what I believe...
STATEMENT OF FAITH:
A non-denominational, spirit-filled ministry...
Tenets of Faith
These are the tenets of faith as I see them -- non-negotiable elements of a Biblical worldview.
The Trinity, The eternal Godhead
I believe in the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The three parts of the Trinity are coexistent and coeternal, which means that they always have existed and always will exist together; they are coequal in divine perfection, which means that no person of the Trinity is more powerful or more perfect than any other person in the Trinity
(1 John 5:7).
God, The Father
I believe that there is but one God, one infinitely perfect, eternal and personal God, the transcendent Creator and sovereign Sustain-er of the universe...of all things. He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, who is visible and invisible. This one God is Triune, existing eternally and simultaneously as three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three persons in the Godhead share equally and completely the one divine nature, and are therefore the same God, coequal in power, nature, and glory. Believe in God the Father, the Ancient of Days, who is not aloof from human history but who, through various covenants, has initiated relationship with mankind, and to whom we have now been reconciled through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. Because of Jesus Christ, we too can now call God "Father."
The Lord, Jesus ChristI believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, His deity, His virgin birth, that He died, was buried and on the third day rose back to life, that He ascended to heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. I believe that He is the eternal Son of God, for whom and by whom all things were created that he is both true God (the second Person of the Trinity) and true man (the Incarnate Son of God). I also believe in the great events surrounding Jesus Christ's life and ministry, including: His eternal preexistence, His attesting miracles, His sinless life, His sacrificial death on the cross, His glorious bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and
The Holy Spirit
I believe that the Holy Spirit (as the third Person of the triune God) proceeded from the Father and the Son, and is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son. I believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed a Divine Person, coequal with the Father and the Son. I believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit in salvation, a ministry which includes anointing and glorifying Christ, convicting men of their sin, bringing about the regeneration of lost sinners, and indwelling believers and empowering them for godly living and spiritual service.
I believe the Bible (the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) is the Word of God, written. As a "God-breathed" revelation, it is thus verbally inspired and completely without error (historically, scientifically, morally, and spiritually) in its original writings. While God the Holy Spirit supernaturally superintended the writing of the Bible, that writing nevertheless reflects the words and literary styles of its individual human authors. Scripture reveals the being, nature, and character of God, the nature of God's creation, and especially His will for the salvation of human beings through Jesus Christ. The Bible is therefore our supreme and final authority in all matters that it addresses. Believe in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, as contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as the sole revelation of the mind and will of God, and we accept them in their original form as the divine Word of God. The Bible is the inspired Word of God; it is absolutely true, enduring, and unchangeable (2 Timothy 3:16, 17. Matthew 24:35).
I believe God created mankind in His image and likeness (having rational, moral, relational, and spiritual capacities) to fellowship with Him and give Him glory. Human beings are therefore the crown of God's creation (possessing inherent dignity and moral worth), and thus distinct in kind from all other life on earth. Adam and Eve, the first human beings, chose to rebel against God and go their own autonomous way. As a result, all of mankind became separated from God, the image of God in man distorted, and the sinful nature passed on to all their progeny. Because of original sin
(which includes both corruption and guilt), unregenerate human beings are incapable of pleasing or commending themselves to God. The only remedy for mankind's pitiful predicament is redemption through faith in Jesus Christ. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3:1-5)
The Fall of Man
I believe that Adam and Eve, the precursors of the entire human race, were created in the image of God; however, they disobeyed God and became sinners. Through Adam, all people inherited sin’s nature and consequences, and all are in need of a Redeemer (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12, 19).
