Since I began overseeing clergy, I have encountered various philosophies of ministry which have sign... read more
We believe that God came in the form of a human being in the person of Jesus Christ at a particular time in history (John 1:14; Gal. 4:4) for the purpose of providing salvation for humanity (John 3:16). Born of the virgin Mary, he is both fully human and fully God (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35).
We believe in one God who exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; John 10:30, 14:10, 14:16-18; Acts 5:3-4). All three are co-equal in perfection, co-equal in glory, and co-equal in authority. Though each of the persons of the Trinity are equal in being and function, Jesus Christ temporarily subordinated himself to the Father for the purpose of humbling himself on the cross for our salvation (Phil. 2:6-8).
We believe that the Bible consisting of the Old and New Testament was written by human authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the words of God (Heb. 1:1; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Gal. 1:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
We believe that obedience to Jesus Christ as it is written in the Bible should be the absolute authority for every believer (Matt. 5:19; John 14:23-24), accompanied by the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit who also guides us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:8).
We believe that though humanity was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), that at the Fall sin entered the world (Gen. 3:16-24). As a result, humanity became inherently sinful and in need of the salvation provided by Jesus Christ through the cross (Rom. 3:21-26; John 3:16-17). Though sin and death came through one man in Adam, eternal life has now been offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:12, 17; Eph. 2:8-9). Those who accept this salvation are children of God (1 John 3:1-2).
We believe salvation is available for all who make a confession of faith that Jesus Christ is Lord and who rely upon the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to make atonement for their sins (Rom. 10:9-13; 1 John 2:1-2). Though people can witness the work of God in many ways, people are in need of hearing the gospel through the public proclamation of the word of God (Rom. 10:14-15). Those who carry the good news to those who need to hear it have beautiful feet (Rom. 10:15).
We believe that the Holy Spirit came at the event at Pentecost and received power to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8, 2:1-4). We believe that baptism of the Holy Spirit (different from the gift of tongues and interpretation) is often expressed with speaking in other tongues and is available for believers today as well (Acts 2:4-8, 2:39, 11:15-17).
We believe that the gifts of the Spirit are real manifestations of the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit that is presently at work to build up the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:1-11, 14:4; Gal. 3:4; cf. Acts 14:3; Rom. 15:18-19).
We believe that God has collectively commissioned the entire church to be witnesses (Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 2:9) and to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18). We also believe that God historically and presently calls individuals to preach his Word (Ex. 3:4-12, 15:20; Judges 4:4; 2 Kings 22:15-20; Acts 9:15, 13:2; Gal. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:18-19, 4:14) and to equip the saints for acts of service related to the various ministries of the church, regardless of gender, class or race (1 Cor. 12: 27-31; Eph. 4:11-13; cf. Acts 11:27-28; 1 Cor. 3:5-6; Rom. 16:7; 2 John 1:1-2).
We believe that there are at least two sacraments that the church is to perform as repeated ceremonies that symbolize God’s inner grace at work in our lives: baptism and communion. These are not required for salvation, yet remain important expressions of our faith. We believe in baptizing new converts in water at some point as a symbolic expression of their new life in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 8:36). We believe in having communion (also called the Lord’s supper) in which we symbolically proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes and look forward to eating this meal with him in the new kingdom (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-22; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
We believe that marriage is a gift from God that consists of the union between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:21-25, 3:16-17; Matt. 19:1-12).