What We Teach
Jesus was once asked which of the commandments in the Bible is the greatest...meaning, which doctrine or belief is the most important. His answer was very informative, and quite radical for that day and age (or now). Jesus replied that the number one command was to "love God with all of your heart"; Jesus didn't stop there though, He continued by saying: "and to love your neighbor as yourself"(Matthew 22). If we do not get those right, nothing else matters! So, I guess the question is, what does it look like to love God? One of the ways that we love God is to have a proper understanding of who He is. This is where the importance of having proper beliefs come into play. What we believe will impact how we live our lives. Meeting together with other like-minded people can strengthen our faith and encourage us in our walk with Christ.
Deciding which local church to attend is one of the most important decisions you will make. Churches vary widely in both style and substance. For some, style is the most important factor when choosing where they worship. Here at OFA, we strongly believe in SUBSTANCE over style. We invite you to drop by and check us out. If you have any questions, we will be happy to sit down and have a chat.
The following list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of what motivates us to reach the community of Ottawa, Illinois.
The Word of God
*double click on the scripture references to open a link to Bible Gateway
The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. The Word of God is the foundation upon which the church operates, and the basis by which the church is governed. We believe that the 66 books of the Bible supersede any and all earthly law in precept and principle. We teach the Word of God in such a way that its message can be applied to an individual’s life, leading that person to greater maturity in Christ and we reject doctrinal viewpoints or spiritual phenomena, which are based solely on experience.
(Acts 17:11; 1Thes.2:13; Romans 15:4; 2Tim.3:16-17; Matt. 24:35; Nehemiah 8:8; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12;
1 Peter 1:23-25).
The One True God
The Bible is clear that God is the only True God and there can be no other.
(Psalm 86:10; John 5:44; John 17:3; 1st Timothy 2:5; Deuteronomy 4:39 & Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11 & Isaiah 44:6; Jude 1:25 )
The Bible teaches there being one God who exists in three distinct persons, each serving a different function. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal.
(Matt. 3:16,17 & Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:26; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 5:7,8)
The Fall of Man
Man was created good and upright; for God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” However, man, by voluntary transgression, sinned against God and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. As a result, we live in a fallen world, of which the only way to be restored back to right relationship with God is only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(Genesis 1:26,27; 2:17; 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).
The Salvation of Man
Salvation comes through Grace alone, Faith alone, and through Christ alone. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, we become an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life
(Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7).
We teach the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God, fulfill prophecy, and redeem sinful man. We teach He accomplished our redemption through His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection. We teach our redemption and salvation are guaranteed by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is the only means of salvation (John 1:1; 14; 18; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-26; 4:25; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Timothy 2:5).
We teach that Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, the Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth, and the Head of the church. We teach the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted to the right hand of God where, as High Priest to His people, He serves as our Advocate and intercedes for us (Colossians 1:15-19; Hebrews 1:3; 3:1; 7:23-25; 1 John 2:1-2).
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church:
1) Full immersion water baptism
2) The Lord's Supper (or communion)
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:31-38/10:47,48/18:8/22:16; Romans 6:3,4)
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
After Jesus rose from the Grave, He told the disciples that He must go back to the Father. He promised to send them "The Comforter." The Holy Spirit empowers believers to be witnesses and brings conviction of sin. We teach the promise of the Holy Spirit is still alive and active in the lives of believers today. The Holy Spirit also reveals the written word of God to us as we read it, thereby illuminating the word of God so we might be able to properly understand it’s meaning and be able to act on it accordingly.
(Luke 3:22; Romans 13:15; 1 Cor. 6:19 & 12:13; Acts 1:8 & Acts 2:38; John 14:15,16,26 & 15:26).
The generic meaning of sanctification is "the state of proper functioning." To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. A pen is "sanctified" when used to write. Eyeglasses are "sanctified" when used to improve sight. In the theological sense, things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends. A human being is sanctified, therefore, when he or she lives according to God's design and purpose. Those who put their faith in Christ are called to live a life separated from the world... becoming more like our Savior every day.
(Romans 6:1-11,13; 8:1,2,13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12,13; 1 Peter 1:5).
We teach that God has the power and authority to heal a person's body and mind. This was provided to the believer by Christ's death and resurrection. God instructs us to pray that His will would be done. With scripture taken in proper context, nowhere is the believer "guaranteed" Divine physical Healing. As we live in a fallen world our bodies succumb to the ravages of the sin nature, causing illness and suffering. We pray for the sick and those with infirmities believing that God hears the prayers of the righteous. His ways are above our ways, yet we trust always, knowing regardless of the outcome that God is benevolent and a Good God!
(Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16).
We teach there is a literal Heaven and a literal Hell. All those who place their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord, while those who reject Jesus' free gift of salvation proclaimed in the gospel will spend eternity separated from God.
