The Purpose of Common Beliefs- We find it helpful to have in writing a summary of our beliefs both as a guide for our own teachers and leaders and as a resource for those exploring our church. People or leaders within our church may have disagreements about various other minor points of belief, but on these we are all in agreement. We all teach and support this set of beliefs as the core expression of our faith. Any teaching deemed dangerous, divisive, or disruptive to our church is addressed by our Leadership Team with grace and wisdom, but on simple differences of opinion we agree to Paul’s teaching in Romans 14:19-23 and work to not allow it to divide us.
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
The Nature of Scripture: God who does not lie or deceive(1) has inspired the Bible(2) his character and person(3), his will for people(4), his goodness and grace(5), his work and plan in history(6), and in particular his Son(7), Jesus, through which all men may be saved(8). The reliability and inerrancy (no errors) of every word in all 66 books of Scripture is found chiefly in the holiness and truthfulness of the person of God(9). The truthfulness of the Bible is neither tainted nor lost by the Holy Spirit’s writing of the Bible through imperfect human beings (10). As the written word of God, the Bible carries unchallenged authority and must be obeyed and trusted by those who claim the name of Jesus (11). Biblical interpretation should take into account the orthodox faith that has been taken as the heritage of the church down through history (12).
The Personal Affect of Scripture: The Bible should be a beauty and joy to read a powerful tool for conviction, a wonderful avenue for direction, and the supreme means for attaining ultimate truth, especially as it relates to God and his work. While we are all imperfect and prone to sin, the Bible is what God has graciously given us to redirect our lives to the path he desires. It should be the goal of each of us to live ever closer to what God teaches in the Bible. We have a church reading plan that helps guide our community and unite our thinking. Click here to download the read plan.
(1. Numbers 23:19, Psalm 89:35, 1 Kings 8:56, Ezekiel 12:25; 2 . Acts 1:16, 28:25, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21; 3. 1 John 5:13 and 20; 4. Proverbs 1:2-7, Psalm 119:9, Deuteronomy 17:19, Isaiah 2:3; 5. 1 Timothy 1:12-16, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11; 6. Psalm 105, Ezekiel 16, Daniel 7-12; 7. Colossians 1:15, Matthew 11:27; 8. Acts 4:12; 9. Numbers 23:19, Psalm 89:35, 1 Kings 8:56, Ezekiel 12:25, Exodus 15:11, Isaiah 6:3; 10. Acts 1:16, Jeremiah 37:2, Ezekiel 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:16; 11. Deuteronomy 6:6, 11:18, Psalm 119:11, 1 Corinthians 1-2 (over human wisdom), Proverbs 6:23. 12. 2 Timothy 2:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16.
The Personal Affect of Scripture: The Bible should be a beauty and joy to read a powerful tool for conviction,m a wonderful avenue for direction, and the supreme means for attaining ultimate truth, especially as it relates to God and his work. While we are all imperfect and prone to sin, the Bible is what God has graciously given us to redirect our lives to the path he desires. It should be the goal of each of us to live ever closer to what God teaches in the Bible.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The
The God through which all the universe was formed and holds together is by definition much bigger and much more complicated than human minds can fully grasp or even have proper analogy for(1). The Bible describes aspects of God that though we believe it, as it is the word of God, we may not fully understand it.
We believe there is only one true God, the God of the Bible, the forever existing triune (three and one) God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While sharing the same nature, the same honor, and the same glory, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons. They each have different roles in the work of saving people. The Father planned salvation, the Son fulfilled salvation, and the Holy Spirit applies the salvation. However, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not separate and independent of each other. They are one in unity. The Son reveals the Father; the Holy Spirit reveals the Son; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are together worshiped and praised. We pray to the Father through the Holy Spirit in the name and authority of the Son.
We believe that God created the universe and all things, and he created man and woman in his own image. God has all things in his own control and sustains all things. He is the Lord of human history, the almighty God, righteous, holy, faithful, and loving. He is all-knowing, always present, and all powerful. He shows himself sovereign over human history. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are eternal. Christians have no other object of worship apart from this triune God.
1. Ecclesiastes 3:11, Isaiah 40:28;
3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We believe if a person has confessed his sin and repented, if he has trusted in Jesus as the Son of God who died for our sin on the cross and resurrected from death on the third day to pardon our sins, then he is born again and saved. It is by the grace of God and through faith in this God that we are saved. By faith we are justified, by faith we receive the Holy Spirit and gain new life (regeneration), and by faith we become the sons and daughters of God. Without this faith in Jesus we are destined to judgement and death.
We believe that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are in need of salvation. We deny that anyone can earn favor with God or salvation through good works. We believe that the indwelling of the Spirit is an evidence of salvation. We are against the practice of taking any specific phenomenon or personal experiences as common criterion of salvation for all. We are against any doctrine that teaches a saved person is allowed to freely sin under God’s grace. We are also against salvation by keeping the law.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enable to live a godly life.
The illumination of the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, brings us to the knowledge of truth, leads us to faith in Christ, and therefore to being born again and salvation. The Holy Spirit leads us into the truth, teaches us to understand the truth, and guides us to submission to Jesus as well as to the fruitfulness of the abundant life. We refute the view that the Holy Spirit is merely a kind of inspiration instead of being a personal member of the Godhead.
Spiritual Gifts: God grants a diversity of gifts of the Holy Spirit to the church. We believe in the proper and biblical use of such gifts. We believe all gifts must follow the law of love in their operation which limit how they are used when we gather. This includes the “miraculous” gifts such as speaking in tongues and prophecy which if used improperly may cause confusion, distraction, or division. We deny that speaking in tongues or any particular gift or sign is the evidence of salvation or an exclusive or unique evidence of the Holy Spirit’s filling that every believer can expect to experience.
6. We believe that Jesus Christ is returning to the world in future to judge the living and the dead.
We believe Jesus will return, but no one except the Father knows the date of his return. On the day when Jesus returns, he will come in glory and power on the clouds with angels. Jesus will judge men and women from every nation, tribe, and people. Everyone will rise from the dead and be judged before the throne. Those who believe in the name of Jesus Christ will enter the new heaven and the new earth with their bodies glorified and perfected and into eternal life. Those who do not believe will be condemned to death.
We believe that while waiting for the coming of the Lord, believers should serve the Lord with great diligence, preach the Word of life, and bear abundant fruit in their words, actions, faith, love and holiness. We also believe that those who do this shall receive all kinds of rewards.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that the church is composed of all who are called by God and follow Jesus Christ. We deny that it is a building or a specific meeting place. Jesus is the head of the Church. The Church is the body of Jesus and the house of God. The church should be governed according to biblical principles. We deny that the model and example oft he New Testament church no longer has application to modern church life. Brothers and sisters in the church are one and equal members of one body, with each fulfilling thier God gifted roles. The body builds itself up in love and grows into looking more and more like Jesus.
The purpose of the Church. The purpose of the church is to proclaim the Gosepl and make disciples of Christ, to teach and shepherd believers, to build and send missionaries, to denounce heresies and uphold truth, and to defend the truth and application of the Bible. When Christians gather together in the name of the Lord they are church irrespective of the number of people meeting together or the location of the meeting. Each believe is a priest, and each has the right and obligation to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, to make disciples, and to gather with those disciples in order to further the mission of God’s church.
We are aliens and foreigners in this world, belonging to a kingdom not of this world. Christians are free to participate or not participate in the political systems of this world but the church itself is not a part of or aligned with that system or any political party contained within. Race, ethnicity, and national identity all must sit beneath the truth that we are brothers and sisters in one body, one church, one Spirit, one Kingdom with One King.