STATEMENT OF FAITH

God

Before anything was that is, God was.  He is eternal, with no beginning and no end.  God has always been and will always be.  There is only one true and living God. God is Spirit. God is holy. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent at all times and generations, never changing in character or power. God is a trinity, existing as one God yet consisting of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all three possessing all the attributes of God.  Each person of the Trinity has different roles and responsibilities. God is sovereign over every molecule of creation at all times and every generation in order to accomplish His eternal plan, yet He is never responsible for acts of sin (Genesis 1.1; 50.20; Numbers 23.19; Deuteronomy 6.4; 32.39; 1 Samuel 15.29; Psalm 139; Proverbs 16.4; Isaiah 6.3; 43.10; 44.6-8; 45.5 Daniel 4.34-35; Hosea 13.4; Matthew 28.18-20; John 4.24; 8.24, 58; 20.28; Acts 5.3-4; Romans 8.28; 9.14-21; 11.33-36; Ephesians 1.11; Colossians 1.6; Titus 3.4,6; Hebrews 13.8; James 1.13-17; 1 John 1.5; Revelation 1.8; 4.8)

 

Creation

God created the heavens and the earth in a literal 6 day, 24-hour period. Creation marked the beginning of time. Everything God created in the beginning was created out of nothing. Everything that God created was very good. All of creation shouts, “There is a God.” There is no place on earth where creation’s voice is not heard. Thus, all men, women, and children in all places and of all generations are accountable to the one true God who created them. (Genesis 1.1-31; Job 33.4; Psalm 19.1-6; 33.6; 148.5; John 1.3; Acts 17.24; Romans 1.18-20; Hebrews 11.3)

 

The Bible

The Bible consists of 66 individual books; 39 that make up the Old Testament and 27 that make up the New Testament.  Whereas creation makes God known to all of humanity in a general way, the Bible alone makes God known in specific ways, particularly in relation to salvation and knowing God personally through Jesus Christ. God inspired human authors to pen the words of the Bible, allowing them to write freely according to their own style, yet writing precisely what God wanted written. The Bible is infallible, meaning that it is incapable of error.  The Bible is inerrant, in that the original autographs are without error. Translations of the Bible may contain variations based on the copies of the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts from which they were translated, but in no way do any of these variations impact the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. The Bible is sufficient, meaning that it contains all we need to know about God, the world, humanities spiritual condition, how to be in a harmonious relationship with God, how to live in a manner that pleases Him, and what to expect for the future. The Bible alone is the word of God. The Canon of Scripture is now complete. Therefore no new claims of canonical revelation will be accepted as a word from God. (Psalm 19.7-11; 119; Luke 1.1-4; Romans 10.17; 2 Timothy 3.16-17; Hebrews 1.1-2; 2 Peter 1.20-21; 3.15-16)

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is fully God and at the incarnation He became fully man while remaining fully God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, thus He fulfilled the law perfectly. He is the perfect Prophet, Priest, and King, being the Word of God, mediator and sinless sacrifice, and King of kings who will reign forever and ever. His perfect life qualified Him to serve as a perfect sinless substitute so that He could stand in the place of sinners before the judgment seat of God. Upon the cross Jesus died, bearing God’s wrath for the elect, taking their deserved wrath upon Himself, thus satisfying in whole God’s justice and righteousness. After three days dead, lying in a borrowed tomb, Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again. After His resurrection, Jesus remained with His disciples on earth for 40 days and then ascended back to heaven leaving His disciples with the promise of His coming back again to judge the living and the dead. Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior for sinners. The day is coming when every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Isaiah 53.4-10; Matthew 27.57-61; Mark 2.5-6; 4.35-41; Luke 1.26-38; 2.52; 24.44; John 1.1-3,29; 4.6-7; 8.58; 10.33; 14.6; 19.30; 20.1-10; Acts 1.9-11; 2.24; 4.12; Romans 1.1-4; 3.21-26; 8.34; 1 Corinthians 15.3-4; Galatians 2.20; 3.13; Philippians 2.11; Colossians 1.16; 1 Timothy 2.5; 6.13-16; 2 Timothy 4.1; Hebrews 1.2; 2.5-9; 4.15; 9.11-15, 23-28; 1 Peter 1.17-19; 2.24; 1 John 1.1; 5.20-21)

 

