What We Believe

Our core values & our beliefs

We Value Living by Faith in God

Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

As a church, we believe that the pathway of faith is the only way to find or live in real hope.

This path is what we teach, and preach, and try to live. Our faith is not general or ambiguous, but is definitively focused on the one and only living God and His Word. Clearly, the only way to interact with God is through faith since we cannot see Him or hear Him or sense Him in any tangible way.

We know that our understanding of the truth as presented by the Scriptures fuels our ability to put our trust in the truth and in its author our Heavenly Father. A genuine Christian life constantly depends on the Lord and trusts wholly in Him each moment of each day. In the good times and in the bad times, we call on one another to persevere in faith. In order to accomplish our mission at Hope, we hold living by faith as a core value.

We Value the Priority of the People in Our Church

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Each part of our church recognizes that following God’s lead means that people are more important than programs. Everything we do is driven by a desire to serve people and to let them know how important they are to us and to the Lord. We look for ways to make our services understandable and accessible to everyone pushing aside high church language for regular conversational teaching and sharing that helps us all “get it”.

Our music is main stream and our building is comfortable and welcoming. It matters to us that each person that comes to Hope feels like our welcome mat is out for them! Our church will never be completely neat and orderly because we are a place for real people with real issues to come to Christ and to find His warm welcome and embrace among His people. We could certainly point out failings in one another but instead, we understand that each of us is in spiritual formation, with God working on us in different areas and at different paces.

Every spiritual step of progress is made in relationships. It begins with a genuine relationship with the God of the universe, and continues as God uses the body of Christ, His church, to interconnect and serve one another in love. So we value each person who comes to Hope.

Our kids are a huge priority not because of what we think they will do for us, but because they are important to our Lord. We deliberately direct resources at our teens and young adults because they are not problems to be solved, but people to be cared for and loved. We minister to our single adults and our married couples to our parents and grandparents. to our businessmen and our blue collar workers. Everyone is included and important because our Savior included everyone. We do our best to try to make sure no one feels left out. It matters to us that each person knows they can belong here. People are our most valuable resource, since the Spirit of God comes to live in God’s people and to empower their lives for supernaturally productive service.

As often as possible, our ministries function as teams so that our people can work together as God leads. In all that we do, we are working to make it obvious that we value people and place a high priority on caring for them and ministering to their needs.

We Value Our Belief in Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

The driving thought behind the decisions we make is that we want to represent Jesus well in all that we do. As we move forward together, we ultimately want His glory to be known – for His name to be famous – and not ours. It is His kingdom we build because He alone is the Savior of the world. We don’t offer our resources or skills to save anyone – we simply do all that we can to reflect our amazing Lord. As followers of Jesus Christ, we passionately want to act in ways that reflect His heart and direction to one another. We want to love people like He loves people. We want to serve like He served. We want to sacrifice like He sacrificed. We want to follow our Heavenly Father like He did. We want to pour out compassion and kindness because that will be an accurate representation of how Jesus interacted with the sinful and the broken.

Our Lord was known for His open arms to each person who turned to Him. It is vital that our church and our people operate in the utmost of integrity, because our Lord is completely faithful and true – reliable and upright in everything He does. We know we won’t be perfect, but we value doing the right thing in every instance – even when it would be simpler, easier, or more profitable to do something else. In all of these aspects, we recognize that we are only imperfect reflections of our perfect Lord, but we also know that He has called us to be that reflection in His strength so that we will be reminding everyone around us how amazing He is. Whether we are far from God or have known Him for many years, we all need living reminders of the wonderful hope we can have in Jesus.

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 Salvation

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.

9. Eternal Destiny

We believe that man is created to exist forever so that there is an eternal destiny after life on this earth is over. The Bible teaches two destinations, which are the only possibilities for man after death. We believe in a literal hell of conscious misery and punishment, which will be the destiny of all who do not accept Christ by faith.

We believe in a literal heaven which is the home of God and the place of bliss and joy eternally for all who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their savior.

10. Eschatology

We believe in the imminent return of Christ – His second coming. We believe that beyond this basic truth, there is freedom for many to give legitimate interpretations of prophetic Scriptures.

We further take the position that many different views exist on future events that are each faithful attempts to interpret what is given in Scripture.

We embrace these differences of opinion and interpretation, knowing that these matters are certainly not clear or absolute so as to enable a detailed timeline which can be trusted as inspired.

When we talk about our time of worship as a church, we are usually talking about the time we spend singing together. Of course, worship is much more than that. But when we pray together or sing together, it gives us a chance to do it as one body – joining together in the act of worship. Our goal is to have each person invited and enabled to lift up a sincere heart of adoration, praise, and gratitude to our wonderful Lord.

What you’ll find at Hope is contemporary worship (guitars, drums, keyboards, etc.) with a team approach to ministry. We have many involved in organizing and ministering in our worship time. Skilled instrumentalist, gifted singers, and faithful technical people work together so that our church family can lift up their voices as one in praise. If you’re around for a little while, you’ll quickly become familiar with most of the songs we do. Basically, our style is mainstream Christian worship music.

We value variety in music so we’ll have upbeat songs, as well as more reflective songs. We’ll have very current songs and some old hymns too. The form is not nearly as important to us as the direction of our hearts during this time. We don’t really want the attention on our musicians or our music – we want Jesus to be lifted up!

Most people stand for this time, but there are plenty of people sitting as well. Many raise their hands in worship, bow their heads, or close their eyes. We don’t try to judge anyone’s spirituality, but recognize that each individual is unique in their worship. Most of all, we invite everyone to let their hearts be filled up with the grace, wonder, love, and power of our awesome God!

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