Essential beliefs are the foundational principles that supply the framework of life and meaning for the Christian faith. They are truths that the church has recognized, stood-for and passed-on since its earliest times. These truths are not to be tampered with, altered, removed, or compromised. They are the non-negotiables of our faith.
Non-essential beliefs, instead, are beliefs that are not foundational to the Christian faith or to the status of one’s relationship with God. These beliefs are often open to interpretation and may be regarded differently by specific movements, churches or people.
In keeping with this understanding, we hold the following to be essential beliefs:
We believe there is only one true God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that He is loving and does not desire anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance and have abundant life, both in the life now and to come.
Deuteronomy 32:39; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in every Christ-follower. He helps to conform us to the example Jesus Christ set with guidance in doing what is right, understanding the truth, and the power to live rightly. We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that it can be a separate experience apart from salvation and in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; Acts 8:14-17; Acts 10:44-48; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Romans 11:29.
We believe the Bible to be the authoritative, infallible word of God, written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit, canonized by the church and given to God’s people as a source of truth, instruction and wisdom.
2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5.
We believe there is life after physical death, and that we will be held accountable and judged by God; and that we will exist eternally with Him through our forgiveness and salvation, or will be separated from Him because of our sin. Heaven is an eternal joining with God, while Hell is to be eternally separated from Him.
John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9.
We Believe that Jesus Christ was begotten, not created, the Son of God, truly God, truly Man, coequal with God. He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and offered himself a living sacrifice for the sins of the world by dying on the cross. He was resurrected to demonstrate His power over sin and death, ascended to heaven and will return again someday to earth to reign as King.
Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; Hebrews 4:14-15; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11.
We believe the church is the Body of Christ, the dwelling of God through the Spirit, the possessor of God’s authority to communicate truth and salvation to the world and the Bride of Christ for which he will return. Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. The presence of the Holy Spirit, adherence to the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship of the believers, preaching of the Word of truth and administration of the sacraments are signs of the authentic church.
Acts 2:41-44; Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23.
We believe that the gift of God is salvation, and to take part in it we must accept that gift. Forgiveness of sin cannot be achieved by good works or self-improvement but is only available by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person confesses sin and repents in faith, they experience a spiritual rebirth and are given everlasting life.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:2, 14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1, 10:9-10.
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