What We Believe
If you are not a believer, we encourage you to listen to these two short messages from Pastor Mike:
An Affirmation of Our Faith*
1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
2. The Trinity
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
3. God the Father
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that he concerns himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that he hears and answers prayer, and that he saves from sin and death all who come to him through Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in his deity, virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in his substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for his people, and personal visible return to earth.
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that he is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
7. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
8. Christian Conduct
We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
9. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of his death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
10. Religious Liberty
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
11. Church Cooperation
We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization. Such an organization, whether it is the Conference or a district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. Churches may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary independent basis.
12. The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.
* Adapted from Delegates of the BGC, "Affirmation of Faith," Converge Worldwide, July 1997, http://www.convergeworldwide.org/about/values/affirmation-faith (accessed 8 December 2013).
The Apostles' Creed
A variant based on a sermon of Augustine (c. 400)*
We believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of all things, Ruler of the ages, immortal and invisible.
We believe in Jesus Christ his Son, our Lord, born of the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, dead and buried, on the third day he arose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father, thence shall he come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, the life everlasting through the holy catholic† Church.
* John H. Leith, ed., Creeds of the Churches: A Reader in Christian Doctrine from the Bible to the Present, rev. ed. (Atlanta: Westminster John Knox Press, 1973), 25.
† The term "catholic" in this creed has the sense of "universal". See the discussion in H. B. Swete, The Apostles' Creed: Its Relation to Primitive Christianity, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1899; reprint, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 75-81.
Other Matters Pertaining to Biblical Ethics*
1. Human Sexuality
We believe sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed within the marriage relationship. We believe that God has commanded abstinence from any form of sexual/intimate activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that participation in any activity related to fornication, pornography, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, and/or adultery is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God created human beings male and female; therefore we hold the distinction between the two sexes to be sacred. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to change the appearance of one’s sex by hormones, surgery, or any other means. (Genesis 5.1-2; Leviticus 18.6-18, 18.23; Matthew 19.4; Romans 1.18–32; 1 Corinthians 6.9, 7.1-5; Colossians 3.5-6; Hebrews 13.4).
2. Family Relationships
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society and that a marriage between one man and one woman reflects biblical priorities and principles and is the foundation of a healthy family. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God and both are made in God’s image. (Genesis 1.27, 2.18-25; Mark 10.6-8; Ephesians 5.31–32).
* Adapted from Elder Oversight Council, “What We Believe: Doctrinal Statement of The Moody Church,” The Moody Church, 2011, http://www.moodychurch.org/get-to-know-us/what-we-believe/ (accessed 8 December 2013).