The Burbank church of Christ is an un-denominational body of believers who have been drawn to together for worship and service to God by a common faith in His son Jesus Christ. Our membership is made up of people from many different backgrounds. The common faith we share in God through His son Jesus Christ unites us as a family. The scriptures teach that when one becomes a Christian, they are born again into God's family, and thus become a child of God (John1:12-13, Galatians 3:26-27, 1 John 3:1-2). We wish simply to be called Christians, and we make it our goal to live up to all that such a glorious name represents.
As a local church, we are self-governing; that is, we do not answer to or follow the direction of any man or council of men outside of the congregation. We are free to study, teach and work as the Bible leads us. We believe in God's sovereignty and in our own personal responsibility to follow His directives. We believe the Bible is His word. We hold to scripture, but allow freedom in methods where the Bible has not directly spoken. In our Bible studies and classes we strive to understand the scriptures in their proper context by taking into consideration the cultural, linguistic, religious and political factors which had bearing upon the background and meaning of the text to it's first readers, rather than the simplistic or literal approach often used to form doctrinal proof texts. Paul's statement in 2 Timothy 2:19 expresses a very important truth: God's solid foundation holds firm, sealed with this inscription:'The Lord knows those who are His.'
In essentials we have unity, "There is one body and one Spirit...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all..." Ephesians 4:4-6. In non-essentials we have liberty, "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters... stop passing judgement on one another...so whatever you believe about these things [non essentials] keep between yourself and God." Romans 14:1-22. And in ALL things LOVE must be shown, "...If I have faith to move mountains, and have not love I amount to nothing at all." 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. “…serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14 “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
OUR ASSEMBLIES AND WORSHIP
As a gathering of God's people, we want to teach the inspired word, praise our Lord in worship, and encourage each other to live exemplary lives. In our assemblies we join together in expressing our love and devotion to God as we celebrate what He has done for us in Jesus Christ. We try to follow Biblical principles in our worship and service to God. In our Sunday services we have prayers, singing, communion in remembrance of Christ, and a sermon. Our services and preaching are not centered around entertainment, but specifically on worshiping God, and delivering Christ's message to all who wish to hear it.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
During our Sunday services we share in the Lord's supper together. As disciples of Jesus, it is a time of remembrance of the atonement, calling to mind Christ's body and blood shed for our sins in the sacrifice He gave upon the cross. The Lord Jesus instituted this memorial supper on the night before He was betrayed and crucified, so that all disciples henceforth throughout history would remember Him in this way. Luke 22:19-20, Matthew 26:26. Jesus and the disciples were eating the Passover, an annual memorial of Israel's night of deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Israel ate of the roasted lamb whose blood marked the homes spared from death, they shared the unrisen bread prepared in haste for their journey, and they drank the Passover wine. This shared meal spoke of their unique community and of the covenant that God had made with them. Annual repetition of the exodus story in the impressive Passover ceremony kept the meanings alive through the centuries. Israel was God's nation. The supper is a covenant meal in which we remember His atonement while eating of the sacrificial lamb symbolically. In this, as disciples, we also remember our escape from death, and we give renewed commitment to His covenant. Communion is not just a religious word applied to this ritual. Communion is sharing, participation in, fellowship, contribution, cooperation, close relationship. The bread pictures His body that was crucified for us through which we were offered up to God. Our eating of it symbolizes our sharing in that body. We are one. There is one bread, one body (1 Corinthians 10:14-22). There can be no communion in disunity. In their participation in the supper according to loyal parties, the Corinthian disciples were eating and drinking in an unworthy manner, guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. They were failing to discern the oneness of the body. "For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats drinks judgement upon himself." (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) While rejecting other disciples, one may partake of a ritual of communion while destroying the meaning of communion. The bread of unity cannot be shared with a judgmental heart. "And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks gave it to them saying, 'Drink of it , all of you: for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins'" (Matthew 26:27) Jesus took the wine of the Passover that they were eating to depict the blood of atonement. The blood of the covenant sealed God's promise. The life is in the blood. Jesus gave His life for us. Our drinking of the cup symbolizes our continuous sharing of His restored life. We continually commit ourselves to His covenant."This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." Our observance is not just a memorial of the historical Jesus, but it is a repeated recognition of His giving His life for ours. Having died, been buried, and raised with Him in baptism, we identify with Him as one. We remember and openly acknowledge that He is our very life, for He took our sins which bring death. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." In perpetual evangelism through this ritual, we preach the good news that Christ died for our sins and that the risen savior will come to receive us.
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