture teaches that the whole Trinity is sovereignly involved in the process of salvation:
(1) God the Father lovingly and mercifully draws individuals from every place on the earth to be reconciled into right relationship with Himself (by salvation) through the perfect redemptive work of His Son, Jesus (John 6:44).
(2) Jesus Christ died on the cross as our substitute for all humanity’s penalty of sin and the inevitable consequence of eternal, spiritual death (2 Corinthians 5:15).
(3) In drawing men to Himself, God sends His Holy Spirit, then, to regenerate spiritually dead hearts into new lives and into new spiritual beings, “new creations,” (2 Cor. 5:17) through God’s saving power as He gives men saving faith to trust on Christ (Titus 3:5; John 6:63). Salvation is, therefore, the merciful act of a loving and sovereign God to redeem helpless man! Thus, we see the Holy Trinity perfectly at work together in salvation.
In review, concerning the topic of salvation at The WELL, we speak of man having the truest choice to accept Christ for salvation or, by rejecting Christ, to suffer the eternal consequences – though ultimately Sovereign God is the “author and perfecter of all salvation” (Hebrews 12:2). Once a Believer has been genuinely born again through saving faith, they cannot lose their salvation. To God be all glory (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)!!
Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
At the WELL, we practice the biblical ordinance of Believer’s Baptism as a public profession of one’s previous spiritual conversion (salvation) to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and can give sufficient testimony to their life-change because of the grace of Christ. We also baptize by immersion (dunking) because it is the original meaning of the New Testament Greek word (Baptizo: to dunk or sink a vessel or person) and best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points: our spiritual death, burial (in water) and resurrection in Christ (Romans 6:4). Baptism does not save. Baptism reflects the life of one who is already saved and is being obedient to publicly confess (profess) their salvation in Christ before the watching Church and community. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Children: It is our church’s desire that children be wonderfully saved and baptized in obedience to Scripture. For children, we also practice Believer’s Baptism. Though there is no scriptural age limit for baptism, we desire to baptize children who are able to express adequately their understanding of salvation, the significance of baptism, and who can also demonstrate spiritual fruit in their lives (John 15:8; Matthew 7:17; Galatians 5:22-23). Our heart for these children is that they remember their baptismal ceremony and why they are being baptized into covenant membership in the Body of Christ so as to alleviate spiritual doubts later in life. We will provide a time for your child to go through Essentials, a class in which the plan of Salvation, what it means and when it is time to be baptized, and how communion fits into a Christian’s life are covered. Even after your child has made a profession of faith, we reserve the right to wait until a child is able to express themselves adequately before we baptize them, though we encourage children of all ages to accept Christ as Savior when THEY feel ready and move toward their own spiritual growth. Your child’s baptism ceremony will be special and very memorable as we want to make a big deal about their baptism experience as followers of Christ. We will have periodical special services just for baptismal celebrations. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-11)
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see exercised in Scripture have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the closing of the New Testament Canon. God is at work today and can do whatever He pleases for His glory! Spiritual gifts are available today for all Believers and are to be practiced in submission to and under the true leadership of the Holy Spirit as defined in Scripture. Each Believer in Christ will have at least one of the Spiritual Gifts as outlined in Scripture and no Believer has all the gifts. The purpose of spiritual gifts are to help in spreading the gospel to the lost world and for the edification (the building-up) of the Church Body.
The Miraculous gifts as defined by Scripture (such as the speaking in other tongues, healing, miracles, etc.) are given as testimony of an all-powerful and supernatural God to authenticate the gospel message to the lost and show the authority of Scripture for the gospel witness; the miraculous gifts are to be exercised as a witness to the lost to demonstrate the power of the gospel (1 Corinthians 14:22) and are rarely to be intermingled within a church service unless specifically regulated through the biblical principles outlined in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40. For God’s glory and the Church’s benefit, the use of spiritual gifts are to be employed in an orderly manner – especially the way the Holy Spirit leads Believers to exercise their spiritual gifts for the edification of the Church.
Church gifts, which are commonly practiced within the Church, are outlined in Scripture as: encouragement, giving, mercy, leadership, prophecy, service, teaching, discernment, faith, and wisdom. (1 Cor. 14:40; Eph. 4:11-13. Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Men and women are equal in essence, dignity, and value but are different physically by divine design. In reflection of God’s own relational nature (as Christ the Son, who is equally God, willingly submitted Himself to God the Father to accomplish the specific role/responsibility given), so God has created mankind to learn submission and the spiritual function of appropriate roles within humanity. As part of God’s good, created order, men and women are to have different, yet complementary, roles and responsibilities in the home, church, and society – especially as it comes to spiritual leadership, teaching, and authority. These role distinctions are God’s grace to both men and women and are to be protected, preserved, and practiced for His glory and our joy. As Believers seek to please the Lord in their homes, churches, and communities by observing God’s planned order and biblical role for each male and female, submitting to God’s desire on behalf of each other in love and service, the God-given institutions of marriage (home), church, and government will function as designed and bring God most glory.
God has called every husband, both lovingly and with gentleness, to lead and serve his wife and family. The strongest leadership begins with grace and servanthood as Jesus perfectly embodied. God has called every man to lead his wife and home in LOVE and through sacrifice. God’s man will lead best by being a servant to his family. Similarly, God has called every wife to RESPECT her husband and to lead her family through the godly, gentle, and productive example of the Proverbs 31:10-31 woman. Our world desperately needs to see the Church’s example of godly marriages and families that serve the Lord and each other, while modeling to their community God’s heart for the Family.
In no way does the Church see divine roles within the home or church as having or fostering -nor will the Elders of the church tolerate- any part of inferiority, sexism, misogyny, abuse, or being demeaning toward either sex. Further, the church does not condone the mistreatment of women or children, the abuse of power, nor the “lording” of one’s authority over another. In Christ, we desire for grace to all and mutual submission to the Lord and each other as servants of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:33-35; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
Our Denomination and Affiliation
Though our Church at the WELL is a COMMUNITY church with a non-denominational feel, and though people from all faith backgrounds are welcome to come and worship Christ with us, we do have Baptist roots. We were supported by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and freely cooperate with them in local, national, and international mission endeavors through the Cooperative Program of the SBC. We hold to the Baptist Faith and Message (2000 ed.). We also are partnered with the ACTS 29 Church Planting Network as we endeavor to call, train, & send church planters & start new gospel-centered churches throughout the world.