Chapel Rock's mission,

vision, and beliefs

Our Mission

At Chapel Rock Christian Church, our mission is the same one Jesus gave us 2000 years ago: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20)

That’s the mission.  The Vision is what makes this mission local. The vision is how Chapel Rock expresses the Great Commission on the west side of Indianapolis.

Our Vision

If our mission is to be disciples of Jesus, that means being like Him, and Jesus was the only truly whole person who ever walked this earth. So for us, in order to complete the mission Jesus gave us, we must be in a constant process of becoming whole and helping others in our community do that too.


Our vision is to see:

The Whole Community Whole In Christ


We believe that God’s calling for our church is to see every broken person experience the wholeness that is only available through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Further, we believe that the Lord has positioned Chapel Rock in a strategic “middle place” between the city and suburbs on the west side of Indy in order to draw our community together around Jesus Christ.  For that reason, we will not rest until Jesus uses Chapel Rock to put broken lives, families, and neighborhoods back together again in wholeness.

We Believe

We believe in a personal God who is eternally existent in One Triune Godhead (Father, Son, Spirit) and who created the world and everything in it.

 

We believe that the original perfection of creation was shattered by human sin, and that this brokenness now corrupts every element of the created order.

 

We believe this story is revealed in the inspired text of the Bible, which tells the story of Jesus.

 

We believe that Jesus died on the Cross, in our place, for our sin and rose again from the dead so that our brokenness could be made whole by allowing us to enter a covenant relationship with Him through faith.

 

We believe Scripture presents a multi-faceted picture of participating in a covenant relationship with God which includes Faith, Repentance, Confession of Christ’s Lordship, Baptism, Communion and an ongoing relationship with Jesus as his Disciples. We believe this relationship gives us an ever-increasing measure of wholeness in this life, and the hope of perfect wholeness in the eternity to come when Jesus returns.

What we believe about...

  • God is creator of the universe and author of life. God is eternal, and therefore exists outside and beyond time. Sovereignly possessing all power and all knowledge, He never tires, gains strength, or acquires new knowledge. He is all-present and ultimate in the universe. God never changes. 


    God is one. He exists eternally in three persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is of the same essence, co-equally God. He providentially sustains His creation by the word of His power. 


    God reveals Himself to us generally through nature and specifically through His Son, His Holy Spirit who indwells us, and the Word of God, the Bible. We exist to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Because of the finished work of Jesus, we can know God as our holy and loving Father.

  • Jesus, the eternal Son of God and second Person of the Trinity, exists uncreated and is equal in deity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The promised and prophesied Messiah is the Word that entered space and time, became flesh and made His dwelling among us. 


    While retaining His divine nature, Jesus became man, being born of a virgin through the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is truly God and truly man. Though sinless, He suffered and died by crucifixion as an atoning sacrifice for our sin. 


    Buried in a borrowed tomb, Jesus bodily resurrected from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven and will return in the same manner to judge those living and those already dead. He reigns forever and His kingdom has no end. 


    Jesus is unique among other religious leaders in that He didn’t point to a path to be followed but declared Himself to be “the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is the only way to God.

  • The Holy Spirit, third person of the Trinity, co-equal in deity with God the Father and God the Son, is the promised Comforter, the Helper, the Spirit of Christ, who lives in those who follow Jesus. 


    The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. The Spirit has a mind, emotions, and a will. He teaches, testifies, leads, and intercedes. He directs, prompts, sends, and gifts the people of God. 


    He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit regenerates hearts and indwells every believer from the moment of their salvation. He provides the Christian with gifts for serving the Lord and the power to live like Jesus, understanding of spiritual truth in the Bible, and guidance in doing what is right. 


    The Holy Spirit works to change us so that we conform to the image of Christ. The Christian seeks to be filled with the Spirit and live under His control daily.

  • The Bible, containing Old and New Testaments, is the infallible, inspired word of God. Written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is the ultimate source of doctrine, instruction, correction, and reproof. 


    The Bible is the final authority for Christian beliefs and living and includes all that is needed for a life of godliness. It cannot be added to, subtracted from, or superseded in any way. Any prompting from the Holy Spirit must be measured against the standard of God’s Word. God’s Word and His Spirit will never contradict. 


    While there are much evidence that supports the credibility of Scripture, such as its unified message despite its many human authors, its endurance despite efforts to destroy it, and the VAST amount of manuscript evidence that points to the credibility and unity of Scripture, it is the inner witness of the Holy Spirit that ultimately convinces the believer that the Bible is authoritative.

