In this article, our foundational beliefs are set forth. As these statements of our faith are believed and put into practice–they will firmly shape what we will become.
In essential beliefs — we have unity.
There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…
– Ephesians 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters… Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us will give an account of himself to God… So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.
– Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22
In all our beliefs — we show charity.
…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains — but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.
– 1 Corinthians 13:2 (Ph)
Foundations of a Biblical Faith
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 –a divine mystery!
(Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 3:22; Exodus 3: 13-15; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. His life revealed perfect obedience to Father and set an example for us. 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 and bring redemption to all of creation. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
(Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; John 1:1-5; 2:18-22; 14:10-30; Acts 1:911; Romans 1:3,4; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14,15)
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. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. He convicts the world of sin and of the righteousness of Jesus (Jn. 16:5-11). He unites believers into the church (l Cor. 12:12, 13). He leads believers into truth (Jn. 16:12-15). He brings spiritual gifts to believers (1 Cor. 12:4-11). As believers open their lives to the Holy Spirit, they are baptized or filled with the Spirit. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right so they can serve as faithful witnesses of Jesus and the kingdom of God.
(John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18)
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.
(Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
– Genesis 1:1
The world we live in is the handiwork of God; it is not a cosmic accident. And when it was created, it was very good (Gen. 1:31)! The human race was the crown of creation, created in the image of God. Thus, we are spiritual beings as God is (Gen. 1:27; 2:7).
About human beings – The Fall
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.” When Adam and Eve chose to try and “…become like God…” their rebellion allowed sin to enter into the world and separate man from God. This separation and attitude causes many problems in life. The entire creation came under a spiritual bondage to Satan instead of being under the kingdom of God.
(Genesis 1:27; 3:1-5; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1, 2; Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:13; 1 John 5:19)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. He overcame the power of Satan, breaking his hold on all of creation (John 12:31; Col. 2:13-15; Heb. 2:14,15). 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 confess our sin, ask for forgiveness, 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 and allows Him to rule over their life. He brought us fullness of life (John 10:7-10). He promised to send the Holy Spirit to live in us (John. 14:15-21).
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. 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; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
About the Church
It was Jesus who established the church and gave to it the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Christ is the recognized head of the church. The church is the body of Christ, consisting of many members united together to carry out Jesus’ ministry. It is expressed both as the church universal and as the church local. We meet in the large group setting for worship and teaching, and in the small group setting for application and ministry one to another. It is here that we experience Christian community. In the large group, we meet primarily for inspiration and information; in the small groups we meet primarily for transformation— to see Biblical truth applied to our lives by the Holy Spirit, that we may be changed into Christ’s image and equipped to carry out his purpose.
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 and death. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven and eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. All whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life will enter the fullness of God’s kingdom.
(Matthew 16:13-20; John 3:16; 14:17; Acts 9:31; Romans 6:23; 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; 12:27-31; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Revelation 20:15; 21)
The mission of the church is to invade the world of darkness with the good news that Jesus has defeated Satan and won freedom for those held captive by their sins. As ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ, our allegiance to the kingdom of God comes before all earthly loyalties. We participate with God’s unchangeable purpose to call out of all people groups on earth a people to be called by his Name as we “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20).