The Bible is our highest authority
The Bible is the word of God that reveals everything that we need to know to carry out God’s plan for our lives. 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Isaiah 55:11.
Because the Bible is exactly what God intended it to be everything we do can and should be tested by it. Acts 17:11;1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:19-21. We welcome Biblical accountability. Every lesson taught, ministry performed, and sermon delivered must agree with the Bible.
The Bible is meant for the common person
Anyone who can read is able to study the Bible and learn and grow from it. Proverbs 7:2-3; Matthew 11:25; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17. The role of Biblical Scholars is not to dictate what people are to believe. Their role is to save the common person study time and thus learn and grow at a quicker rate. Nonetheless, as with every person, every scholar regardless of who they are should be tested with the Scriptures (Bible).
The Bible teaches that Jesus is the “Son of God.” Peter called Jesus the “Son of God.” Matthew 16:13-17 A voice from heaven, calls Jesus the “Son of God.” Matthew 3:16,17. Many others called Jesus the “Son of God.” John 1:34, 49; Luke 1:35; Luke 4:41; John 11:27; Matthew 27:42, 54. What does the “Son of God” mean? Some wrongly assume that means Jesus was a little god, or a junior god. The “Son of God” does not mean that Jesus was procreated. Jesus is eternal and had no beginning. John 1:1, 8:58; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 7:3, 13:8. The expression “Son of...” does not refer to birth, but rather “Being the nature of...” To call Jesus the “Son of God” means to claim that He is of the very nature of God. John 19:7 Thus, calling Jesus the “Son of God” is equivalent to calling Him “God.” Jesus was more often called the “Son of Man.” The same principles applied to the “Son of God” also apply to the “Son of Man.” This doesn’t claim Jesus had a beginning, but rather He was of the nature of man. From the world’s perspective we saw a man who was God. From a spiritual perspective we saw God who was a man.
Jesus is not only God’s Son, but He is God. He became human without losing His identity as God. He was fully God and fully human. John 1:1-18; John 5:17,18; 10:30; 14:7-9; 20:24-31; Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16.
The Bible also teaches that Jesus is the Savior of the World. Matthew 1:21; John 3:16,17; 14:6; 12:47. We all have sinned.Romans 3:23 The consequences of our sin is death. Romans 6:23; Jesus came to earth to save us from the severe penalty. We have disobeyed God. 1 John 1:8-10 Apart from a right relationship with Jesus, we will receive a just punishment. Jesus came to save us from that punishment. The way He did that was to come to earth, live a sinless life, and die on the cross to pay the debt of our sin. Romans 3:24; Titus 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
As a result of what Jesus has done for us, we should make every effort to live for Him. Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Luke 9:23;
The Holy Spirit
It is vital for the Holy Spirit to dwell in our lives Romans 8:8-11. He does not dwell in everyone’s life. Even-though God desires for everyone to be saved, not everyone will be saved. 1 Timothy 2:4; Matthew 7:22-23. Perhaps the most important question we could ever ask ourselves, “What must I do for the Holy Spirit to dwell in me?” The Bible teaches only one way for a person who desires the Holy Spirit to receive Him, That way is through baptism. John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 19:4-5; Romans 6:3-6; John 1:33; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:27 (There were instances where people received the Holy Spirit in other ways than baptism. However, we are not taught that that is a reliable practice. All those who received the Holy Spirit before baptism were commanded to be baptized). Acts 10:44 =Acts 10:48.
Any form of unity is based on some kind of accountability or compliance to a standard or set of rules. The basis for Christian unity is found in each person’s connection with Christ. John 17:11. There is no Christian unity without a connection to Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 8:9; John 15:4-10; 1 Corinthians 5:9-11.
Every person is made in God’s image and will exist for eternity. People will either exist eternally separated from God by sin in hell, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation in heaven. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence and our only possible destinations. Matthew 7:13-14; Acts 24:15; John 5:28-29; Luke 12:5; Revelation 14:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 2:9.