(Psalm 9:17; John 3: 3,5,7,16,18/14:3; Revelation 21:8; Matt. 13:47-50/25:31-46; Psalm 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:5-10; Proverbs 15:24; Phil. 3:20 ).
Of Justification– We teach that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. [John 1:16, Eph.3:8, Acts 13:39, Isa. 53:11-12, Rom 5:1-2, Rom. 5:9, Zech. 13;1, Matt. 9:6, Acts 10:43, Rom. 5:17, Titus 3:5-7, I Peter 3:7, I John 2:25, Rom. 5:21, Rom. 4:4-5, Rom. 6:23, Phil. 3:7-9, Rom. 5:19, Rom. 3:24-26, Rom.4:23-25, I John 2:12, Rom. 5:3, Rom. 5:11, I Cor. 1:30-31, Matt. 6:33, I Tim. 4:8]
Of Repentance and Faith
We teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. [Mark 1:15, Acts 11:18, Eph. 2:8, I John 5:1, John 16:8, Acts 2:37-38, Acts 16:30-31; Luke 18:13, Luke 15:18-21, James 4:7-10, II Cor. 7:11, Tim. 10:12-13, Ps.51, Rom. 10:9-11, Acts 3:22-23, Heb. 4:14, Ps.2:6, Heb. 1:8, Heb. 7:25, II Tim. 1:12]
Of the World to Come
We teach that the end of the world is quickly approaching; that at the Last Day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness. [I Peter 4:7; I Cor. 7:29-31; Heb. 1:10-12; Matt. 24:35; I John 2:17; Matt. 28:20; Matt. 13:39-40; II Peter 3:3-13; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:28; Acts 3:21; I Thess 4:13-18; I Thess. 5:1-11; Acts 24:15; I Cor. 15:12-58; Luke 14:14; Dan. 12:2 John 5:28-29; John 6:40; John 11:25-26; II Tim. 1:10; Acts 10:42; Matt. 13:49; Matt. 13:37-43; Matt. 24:30-31; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 22:11; I Cor. 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; II Peter 2:9; Jude7; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 6:23; II Cor. 5:10-11; John 4:36; II Cor. 4:18; Rom. 3:5-6; II Thess. 1:6-12: Heb.
Of the Civil Government
We teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society, and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. [Rom. 13:1-7; Deu. 16:18; II Sam. 23:3; Ex. 18:23; Jer. 30:21; Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13; I Tim. 2:1-4; Acts 5:29; Matt.28; Dan. 3:15-18; Dan. 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20; Matt. 23:10; Rom. 14:4; Rev. 19:16; Ps.72:11; Ps.2; Rom. 14:9-13]
Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We teach that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. [Mal. 3:18; Pro. 12:26; Isa. 5:20; Gen. 18:23; Jer. 15:19; Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 1:17; Rom. 7:6; I John 2:29; I John 3:7; Rom. 6:18,22; I Cor. 11:32; Pro. 11:31; I Peter 4:17-18; I John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; John 3:36; Isa. 57:21; Ps. 10:4; Isa. 55:6-7; Pro. 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Pro. 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; Luke 9:23-26; Ecc. 3:17; Matt. 7:13-14]
Of the Family
We teach that the family structure was established by God as a biological man and a biological woman, designed for the purpose of procreation and to govern all aspects of the family structure as scripture dictates. Marriage is a Holy institution given by God and clearly represents the relationship between Christ and the Church. We teach the Holy sanctity of marriage is to be between one man and one woman only as the scriptures clearly teach. We also teach that all sexual sin, like any other sin is forgivable, and that through repentance and faith in the gospel message, we can all be forgiven and set free from any and all sin.
Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:24, Genesis 2:18, 1st Corinthians 11:3, Hebrews 13:4, 1st Corinthians 11:11 1st Coritnians 7:2, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:24-28, Leviticus 20:13, 1st Corinthians 6:9, Jude 15:7 John 3:16-17
We firmly believe that Israel Is and always will be God’s chosen people and that His plan for them is ongoing right up through the end times. Because of their denial and rejection of their coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, God made a way through His Grace and Mercy to allow the gentile nations access to His great salvation- to all who would call on the name of the Lord. Today’s church was birthed with the death and resurrection Of Christ. This act was also designed to provoke His people Israel to jealousy. The knowledge of other "illegitimate" gentile nations being given what was exclusively theirs should have brought them to a lowly state, a state of repentance and restoration to Christ. That will eventually happen as God is still their Salvation and is still working to bring them to salvation. The church and Israel are both equally in God’s plan of salvation, yet the true church will always be a mixture of ethnicity, a sovereign gathering of people of all nations, those people who call on the Name of the Lord.
(Deuteronomy 30:1-8; Romans 11:11,25-27; Jeremiah 31:10; Gal. 3:29 )