Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

WHAT WE BELIEVE

Since the Word of God is foundational and absolutely essential to true spirituality, Christian fellowship, the faith, and doctrinal accuracy, we believe that the most important function of this local church, and its central thrust, is consistent teaching and study of the Word of God (1 Timothy 4:6-7Psalm 119:1ffPsalm 138:2Isaiah 66:2bRomans 15:4Romans 16:25-261 Thessalonians 2:131 Timothy 1:54:1-162 Timothy 3:15-172 Timothy 4:1-3).
This document is not a higher authority than the Word of God. Neither is it a higher authority than that which God has invested in those believers He has appointed to lead in this local church (Hebrews 13:17). It must be remembered that the local church is a living, growing, and flexible body subject ultimately to the authority of Jesus Christ alone as it is declared in the Word of God (Ephesians 1:224:12-16). As we grow in our knowledge of the Word, this document is therefore subject to amendment.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. The Scriptures (Bibliography)
B. God (Theology Proper)
C. God the Father (Theology Proper)
D. The Lord Jesus Christ (Christology)
E. The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)
F. Angels, Fallen and Not Fallen (Angelology) (Holy Messengers and Unholy Masqueraders)
G. Man Created and Fallen (Theological Anthropology)
H. Salvation Only Through Christ (Soteriology)
I. Election (Soteriology)
J. Justification (Soteriology)
K. Sanctification (Soteriology)
L. Preservation of Believers (Soteriology)
M. Assurance (Soteriology)
N. The Church, a Unity of Believers (Ecclesiology)
O. The Ordinances of the Church (Ecclesiology)
P. The Christian’s Service
Q. The Second Coming of Christ (Eschatology)
R. The Eternal State (Eschatology)

DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

A. The Scriptures (Bibliology)

We believe that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16a) By this we mean that in the writing of the whole Bible, men of God, “were moved by the Holy Spirit,” to write the very words of God. We believe that while there was progress in revelation from God, this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings – historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical and to the smallest word and part of a word as appeared in the original manuscripts.
We believe that the whole Bible (sixty six books) in the originals is therefore without error, infallible, and God-breathed.
We believe that the Bible is the only perfect standard of faith and Christian living. It is all we need for life and godliness.
We believe that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:1716:12-151 Corinthians 2:7-151 John 2:20). [This method of interpretation affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31Exodus 31:17), and the close of Scripture present a literal 1000 year (millennial) reign of Jesus Christ on earth after which comes the consummation of the ages! (Matthew 19:27-28Acts 1:3,6-7Revelation 20:1-10).]
We believe that all Scripture centers about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read or understood until it leads to Him. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction (Matthew 5:18Mark 12:263613:11Luke 24:2744John 5:39; John 17; Acts 1:1617:2-318:2826:22-2328:23Romans 15:41 Corinthians 2:1310:112 Timothy 3:15-17Hebrews 4:122 Peter 1:20-21).

B. God (Theology Proper)

We believe there is one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit. We believe that God eternally exists in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – and that these three are One God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfection, and are worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence and obedience (Deuteronomy 6:4Isaiah 45:5-7Matthew 28:18-19Mark 12:29John 1:1-144:24Acts 5:3-41 Corinthians 8:4-62 Corinthians 13:14Hebrews 1:1-3Revelation 1:4-6).

C. God the Father (Theology Proper)

We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, plans and brings to pass all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-91 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with all people. As Creator He is Father to all (Acts 17:24-31), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:142 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13John 8:3847), nor does He lessen the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as his own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12Romans 8:15Galatians 4:5Hebrews 12:5-9).

