What We Believe
OUR STATEMENTS OF FAITH
In essential beliefs - we have unity. There are certain principles in Scripture that we must all agree on.
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. There are other things in Scripture that are not entirely clear, the timing and events of the end-times for example. We can agree to disagree on certain things and still be functioning brothers and sisters in Christ.
In all our beliefs - we show charity. In all things, we must first show love to each other in our relationships.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
1. ABOUT GOD
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
2. ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13.
3. ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18.
4. ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5.
5. ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2
6. ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and to a Christ-ruled life through faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
7. ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security. John 10:29, 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews7:25; 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
8. ABOUT ETERNITY
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9
OUR LIFESTYLE STATEMENTS
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.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
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
God placed all things under his (Christ’s) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church. Ephesians 1:22
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. In relating to our “daughter churches” that we sponsor, we encourage each congregation to determine it’s own strategy, structure, and style.
Priesthood of every believer
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
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 prayer and through Bible reading.
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. Leviticus 27:30
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.
Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:12
We practice baptism by immersion. This is the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands. The very word Baptism means “under the water.”
(Jesus said) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; 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 a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. Philippians 2:13, Ephesians 5:18
Telling others about Christ
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those God brings us into contact with. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.