We believe God calls all people to respond personally to the truth of His word. We are fellow heirs of the Kingdom not because of our perfect understanding, but because of the perfect life and death of Jesus. We are brothers and sisters in Christ not because we agree on every possible matter, but because we share the same Father in heaven. Therefore, we embrace the following approach to teachings:
In essential beliefs — we have unity.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22
In all our beliefs — we show charity.
…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains — but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. 1 Corinthians 13:2 (Phillips)
In Essentials We Teach
Lamar Avenue is built on the following unchangeable core beliefs.
There is one God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He eternally exists in three co-equal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father, out of love for His children, sent His Son Jesus Christ to become a man, live a sinless life, and offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross and rising from the dead. God the Holy Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides Christians with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Romans 8; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 1:1-5; Hebrews 4:14-15; John 16:7-13)
God created us in His image to live in an intimate relationship with Him. However, through sin and our disobedience of God, we are separated from an intimate relationship with Him. This separation from God causes many problems in life and eternal consequences. (Acts 17:24-28; Isaiah 59:1-2)
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the final authority in our understanding of God and life and our supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
Salvation is a free gift of God. We can never make up for our sin by good works. The death of Christ on the cross is the only sufficient payment for our sins. This salvation is available for any who put their trust in Christ as Savior, and is received through faith and expressed through confession, repentance and baptism. As we confess Christ as our Lord and are buried through baptism into His death, God forgives our sins and raises us to walk a new life empowered by the Holy Spirit and promises that we will live eternally with Him in heaven. (Romans 1:16-17, 3:23-24, 5:1, 6:3-8, 23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26-27; Acts 2:37-41; Matthew 28:19-20)
Beyond saving us, God wants to transform us into the image of His Son. Transformation is enabled by God’s grace and grows as we continually align our will more closely with His will. (Philippians 2:12; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18)
The church is the body of Christ on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit to reach those separated from God and to mature the saved and help them become fully devoted followers of Christ. When we respond to the grace of God in faith, He adds us to His church, the body of Christ. (Acts 2:41-47; Ephesians 4:1-16, 5:29-30)
One day Christ will return, final judgment will occur, the image of God will be completely restored within us and we will be with Christ forever in heaven. Those who reject Him will be eternally separated from Him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:2; Acts 1:11)