What We Believe
Let be start by saying that we desire to see unity in the body of Christ (the Church), and would like to see all of the Christian groups and denominations united under Christ. Correct doctrine is essential with the essentials but anyone who divides the body of Christ, including in doctrinal issues, is in error and being used by Satan. Many ministries refrain from having a detailed summary of beliefs to avoid this but I am going to try to summarize some of our beliefs in this traditional manner.
Here is a summary of some of what we believe:
1. About God
We believe in one true God (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39, 6:4; Isaiah 43:10, 44:6; 45:5-7; John 17:3; Romans 3:30, 1 Corinthians 8:4), who is Creator of all (Genesis 1-2; Colossians 1:16), who has revealed Himself in three distinct Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14), yet who is one in being, essence, and glory (John 10:30). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (1 Timothy 1:17), and sovereign (Psalm 93:1). God is omniscient (Psalm 139:1-6), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-13), omnipotent (Revelation 19:6), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6). God is holy (Isaiah 6:3), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and righteous (Exodus 9:27). God is love (1 John 4:8), gracious (Ephesians 2:8), merciful (1 Peter 1:3), and good (Romans 8:28).
2. About God, the Father
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, knowledge and love; that He reigns over all His universe, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from hell all who come to Him by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, through genuine repentance and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:1; I Chronicles 29:10; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 6:9; Matthew 7:21-23; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; I Corinthians 8:6; I Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 4:6).
3. About God, the Son
We believe in Jesus Christ, who is eternal (Psalm 90:2), and is the expressed image of the Father, who, without ceasing to be fully God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and became fully man in order that He might demonstrate who God is and provide the means of salvation for humanity (Matthew 1:21; John 1:18; Colossians 1:15). He possesses all of the divine attributes and is coequal and consubstantial with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9). In His incarnation as the God-Man, Jesus surrendered none of His deific attributes but merely His prerogative, on occasions of His choosing, to exercise some of those attributes (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and that all His teachings are true (Isaiah 14; Matthew 1:23). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all humanity (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2) as a substitutionary atoning sacrifice (Isaiah 53:5-6). We hold that His expiatory death is sufficient to provide salvation for all by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8; John 1:12; Acts 16:31); that our justification is grounded in the shedding of His blood (Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:17); and that it is attested by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; 1 Peter 1:3) and ascension to Heaven in His glorified body (Acts 1:9-10), where He is now seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest and Advocate (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). We believe in His perpetual intercession for His people; and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that He is one and the same as God. He was fully human and fully God while alive on earth.
4. About God, the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who is eternal (Psalm 90:2), and came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11) and to regenerate (John 3:1-5; Titus 3:5-6), sanctify (Romans 8:9), and empower in ministry all who believe in Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide (John 16:13). We believe that Jesus Christ baptizes the seeking believer (1 Corinthians 12:12-14) with the Holy Spirit and power for service, either at the time of or subsequent to regeneration, which is a separate work from the indwelling Spirit for salvation. He is the seal by whom the Father guarantees the salvation of believers unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). He is the Divine Teacher who illumines believers’ hearts and minds as they study the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12). We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all biblical gifts of the Spirit as reflected through the fruit of that same Spirit.
5. About the Holy Bible
We believe the Bible, comprised of 66 books in the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). In faith we hold the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, equally inspired in all parts (plenary), and the complete and final authority for faith and conduct (John 16:13, John 17:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Peter 1:20-21). We depend on the Holy Spirit for thier accurate interpretation and application.
6. About Creation and Humanity
We believe the Bible teaches that God created the world but we do not believe that has to be interpreted as 6 literal 24 hour days. Adam and Eve were two historical people handmade by God but their names may be symbolic. We completely reject the fallacious arguments of the hypothesis or model of evolution between "kinds" (often incorrectly termed "evolution" which is largely true as microevolution). True science always has and always will support the biblical narrative, and never contradicts it.
We believe that humanity came into existence by direct creation of God and that humanity is uniquely made in the spiritual image of God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25), to be like Him in character (Genesis 1:26-27). Humanity is the supreme object of God’s creation (Psalm 8:6). Humanity was created free of sin and possessed intelligence, volition and moral responsibility before God. Adam and Eve's willful sin resulted in immediate spiritual death and eventual physical death (Genesis 2:17) and incurred the righteous wrath of God (Psalm 7:11; Romans 6:23). His wrath is not malicious but is His rightful detestation of all evil and unrighteousness. Adam's fallen state has been transmitted to all humanity. We believe all people are by nature separated from God, totally depraved, and responsible for their own sin (Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1-2; Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 1:18, 3:10-11,23, 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-5,12). All of creation is subjected to the "bondage of corruption" along with humanity (Romans 8:18-22).
