What We Practice
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
Bible as our Sole Authority
"The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right." 2 Tim. 3:16 Since God's Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is "What does the Bible say?" We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
Autonomy of each local Church
"He (Christ) is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body's life …." Col. 1:18 (GN) Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
Priesthood of every believer
"He (Christ) loves us, and by his sacrificial death he has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God …." Rev. 1:6 (GN) " … you are … the King's priests … God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God …." I Peter 2:9 (GN) The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full-time" Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayerful Bible reading.
"A Tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord: it is holy to the Lord." Lev. 27:30 At Olive Place we practice tithing for the support of Christ's Body, the church, as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the biblical standard of giving.
"For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ …." Col. 2:12 (GN) We practice baptism by immersion under water - the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
Jesus said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God's power within us. So we seek to practice daily dependence on God's Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 5:18)
Telling others about Christ
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for hope that you have." I Peter 3:15 It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.