Hope Community Church
Friday, November 17, 2017

Statement of Faith (unabridged)

We believe that there are certain truths of our faith that are both essential and indisputably clear in Scripture. We take a firm stand on these truths. However, we know that there are other issues on which strong, mature Christians who believe in the Bible would differ. On these issues, Hope urges those who have come to different conclusions to “agree to disagree agreeably.” The following statements are Biblical truths that we view as essential and clear in Scripture.[1]

 
  • About the Scriptures

We believe that the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God. They are uniquely, verbally, and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and were written without error in the original manuscripts. Taken in context, the Bible always presents the truth concerning anything that it addresses. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and sufficient revelation of God's will for the salvation of people, and the supreme and final authority for all matters on which they speak. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matthew 5:17-18, John 10:35, 1 Peter 1:22-2:3, Psalm 119)

 
  • About God

We believe there is one true God who is infinitely perfect in all His attributes and sovereign over all things. He eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Unlimited and unrivaled in power and wisdom, God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing by the power of His Word. He sustains the whole universe, but has a special love and concern for the human race. God is perfect in holiness, matchless in grandeur, faithful to His Word, and infinite in His grace, love, and mercy. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:18-20, John1:1-3, 1:18, Genesis 1-2, Hebrews 1:1-3, Psalm 115:3, Revelation 4:8, 4:11)

 
  • About Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God, the Father, into the world to rescue people from sin and its dire consequences. Without surrendering His deity, He became a human being, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary. Thus, Jesus is true God and true man. Although He experienced the full nature of human temptations, He never sinned. Christ's perfect life qualified Him to take upon Himself the punishment for our sin and to be our substitute. Undeserving of sin's death penalty, He nevertheless voluntarily died in our place. After His death on the cross, He was raised back to life in bodily form, proving His own innocence and confirming that God the Father had accepted His death as payment in full for the sins of the world. Having finished His work on earth, Jesus has gone back to heaven, where He lives and reigns today. (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18, 20:26-29, Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Ephesians 1:18-23, Colossians 1:15-20, 1 Peter 3:18)

 
  • About the Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came to glorify Jesus Christ.  He convicts people concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.  The Holy Spirit regenerates, indwells, and gives assurance of salvation to those who have received Jesus Christ.  He also fills, teaches, motivates, comforts, transforms and empowers the believer to live a life that pleases and honors God.  The Holy Spirit empowers believers to share their faith and minister to others.  He also gives spiritual gifts to equip believers to build the body of Christ and to accomplish His kingdom work here on the earth as He directs. (John 14:26, 16:7-15, Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Galatians 5:22-25, Ephesians 5:18)

 
  • About Humanity
We believe that man was created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him, but became alienated from that relationship through sinful disobedience. That act of disobedience has indicted and polluted the whole human race. As a result, all people are sinful and totally incapable of coming back into a right relationship with God through their own efforts. This sinfulness has corrupted every human aspect of every person. (Genesis 3:1-19, Romans 3:1-20, 3:23)
 
  • About a Relationship with God
We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. He substituted His life for ours. The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only basis for God’s declaration that we are right before Him, having forgiven our sins. Complete forgiveness is offered as a gift (grace), but must be received by faith (trusting in Jesus alone for one’s own personal rescue from sin's penalty and power). Each person who receives Christ as his personal Savior is born again of the Holy Spirit, begins a new relationship with God, possesses eternal life, and becomes His child and joint-heir with Christ. (John 1:12, Romans 5:8, 10:8-13, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:4-7, 1 Peter 3:18)
 
  • About the Church
We believe that the church consists of all people worldwide who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head. The mission of the church is to glorify God by making disciples of all nations. Hope Community Church is one local and visible expression of Christ's body on earth. (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:42-47, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23-27)
 
  • About Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances that God has established for the church to observe. At Hope, we normally practice baptism by immersion, which signifies the believer's new relationship with Christ. The Lord's Supper is a remembrance of Christ's death on our behalf. Both of these ordinances are open to all believers. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation. (Matthew 28:19, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12; Matthew 26:26-29, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34)
 
  • About the Return of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus, our living Lord, will someday return to earth for His church. This return will be visible and bodily. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. Depending on their response to Christ in this life, people will either live with Him forever in a gloriously perfect new heaven and new earth, or will be eternally punished for their sin and banished from His benevolent presence. (Matthew 25:46, Acts 1:11, 17:30-31 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Timothy 4:1, Revelation 20:11-15, 21:1-22:5)


[1] The one exception to this is our view on believer’s baptism, normally by immersion. We recognize that there are some strong, evangelical Christians that would differ on our views of this ordinance. We respect those views. However, we include this in our statement of faith because it is something we believe and practice. One thing that is clear among all evangelical Christians is that baptism is not a means of salvation.

 
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