1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. We believe that the Bible is fully and completely inspired and without error in the original manuscripts and in its complete form. We believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is true in all that it intends to say and does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact. The Bible has the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. In matters not specifically addressed in the Bible, what is true and right is assessed by criteria consistent with the teachings of Scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32
2. The Triune God
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in His love and in His holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, He perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about His eternal good purposes to redeem a people for Himself and restore His fallen creation, to the praise of His glorious grace.
Genesis 1:1-26; John 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19-20; Ephesians 4:5-6
3. God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, goodness, and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He sovereignly rules over all things, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:21-22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16, 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 2:5-6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6
4. God the Son, Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. We believe that Jesus makes perpetual intercession for His people, and that He will personally and visibly return to earth to judge the living and the dead and to make all things new.
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5, 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30-31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8, 6:9-10; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Timothy 3:16, Colossians 1:15-20
5. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that salvation, is secured by Jesus Christ, and is applied to His people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and is present with and in believers as the Helper. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by His powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus. The Spirit enables believers to be renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive His sovereignly distributed gifts.
John 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26-27, John 16:9-14; Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 12-14; Galatians 5:22-26; 2 Peter 1:4
6. The Nature of Humanity
We believe God created both male and female in His own image for fellowship with Him; that man sinned against God and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, are sinners by choice, and are therefore under righteous, divine condemnation. This inward corruption is radical and pervasive. It extends to every human being’s mind, will, central desires, and emotions. Unregenerate mankind lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. They are at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
Both men and women are made in the image of God. Both men and women have dominion over the earth (all God’s creation). In Christ, men and women have the same equal standing and direct access to God. Though equal, men and women have different roles in life, in the family, and in the church.
Genesis 1:26, 5:2; Genesis 2:17, 3:19; Romans 1:18-32, 3:9-19, 3:23; Ephesians 5:18-33; Colossians 3:18-25; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 Peter 3:1-6
7. The Gospel of Salvation
We believe the Gospel is the good news that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was a once for all, in our place and on our behalf as a substitute, and the propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins; that all who repent, forsake sin, and place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, delivered and saved from condemnation and receive eternal life. Jesus Christ’s historic death on the cross, was the fulfillment of the Scriptures, it actually saves us from the wrath of God, reconciles us to God, it was witnessed and transmitted to us by the Apostles, and requires an intensely personal response. Jesus Christ’s historic resurrection from the dead, was the fulfillment of the Scriptures, it actually gives us new life and gives us freedom from sin, death, and the devil.
John 1:12-13, 3:14-21, 5:24, 8:12, 10:26; Romans 3:21-26, 5:19; 1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:19-22; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 John 5:1
8. Christian Conduct and Evidence of Salvation
We believe that a Christian should live solely for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow man; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful and generous steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. We believe biblical salvation is characterized by godly sorrow, repentance, and embracing Christ as one’s Savior, Lord, and Treasure. This “re-birth” through the Spirit is evidenced by new affections for God and hatred for sin, desires to please Him and not the world, and good works rooted in the obedience of faith.
1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-2, 12:14; John 14:15, 14:23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; I Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9-10; Hebrews 2:10-11,12:1-2, 12:14; 2 Peter 3:11-14; Ephesians 4:17-32; Titus 1:16, 2:10-15; Ephesians 2:10
We believe the Holy Spirit is the indwelling active agent in our progressive sanctification; that He seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed by His Word and we are conformed to the image of Christ; that though our battle with indwelling sin continues throughout our lives, as we are led by the Spirit, we are enabled to walk in the Spirit and so delight in God’s commandments and truly endeavor to live in this world for the glory of God.
Galatians 3:1-6, 5:16-26; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 4:2, 6:17-18; Romans 6:11-14, 8:29, 12:1-3; Colossians 3:5-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; 1 John 2:3-6; John 14:15, 14:23-27, 15:11
We believe all Christians are exhorted by God to persevere in their faith, knowing that they will give an account to God for their every word and deed; that the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, worship, giving, fellowship, fasting and confession of sin are provided by God as vital means of grace to assist us in our pursuit of holiness; that the believer’s ultimate confidence of persevering in the faith is based solely on the grace and promise of God to keep all those who are His to the end.
Galatians 5:1-15, 6:11-18; 1 Timothy 4:15-16; James 1:12, Matthew 10:22, 24:13; Matthew 6:1-18; John 17:6-19
11. The Church
We believe the church exists to worship God, nurture believers, and evangelize the lost. 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, evangelism, discipleship 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 through preaching the Gospel and planting churches as visible evidence of salvation.
Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-23; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25; Matthew 16:18, Acts 8:1, 11:22, 15:13-21, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:11-17, 3:9-16, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 28:18-20
12. Church Ordinances
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community and best portrayed by immersion of the believer in water in the name of the triune God, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, a divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things. We believe that only those who give a believable profession of faith and who give reasonable evidence of believing in Christ should be baptized or partake in the communion elements.
Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:47-48, 16:14-15; Colossians 2:11-12; Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 3:2, 3:5, 3:24-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:17-20
We believe that every human being has direct relationship 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; though the church is free from outside ecclesiastical interferences yet it may submit itself to the counsel, wisdom, and arbitration of outside ecclesiastical authority when necessary. Church and State, therefore, must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 14:7-9, 14:12; Romans 13:1-7 For more on Christian Liberty see also The Gathering Community Church’s Alcohol Statement attached as an appendix.
14. The Doctrine of the Future
We believe the consummation of all things will happen in the visible and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the just and the unjust and to fulfill His kingdom in establishing the new heavens and the new earth. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal happiness of the righteous, and the endless, conscious suffering of the wicked in hell.
Matthew 24:44, 25:13; Mark 13:32-33; Luke 12:40; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-11, 4:13-17; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:8; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 20:11-15, 22:8-20