What We Believe
This church embraces the following statements concerning the biblical truths we believe. These statements of truth are intended simply as a basis for our fellowship and the hope we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We do not claim that these statements contain all the biblical truths, nor all the biblical truth we hold close, but only that they speak to our beliefs in these fundamental doctrines. Nor do we suggest that the words used in these statements are inspired in and of themselves, or that they represent the final work on biblical truths. We are persuaded, however, that these statements are appropriate and consistent with the Holy Scriptures and set forth a declaration of those things which are believed among us.
The Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scriptures of the Bible, in the original manuscripts, are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in all its parts and in the whole. The Bible is the all-sufficient, infallible and authoritative rule for faith and conduct. Both, the Old and New Testaments were written by holy men as they were inspired and carried along by the Holy Spirit. As God’s revealed Word to man, the Holy Scriptures are the guide to salvation and to all Christian worship and service. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme revelation from God and about God. They are superior to all conscience and reason, though not contrary to them. All the Holy Scriptures are fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The One True God
The Bible teaches us that there is but one true and living God. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and His love is from everlasting to everlasting. God is the eternal “I AM,” the creator and ruler of heaven and earth, and the redeemer of mankind. God has chosen to reveal Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one and the same though distinct in personality. The three are one God, having the same nature, attributes, and perfection and are worthy of the same worship and obedience. God is the fountain of all perfection and happiness. He is glorified by the whole of creation and is worthy to be loved and served by all men. God is the only proper object of worship.
The Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man, and was born of the Virgin Mary. He came into the world to save men from the guilt and condemnation of sin, offering His blood as atonement for sin and making it available to all who put faith in Him. He Himself lived a sinless life, and although innocent, was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day, Jesus Christ physically resurrected from the dead. He was exalted to the right hand of God and His divinity is proved from all that exists, all that can be seen, His life, His words and teaching, His ministry, and His attributes. Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us, His redeemed. We acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord over all things in Heaven, and in Earth, and under the Earth, and as the Savior of our lives and souls. He will return to the Earth in His heavenly glory to gather His redeemed to Himself and to reign with His saints for a thousand years and for the final judgment.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is as much God as the Father and the Son. He therefore is equal in perfection, wisdom and power and in feelings and emotions. He loves, comforts, draws to salvation, guides, empowers, leads, teaches, gives revelation, commands, forbids, sends, reproves, distributes spiritual gifts, and He can be sinned against and grieved. The works of God ascribed to the Holy Spirit include creation, inspiration, giving of life, washing of rebirth and renewal, and sanctification.
The Salvation of Man
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Thus, man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without human works. Salvation is received through repentance of sin, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing away of sin only by the blood of Jesus Christ and by rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, a man is born again and has eternal life. The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit and a good conscience toward God. And the outward evidence to all men is a life of love, righteousness, and holiness under the Lordship of Christ. The new life of a believer is demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit and obedience to Christ. The final result of salvation is that the spirit of the believer who dies in Christ immediately goes to be with the Lord for eternity.
We believe water baptism by total immersion is commanded of every believer in the Scriptures. All who have repented and truly believed in their heart on Christ as Lord and Savior are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life in Him as Lord and Savior of their lives.
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements – bread and the fruit of the vine – symbolizes our Passover, our perfect redemption, the new covenant in His precious blood, and our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. It serves as a continual memorial of His suffering and death and as a prophecy of His second coming. It was commanded by Jesus Christ of His disciples in remembrance of Him and is enjoined on all believers ‘until He comes.’
Sanctification is the miracle by which a true believer is separated from evil and dedicated to God. The Scriptures command us to live a life of holiness, “without which no man shall see the Lord.” By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command, “Be Holy, for I am Holy.” Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and by faithfully meditating daily upon that oneness with Christ. The sanctified believer offers every aspect of his/her life, including thoughts and acts, feelings, and intentions, to the power and dominion of the Holy Spirit. Thus, sanctification is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit as they submit to and obey the Word of God, and engage in self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
The Church and its Mission
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission and purpose. All who are saved and united by a new birth in Jesus Christ are part of Christ’s church universal, which is His body and the local congregation of Christian believers is God’s chosen instrument for: (a) corporate worship; (b) world evangelism and the furtherance of God’s work here on Earth, and (c) the nurturing of Christians to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the church of the firstborn, whose name is written in heaven. As such, the Bible reveals that we are in partnership with one another and the basis of our partnership is mutual fellowship with Christ. We therefore believe in the spiritual unity of all believers and in working together with others who believe in salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the causes of evangelism, missions and benevolence. The church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission and purpose.
Responsibility of the Believer
We believe that it is essential that every believer lay a foundation of biblical truth and experience upon which to build his/her life. We believe each Christian is called and chosen in God to be a priest unto God to offer up the sacrifice of praise, to give of his/her time, strength, and material possessions, without limitation, to the service of the Lord. All believers have been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ and are no longer their own, but belong to the Father to be used for His glory; and as possessions of the Lord, must give themselves to serving Him, finding their place in the church, His body, and making themselves available by being present when the church comes together, that they might be able to minister their gifts and talents for the building up of the Body of Christ. We believe that the whole purpose of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Therefore, we believe in the act of praising and worshipping God with one’s total being as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. We believe that the saved, those who are true believers, are called to be fully devoted followers of Christ. All are called to be disciples in every sense that the Holy Scriptures command, including daily taking up their cross, dying to self, and living fully for Christ. Both the Old and New Testament Scriptures teach tithes and offerings as God’s financial plan for the support of His work. These are to be practiced by all believers and are outward expressions of the unity of the church, the Body of Christ, as it joins together in support of the work of the Lord.
Additionally, we believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen. 1:26-27) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen. 2:18-25) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10) We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of The Mission Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to The Mission Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by The Mission Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers in a leadership capacity, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22) We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11) We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of The Mission Church. Furthermore we believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps. 139).
The church is to be taught and led by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the purpose of every disciple seeing and exercising their priestly and kingly ministry. By the authority granted in the Holy Scriptures, the church leadership must teach and train its people to do the work of the ministry with maturity and in unity. Working with these ministries will be pastors, ministers, elders, deacons, and the gifted men and women of the church. The Bible also teaches that the church’s ministry leaders are to be paid from the tithes and offerings that the church receives. This church believes that the Word of God sets forth that the sacerdotal functions which are to be performed by its pastoral ministry, and overseen when performed by others (unless otherwise prohibited), are: (a) The Lord’s Supper; (b) Baptisms; (c) Preaching and Teaching from the Word of God; (d) Praise and Worship and leading the church in such; (e) Presiding over memorial and funeral services; (f) Blessing and lifting prayers for the sick and dying; (g) Dedication of children; (h) Prayer for and before the congregations; (i) Teaching and training of the churches youth and children; and (j) Conducting or solemnizing marriages.
Biblical Ordination of Ministers
As related in the Bible, those individuals whom God calls to the pastoral ministry are to be ordained for such ministry, so that those in the church might recognize and receive them who are so called, appointed and anointed.
Helping the Poor
It is the intent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to feed the hungry, to care for the poor, and to care for the widows and orphans. And we believe that such ministry should be in His name toward both saints and unbelievers. The rich in this life are spiritually poor and needy until they receive salvation through Jesus Christ and He taught that it is good for them to use their earthly riches to bless others and thus lay up treasure for themselves in heaven.
The New Heaven and the New Earth
We look for and expect a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.