WHO WE ARE
Christ Church of Guntersville is a community of sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because of Christ’s great grace and love for us, we’re committed to living our lives for His glory and keeping His good and gracious commandments in our homes, in our church, and in the community, out of love for God and love for others.
We want everything we do to be governed by the Bible, God’s perfect and sufficient Word to men. Because we’re committed to the Bible as the sufficient rule of our practice, we preach the Bible in our worship services. We teach the Bible in our family groups. We try to pray according to the Bible. And we try to encourage one another with the Bible in our times of fellowship. We seek to be self-consciously organized according to the Bible.
Properly understood, the Bible centers us on Jesus Christ. So, our public worship is Christ-centered. We preach Christ in our sermons, and we pray in Jesus name. We practice the two biblical sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are both about Christ and His work to save us from our sins. We’re Christ-centered because Jesus came into this world to save sinners. He rescued us from our sin and shame, reconciled us to a holy God, and promises us everlasting life. That’s why we love Him and keep His commandments. And that’s why we worship Him.
When a church tries to take the Bible seriously, it has to come to a conclusion about what the Bible means as a whole. Not every church agrees on exactly what the whole Bible means, but we believe that to be faithful to God, we have to try to understand His Word, which means that we hold to certain theological beliefs. We sincerely love our brothers and sisters in Christ who differ from us on these matters, but we want to state plainly what we believe.
To be “Reformed” means that we hold to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, which were recovered during the Protestant Reformation by men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, among many others. They taught that when we look to Scripture alone, we find that salvation comes to sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. Reformed theology came to be faithfully expressed in the Reformed confessions. Our church holds to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, which is one of the Reformed confessions. Reformed theology has become especially controversial because it holds to the free grace of God in election. But we believe Scripture teaches that in eternity past, God unconditionally chose some sinners for salvation (Ephesians 1:3-6). Left to ourselves, none of us would choose to come to Christ (Romans 3:11-12). Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44), and “All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and whoever comes to Me, I will never cast out” (John 6:37). Having chosen a people for salvation in eternity past, God graciously sent His Son, Jesus, into this fallen world to atone for their sins, guaranteeing that they would be saved (Romans 5:9-10). And at the right time, God sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of His chosen people to apply the work of Jesus Christ, to claim them for Himself, give them life, and keep them for all eternity (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
To be a “Baptist” church means we believe the Bible teaches that only believers have a right to join a local church (1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1). As Baptists, we only baptize those who give a credible confession of faith (Matthew 28:19). And only baptized believers should join the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The purpose of the church is to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, edify the saints in Him, preach the gospel to every creature, and live holy lives for God’s glory in this world. Only true believers can do those things faithfully. Therefore, only true believers should be members of the church. Also, because we’re Baptists, we’re serious about evangelism and missions. The kingdom of God only advances, and new churches can only be established, when more and more people come to believe in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we preach the gospel to all creation, calling all people, without distinction, to come to Christ for salvation (Matthew 28:19-20).
Reformed Baptists are self-consciously evangelical. The word "evangelical" refers to one who believes the "good news." Historically, evangelicals have been characterized by four beliefs. First, we believe in the Bible. We believe that the Bible is God's perfect and inerrant Word. Second, we believe in conversion. All true followers of Christ live holy lives of faith and repentance of sin. Third, we believe in the centrality of Christ. We live our lives in light of Jesus Christ, the God-man, who was crucified and raised for the salvation of sinners. Fourth, we believe in preaching the gospel for the conversion of sinners and planting churches. God's kingdom does not grow through political power or human strength or wisdom, but though hearts changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.