The Church’sgreatest purpose is to Glorify God. We glorify God by carrying-out the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20and the Great Commandment found in Matthew 22:37-40. Together these two passages encompass the entire role of the Church, which includes worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship. Basically the Church is here to help each of us live our lives to our fullest potential in Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
The Bible is very clear about the practice of Homosexuality being a sin. Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Timothy 1:1-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Sadly, there are those who would rank sins. They tend to rank the sin of homosexuality as either the most despicable or the least harmful of sins. The Bible does not categorize or rank sin, but does just the opposite. James 2:10. Those who understand the gospel understand that we all are sinners. Though sins may be different in form the results are the same - death. Romans 6:23. Therefore the need for Jesus is also the same. Our struggle is not against people, but the forces of darkness.Ephesians 6:10-17.
Speaking in Tongues
We believe the Holy Spirit gave some Believers in the first century the gift of speaking in tongues. However, we do not practice speaking in tongues for the following reasons.
1) The practice of speaking in tongues today is not the same as it was in the first century. When the church first began on the day of Pentecost the Apostles spoke in “other tongues. Acts 2:3-20. In other words the Holy Spirit had given them the ability to speak in foreign languages that they had not learned; for the people were hearing the gospel in their own language. Today, most of those who “speak in tongues” are not speaking a foreign language but an unintelligible dialect / babble.
2) The way many practice it edifies themselves and not others. The “speaking in tongues” is mentioned in only three books of the Bible (Mark 16:17; Acts 2, 10, 19; 1 Corinthians 12-14) Mark simply mentions “new tongues” as a sign of Apostleship. Acts is primarily an historical narrative of extraordinary and miraculous events which do not represent a normative pattern for the entire church. So we are left with only 1 Corinthians 12-14 to instruct us about speaking in tongues. Chapter 12 primarily teaches about the spiritual gifts in general and how they were received by the Church. Chapter 14 teaches about the superiority of prophecy over speaking in tongues and the proper use of speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. However, in chapter 13:1-3 Paul teaches about the proper motives for using the gifts, namely love. The first point Paul makes is the adulteration of tongues. Paul was rebuking the Corinthians for using the gift of tongues selfishly and without love. The Corinthians were more interested in inflated their own egos and enjoying a euphoric experience than they were in serving one another in love. Paul did not condemn the practice of speaking in tongues, but he did state that using the gift of tongues in a manner other than what God intended was only noise and of no value. The tongues were meant to be a sign for the unbelievers not the believers. 1 Corinthians 14:22. The Corinthians were abusing the gift and using it as a personal prayer experience and not for edification of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:2-4 All things done in the Church should be done for the edification of others. 1 Corinthians 14:26 If it does not edify others it should not be practiced in the Church. What many people fail to realize is that Paul was condemning this method of practice mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14:14, he was not endorsing it. 1 Corinthians 14:14-19
3) Certain criteria must be meet. (a) There must always be an interpreter present. 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 It is important to understand what is being said. 1 Corinthians 14:7-17, Therefore, Paul said if their is not an interpreter present, keep silent. It is possible to turn people away from the Church by the speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:23 (b) It must always be done for edification. 1 Corinthians 14:26 (c) It should be done by at least two and the most three each in turn in an orderly fashion. 1 Corinthians 14:27, 33, 40
4) Speaking in tongues is a gift from God not a skill. 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 Therefore it is not something one learns, either one has the gift or they don’t.
5) It is the least desirable of all the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1, 5, 19, 39 Still, speaking in tongues, has become the most desirable gift among many Christians. Some even make it a criteria for fellowship.
6) We are commanded to test everything, which includes speaking in tongues. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 We are never to blindly accept teaching from people without testing it with the Scriptures. Just because someone “speaks in tongues” does not mean their message is from God. Speaking in tongues can easily be counterfeited.
We believe in God answering our prayers. Matthew 7:7-11; 21:22; James 1:5; 5:14-16 We have numerous testimonies of people being healed that can only be explained by God’s intervention and not by natural means. Nonetheless, we have not seen anyone with the gift of healing as mentioned in the Bible. Luke 22:47-51; Acts 5:16. Jesus healed everyone, no one was disappointed.Luke 4:40; 9:11 Should someone arrive with the gift of healing, Children’s Hospital is filled with many needing to be healed. Until that time, we pray and trust God in an individual basis.