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity.  He is a personal being and is fully God. His purpose is to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He is the agent of supernatural, spiritual, life-giving regeneration.  The Holy Spirit performs this work of regeneration upon and within those who have been chosen by God the Father from before the foundation of the world to be saved.  At the moment of faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and bears witness that he or she is a child of God, sealing the believer as a recipient and heir of eternal life. The Holy Spirit aids the born-again believer to live a God-glorifying life and understand what is true. The Holy Spirit is a true means of comfort for the born-again Christian. (John 3.5-8; 6.63; 15.26; 16.6-14; Acts 9.31; Romans 8.1-16; 1 Corinthians 3.16; 2 Corinthians 1.22; Ephesians 1.13; 4.30; Titus 3.5)

 

Humanity

God is the creator of the human race, male and female. They were created innocent and without sin. The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, chose to listen to Satan rather than God, and sinned by disobeying God’s clear command to not eat of the tree of good and evil. Because of this sin, spiritual death occurred immediately and physical death would come in time.  This sinful state has since permeated all of humanity.  All people are sinners from the moment of conception. Sin always separates man from God. There is no one ever conceived, except Jesus Christ, who does not sin against God and experience both spiritual and physical death. The unregenerate will only and always freely choose to sin against God unless God intervenes. God holds all persons everywhere responsible for their response to the revelation God has given, whether through that which is created or the Bible. (Genesis 1.26-27,31; 2.7,17; 3.1-7; Psalm 51.5;  66.18; John 3.18-20; 8.24; Acts 2.22-23; Romans 1.28-32; 3.10, 23; 5.12,18; 6.23; 1 Corinthians 2.14; Ephesians 2.1-4)

 

The Gospel of Salvation

Due to sinful depravity, no person is able to do anything capable of pleasing God that results in reconciliation with Him. This sinful depravity has rendered every person spiritually dead and wicked in God’s eyes. Before the world was made, God chose some from all of humanity to be the recipients of His saving grace. Such election by God of certain individual persons was not based on any foreseen merit in the person or choice, for utter depravity eliminates any capacity for saving merit or faith in the gospel.  God’s election is based solely according to His purpose and pleasure. God overcomes the utter spiritual depravity of the elect through the merit of Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a perfect substitutionary death, thus satisfying the just and righteous requirements of God’s perfect Law on behalf of the elect. On the cross, Jesus became sin for the elect so that upon repentance of sin and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, all sins – past, present, and future – are forgiven and the one who believes in Jesus is reconciled to God.  Such belief is possible because the Holy Spirit regenerates the hearts of the elect, thus enabling them to be willing and wanting to believe the gospel. The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ; that He came into the world to die for the sins of the elect so that they would be forgiven and reconciled to God without fail. All who believe the gospel are forgiven of their sins against God, united to Christ, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing eternal life. All who are saved by God’s gospel possess a faith that will endure in belief in Jesus. This endurance is accomplished ultimately by the persevering and protecting power of God. Yet, the believer in Jesus is responsible to persevere in his or her faith in God, leaning and depending upon the grace of God to keep him or her from falling. Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is the only way of forgiveness of sins and salvation. (Deuteronomy 7.7-8; Jeremiah 17.9; Ezekiel 16.6; Matthew 1.21; 24.13; John 1.12-13; 3.3,16,36; 5.24; 6.37-47; 10.11-15, 26-29; 14.6; 17.6-12; Acts 4.12; 11.18; 13.48; 16.14; 20.28; Romans 3.10-18,26; 8.1-14, 28-30, 35-39; 9.10-16; 2 Corinthians 5.18-21; Ephesians 1.3-14; 2.1-10; Philippians 1.6; 2.12-13; Colossians 2.13-14; 1 Timothy 1.15; 6.12; Titus 3.5-6; James 1.18; 1 Peter 1.5; Jude 24-25; Revelation 2.7)

 

The Christian Life

A person who possesses genuine saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is one who has repented of his or her sins against God and is trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and the gift of their salvation from God. The genuine Christian may still succumb to temptations and sin.  Therefore an ongoing need to repent of sins against God and fight for holiness and God-honoring activity will be necessary. Such repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is fruit of a genuine Christian. Those who profess to be Christians and were even baptized into the Christian faith but do not demonstrate fruit that demonstrates repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that perseveres, should question the genuineness of their original profession. (Mark 4.1-20; Romans 6.12-13; 2 Corinthians 5.17; 13.5; Galatians 5.16-26; Ephesians 6.10-18; Colossians 3.5-17; 1 Peter 1.15-16; 1 John 2.19; 3.4-9)

 