7. Salvation and Works
Salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered to all humanity by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When a person genuinely repents of their sin and Jesus Christ becomes his/her personal Lord and Savior, trusting in Christ as their Savior, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all of his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined to spend eternity with God. They become one with Christ and are seated with Christ in the heavely realms. Jesus does not just become Lord of their kingdom but rather, they enter the Kingdom of God. We believe that salvation is only possible because God has given all of humanity prevenient grace (Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 31:3; Ezekiel 34:11,16; Luke 19:10; John 6:44; John 12:32; Romans 2:4; Philippians 2:12-13; 1 John 4:19; Titus 2:11), which is divine grace that gives humanity the ability to have free will to choose to repent from their sins and believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (John 3:3-7; Acts 5:31; Hebrews 12:2; 2 Timothy 2:23-25; Titus 3:5). Otherwise, rewards or punishments would be unjustly bestowed.
Though works are wholly unmeritorious for salvation (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8-9), when regeneration has been wrought in a person, they will naturally exhibit works or "fruit," of that regeneration (Acts 26:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10). However, a lack of fruit may bear witness that regeneration has not occurred.
8. About the Church
We believe that the Church, the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all believers (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27). We believe in the five-fold ministry and the operation of all of the gifts of the Spirit as the Spirit leads. We believe that God is growing the Church into a spotless Bride. We believe in the ordinance of believer’s water baptism by immersion, which identifies the individual publically as a believer and is symbolic of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as well as our death to ourselves, and new life in Christ. We also believe in the ordinance The Lord’s Supper (Communion) and that, by faith, it has supernatural significance (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We believe God desires that all believers in the Church would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Through the church, believers are to be taught to obey the Lord and to testify concerning their faith in Christ as Savior, and to honor Him by holy living. We believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the Church. It is the obligation of all believers to witness, by word and life, to the truths of God’s Word. The Gospel and all of the Bible is to be preached to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20). We also believe that God desires that we have intimacy with Him, that we can all interact with Him and the Kingdom of God through all of our spiritual senses to accomplish what He has palnned for us from the beginning of time and is written in our book/scroll in heaven.
9. Things To Come
We believe man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally in sin (hell), or in eternal union with God (i.e. heaven/eternal life) through God's salvation. We believe in the resurrection of all men when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne judgment and immediately afterward — the saints will go to everlasting joy and bliss (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and the wicked will probably continue to sin in eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire, specifically hell (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:5-6, 9-10, 11-15). We believe in the return of Christ but are otherwise mostly escatologically agnostic. We don't teach the unorthodox doctrines of a future rapture, the antichrist, the millennium, the tribulation, or the apocalypse/armageddon. These 19th century doctrines are supported by verses that mostly refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and may not have a secondary fulfillment. Other verses refer to the "second coming" of Christ, which we do believe in, and is an orthodox Christian doctrine.
10. About Our Doctrinal Stance
In summary, we are neither Calvinist ("Reformed"), nor are we Arminian. We adhere firmly to the biblical teaching of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. We avoid any theological systems of belief that divide the body of Christ. We believe in the gifts of the Spirit but we do not believe in the overemphasis of spiritual gifts, and experiential signs and wonders, to the exclusion of biblical teaching.e akno We aknowledge that we are still learning but take a strong stand against false teachings (Romans 16:17, Matthew 7:15, Matthew 23:31, 35, 2 Corinthians 11:13, 1 Timothy 1:3-4, 2 Timothy 2:17-18, 2 Timothy 4:2, 2 Timothy 4:14, Titus 1:9-13, Titus 2:1, 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 2:15-16a, 1 John 4:1; 3 John 1:9-10). Everything we strongly believe (essential doctrines) must have a Scriptural foundation while we recognize that many non-essentials are not explicitly taught or explained. The purpose of the Bible is to point us to the Author, who is the true Word of God.
PLEASE NOTE: This is just a summary (a basic "statement of faith") and is by no means complete or stated perfectly. It is important to recognize that our spiritual understanding is sometimes fluid and changes as we mature in our faith. Our beliefs are fully represented by the Canon (66 books) of The Holy Bible and this website is an attempt to further delineate those beliefs. Our beliefs are also summed up in the following documents, although these documents are incomplete and imperfect as well:
- The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement (See The Gospel Coalition)
- The Lausanne Covenant (A product of the first Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization)
- The Manila Manifesto (A product of the second Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization)
- An Evangelical Manifesto
- The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization was held in Cape Town, South Africa from October 16-25, 2010.
© Todd Tyszka
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