|| What We Believe
TENANTS OF FAITH
THE SCRIPTURES - The Bible is the inspired Word of God. The product of holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit and we accept it as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to conduct and doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16; 1Thess. 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).
THE GODHEAD - Our God is one, but manifested in three - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, being co-equal (Phil. 2:6). God the Father is greater than all; the Source of the Word (Logos) and the Begetter (John 14:28; John 1:14). God the Son is the Word flesh-covered, the One Begotten, and has existed with the Father from the beginning (John 1:1; John 1:18; John 1:14). God the Holy Spirit proceeds forth from the Father and is eternal (John 15:26). In Jesus all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form (Col. 2:9).
MAN, HIS FALL, AND REDEMPTION - Man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God, but through Adam's transgression and fall, sin came into the world. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was manifested to undo the work of the devil and gave His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God (Rom. 5:14; Rom. 3:10; Rom. 3:23; 1 John 3:8). Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God (Eph. 2:8).
ETERNAL LIFE AND THE NEW BIRTH - Man's first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that worketh repentance. The New Birth is necessary to all men, and when fulfilled produces eternal life (2 Cor. 7:10; 1 John 3:3-5).
WATER BAPTISM - Baptism in water is by immersion, is a direct commandment of our Lord, and is for believers only. The ordinance is the Christian's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection ( Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:36-39).
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY GHOST - The Baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to all believers and is received subsequent to the New Birth. Evidence of this experience is speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit Himself gives utterance (Matt. 3:11; John 14:16,17; Acts 2:38,39 Acts 19:1-7 Acts 2:4). We believe in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit in the body as enumerated in I Corinthians 12-14 as manifested in the early church.
SANCTIFICATION - The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the Doctrine of Sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation (Heb. 12:14; I Thess. 5:23; 2 Peter 3:18 Phil. 3:12-14; I cor. 1:30).
DIVINE HEALING - Healing is for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith, and by the laying on of hands. It is provided for in the atonement of Christ, and is the privilege of every member of the Church today (Mark 16:18; James 5:25 I Peter 2:24; Matt. 8:17 Isa. 53:4,5).
RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE RETURN OF THE LORD - The angels said "This same Jesus shall so come in like manner." His coming is imminent. When He comes, "...the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and return with him to the earth according to Matt. 5:5 (Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16,17).
HELL AND ETERNAL RETRIBUTION - The one who physically dies in his sins without Christ is hopelessly and eternally lost in the Lake of Fire and, therefore, has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel or repenting. The Lake of Fire is literal. The terms "eternal" and "everlasting," used in describing the duration of punishment of the damned in the Lake of Fire carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God (Heb. 9:27; Rev. 19:20).
FAITH AND WORKS - We believe that faith without works is dead. We do not believe, as a matter of the fundamental beliefs and doctrines of this church that any matter can be believed without there being an accompanying and corresponding action. Our faith is an active faith that requires the doing of acts in the world. Our faith is not a passive or complacent system of intellectual belief or assent to doctrine, but is rather an active force in our lives that requires and results in actions being taken. A living, active faith will be manifested not only in belief and mental assent but in actions expressing and based upon the belief. If a belief is truly held, it will be acted upon. The act is as much a fundamental aspect of our faith as the belief upon which the act is based. (James 2:14-16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Mat. 7:24-27; Mat. 5:16; II Cor. 5:10; Mat. 16:27; Rev. 2:23; Rev. 22:12).
CHURCH DISCIPLINE - We believe in church discipline administered within the relational group in a spirit of meekness and confidentiality. The purpose of such discipline is the restoration of the one subject to the discipline and/or the purification of the church. The steps of discipline are one on one private confrontation, private confrontation with witnesses, and, finally, exposure to the church for judgment leading to restoration or separation. (Mat. 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1; Rom. 16:17; II John 9-11; I Cor. 5; II Cor. 2:6-8; I Tim. 5:20).
THE CHURCH - We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ expressed as the church individual (a specific church), the church local, and the church universal and invisible (all saints of all places and all times united together under one Lord). As such we believe the church to be more than just a building or a gathering of people. It is a body living in a relationship and harmony under the direction of the head, Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:15; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Romans 16:5 1 Peter 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 4:11-16.)
AUTONOMY AND RELATIONSHIP - We believe the the local church, although autonomous, will be related to other local churches and ministries through fellowship and formed relationships. In particular we believe that there are foundational ministries of apostles and prophets that transcend the local church and the the local church should be in relationship with such a ministry or ministries for the purpose of advice, counsel, oversight, encouragement, and help. Such ministries are designed by God to provide spiritual covering, protection and accountability and identity and checks and balances on local leadership by local elders.
LEADERSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - We believe that in all matters concerning the Body of Christ, its direction, discipline, ministry and functioning that specific guidance and instruction, revelation and discernment of truth from falsehood, is available by the leading of the Holy Spirit who enables us to know spiritual things by the Spirit. (Acts 13:1-3; I Tim. 1:18; Rom. 8:14; I Tim. 5:22; John 16:13-15; I Cor. 5:3).