Prayer

Prayer is a gift from God to us by which we may personally communicate with God.  Through prayer, we make our requests and needs known to Him, confess our sins, and communicate our burdens, praises, and thanksgivings. Prayer is a means by which we express trust in God and demonstrate an attitude of dependence upon Him. As part of our fellowship with one another, Christians offer to God prayers for one another. Prayer is a means by which Christians bear one another’s burdens and share in one another’s praises and thanksgivings to God.  At times, when the Christian does not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit assists by turning our non-verbal sighs into prayers. We should strive to understand God’s will as revealed in the Bible so that our prayers are not hindered, always submitting to God’s will whenever we pray.  Our personal communion with God ought to be such a part of our lives that prayer could be understood as unending. (1 Samuel 1.27; Psalm 18.6; John 14.13-14; Acts 4.24; Romans 8.26-27; 15.30; Ephesians 6.18-19; Philippians 1.19; 4.6; 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18; James 4.3-4, 15; 1 John 1.9)

 

Evangelism

The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, the Bible. As they have opportunity, Christians are responsible to proclaim the good news of God’s forgiving and saving grace to all whom He has providentially placed in their lives. As the gospel is proclaimed, God’s word is always effective, either to soften hearts to respond by faith or to harden unbelievers in their unbelief. The gospel we proclaim to others must express who God is as He has made Himself known to us in the Bible, namely that He is holy and will not simply turn away from sin but will judge it. The gospel we proclaim must express the reason why people need the gospel, namely because they are sinners before a righteous and holy Judge and that they will be condemned for eternity if they do not repent of their sin against God and believe in Jesus as their personal Redeemer and Savior. (1 Samuel 17.46-47; Isaiah 55.11; Matthew 28.18-20; John 3.16,36; Acts 1.8; Colossians 1.23; 1 Peter 2.9; 1 John 5.12)

 

The Church

The church is a community of all true believers of all times. The church is a people not so much a place. The biblical church is not constructed or devised by man but is a construction of Christ Himself, for which He gave His life. The universal church consists of Christians of all generations and places and nations whom God has regenerated and saved for Himself. The local church consists of born-again Christians in a particular place who gather together for the purpose of fellowship, encouragement, and equipping for the work of the ministry. All professing believers are commanded to gather together in a local church for the purpose of building up one another in the Christian faith. The local church is where Christians gather together to worship God through music, prayer, and proclamation of His word. (Deuteronomy 31.9-13; Matthew 16.18; Acts 2.42-47; Ephesians 5.2,25; 6.1; Hebrews 10.24-25)

 

Ordinances

The two ordinances born again Christians are instructed to obey are that of believer’s baptism and observance of the Lord’s Supper.

Baptism

Baptism is only for those who have repented of their sins against God and believe the gospel. Baptism is to be done by full immersion in water, witnessed by others. The ordinance of baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This practice does not save a person from the consequences of their sin nor does it wash sin away in any sort of atoning manner. Rather, it symbolizes the washing away of sin and guilt accomplished by the Holy Spirit at the moment of regeneration. Baptism is the believer’s way of identifying with the community of fellow believers in Jesus. Professing Christians who do not pursue baptism are being disobedient to God’s clear command to be baptized. (Matthew 28.19-20; Acts 2.38-41; 8.36-39; Titus 3.5; 1 Peter 3.18-22)

 

The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is for those who have repented of their sins against God and believed the gospel. The Lord’s Supper is a meal designed to celebrate the life obtained by Jesus’ death. The Lord’s Supper is to be celebrated with those of like faith. Ideally, believer’s baptism will precede partaking of the Lord’s Supper, as baptism is the ordinance that identifies a person as a member of the family of believers. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial for like-minded family members. The Lord did not indicate how often to celebrate this ordinance, therefore how often New Life Church commemorates the Lord’s death is left to the decision of the elders. (Matthew 26.26-30; 1 Corinthians 11.23-29)

 

Marriage and Family

Marriage

God has designed marriage to be entered into by one man and one woman. God does not recognize as a valid marriage any marriage between persons of the same gender. God designed marriage for companionship. God designed marriage as the means of procreation and sexual satisfaction.  Any procreation or sexual satisfaction obtained outside the marriage relationship between a man and a woman is sin. Christians are to only marry another Christian. The marriage relationship is a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church. There are two legitimate reasons for divorce: (1) An unbelieving spouse chooses to leave a believing spouse.  Under such a condition, the believing spouse is free to remarry. (2) Unrepentant adultery.  In such a case, the innocent party is free to divorce and remarry.  However, in both cases, forgiveness and reconciliation ought to be fervently sought whenever possible. Remarriage is also allowed after one’s spouse dies, but only to another believer. (Genesis 2.18-25; Matthew 18.21-22; 19.1-12; Romans 7.1-3; 1 Corinthians 7.1-16, 39; Ephesians 4.32; 5.22-33; 1 Thessalonians 4.3-8; Hebrews 13.4)