D. The Lord Jesus Christ (Christology)

We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine attributes, and in these He is equal and One with the Father (John 5:17-2110:3014:9Hebrews 1:1-3).
We believe that, as provided and purposed by God and as pre-announced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might make God known, fulfill prophecy, perfectly fulfill God’s law, and become the One true Saviour. To this end He was born of a virgin and received a human body and a sinless human nature (Isaiah 9:6-752:13-53:12Matthew 5:17Luke 1:30-35John 1:183:16Hebrews 4:1510:4-10).
We believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man) the second person of the Trinity willingly laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of deity and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes. He became and remained a perfect man, sinless throughout his life; yet He retained His absolute deity being at the same time fully God and fully man (Matthew 1:23Luke 2:40John 1:1-217:1-5Philippians 2:5-8Colossians 2:91 Peter 2:22).
We believe that in fulfillment of prophecy, He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King, and that being rejected of that nation, He according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life as a ransom for all who would believe in Him (Matthew 10:5-615:24John 1:11-13Acts 2:22-2414:46Romans 1:16Mark 10:451 Timothy 2:61 John 2:2).
We believe that in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father’s will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb, bearing the holy judgments against sin which the righteousness of God must impose. His death was therefore substitutionary in the most absolute sense – the just for the unjust – and by His death, He became our Saviour (Isaiah 53:4-12John 1:29Romans 3:25-262 Corinthians 5:1421Hebrews 10:5-141 Peter 3:182 Peter 3:18).
We believe that according to the Scriptures, He arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers (John 20:20; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:20-21).
We believe that on departing from the earth, He was accepted of His Father into heaven and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished (Ephesians 1:19-23Hebrews 1:3). We believe that He became Head over all things to the church which is His body, and in this ministry He never ceases to intercede and advocate for His people (Ephesians 1:20-231 Timothy 2:5Hebrews 7:251 John 2:1).

E. The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took His place in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to God’s promise, dwells permanently in every believer and, by His baptism, unites all believers to Christ in one body, and that He is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. (Genesis 1:2Psalm 139:7ffEzekiel 36:22-27John 7:37-3914:16-1716:7Acts 1:81 Corinthians 6:19Ephesians 1:13-142:22Romans 6:3-51 Corinthians 12:13Galatians 3:27Colossians 2:11-12Ephesians 3:1620).
We believe His ministries to the Christian are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of God’s will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regenerating of all believers; the indwelling of all who are saved whereby they are sealed to the day of redemption and anointed of God for service; the baptizing into the one body of Christ of all who are saved; and the continued filling for power, witnessing, teaching, leading, and service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will (2 Thessalonians 2:71 John 4:4John 16:7-15John 3:3-6Titus 3:51 Corinthians 6:19Ephesians 1:13-144:301 John 2:20-27Romans 8:3-141 Corinthians 12:13Ephesians 5:18Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the faith. We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. We believe that the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts, and that He does so for the common good. (John 3:616:13,141 Corinthians 12:4-13Ephesians 4:7,122 Corinthians 12:12Hebrews 2:3-4).

F. Angels, Fallen and Not Fallen (Angelology) (Holy Messengers and Unholy Masqueraders)

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings known as angels which being created are therefore not to be worshiped; that one, “Lucifer, son of the morning,” the highest in rank, sinned through pride thereby becoming Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his rebellion, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the carrying out of his unholy purposes, while others are “kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Psalm 148:1-6John 1:3Revelation 22:8-9Colossians 1:16Job 38:4-7Revelation 5:11Isaiah 14:12-17Ezekiel 28:11-19Matthew 25:411 Timothy 3:64:12 Peter 2:4Jude 6).
We believe that Satan, through subtlety, led our first parents into sin. This resulted in spiritual death and the subjection of all unredeemed mankind to Satan’s power. Satan is the enemy of God and the people of God. In his warfare he appears as an angel of light even counterfeiting the works of God (Genesis 3:1-19Romans 5:12-14Ephesians 2:1-32 Corinthians 4:3-411:3-413-15Ephesians 6:10-121 Peter 5:8Revelation 12:7-111 Timothy 4:1-31 John 4:1-3Matthew 24:241 Corinthians 12:1-3).
We believe that Satan was judged at the cross, though not then executed, and that he, a usurper (yet under the sovereign control of Almighty God), is “god of this world”; that at the second coming of Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then “thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone” where he “will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Romans 16:202 Corinthians 4:3-4Colossians 2:152 Thessalonians 2:4Revelation 20:1-310).
We believe that a great company of angels remained holy and are before the throne of God from where they are sent out as ministering spirits rendering service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Luke 15:10Ephesians 1:21Revelation 7:11-12Hebrews 1:14).

