The Essentials Of What We Believe
- ABOUT GOD
God is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14
- ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the only Son of God. In His incarnation Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 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, 13:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; I Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13
- ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God, He inspired Holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand the truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of unrighteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates and, is the source of Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
We believe that a believer is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation (I Corinthians 12:13). However, following salvation a believer, by offering himself/herself to God as a living sacrifice, (Romans 12:1,2) can experience a deeper work of the Holy Spirit in which the believer is said to be "filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). This experience speaks of the Holy Spirit possessing the spirit and soul of the believer. As a believer is yielded to the Lord and controlled by Him, some or all of the nine primary gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:7-11) will operate through the believer, empowering him to carry the Five-Fold ministry of Jesus (Luke 4:18). There are nine primary gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven are tools to cultivate the nine primary gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) in a believer's life. We believe that the evidence of being filled with the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit exhibited in a believer's life, and one or more of the nine primary gifts may accompany this filling. The experience itself is received by faith.
II Corinthians 3:17; I Corinthians 12:7-11,13; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 1:8
- 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 or error.
II Timothy 1:13, 3:15; II Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:105, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
- ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in charcter. 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 53:6, 59:1-2; Romans 3:23
- 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 turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his/her life by faith. 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 His security.
Romans 5:1, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12, 14:6; Galatians 3:26; I Peter 1:3-5
- ABOUT ETERNITY
People are 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 separted from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him, is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 2:25, 3:16, 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 1:8, 2:44-46
THE LIFESTYLE STATEMENT
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
"The whole Bible was given by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right." II Timothy 3:15
Since God's word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as the manual for living. The Bible is the basis for what we believe.
AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
"Christ is the head of his Body, the church. He is the source of the Body's life..." Colossians 1:18 (GN)
Christ is the recognized head of the church, not any person, group or religious organization. While recogizing the value of associating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing by the appointed pastor God has placed and independent from any denominational control.
PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
"Christ loves us, and by his death he has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God." Revelation 1:6 "You are... the kings's priests... God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God." I Peter 2:9.
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full-time" Christian service, reguardless of his/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 member has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
"A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord." Leviticus 26:30. We recognize that a 10th of our income, especially to those that are in leadership positions in the church, is the Biblical standard of giving.
"For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you are raised with Christ..." Colossians 2:12.
(Jesus said) "I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5.
We believe the only possible way 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..." I 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 sharing about Christ and inviting friends to Church.