THE CHRISTIAN CHALLenge Statement of Faith
Our statement of faith summarizes our beliefs as a group. Anyone familiar with historic Christian doctrine will find that these statements fall in the center of evangelical theology (“evangelical” means theology derived from the evangel, or the Gospel; in other words, it’s biblical theology rather than speculative theology or theology rooted in tradition). We try not to be dogmatic about matters on which Bible-based believers have held different views. It’s common for non-essentials to drive a wedge between people. We want our essential beliefs to be centered on Christ and His message as found in and supported by the clearest passages of Scripture.
Unity, Liberty, Charity
IN ESSENTIAL BELIEFS - WE HAVE UNITY.
"There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…" (Ephesians 4:4-6)
IN NON-ESSENTIAL BELIEFS - WE HAVE LIBERTY.
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…" (Romans 14:1)
"Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls…" (Romans 14:4)
"So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God." (Romans 14:22)
IN ALL OUR BELIEFS - WE SHOW CHARITY.
"If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains -but have no love, I amount to nothing at all." (I Corinthians 13:2)
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
We believe in one God, the Creator and ruler of the universe, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
Genesis 1:1, 26-27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He was and remains perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
ABOUT THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
We believe that God created Adam and Eve in the divine image; that they sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that, as a result of Adams sin, although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2
We believe that salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures and for mutual encouragement.
Matthew 16:15-19; Acts 2:41-42,47; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 3:8-11,21; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 10:24-25
ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe that because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:29-30; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrew 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
We believe that God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in heaven with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15