G. Man Created and Fallen (Theological Anthropology)

We believe that God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. We believe they were created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self determination, and moral responsibility to God. We believe that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Genesis 1:262:15-195:1-2Acts 17:24-26Isaiah 43:7Colossians 1:16Revelation 4:11).
We believe that as a consequence of sin, spiritual life was lost to the human race. We also believe that spiritual death, or totally depraved human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted. Every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from saving grace (Genesis 2:176:5Psalm 14:1-351:5Jeremiah 17:9John 3:65:406:53Romans 3:10-19235:10128:6-7Ephesians 2:1-31 Timothy 5:61 John 3:8).

H. Salvation Only Through Christ (Soteriology)

We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again. This is a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God. We believe also that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our place. (Romans 5:12John 3:3-6Ezekiel 36:25-27Titus 3:5Ephesians 5:26James 1:181 Peter 1:23Leviticus 17:11Matthew 26:28Ephesians 1:71 Peter 1:18-192 Corinthians 5:21Galatians 3:13Romans 5:6-7).
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to God’s divine provision of salvation. We believe repentance is a vital part of believing, but is in no way in itself a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service to be added to believing as a condition of salvation (John 1:12-133:3-61618365:246:294465Acts 2:383:1916:31Romans 1:16-173:22264:5Galatians 3:22Acts 11:1813:482 Timothy 2:25Galatians 6:14-15Philippians 3:3-9).

I. Election (Soteriology)

We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30Ephesians 1:4-112 Thessalonians 2:132 Timothy 2:101 Peter 1:1-2).
We believe that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord, and that God is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (Ezekiel 18:233233:11John 3:18-19365:40Romans 9:22-232 Thessalonians 2:10-122 Peter 3:9Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (Job 6:37 4044Acts 13:48James 4:8).
We believe that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Psalm 115:3Romans 3:10-12Ephesians 1:4-72:1-10Titus 3:471 Peter 1:2).
We believe that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-282 Timothy 1:9).

J. Justification (Soteriology)

We believe that when a repentant sinner exercises faith in Christ as a result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life and from the old creation into the new, is justified by God – that is declared righteous – is accepted before the Father as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, is joined to Him and is one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ (John 5:2417:23Acts 2:3813:39Romans 3:19-285:18:1331 Corinthians 3:21-23Ephesians 1:3Colossians 2:101 John 4:175:11-12).

K. Sanctification (Soteriology)

We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart to God, is three-fold. It is already complete for every believer because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart to God in the measure in which Christ is set apart to God (1 Corinthians 1:2306:11Galatians 2:202 Thessalonians 2:13Hebrews 2:1110:10).
We believe, however, that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict – the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh (Romans 7:14-25Galatians 5:17). By God’s grace, adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God (John 17:17Galatians 5:16ffEphesians 5:25-27). The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended (Philippians 3:12). All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin. Therefore, while the position of the believer in Christ is perfect, his present walk is no more perfect than his obedience in daily life. There is therefore a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace” and to “be changed” by the unhindered power of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24Colossians 3:9-102 Corinthians 3:181 Thessalonians 5:232 Peter 3:18) . We believe that upon seeing the Lord, the child of God shall be like Him, and then be fully sanctified (Philippians 1:6Colossians 3:9-101 Thessalonians 5:231 John 3:1-3).

L. Preservation of Believers (Soteriology)

We believe that, because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, and because of the unchangeable covenants of God, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. (Titus 1:1-2 cf. 2 Timothy 1:9 & John 6:37-3917:9John 5:2410:2813:114:16-1717:11Romans 8:29-391 Corinthians 6:191 Thessalonians 5:23-24Hebrews 7:251 John 2:15:13Jude 24).

M. Assurance (Soteriology)

We believe it is the privilege, not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they receive Him as Saviour and Lord; and that this assurance is founded wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word and the witness of the Holy Spirit of God Who is in us who believe (Luke 10:2022:32John 10:27-29Romans 8:114-162 Corinthians 5:16-8Ephesians 1:13-14Philippians 1:62 Timothy 1:12Hebrews 10:19-231 John 5:13).

