Our Ministry Beliefs
First Christian Church of Chicago is a church that unites people from various backgrounds. Whether you are Catholic, Baptist, non-denominational, or unconvinced, we believe that God wants to include you.
We do not suggest that Christians must agree on all matters of faith. However, we think it is necessary for Christ-followers to be on the same page when it comes to several crucial issues. Below you can read what our church believes about those crucial issues:
We believe there is one divine being who has existed eternally. He exists and reveals Himself to man in three distinct, equally divine persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While we cannot fully comprehend His divine nature, it is possible for people to know Him.
At the beginning of time, God created the entire universe and all its creatures. He continues to exercise His supreme power to sustain His creation. Throughout history He has expressed His desire to be our God and to have a personal, eternal relationship with us. We believe that God loves us and wants what is best for us.
We believe that Jesus is the eternal divine Son of God. In order to restore our connection with God, Jesus gave up his place next to God and voluntarily chose to be made in human likeness and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Although He lived a sinless life He allowed Himself to be executed by crucifixion. His death paid the penalty for the sins of mankind against God. However, as prophesied, He rose from the dead three days after His execution. After appearing to witnesses on a number of occasions for forty days, He ascended into heaven where He now serves as the Mediator between God and man. We believe that at the end of time He will again visibly return to earth to complete His eternal plan. (Genesis 1:1, 27; Isaiah 53:6; 59:1-2; John 3:16; 14:6; Acts 2:22-41; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Philippians 2:1-11).
About The Holy Spirit
When we reconnect with God he gives us the Holy Spirit (God’s counselor/tutor and equal) to reside inside each believer and provide insight into God’s Truth (the Bible), power to obey, spiritual gifts for serving others, and personal direction in life. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Christ followers are empowered to live Christ-like lives. When it comes to spiritual gifts, we believe that God hands them out and therefore we don’t tell people that they must have or can’t have certain spiritual gifts. We rely on the Holy Spirit to help us plan and organize our Sunday services. During these services the Holy Spirit inspires us to draw close to God as we worship in an orderly fashion (Luke 11:13; John 16:13; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13).
About The Bible And How God Speaks To Us
God is still speaking today. Our job is to lean towards him and listen. If you ever feel closer to God while you are hiking up a mountain or experiencing the beauty of nature don’t be surprised. God speaks through nature, his creation, as a way of telling us that there is order and design in life. If you are a history buff, God shows his hand of guidance as he interacts with our world and leads with utmost care. Even when we listen to the quietness of our souls, God speaks through our conscience by putting a longing for eternity and holy things in our hearts. In addition to creation, divine intervention, and conscience, God has also spoken to each of us specifically by sending His Son Jesus and giving us the Bible, his written message (Romans 1:18-32; 2:14-15, Psalm 19:1-2).
We believe the 66 books of the Bible were written by human authors under the supernatural guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Through these writers, God expressed His values, principles and ideals that please Him and are in our best interests. God gave us the Bible for instruction on what to believe and how to live. We believe that the Bible is poetic, challenging, entirely accurate, complete, reliable, and relevant because it comes from God. We look to the Bible for revelation of God’s character and for our final authority on all matters of faith and conduct. (Psalm 119:105, 160; Matthew 5;17-19; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
As the author of all good things, God created us in His image and for a relationship with Him. Simultaneously, God gave us the freedom to choose whether or not we want to trust and follow Him. The first man and woman were deceived by Satan. They rebelled and chose to be wrongfully independent from God. Their decision alienated them from God. Every human being since that time has suffered the consequences of that rebellion. We also fail God and disregard God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Although we all have potential for good, we are still marred by an attitude and demeanor of disobedience towards God called, “sin.” This is a problem we have no power to fix. God alone took the initiative to re-establish a relationship with sinners like us. It is our decision to respond or ignore God’s desire for us to come back home to Him.
About A Relationship With God
Jesus offers us a way back to God. Salvation is His gift from God to us. We can never make up for our sins by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. The gift of eternal life with God is given the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our lives by faith. God alone does the saving, but he has every right to ask us to respond to his free gift of salvation. Our role in reconnecting with God includes listening to God’s story, believing in Jesus life and message, making a decision to repent and turn away from our sinful habits, confessing our faith in Jesus’ power to save us, and being immersed in water as a unifying and spiritual experience of identifying with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:4-9; 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 3:20-21; 1 John 1:9).
About The Christian Life
Once our relationship is re-established with God, we naturally want to spend time with Him and know Him better. The Holy Spirit enlightens us as we read God’s Word, the Bible, as we communicate with Him in prayer, and as we enter into loving relationships and Biblical community with other Christ followers. In this way we begin to know God more intimately. As we become acquainted with God we desire to be like Him and please Him. This process of spiritual development, enabled by the Holy Spirit’s work, motivates us to seek ways to serve God and invite others to know Him. This maturing process prepares us to spend eternity in fellowship with Him.
About The Church
We believe the church represents Jesus to a needy world. The Bible calls the church “Christ’s body.” It compares the church to a living organism where Jesus is the head. God arranges the parts of the body, Christ followers, just as He wants them to be. He gives each Christ follower special functions to perform for the good of the body. To remain healthy, the body’s members must work together. Each part contributes to the growth and maturity of the church. God works through the church to reconcile a lost world to Himself through Jesus Christ. For this reason it is important for Christ followers to regularly gather together for the purpose of worshipping God. When the church worships together, Christ followers are equipped, built up, and encouraged through teaching, fellowship, prayer, and communion. Worship in this way enables believers to serve one another and the un-churched people in their sphere of influence. First Christian Church of Chicago sees itself as a member of God’s world-wide Church made up of all those who have acknowledged Jesus as their Savior and surrendered to him as Lord to the best of their understanding of God and the Bible (Matthew 28:19-20; John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:3-6, 11-14).
God created each of us to exist forever. Every one of us will either exist eternally separated from God in Hell or eternally connected with God in Heaven. If you are like us then you waffle between having a lot of questions about heaven and hell and not wanting to think about things like hell at all. We believe that heaven and hell are real and that God is a wise, holy judge and a great respecter of people. We are glad that God alone makes the call on who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. One clear thing is that if you choose to connect with God he will reward you by letting you live in community with him and other believers for all eternity. If you do not want to connect with him, he will not make you spend eternity with him in heaven. Hell, the absence of God and existence without community is the dwelling place for all who refuse to reconnect with God in Jesus Christ (Acts 17:22-31; Romans 1:18; 2 Peter 3;9; 1 John 2:25, 5:11-13; Revelation 20:15).