Providence exists for Jesus. We exist to glorify God, as a community on a mission to take the gospel to our city, while allowing it to renovate our lives.
When it comes to our beliefs, our culture, our preferences, traditions, lifestyles, politics, behavior, etc., Providence takes a “closed-hand/open-hand” approach. In the closed hand we place the non negotiables of true Christianity: God is the creator, sin is main’s problem, Jesus is the solution, the Bible is true, and Hell is hot.
The open handed, allows room for great differences on secondary matters. We allow great freedom of conscience and conviction to guide where the Bible is silent. The open-hand fosters unity while retaining diversity. Democrats and Republicans, homeschoolers and public schoolers, rich and poor, blacks and whites, young and old, all come together in unity around the non negotiables of scripture while following their conscience and convictions.
The following are the issues we believe are critical distinctive of the church.
What is the Bible?
The Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is God’s instruction manual for mankind, which gives answers to all of life’s questions as well as direction through all of life’s challenges. The Bible is completely true and timeless so it is never outdated regardless of modern advances or changes in society. The Bible is to be taken literally like you might read the newspaper or a business report.
The bible was written by approximately forty men over the span of nearly 1500 years (1400 B.C. to A. D. 90). It contains 66 books. The first 39 are called the Old Testament and the last 27 are called the New Testament. The Old Testament was written to the Jews to call them to represent God to the nations of the world. It contained rules and regulation to remind them of their position before God and their need for forgiveness. In the New Testament God turns the privilege of representing Him over to the church. The New Testament contains principles and promises that differ from the Old Testament because they are based on the finished work of Jesus on the Cross.
How much of the Christian life does the Bible Address (II Timothy 3:16)?
Why is the Bible not simply a book to interpret any way you want (II Peter 1:21)?
How long will the bible be the authoritative reference for everything pertaining to life and godliness (Matthew 5:18)?
Based on this, why is the Bible important? _____________________________________
Who is God?
What we believe about God is the most important thing about us. Every wrong thought and action in our lives can be traced to a wrong understanding of God. There are many opinions about who God is and what He is like. Yet, we don’t have to wonder or speculate about who He is or what He is like, God has already told us in the Bible.
God is the creator and owner of everything in the universe. He is one God in three persons we call the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). He is totally in control of everything in the universe. He is gracious and loving, yet angry at sin and obligated to judge and punish sin.
What do we know about god according to Acts 17:24-28?
What does Isaiah 43:10 say about there being only one God?
Jesus equated “knowing God” to what (John 17:3)?
What does Jesus say about how we come to know God (John 14:8-9)?
What does this mean for your life? __________________________________
Who is man?
Man was created by God to represent Him on earth. Adam, the first man God created, failed to believe God and therefore disobeyed, which God called sin. Because of sin, every person is separated from God. In our separation, we desire those things, which go against God, rather than those things, which please God.
What does Romans 3:10-12 say about how many people are good and seeking for God?
How many people have sinned according to (Romans 6:23)?
What is deserved because of our sin (Romans 6:23)
What does God compare our sinful condition to (Eph 2:1)?
Since there is a separation between God and us, how does someone enjoy life with God (Eph 2:4-9)?
What is implied by sight or blindness as it pertains to Jesus
(II Cor 4:3-6)?
What does this imply about you? _______________________________________
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God. He came from heaven, lived in sinless life and died as a payment for man’s sin. Jesus not only forgave sins, something only God can do, but he also said He is the only way to heaven.
What does Hebrews 1:2 say about who made and owns the world?
Where did Jesus come from (John 1:12-2, 14)?
How many paths are there to heaven (John 14:6)?
Why is Jesus important to you? _______________________________________
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit works on our conscience to show us when we do things that go against God’s Word. The Holy Spirit also points us to what we should think, say, or do. The Holy Spirit lays on our hearts the understanding of future judgment for sin. The Holy Spirit comforts believers when they are following Jesus.
What did the Holy Spirit come to convict the world of (John 16:8)?
What did the Holy Spirit provide to the believers (Acts 9:31)?
What did the Holy Spirit empower believers to do (Acts 1:8)
What does the Holy Spirit mean for you? __________________________________
What is the Gospel?
The gospel is literally the good news that Jesus became a man while remaining fully God, and came to this earth to pay for our sins through His death. A price we deserved to pay but could not.
How does Paul describe the gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4)?
How does Peter describe what the gospel does (I Peter 3:18)?
What does belief in the gospel do for our view of Jesus (II Cor 4:4)?
How would you describe the gospel? _____________________________________
How do you respond to the gospel?
Repent of your sin and believe Jesus is God who dies to pay for your sins. Repentance is one side of the coin and implies recognition of and sorrow for sin, because we realize we were rejecting God’s love and rebelling against Him. Belief is the other side of the coin, and is the confidence that what Jesus said of Himself is absolutely true, He is God and he came, died, and rose again to conquer bother sin and death.
Who should repent and why (Acts 17:30-31)?
What does repentance look like (Matt 3:7-8)?
What are we to believe (I Cor 15:1-4)?
What connection is there between belief and obedience (John 3:36)?
Have you repented and believed in Jesus? __________________________________
What is the church?
The church is not a building but the people who believe in Jesus. The people of God in the New Testament come together with other believers in their area to form local churches or gatherings of Christians to celebrate Jesus. These local churches are lead by pastors/elders, who oversee the work. Pastors/Elders are those who give oversight and act as the spiritual rudder. Deacons are servants who help make sure the practical needs of the congregation are being meet.
