Baptism and Communion
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8).
Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sins through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4). We celebrate when individuals publicly stand and proclaim their love for and commitment to Jesus Christ.
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and is a reminder of the Saviour’s body given and shed blood. We use bread (cracker) and grape juice to symbolize the body and blood of our Saviour. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29). All who are followers of Jesus Christ through salvation by grace and who have no unconfessed sin or rebellion in their life are invited to join with us in communion. We seek to participate in communion together as a church family on a monthly basis.
Our church is a body that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and all who are seeking Him. All Christ-followers are welcome to worship and fellowship with us together, and we ask all who do to seek to preserve the unity of the Body of Christ within our church. We have not adopted the terms “charismatic” or “cessationist” to reflect our understanding of the Biblical position on the use of spiritual gifts in the body. We believe that these terms and the movements they represent often tend to emphasize unbiblical extremes that are at odds with our understanding of what the Scriptures teach.
We believe that the Christian life is supernatural and that the Lord continues to perform miracles and equip believers with the spiritual gifts for His glory. We believe that the public use of what are often called “sign gifts” (such as the gift of tongues) may still be in operation in some parts of our world as God reaches new people groups and/or in places where missionaries reach those of another culture.
We believe the gift of tongues as described in the New Testament is only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-31) and is not given to all believers, nor is it proof of being Spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in Christ. This is not the primary manifestation of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life, but rather the Spirit’s work is primarily in producing a holy life (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) as displayed by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Church Planting Philosophy
The church exists to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment (Matthew 28:19-20, Matthew 22:37-38).
The commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and in likeness to Him. God is glorified when we manifest His presence as we do His work ( 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support, and admonish.
Our church is part of the Great Commission Collective (GCC) which is a way to enhance our church planting ability. The GCC helps connect church-planting churches with other like-minded churches who are looking to get involved and support a new church. These churches work together to provide the process, training, and support needed for a new church to thrive.
We believe the Bible possesses supreme authority as it regards mankind, human nature and motivation, the purpose and process of change, and man’s relationship to God. We recognize that secular attempts to answer the ultimate questions of psychology and counseling (i.e. Who is man? Why do people do what they do? How do people change? Why should a person change?) fall short in their answers since they do not acknowledge the reality of a personal God in whose presence mankind is always functioning and developing. The Bible is sufficient in constructing a comprehensive model of biblical counseling. The work of biblical counseling is an endeavour in which all believers should participate, and that it is a work to be shared by the entire body of Christ. (2 Peter 1:3)
Creation, Evolution, and God’s Sovereignty
We believe Scripture teaches that God created the universe in six days and that before He created, nothing except God existed. (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16).
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which infers that non-living substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation, and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; Ephesians 4:6).
God is sovereign in His divine knowledge of not only the past but also the present and the future. God is not limited in terms of time or space but rather controls and directs everything that is. Man has choice and will be held accountable for his choices before a sovereign and holy God. Man’s choice and God’s sovereign control of this world are both biblical truths, and we will not reject either, even though they can appear to be contrary to one another (Romans 9; Jeremiah 32:17; Psalm 139:15-16; Job 12:23; Acts 17:26; Daniel 4:28-35; John 6:64-71; Romans 8:28-39).
Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that marriage is created by God to be shared between one biological man and one biological woman, in a lifelong holy covenant, for the purpose of companionship, sexual intimacy, and procreation. Our created gender, sexuality, and sexual fulfillment are gifts from the Creator and are to be embraced with gratitude and worship. God designed sexual intimacy to be expressed and consummated only between a man and a woman when they are united as one flesh in marriage (Genesis 1:27–28, 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6). Men and women are created in the image of God and stand equal in dignity and worth. (Gen 1:27; 9:6; Gal 3:28; James 3:9.) God designed gender, recognized through our biological sex, as an immutable reality essential to our identity as male and female. While the fall distorts God’s design for men and women (Gen. 3:16-19), Jesus makes men and women fellow heirs of God’s eternal grace (1 Peter 3:7) who differ in complementary and mutually beneficial ways. Specifically, the Bible teaches that husbands are called to lead and love in the home as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:22-33).
Salvation and Eternal Security
Salvation is God’s divine plan and it is God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience that leads a person to repentance. The Bible also teaches that each person is responsible to embrace or reject Jesus as Saviour and Lord, and that God welcomes all who come to Him by faith apart from works. Both of these truths are taught in the Scriptures. Their co-existence is a mystery and is completely understood only in the mind of our omniscient God. (John 3:16 John 6:37; John 6:44; John 6:65; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:11-18; Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3; Romans 2:4; Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 15:7; Luke 20:9-18; John 6:37; John 7:37; Romans 10:9-13; Acts 16:30-34; Acts 17:30)
All glory for the salvation of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Jude 24-25).
Those who are born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (John 15:4-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 9). God is faithful to His people and empowers them to persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19-20).
We believe that everyone who is born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ is assured of salvation from the moment of conversion (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance relies on God’s decisive and faithful grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation, but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each believer as a down payment toward future joy in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16:30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, and protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Process of Sanctification (Maturing in Christ)
Followers of Jesus Christ (disciples) who are committed to abiding in Him will focus on worshipping Christ, walking with Christ, and working for Christ. We as believers will experience personal sanctification, being changed into the likeness of Christ (John 17:17, 2 Corinthians 3:19) and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:28).
We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders’ lives into others (2 Timothy 2:2). This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe that disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Satan and his demonic servants viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12). God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 John 4:4; Revelation 20:1-10).
The Bible instructs the Christian to combat Satan by:
● Putting on the full armour of God so that the Christian can withstand Satan’s attacks and stand firm. (Ephesians 6:11-20)
● Humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy, and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10)
● Resisting his temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9)
● Rightly applying the truth of the Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 4:24-27)
● Forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
Believers cannot be possessed by a demonic spirit, for they belong to Jesus and His Spirit dwells inside of them (1 Corinthians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 3:16).
Women in Ministry
God gave women a significant role in establishing and leading the local church (Acts 16:11-16, Rom 16:1, 3-4). We affirm the significant role women should play in the local church and that every leadership opportunity in the church is open to women, except those excluded by Scripture. The Bible teaches that qualified men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9).
Men and women are equally valued by God, but the Bible is clear that they do not have the same roles.
The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 22:37).
All believers are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence. Worship glorifies God through adoration (Psalm 95:6), praise (Psalm 99:5), prayer (Daniel 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Nehemiah 12:46) and a complete yielding to Him (Romans 12:1).
Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage, and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11, Revelation 5:12).
We seek to:
● Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (John 4:22-26; John 14:6);
● Lead God’s people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks in music and lyric (Nehemiah 12:45-46; Psalm 66:1-4; Psalm 95:1-2);
● Emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith (Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalm 33:3; Isaiah 46:8-9; Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9); pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Deuteronomy 17:1; Psalm 33:3, Hebrews 11:4).