I believe that the devil, through temptation and deception, initiated the downfall of man and now seeks to destroy the faith of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and to hinder the further spread of the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. (Gen 3:1-5)
Resurrection, the Plan of Redemption
I believe God has acted sovereign to bridge the gap that separates people from Himself. He sent His Son, born of a virgin, attested by miracles and by a sinless life, to bear the full penalty for humanity's sin. Jesus Christ suffered and died in the place of sinners, thus satisfying the Father's just wrath against human sin, and effecting true reconciliation between God and mankind for those who believe. In the atoning death of Christ, both God's love and God's justice are fully manifested. The righteousness of Jesus Christ in perfectly fulfilling the law of God has been graciously credited to all believers. Redemption is solely a work of God's grace, received exclusively through faith in Jesus Christ, and never by works of human merit. Christ died for all of us while we were still sinners; He took the punishment for our sin. With His own blood, He purchased salvation and redemption for all who believe in Him (John 3:16; Isaiah 53:5; Titus 2:14)
I believe the resurrection is God's historical affirmation and vindication of Jesus Christ's unique identity, mission, and message. Historical evidence of the resurrection is manifest in Christ's empty tomb, His many resurrection appearances, and in the emergence of the Christian church. Jesus Christ now resides at the right hand of the Father, and lives to indwell all who recognize their sinfulness, who repent, and who turn their lives over to His authority. Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, conquering sin, death, and all the powers of Satan.
I believe the church is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ
(its Founder, Head, and Shepherd) and that it encompasses all true believers at all times and places. The function of the church is to carry out the Lord's expressed will through the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the central purposes of the church is to preach the Gospel (in both word and life), the good news that humankind can find salvation from sin through faith in Jesus Christ. All people who have placed their faith (confident trust) in Jesus Christ for salvation belong to the church and are, thus, the people of God. This community of believers is made up of people who are neither perfect nor sinless, but by grace their lives are coming more and more under the control of the Holy Spirit, expressing His love, joy, peace, and other Christ-like qualities. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, made up of all who have believed on the Lord Jesus and received the salvation of the Cross, and that this Church will come to the full expression of unity that can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, according to the prayer of Jesus Christ in John 17.
I believe that civil government is established by divine appointment; civil laws should be upheld at all times except when they are in opposition to the Word of God (Romans 13:1-7).
Salvation, Justification & Sanctification
I believe that salvation is totally an act of God’s grace that is accessed through faith in Jesus Christ. No person can be good enough to earn salvation, and “being good” does not contribute to receiving God’s love and favor. I believe that it is impossible to attain salvation through self-effort, but that through simply believing in the atoning death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and in acting out that faith through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we receive the remission of all our sins, reconciliation with God and the gift of eternal life. Hold to the fact that the believer has an eternal salvation secured in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8, 13) Believe that justification is a judicial act of God's grace wherein He acquits a person of all sin and accepts that person as righteous in His sight because of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Justification is strictly a work of God's grace, apprehended through faith alone, and solely on the account of Christ. Believe it is the glorious privilege of every believer in Christ to be made pure in heart and wholly sanctified by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the blood of Christ and the Word of God. A believer cannot be justified by works, but evidences that justification through works empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Repentance and Acceptance
I believe that, when people repent for their sins and accept Christ, they are justified through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. To repent means to be sorry for sins, but it also means to turn away from a sinful lifestyle. Accepting Christ means believing in Him as the only Savior. To be justified means being declared “not guilty” in regard to sin
(Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9).
The New Birth
I believe that the change that takes place in people when they are “born again” is very real. They receive righteousness through Jesus Christ, and they are empowered by the Holy Spirit; therefore, they should have new desires, interests and pursuits (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper
I believe that people who have been born again should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself was baptized and instructed His followers to be baptized. Believe in fulfilling the command of Jesus to baptize believers into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and that this baptism is symbolic of our death, burial and resurrection with the Lord Jesus Christ in His redemptive work on the Cross. Baptism also confirms that Christ is the Lord and King in each believer’s life (Romans 6:4). I believe in observing the Lord’s supper, or communion, just as Jesus instructed. This means that born-again believers take the broken bread and the fruit of the vine as a remembrance and celebration of the new life that is theirs because of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. It is also looking forward to His return as triumphant King (1 Corinthians 11:24-26)
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
I believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is an experience that follows salvation. All believers have a portion of God’s Spirit within them. However, being “baptized” means that the Holy Spirit is present in a new dimension. Holy Spirit baptism empowers believers to exalt Jesus, to live lives of holiness, and to be witnesses of God’s saving grace. Believe that those who experience Holy Spirit baptism today will experience it in the same manner that believers experienced it in the early church; in other words, we believe that they will speak in tongues - languages that are not known to them
(Acts 1: 5, 8; 2:4).