N. The Church, a Unity of Believers (Ecclesiology)

We believe that the church is a unique spiritual body designed by Christ and is a mystery not revealed until the New Testament. Only those born of the Holy Spirit are members of the church, Christ’s body. All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church, the bride of Christ, of which Christ is the head (Matthew 16:18Ephesians 2:11-3:6Romans 8:91 Corinthians 12:12-132 Corinthians 11:2Ephesians 5:23-32Revelation 19:7-8Ephesians 1:224:15Colossians 1:18). We believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God by building itself up in the faith and communicating the gospel to the entire world. We believe that we are responsible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Matthew 28:19Acts 1:8Ephesians 3:214:1-64:11-16).
We believe that the church is a family of believers committed to the Lord and to each other
for the purpose of carrying out the work God has called it to; that is, the communication of God’s truth to the people of God, the worship of and prayer to God by God’s people, the loving care of God’s people for one another, and the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth. We believe the local church is to function autonomously under the lordship of Christ; that leadership in the church should be appointed on the basis of the Scriptural requisites; and that it is God’s intention that all believers publicly identify with a local assembly (Acts 2:41-474:195:2913:1-415:2-41 Corinthians 1:1-21 Thessalonians 1:11 Timothy 3:1-13Titus 1:5-9Hebrews 10:24-25; Revelation 2,3).

O. The Ordinances of the Church (Ecclesiology)

We believe that Christ, the head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22), has commanded us to observe the ordinances of baptism and communion (Matthew 28:191 Corinthians 11:23-26). We believe that Christian Baptism is an outward expression of obedience reflecting the inward reality of new birth in Christ, and that it is a public confession of salvation by the believer showing forth his faith in, and identification with, the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour. It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the body of Christ. (Matthew 28:19Acts 2:3841-428:1235-3910:4716:14-1532-3418:819:1-5). The New Testament models baptism by immersion (Matthew 3:616Mark 1:510John 3:23 – note that the word, “baptize,” means “to immerse; submerge; to overwhelm.”).
We believe the Lord’s Supper to be the privilege of all who truly believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord. We believe that it was instituted by the Lord as symbolic of His crucified body and shed blood on the cross of Calvary and is to be observed in remembrance of Him until He comes. We believe both ordinances are for believers only (Matthew 26:26-29Mark 14:22-25Luke 22:17-201 Corinthians 11:23-29).

P. The Christian’s Service

We believe in the priesthood of all believers, and that all are responsible to Jesus Christ for their lives and service. We believe that divine, enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit on all who are saved. While there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit desires. (Romans 12:61 Corinthians 12:4-11Ephesians 2:204:11Colossians 3:23-241 Peter 4:10-11).
We believe that it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent by Him into the world even as He was sent by His Father into the world. We believe that they are ambassadors and witnesses of Christ making Him known to the world (Matthew 28:18-19Mark 16:15John 17:18Acts 1:82 Corinthians 5:18-201 Peter 1:172:11).

Q. The Second Coming of Christ (Eschatology)

We believe in the imminent, personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His millennial kingdom (Zechariah 14:4-11John 14:1-3Acts 1:6-81 Corinthians 15:51-521 Thessalonians 1:104:13-185:9Titus 2:11-14Revelation 19:11-1620:1-6). We believe that God has appointed a time of great tribulation in which His righteous judgments will be poured out on the unbelieving world and that Jesus rescues His own from the coming wrath (Jeremiah 30:7Daniel 9:2712:11 Thessalonians 1:102 Thessalonians 2:7,12Revelation 6:1-19:21).

R. The Eternal State (Eschatology)

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall be judged and shall suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Matthew 25:46Luke 16:19-2623:42John 5:28-2911:25-262 Corinthians 5:8Philippians 1:233:211 Thessalonians 4:16-172 Thessalonians 1:7-9Jude 6-7Revelation 20:5-6).
Copyright 2008 Valley Heights Community Church