 

Family

God designed the family when He created Adam and Eve and instructed them to have children through His design of procreation. God gives order to the family by providing distinct roles and responsibilities to each family member. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church.  Wives are to submit to their own husbands as the church is to Christ, resisting the temptation to subjugate their husbands. Children are to obey their parents in the Lord. Fathers are primarily responsible to train and teach their children regarding biblical truth. God has entrusted husbands/fathers with the responsibility to be the spiritual leaders in their homes, able to answer questions that those under their care may have about the Lord. Wives are to be a help to their husbands in this area, but only the husband will be held responsible before God for the spiritual atmosphere in their own home.  Scripture clearly states that men and women are equal in dignity and worth before the Lord. Yet, just as God the Son is submissive to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is responsible to glorify the Son, each performing different functions within the Godhead while all three are still equally God, so it is similar for the husband and wife. Each is given a different role and responsibilities, but both are equally human. (Genesis 2.18; 4-25; 3.9,16; 18.19; Deuteronomy 6.4-9; 11.19; Psalm 78.4-8; 113.3; Proverbs 22.6; Mark 14.36; Luke 22.42; John 16.14; 1 Corinthians 11.3; 14.35; Galatians 3.26-29; Ephesians 5.22—6.4; Colossians 3.18-21; 1 Peter 3.1-7; 2 Timothy 3.14-15; cf. 1 Peter 5.3)

 

Singleness

Marriage is not for all.  Singleness is a gift from the Lord, just as is marriage. It is a gift given to some so that there may be greater freedom to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He calls them.  Singleness is to be honored by the church. (Matthew 19.10-12; 1 Corinthians 7.8, 25-40)

 

Satan and Demons

Satan and demons are real. They are angelic beings that are active in the world. Satan is the leader and head of all demonic activity. Satan was originally created as a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked desire rebelled against God and became utterly depraved.  He is the adversary of God and God’s people.  He hates everything about God and His righteousness.  Satan is the influence behind everything and everyone that could be categorized as anti-Christ. Though his powers and influences are vast, Satan is nevertheless unable to do anything apart from God’s will. Though he tempts people to sin against God and though temptation often results in people sinning, temptation is Satan’s limit. His temptation of Adam and Eve was successful in the Garden of Eden, but the cross of Christ secured Satan’s final doom and everlasting destruction, along with all demons.  The true Christian is able to ultimately resist and quench all attacks from Satan and demonic forces because he or she belongs to Jesus and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Because of this indwelling of the Spirit, believers cannot be demon possessed because darkness cannot dwell with light. Therefore, unbelievers, those who do not have the Holy Spirit can be demon-possessed. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the day is coming when death, Satan, and all who belong to him will be cast into everlasting hell. Satan and demons cannot be blamed for all evil and sin in the world, but they are responsible for some. The world and the lust of the flesh are also sources of temptation to sin. (Genesis 3.1-15; Job 1.12; 2.6; Isaiah 14.12-15; Matthew 4.1-11; Mark 5.1-20; Romans 8.31-39; 1 Corinthians 10.13; 2 Corinthians 6.14; Ephesians 6.12; James 4.7; 1 Peter 5.8-9; 1 John 2.16; 3.8; 4.4; Revelation 20.10-15)

 

The Future

Jesus Christ is coming again, just as was promised. He will come in glory to establish His eternal kingdom. Those for whom He died, the elect, will be gathered to Him.  Those alive at His coming will not die but will be instantly changed into a resurrection state.  Believers who had died will be raised incorruptible and given a resurrection body.  Judgment will occur for all humanity of all times. Believers are justified before God because of their union with Christ and will reign with Him in the new heavens and the new earth forever.  Those who are still in their sins will have no excuse or pardon and will experience the righteous judgment of God and bear His just wrath for their willful sins against Him and unwillingness to repent and believe in Jesus.  Their punishment will be forever in the lake of fire, namely hell. Such eternal punishment will never satisfy the justice of God.  Only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was able to do that. (Matthew 13.24-30; 25.31-46; Mark 13.26,32-37; John 3.16,36; Acts 1.11; 4.12; Romans 1.18; 1 Corinthians 4.1-5; 2 Corinthians 5.6-10; 1 Thessalonians 1.10; 4.13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1.3-10; 2 Timothy 4.1; Titus 2.13; 1 Peter 4.5; Revelation 20-22)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

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