The reason the church exists is to bring worship to God. The church does this by helping people understand how great God is and how to express our joy in his greatness through our lives. This comes through the study of God’s Word, prayer, singing, fellowship, service, and evangelism. The church fosters worship through encouraging faithfulness and confronting waywardness. Confronting waywardness is the disciplining side of the church, which seeks to correct those in sin and restore them to usefulness and faithfulness.
The church is God’s tool for accomplishing His work on this earth and is essential for every believer. God wants to use us and change us, and His primary tool is the local church.
What key things did the early church commit themselves to (Act 2:43)?
Why are we to come together, and what is to be our attitude in doing so according to (Hebrews 10:24-25)?
What is the mission that God has called the church to pursue Matt 28:19-20)?
How is the church to handle those who are living in disobedience to God’s World and hindering the mission (Matt 18:15-17)?
What are Christian liberties?
As Christians, God has given us much freedom of choice and conscience, even while calling us to hold unwavering to the doctrines and directives specifically given in scripture. We must hold loosely our freedoms, which broaden our ability to serve and reach others. At the same time we must hold tightly to: God’s sovereignty, the gospel, the Trinity, eternity, etc. as well as specific practices like: don’t get drunk, don’t speak or be entertained by evil, dress modestly, share your faith, sign to God, give thanks for all things, as well as many more clear biblical directives. Some things we must hold loosely are: whether we drink alcohol, whether we watch movies or TV, tattoos, playing cards, schooling choices for our kids, celebrating certain days or not (i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc.), what foods we eat, what style of music we listen to, what clothing styles we wear, our methods of ministry including; methods of evangelism, musical worship styles. All these things are to be held loosely, in order to maximize our impact for God on our mission.
What are we to fight for (Titus 1:3)?
What is the church referred to in this verse (1 Timothy 3:15)?
Why were we given freedom (Gal 5:13)?
What are we to do with the items in the open hand, those things not specifically addressed in scripture (Romans 14:5-6)?
How should we handle differences on issues in the open hand (Romans 14:22-23)?
Why should you be involved in a local church? _____________________________
What are spiritual gifts?
Spiritual gifts are God given gifts that work with our natural talents to promote God and set the p ace for others in certain areas of our ministry. They are super natural abilities given to us when we respond to the gospel. These abilities are for serving others. The way you find out what gifts you have is by serving others and it becomes evident by where you’re most dawn and most effective.
What are spiritual gifts for (1 Peter 4:10-11)?
Do you know what spiritual gifts you have? _________________________________
What is baptism and communion?
Baptism is the first step of obedience following believing in Jesus. Baptism is a formal proclamation of the inward change God has brought in our lives. It’s publicly giving God praise for saving you from your sins and bringing you into a relationship with Himself. It’s the “I was _______, but God, now I am ______.” Baptism is also for accountability, so others can hold you accountable to living the standards set by Jesus for Christians.
After becoming saved or made a “disciple”, what is the next thing we are called to do (Matthew 28:19-20)?
What was the first thing the Ethiopian Eunic did after professing faith in Jesus (Acts 8:35-38)?
Communion on the other hand is an ongoing ceremony done at the gathering of believers to celebrate Jesus. This is a celebration that Jesus came in the flesh (bread) and died for our sins (wine). The celebration is for repentance, keeping short accounts with God, and celebration, celebrating we are forgiven and Jesus will come back and take us to be with Him.
Is there anything preventing you from being baptized and celebrating communion? _________________________________
What is eternity?
Eternity is life after death. The scriptures tell us we were all made with a beginning but no end. There are two places people go upon death. One is heaven the other is hell. Once a person dies they are sealed in that condition for eternity. Heaven is a place of joy and peace, a place described as “rest”. Heaven is the presence of God for all eternity. Hell on the other hand is described as a place of torment, a place of isolation n and separation from God and others, a place of burning and torture.
When do we face God (Heb 9:27)?
How do we know who does and who does not have eternal life (I John 5:11-12)?
Do you have eternal life? How do you know? _____________________________
What is the responsibility of all who believe?
- Responsibility of Christians to God?
Christians are responsible to build their relationship with God. Just like any relationship, time is required to not only maintain but also strengthen the relationship. So it is with god. God desires for us to listen to Him through the Word, and talk to Him through prayer, and act upon what He tells us.
1 Thess 5:16-18
How would you describe your responsibility to God? _____________________
- Responsibility of Christians to other Christians?
God has called all who believe in His name to join a local church. Being a part of a local church implies far more than watching it on TV and giving financially. Being a part involves a commitment to give or your time, talents, energy and money to support the work God has called us to.
Our responsibilities require time with one another and include: Praying for one another, serving each other, encouraging, correcting, and helping one another, in order to grow in love and good deeds. This includes using our spiritual gifts to accomplish this work.
What is our responsibility to each other according to (Hebrews 10:24-25)?
How would you describe your relationship with other Christians? ________________
- Responsibility of Christians towards those who do not believe?
Our responsibility to those who have not come to believe in Jesus also requires time. We are called to spend time with them in order to present Jesus to them that God might open their eyes to see the truthfulness of our message.
What did Jesus come to do (Luke 19:10)?
What does He call us to do (Matt 28:19-20)?
What proof will they have that you have the connection with God that you are calling them to have (John 13:35)?
How would you describe your responsibility to those who need Jesus? __________________________________