  • When it comes to baptism, the New Testament is harmonious on two facts: It was always baptism by immersion, and baptism was a consistent aspect of people’s story as they entered into a new covenant relationship with God, as seen first and foremost in the Great Commission command to “Go into all nations and make disciples, baptizing them...” (Matthew 28:19). In baptism, we identify with and participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus. 


     In the Greek New Testament, the only word that is translated by the English word “baptism” is the Greek word baptizo.  This word meant: “to dunk, to submerge, to dip, to immerse fully in water.” The Greek New Testament has perfectly good Greek words translated “sprinkle,” (rantizo) and “pour,” (ekcheo) and neither of them ever gets used in conjunction with someone becoming a Christian.  So we can be certain that the mode of baptism for the early church, and the intended form of baptism as laid out in Scripture, is immersion.


    The alternate forms mentioned above (sprinkling and pouring), came into use in the early centuries of the church as substitutes for immersion (see the Didache 7:1ff); but they were not the practice of the church in the book of Acts, nor could they have been the intent of the authors of the New Testament. Because we strive to be a New Testament church, the only kind of baptism we practice or acknowledge is by full immersion in water of people able to understand the offense of their sin (which infants cannot do), and as far as membership at Chapel Rock is concerned, immersion is the only baptism we recognize. 


     We also know that baptism was always part of the process of salvation in the book of Acts.  So, does baptism save you?  No, not outside of the death and resurrection of Jesus, your faith in those events, and the presence of the Spirit.  However, it is by essence and command, a vital part of being in a covenant relationship with Jesus.  Let us be crystal clear – it is not the water that saves or is the agent of regeneration. You are saved when you welcome the Spirit of God into your life and enter a covenant relationship with God. That said, the witness of Acts 19:1-7 is clear: when you welcome the Holy Spirit to live in you, this is supposed to happen in harmony with Baptism (note that in that text, Paul assumes that belief and baptism are closely linked).  Of course, Acts records EXCEPTIONS to this, and God is sovereign and can do what He wants; however, the New Testament knows nothing of an unbaptized Christian. For that reason and many others, we see baptism as a normative part of the salvation of every Christian.  

  • At Chapel Rock, one of the highlights of each service is our celebration of Communion (or the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist, depending on your church background).  Throughout the history of the Church, it has made regular observance of the Lord’s Supper.  In the independent Christian Church, we are under the firm conviction that the early church maintained a weekly practice of celebrating Communion, based on passages like Acts 20:7 and the context of 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.   


    So what is the point of Communion?  It is our conviction that Communion serves four purposes in the life of the believer.  We believe that Communion should be: 


    1. Reflective: Communion is a time to reflect on what Jesus did for you when He died on the Cross, in your place, for your sins.  It is a time to reflect on your sins and your need for the grace of God in forgiving them so many years ago on the Cross.  In Communion, we look back to Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples and what followed when he gave his life to wash away our sin. 

    1. Celebrative: Communion is a time to celebrate God’s grace!  At Chapel Rock, we will often sing praise to God just before we partake of the bread and juice, which we understand to be symbols of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  This is one of the best ways to celebrate what God has done redemptively in Jesus Christ.  We invite you to cast aside grief, loneliness, despair, and hopelessness and celebrate with us! 

    1. Participatory: Communion is a time for the Body of Christ to be united together.  We practice an open communion, meaning that anyone who is a Christian may partake of the bread and juice with us (you don’t have to be a member of our church).  We want everyone who has made a commitment to follow Jesus to participate.  If you have not yet made that commitment, but want to participate, please schedule an appointment to speak with one of our pastors. 

    1. Anticipatory:  In Communion, we look forward to the day we will share this meal with Jesus in Heaven.  As Jesus said in Matthew 26, He himself is eagerly awaiting that day too.  The “Heaven” aspect should never be absent from Communion.  Every celebration of the Lord’s Supper is essentially a statement of hope in our future in the presence of God.

