‘Core Beliefs’ are beliefs which are foundational to who we are and inform what we do as a a body of believers in community. Core beliefs are sometimes referred to as ‘essential beliefs’ because they are the foundation of the Christian faith.
We believe that the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, were written by holy men inspired by the Holy Spirit and are God’s revealed word to man. They are the sufficient, infallible rule and guide to salvation and all Christian worship and service (II Peter 1:20-21; II Timothy 3:15-17; I Thessalonians 2:13). The Bible is the inspired Word of God, equally in all parts and in the whole; it is totally inerrant in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme revelation from God and of God, superior to conscience and reason, though not contrary to them; and it is therefore our infallible rule in all manners. All the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ and hence, no portion is properly read nor understood until it leads to Him.
We believe that Scripture teaches there is one and only one true and living God, who is self-existent, and the eternal “I AM,” the creator of heaven and earth, and the redeemer of mankind. We believe that He has chosen to reveal Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the same in essence, though distinct in personality (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-11; Matthew 28:18-19; Luke 3:22). These three are one God, having the same nature, attributes, and perfection and are worthy of the same homage and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; II Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-6). The mode of His existence, however, is a subject far above the understanding of man. He is the fountain of all perfection and happiness. He is glorified by the whole of creation and is worthy to be loved and served by all intelligence. He, therefore, is the only proper object of worship (Jeremiah 10:10; Exodus 3:14; Psalms 90:2; Matthew 28:19-20; Job 11:7; Psalms 19:1, 2; 145:10; 150:6; Exodus 34:14).
Jesus was born miraculously of the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1: 23; Luke 1:31, 35). He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; I Peter 2:22). He came into the world to save men from the guilt and condemnation of sin (John 3:16), offering His blood as atonement (I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21) and making it available to all who exercise faith in Him. He resurrected from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Corinthians 15:4). He is exalted to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11; 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1-3). His divinity is proved from His titles, His attributes, and His works (John 1:14; Luke 1:26-35; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31). He is presently seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for His redeemed. We also acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord over all things in Heaven, and in Earth, and under the Earth (John 1:12-14; I Timothy 3:16; Acts 7:37-38; Philippians 2:9-10; Hebrews 7:25).
SIN AND HUMANITY
Humanity, in their original state, were upright, but fell through voluntary transgression influenced by Satan to disobey God’s commands. In consequence of the first transgression of Adam, all humanity sinned and is separated from God. Hence, none, by virtue of any natural goodness and mere work of their own, can become the children of God. Humanity's only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Psalms 51:5; John 6:44; Romans 5:12-21; I Corinthians 2:14).
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. The inward evidence of salvation is direct witness of the Spirit and the outward evidence to all men of a life of righteousness and true holiness (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-l5; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Romans 8:16; Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12).
We believe the New Testament teaches at least three baptisms. First, there is the baptism whereby the repentant sinner, upon trusting Jesus Christ as his Savior, is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). Secondly, there is water baptism by immersion for believers only. This we believe to be an ordinance of the church, whereby the believer experiences the reality of co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-6). Thirdly, there is the filling or baptism in the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus Christ, which may occur at or subsequent to conversion.
BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE
Repentance means to decide to turn from one’s sin; change the mind regarding our former beliefs and behaviors, and turning to a new way of believing and behaving, which allows us to receive the redemption of Jesus Christ and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, through repentance we receive forgiveness of sins and appropriate salvation and faith in Christ as Savior is the only condition for salvation (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9).
BAPTISM IN WATER
We believe water baptism is commanded of every believer, and a necessary requisite for going on to spiritual maturity. When done in faith, it is the means whereby those who have been justified by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ receive a circumcision of the heart, are made participants in the death and resurrection of Christ and thus are delivered from the dominion and rule of sin. The ordinance of baptism is a burial with Christ, to be observed, whenever physically possible as commanded in the Scriptures by all who have repented and truly believed in their heart on Christ as Savior and Lord. The method of baptism will be by immersion. They declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. It is the circumcision of the heart by faith and through the working of the Spirit of God. Water baptism is the taking on of a great responsibility, because in it a person makes an everlasting commitment to God (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 10:47-48; Colossians 2:11-12).
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a necessary and vital experience for every believer and is evidenced by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. Those who seek the fullness of the Spirit shall receive prayer for the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15-17; 19:2-6).
Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we become partakers of His holiness; that it is begun at regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the continual use of the appointed means, especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (I Thessalonians 4:3; I John 2:29; Romans 8:5; Philippians 2:12-13). Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and a dedication unto God (Romans 12:1-2; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy” (I Peter 1:15, 16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-11, 13; 8:1-2, 13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 12:12-13; I Peter 15).