The Christian walk & Spirit-Filled Life
I believe that people who have been born again grow in sanctification—which means that they separate themselves from the value system of the world and embrace and live according to the values of the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. As they do so, they increase in holiness, faith, power, prayer, love and service (2 Corinthians 7:1). The born-again believers should be people who pray and who allow the Holy Spirit to shape their values and behaviors every day; their lives should exemplify love, honesty and sincerity (Ephesians 4:30-32).
I believe that it is essential for all believers to join with and become part of a congregation of other believers. It is important to worship together, observe the ordinances of the church, encourage and support one another, and work together to advance the Lord’s kingdom (Hebrews 10:24, 25).
Tithing and Offerings
I believe that tithing (giving 10 percent of earnings) and offerings (amounts determined by the individuals) are God’s instruments to carry on His ministry, spread the gospel, and release personal blessing (Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 6: 1, 2).
I believe that Christians should avoid excess and that their moderation should be obvious to others. Their commitment to Christ should be deep and sincere, but they should not indulge in or lead other people into extremes of fanaticism. Christians should be well thought of, balanced, humble and self-sacrificing, reflecting Christ’s grace and character in all areas of their lives (Colossians 3:12, 13; Philippians 4:5)
I believe that evangelizing and making disciples is the primary “business” of the church; every hindrance to worldwide evangelism should be removed
(James 5:20; Mark 16:15).
The Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit
I believe that the Holy Spirit gives ministry gifts to believers; in other words, the Holy Spirit gives people special abilities for ministry. These gifts will build up groups of believers and help them mature in Christian faith (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). Further, Spirit-filled believers should show the spiritual “fruit” that has been given to them: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control (Romans 12:6-8; Galatians 5:22-25).
I believe that Jesus Christ heals people who are sick. God does not change; He is still willing and able to heal the body, as well as the soul and spirit, in response to faith (Mark 16: 17, 18; James 5:14-16).
The Great Commission-
I believe Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. And since Christ has commissioned His people, the church, to go into all the world to disciple, to baptize, and to teach everyone everywhere to obey His Word, we desire, by His grace, to play our part in reaching the world with the Gospel of Christ.
The rapture, the return of Christ
I believe in the physical second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, returning as He ascended, with power and majesty, to judge the dead and the living. I believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent; we are as certain that His second coming will occur as we are that His first coming is a historical fact. No one knows the exact time of His coming, but believers will continue to spread the gospel around the world until He does come again. At that time the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, the dead Christians will be resurrected, and believers will be taken up to meet the Lord in the air (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
I believe that everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Those not found in the Book of Life will be consigned to everlasting separation from God, described in the Scriptures as the Second Death. Those found in the Book of Life will enter into the glorious presence of God. (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-21:25.)
Born-again believers will be sent to a place of everlasting life, and nonbelievers will be sent to a place of everlasting punishment (Revelation 20:11, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:10
I believe that heaven is the habitation of the living God and the eternal home of born-again believers (John 14:2; Revelation 7:15-17).
I believe that hell is a place of darkness, deep sorrow and unquenchable fire, which was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels; it will become the place of eternal separation from God for all who reject Christ as Savior (Matthew 13: 41, 42; Revelation 20:10, 15).
These are the special characteristics which flavor the ministry approach of "My Higher Calling"
The Centrality of the Gospel
I believe that the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ must be central to all church teaching and activity. The Gospel is a "whole Gospel for the whole Christian life."
The Gifts of the Spirit
I believe in the empowering of the Holy Spirit for service and the present day operation of the gifts of the Spirit, as described in
1 Corinthians 12:7-11.
The Ministry of Every Believe
I believe that every believer, regardless of race, gender or educational status, is called by God to participate in His glorious purpose. I am "full time" in the ministry, even if I have a secular vocation, and to this end, each believer has a unique mix of ministry gifts, as determined by the Holy Spirit.
The Unity of the Body of Christ
I believe in the indivisible unity of the Body of Christ, established solely upon the foundation of the Gospel of Christ. I believe that God is bringing His Body into a practical expression of unity, as described in
John 17:20-23 and Ephesians 4:13.