  • Human kind is made in the image of God (in Latin, the Imago Dei). But what does that mean?  Ultimately, it means that you are “like” God.  He made you to be like Him. The word translated “image” that is used in Genesis 1-2 means “shadow, representation, likeness.”  You have a will, a sense of morality, and a sense of purpose.  But the “image of God” is bigger than that.  From the time of John Chrysostom in the 4th century, the consensus has been that the “image of God” is humanity’s divinely-ordained role and gifting to rule over the lower orders of creation (Genesis 1:26, 28). Mankind is God’s “image” representing him on earth as his royal vice-regent. We were created to be the representatives of God’s presence in the world.  That hasn’t changed since the 6th day of Creation.  Every human being you have ever met bears the image of God.  Because we are made in His image, we are unique among creation and have special worth derived from our maker. Made in God’s image, He defines our identity and we belong to Him. Our purpose cannot be separated from Him.  


    Although designed by God for fullness and fellowship with Him, we alienated ourselves from God through disobedience. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and choose to sin against God. Because we are spiritually dead in our sin, we are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through our own efforts. 


    One of the core assertions of the Bible is that we are fallen, we are broken by sin. Genesis 3:1-7 tells the story of the Fall of mankind.  In the story, Satan has come into this perfection that God created and has tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – the ONLY thing God has specifically told them not to do.   


    Because of Adam’s sin, we sin.  Because of Adam’s death due to sin, we die.  The Bible doesn’t say you’re born guilty, it says you’re born broken, addicted to sin. Please forgive the analogy, but we are like spiritual crack babies.  The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of crack cocaine is against the law.  Babies who are born to mothers who did crack are born addicted to that drug.  They haven’t done anything wrong, but they crave it like addicts.  We are the same way.  We’re born addicted, not personally guilty.  We believe that babies who die before reaching an age of being “moral free agents” go to Heaven (because God is merciful).  But once we reach a point of “moral free agency” and begin to choose that brokenness, we become accountable to God for ourselves and our own sin. 

  • Jesus is the only way to God. There is no other way of salvation. By entering into a covenant relationship with Jesus, we are saved from the curse and penalty of sin and can enjoy an abundant, eternal life in Him. 


    Following the pattern of this world, we once lived under the influence of the enemy and were by nature, deserving of God’s anger. We were dead in our trespasses and sins without hope, and because of our sin against a holy God, we deserved eternal punishment in Hell. No amount of self-improvement, good works, or religion could ever make up for our sin. So how are we saved? 


    We should first note that there is not one single chapter in the entire New Testament where the whole plan of salvation is laid out in full.  If you want to get the whole picture, your only option is to create a composite view from quite a few passages.  That exercise has some real value for serious Bible students, but it does create a problem when sincere believers with different opinions on which elements are “required” for salvation begin to argue about which texts to include or leave out of such a composite picture.  One way to go about it is to look for the times in the New Testament when someone talks about what they must do to be saved, and create a composite plan of salvation from those texts; which all honest scholars would agree must include: belief in Jesus (Acts 16:31), repentance (Acts 2:38), confession of Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9), baptism (Acts 2:38), reception/indwelling of the Spirit (Acts 2:39), and continued obedience (Matthew 24:13).  


    Ultimately, when you consider the whole witness of Scripture, Old and New Testaments, we see that what God is looking for from us is active faith.  Active faith is nothing more complex than belief + obedience.  You cannot divorce the two in Scripture and both belief and obedience are present in the texts listed.  Ultimately, the one common theme through the whole New Testament is the presence of the Holy Spirit is shown to be the ultimate sign of someone’s salvation.  As far as “how” that happens, we believe the New Testament presents a “norm:” Believe, repent, confess Jesus as Lord, be immersed (baptized) and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and continue in your discipleship.   We understand that for some people, the order of those things might be different, but we would encourage everyone to follow the broader New Testament model and believe everything you are commanded to believe, and obey everything you are commanded to obey to be saved.

  • We were created to exist forever. Those who follow Christ will exist eternally together with Christ in the kingdom of heaven. Those who do not know Christ will be separated from God in eternal torment. 


    We believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth personally and visibly according to the promises in Scripture. His return will be for the purpose of establishing His absolute rule and authority on the earth. Christians are challenged to be watchful and obedient until His return. 


    At Chapel Rock, we are very aware that there are several ideas about how these final events will play out, and we do not make any of them a test of salvation (i.e., you have to agree with us or you’re not saved) or a test of fellowship (i.e., you have to agree with us or you can’t attend Chapel Rock).  It is important to note that Jesus explained it to His disciples on several occasions, and they didn’t get it then either.  So where do we stand on this? 


    While we take no official position, it is the studied opinion of the majority of Chapel Rock’s leadership that the Amillennial position best harmonizes all the Biblical texts that speak of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ.  When the issue is addressed from the pulpit, that perspective is what is preached.