What is a Statement of Faith?
It is a systematic statement of what we believe – also called “our doctrine”. What we believe is the foundation on which all of our ministries are built. It is the basis for what we do, and why we do it.
Firstly, we list our “foundational” statement – an affirmation of nine key statements that make up our core beliefs on foundational issues of faith. We believe these basic beliefs are important enough to ‘contend for’ (Jude 9) as they form the basis for all real Christian unity and fellowship.
Secondly, we include a section about things which are taught in some circles that we do not believe are supported by Scripture, although they may be held by other true believers with whom we may fellowship.
Finally, the last section specifies our position on other important, yet non-foundational-to-our-salvation doctrines which we also hold.
Our Foundational Statement of Faith
- We believe the Bible to be the only inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God, without error in the original writings.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His substitutionary and atoning death in our place, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and in glory.
- We believe that by nature man is sinful, lost and must be saved, and that man’s only hope of redemption is through placing his faith in Christ, whose death and resurrection alone provide atonement for sins and eternal life.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life, and in His bestowing of spiritual gifts to the body of believers in the proportion and order that He sovereignly chooses.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the eternal life and they that are lost unto eternal damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of all true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We believe the ordinances of Water Baptism and Communion are to be observed in obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ, as acts of love and devotion, and are not considered to be necessary for our salvation.
- We believe, regarding marriage and human sexuality, that marriage has been ordained and established by God, and that it is ideally intended to be a lifelong commitment. We recognize marriage as exclusively the legal union of one man and one woman, and that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within the bounds of marriage. We believe any other arrangement to be incompatible with Biblical teaching and that of the Church, as well as a deterrent to true Biblical witness.
Some Things We DO NOT Believe
- We DO NOT believe that one must “speak in tongues” to be saved, or that it is the only validating sign of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. We believe speaking in tongues is a valid and awesome gift of the Spirit. It’s primarily use is to assist in prayer & praise. The real “sign” of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the power to be a bold witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8)
- We DO NOT believe that Christians can be demon-possessed. Annoyed, oppressed, tempted . . . yes; But not possessed. Our bodies have been bought by Jesus and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We don’t believe He allows demonic tenants!
- We DO NOT believe that a Christian can lose his salvation by backsliding. Scripture indicates at least a hypothetically possibility for a Christian to “fall away” resulting in an impossibility of ever renewing them to repentance (Heb. 6:2-6). But the greek word used (‘parapipto’) doesn’t simply mean sinning, but rather a willful choice to cease believing. Thus we believe that though it may be possible to “abandon” one’s salvation, it cannot be “lost” by falling to a sin. Since God alone knows if “abandonment” has happened, we continue to offer hope to all who will repent and submit to Christ. If one genuinely turns to Jesus, it’s obvious that the Spirit is working in his heart, and he hadn’t crossed that “point of no return.”
- We DO NOT believe that a person who has recited a “sinners prayer” is necessarily saved. The biblical call is to “repent and believe,” not to pray a formula prayer. It’s true that a “sinner’s prayer” can be helpful in someone opening his life to Christ. But true spiritual birth will result in a desire to follow Jesus, as well as bearing some degree of spiritual fruit. Thus, for one who’s “prayed the prayer” in the past but has no real interest in following the Lord, we can not offer him security when the Scripture does not. Rather, it gives a warning and a call to return again to the Lord.
- We DO NOT believe that Christ died only for a select few (i.e., “Hyper-Calvinism”) We believe Jesus died for all and offers salvation to all who will trust in Him. We believe it is God’s desire that all come to repentance, however, as the Word indicates, many will resist and reject His invitation and never turn to Him.
- We DO NOT believe in the “positive confession” or the “health/wealth” doctrines prevalent in the Faith Movement today. This teaching says that as God has power to create by His words [which is true], this privilege has also been given to Christians as a divine right [which is NOT true]. We reject the belief that our words, and our faith in them, will create a reality thru our confession, be it prosperity, wealth, advancement, etc. We also reject the notion that a person living in sickness or poverty is necessarily settling for less than his full inheritance in Christ.
A Few More Things We Also Believe
- We believe that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a work distinct from salvation. It is an experience that God desires that all Christians have to empower them for ministry & service.
- We believe that the “Spirit-led” or “Spirit-filled” life will be one that displays the “fruit” of the Spirit. Though “gifts” are essential for efective ministry, it is the “fruit of the Spirit” that gives evidence of true spiritual maturity, especially His love working through us.
- We believe that all the Spiritual Gifts mentioned in the New Testament are valid for the church today and are to be exercised in accordance with their clear Scriptural guidelines. They are given by sovereign choice of the Holy Spirit in the order and proportion that best edifies the church. We don’t believe that any one will have all the gifts, nor that all believers will have any one particular gift. Though the gifts are all valid and good, it is a growing ‘AGAPE’ love that is more important than any gift.
- We believe that the physical return of Jesus will be “pre-millenial”, that is, His return with His saints will precede the establishment of His 1,000 yr. reign on the earth. We look for a literal, normal fulfillment to the physical promises given to the nation of Israel and don’t see them as having been transferred spiritually to the (largely) Gentile church.
- We believe in, and look for, the “Rapture” of the church. The primary purpose of the Rapture is to deliver the generation of believers out of the world before God pours out His wrath upon a world who has rejected Him. Though subject to Satan-inspired persecution since it’s inception, the church will never be subject to the full & final outpouring of God’s Wrath.
- We believe in a literal seven-year period often called “The Tribulation Period” or “The 70th Week Of Daniel”, in which a literal ruler known biblically as “AntiChrist” will dominate the world scene, eventually declaring himself to be God, demanding worship , and leading Satan’s final unsuccessful charge to eradicate both Jews and Christians.