Brethren have held from their beginning that a follower of Jesus must hold correct doctrinal beliefs, but also be able to demonstrate visibly the new life they have received in Christ Jesus.
Simply put: Our lives must bear fruit. Doctrine isn’t shown just through head knowledge, but through an entire life that testifies that Jesus Christ is Lord. For this reason Brethren life, like Brethren belief, centers on Jesus Christ.
God has made available to us in Christ and the Spirit, in Scripture and the church, all the resources needed to live the life of faith. By His life Christ exemplified the walk to which we are called; by His death, He made possible renewed fellowship with the Father; by His resurrection, He revealed the power that is available to us. The Holy Spirit now enables us as God’s children to live in obedience to Scripture and grow in spiritual maturity. Scripture provides the teaching and example of Jesus and the apostles which we are to follow as a loving response to God and as a means of glorifying Him. The church is the gathered community which nurtures believers in the life of faith. Using these resources, we can demonstrate the new birth through new behavior. What we are by faith in Christ we are to become by faithfulness to our Lord.
Below: Marker at the site of the first Brethren baptism in America in Philadelphia, PA