THE CHURCH AND BODY OF CHRIST
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general church, which is written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:22, Hebrews 12:23).
THE CHURCH AND THE MINISTRY
We believe that all who are united by the new birth to Jesus Christ are covenant partners of the Universal Church, the Body of Christ. We also believe that the local congregation of Christian believers is divinely instituted and is the chosen instrument of God for the furtherance of God’s work here on Earth. While appreciating the work of para church groups, we believe that the local church is God’s chosen vehicle for world evangelization and the nurture of Christians. We further believe in the spiritual unity of all believers and in working together with others who believe in salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the causes of evangelism, missions, and benevolence (Matthew 16:16-18; John 17:21; Ephesians 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Colossians 3:14-15). The church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission and purpose. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the Church of the Firstborn, whose name is written in heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life. As such, the Bible reveals that we are covenant partners with one another and the basis of our fellowship is in Christ in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:22; 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23). A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the three-fold purpose of leading the church in: (1) Evangelization of the world, (2) Worship of God, and (3) Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (I Chronicles 16:29; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 14:23; John 4:23-24; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:28).
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit manifests Himself through a variety of spiritual gifts to build up and equip the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The Bible lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of biblical parameters. (Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11; 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:16; II Timothy 1:5-6, 1 Timothy 4:14; I Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; I Peter 4:10-11).]
LAYING ON OF HANDS
We adhere to a simple belief that power or anointing of any other necessary quality can be transmitted from one person touching another. The Levitical priesthood first practiced this (Numbers 8:10-11, 27:22-23). Jesus practiced it as a blessing, (Mark 10:13-16) and He, as well as others, used it for healing (Mark 5:22-23; 16:18; Acts 14:3; 19:11-12; 28:8; Luke 4:40), conferring office (Acts 8:16-18), receiving anointing (I Timothy 4:14) and for ordination (I Timothy 4:14).
The need for deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from bondage: e.g. mental (emotional), physical, or spiritual normally associated with demonic activity. It is God’s desire to bring deliverance to His people (Job 5:19; Psalms 91:3; II Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 2:15; II Peter 2:9). We have been granted the authority in the name of Jesus to bring deliverance to others (Mark 16:17; John 14:12; I Corinthians 12:8-11). We must understand that our warfare is with the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12), our weapon is the Word of God, our authority and power are from Jesus Himself (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8) and that the battlefield is in the spiritual realms (Ephesians 6: 10-18; II Corinthians 10:3-5; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:22-23).
Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement and is the privilege of all believers. The ministration of the laying on of hands accompanied with the anointing of oil for the healing of the sick shall be granted as request is made and the need may require (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; James 5:14-15).
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and the fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, a memorial of His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming. It is enjoined on all believers ‘until He comes’ (John 6:48, 51, 53-57; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 2:11-12).
DEDICATION OF CHILDREN
The dedication of children is the presentation of a child to God, and therefore establishes a covenant between God and parents. God promises blessing and protection to the child whose parents are faithful to rear him/her in the services of the Lord. Such a child is made holy and is part of the covenant family of God by the faith of his parents until he/she reaches the age of accountability, whereupon he/she becomes responsible as an individual before God and is commanded to repent (Psalms 34:11; Isaiah 54:13; Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-16; I Corinthians 7:14).
TOTAL PROSPERITY OF GOD
We believe that the gospel of the kingdom is God’s absolute answer to man’s total need and total prosperity now. God's will for all believers is to become whole, healthy and successful in all areas of their lives in order to serve others.
Spiritually: John 3:3,11; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10
Mentally: II Timothy 1:7; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3
Physically: Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24
Financially: 3 John 2; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Socially: Proverbs 3:4; I Samuel 2:26; Romans 14:18; II Corinthians 8:21
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and the blessed hope of the church (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 15:51).
Heaven is the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
(Matthew 5:3, 12, 20, 6:20, 19:21, 25:34; John 17:24; II Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; I Peter 1:3-4).
Hell is the eternal dwelling place for the Devil and the fallen angels. Unbelievers who have voluntarily rejected God's plan of salvation will be judged by Him and sent to Hell where they will live eternally separated from God along with the Devil and the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:12-15, 21:8).
FINAL JUDGMENT AND ETERNAL STATE
We believe that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body, when Jesus Christ comes for His own. Whereupon soul and body reunited shall be with Him forever in glory; but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated but to be punished with everlasting torment from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).
MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, and is followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27, 30; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of the national Israel (Ezekiel 37:21-22; Zephaniah 3:19-20; Romans 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isaiah 11:6-7; Psalm 72:3-8; Micah 4:3-4).