At Hope we are a Bible-believing group of Christ-followers. Below is the 8 major beliefs we hold as a church body:
- 1. The Inspired Scripture (+)
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to men, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Heb. 4:12). We accept the sixty six books that comprise the Old and New Testaments as the verbal, plenary, and complete canon of Scripture. There is no new revelation today; rather, believers are illuminated by the Holy Spirit to a deeper understanding of what has already been written. We accept different Bible translation so long as they do not undermine the Biblical position regarding the scriptures or theology and are faithful translations of the original texts.
- 2. The One true God (+)
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent, self-revealed “I AM.” and has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association, by simultaneously existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deut.6:4; Mark 12:29; Isa.43:10, 11; Matt.28:19; Matt.3:16-17). GOD THE FATHER We believe that God is infinite in power and ability. God the Father is the sovereign King over all the earth. He is the Creator of the universe and is by nature holy, just, merciful, good, gracious, and loving. GOD THE SON Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary. He died as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin. He rose bodily from the grave on the third day, and then ascended to heaven to be our High Priest and Mediator (Heb.4:14-16; 1 John 3:2-3). He will return again personally and visibly for His people and to rule over all creation. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the triune God with many functions in the church. He seals and indwells new believers, He sanctifies each child of God, He baptizes them into the body of Christ, and indwells them permanently. He gives spirirtual gifts to each believer and empowers them to use these gifts. We do not advocate the use of sign gifts for this time, believing that these gifts were given to help establish the church, and were no longer needed upon the completion of the Scriptures. Therefore, these gifts are not publicly or organizationally practiced at Hope Christian Fellowship, although we recognize that many of our spiritual brothers and sister do accept and practice these gifts.
- 3. The Fall and Redemption of Man (+)
Man was created good and upright, for God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” But man, by voluntary transgression, fell. The result of this fall is an eternal destiny of punishment and suffering for all mankind. Each person’s only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Gen. 1:26-31; Gen.3:17; Ro.5:12-21).
- 4. The Salvation of Man (+)
a) The Gift of Salvation We believe that salvation is a gift from God to man by Grace, received by man through faith in the personal work of Jesus Christ (Eph.2:8-9). Jesus shed His blood on the cross to atone for the sins of the world. Salvation is by faith alone and is not earned by any good works whatsoever.
b) Results of Salvation We believe salvation is a new birth and creation (John 3 and 2 Cor.5:17). At the moment of regeneration, the Holy Spirit gives us a new nature and spiritual life which we did not before possess. Our sins are forgiven forever and the eternal, spiritual consequences of sin will never be demanded of us (Rom. 8:1). We believe that salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity, guaranteed by the seal of the Spirit (Eph.1:13), the keeping power of God (John 10:27-29), and the interceding ministry of Christ (1 John 2:1).
- 5. Baptism in Water (+)
The ordinance of baptism by burial with Christ should be observed (as commanded in the Scriptures) by all that have repented of their sins and in their hearts have believed on Christ as their Savior and Lord. In doing so, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they have also been released to walk with Him in newness of life (Matt.28:19; Acts 19:47,48; Ro.6:4). We believe that the Scripture calls for baptism by immersion, but we understand that this is an interpretation that is subject to disagreements. Therefore we will practice baptism by immersion for all those who come to make a public declaration of their faith in Christ. This ordinance is not necessary for salvation, and is a symbolic representation of the events that took place spiritually at salvation.
- 6. The Lord’s Supper (Communion) (+)
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing in memorial to His suffering and death, and prophecy of His second coming, and is enjoined to all believers “until He comes” (John 6:48,51,53-57; Luke 22:19,20: 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Cor. 11:25). This ordinance is a way of remembering the sacrifice of our Savior by means of symbols. We do not believe that the Bible teaches that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of our Savior. This ordinance is not required for salvation but is a God ordained method of reflecting on the sacrifice of the cross.
- 7. Process of Sanctification (+)
We believe that God has called us to live holy lives in light of the regeneration that occurs at salvation. Since our spirit is made holy and righteous as an act of grace by God, we are to live that reality out in our daily lives by living dependent on the power of the Spirit (filled with the spirit) and by refusing to live in the power of our unregenerated flesh (walking after the flesh). It is the grace of God that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world (Titus 2:11). The Law has no power to help us live righteously, but simply serves to show us how incapable our flesh is of doing right. This reality is the driving force behind the desire for the power of God to fill our lives daily.
- 8. The Body of Christ (+)
The church is the body of Christ with Christ as the head. The universal church is comprised of all those who have believed in Jesus for genuine salvation. The local church is a congregation of believers that God has called to fellowship and work together for the kingdom of God. The church, both local and universal, is called to spread the gospel and disciple believers. This body is the primary tool that God has chosen to use for each believer to serve the cause of Christ. Thus, each believer should find the local body to which God has called them and dedicate themselves to serving the Lord in that ministry.