LAYING ON OF HANDS - Laying on of hands is a biblical practice. Jesus practiced it in Mark 10:13-16 as a blessing, and is our grounds for baby dedication instead of baptism. We believe in the Laying on of Hands for Healing (Mark 5:22, 23 adn 41; Mar 5:28-31; Acts 28:8; Acts 19:11, 12); Laying on of hands to confer office (Acts 6:2-6); Laying of of Hands to receive the Holy Ghost (Acts8:26-18); Laying on of hands to believe words spoken, to receive anointing, and to cultivate the anointing (I Tim. 4:15); Laying on of Hands for appointment to Eldership (I Tim. 4:14).
MEDIATION - We believe as members of the same body of Christ, baptized by one spirit into one body the we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and as such that we are precluded from bringing a lawsuit in a civil court against another person who professes to be a Christian or against a Christian ministry. We believe that all such disputes must be resolved with the Body of Christ without taking them before unbelievers for judgment. [I Cor. 14:3; Eph. 4:11; Eph. 2:20; I Tim. 4:14; Acts 13:1-3; Titus 1:5; Rom. 12:6; I Peter 4:10; I Cor. 14:39; I Cor. 14:1; I Thess. 5:19-21; I Tim. 5:22; II Tim. 1:6]
THE ROLE OF THE APOSTOLIC MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH - We believe in the apostolic ministry for today as one which functions in one or more localities through foundational ministry as of a father laying the foundation which is Christ and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. We seek to relate to the apostles of Christ and to be apostolic ourselves. [Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:25-29; Heb. 6:1-2.]
FINANCIAL SUPPORT - We believe that scripture requires all members of the congregation to support the programs and needs of the church in proportion as the Lord shall prosper them through tithes and offerings, thereby acknowledging that any institution can stand or be of full service only in proportion as all of the members of the congregation accept their responsibility of maintaining it. (Mal. 3:10, 1 Cor. 16:1,2; 2 Cor. 9;6-9; Heb. 7:1-8)
VISIONARY AND GOVERNMENT - We believe that there is always a person who is the presiding leader on any leadership team raised up by God. That person will be the first among equals -- the leader of the leadership team. We believe that the leader will be an ascension gift although not necessarily a pastor although that is the title given to the leader in this church. The leader will be the person through whom the main vision of the church is received, articulated and developed. He or she will be the one with the final responsibility and decision making authority in all matters concerning the church. He will be recongnized by the grace, anointing, ability and vision given to him by God. [Num 27:15-22; I Cor. 12:18; eph. 4:11; Acts 13:1.] God will rasie up elders and other ascension gifts to function with and in relationship to the visionary. We believe that there will be mutual submission within the leadership team consisting of the visionary and elders. Within the team we believe that there will be submission of the visionary to others in the governing leadership and that there will be submission of the others to the visionary. We believe that they are to seek the mind of God together for the church in all areas of its affairs.
ORDINANCES - We believe in two primary new testament ordinances: Baptism by immersion and The Lord's Supper. We do not however believe that the administration of such ordinances is limited to ordained or licensed ministers. We believe in the priesthood of believers. Ordination and licensing in this church is a separation and recongnition of a specific gifting of God. We believe that God calls men into specific ministries as apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers. God calls. Man can only recongnize the call and acknowlege it. Ordination is on the basis of the recongnition of God's gifting. Men called to a specific office by God and ordained or licensed by this church will have the right to participate in the traditional sacramental and ordinal functions of the church such as marriage, funerals, baptisms, and the like. They shall also be expected to function in the spiritual giftings of their office and to demonstrate the reality of their calling. This church is a non-sacramental protestant church. We reject the efficacy of ritual and the concept of a separate priestly class. We recognize the priesthood of believers and the serving ministry of the apostle, prophet, evangelist and pastor and teach with government by elders. As such we recognize that those called to those offices will function in a manner to lead by example in prayer, worship, teaching, laying on of hands, and prophesying and that such actions on the part of those ordained and licensed by this church are equivalent to the sacramental function of the priesthood in traditional sacramental churches.
REPENTANCE - Repentance is a gift from God. It is simply not true that a person can repent at any time. Repentance is a dependant upon the convicting action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of sinners and believers. The conviction of the Holy Spirit, which often accompanies the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will result in the revelation of the sinfulness of self which should lead to Godly sorrow. Remorse, or worldly sorrow is a feeling of deep regret, hopelessness or even despair. It does not lead to constructive change. On the other hand Godly sorrow, which may at times be mistaken for worldly sorrow, produces repentance which causes us to turn away from sin and selfishness and to receive faith for change. Worldy sorrow is destructive but repentance is life giving. Repentance changes the way we feel and act about sin, self and God. Repentance is a total change of heart, mind, attitude, emotions, will, action and lifestyle flowing from the turmoil and sorrow of Holy Spirit conviction of sin. (2 Cor. 7:10; Psalms 51; Acts 11:18; II Tim. 2:25; Gen. 6:3; Rom. 1:18-32; Mat. 9:12-13).