Our Central Purpose: What We Are About

We recognize that we are to shape our church life in fulfillment of God’s purposes, rather than simply our own personal preferences or the preservation of an institution.

More than believing that the church has a mission; we believe that God’s mission has a church.  What we have come to know of as “the church” is meant to organize us to fulfill that mission.

Jesus is calling us to join the ultimate revolution he set forth by declaring and demonstrating that, in him, God’s good reign is invading our world that has been ruled by spiritual oppression and darkness. This purpose is captured in his central declaration that the “Kingdom of God has come.” (Matthew 12:22-29; Luke 10:9, 11:20) In his sacrificial death, he bore the consequences of our human sin… our shame and separation from God... and in his resurrection, the consequences of this spiritual death were overcome… allowing those who unite their lives with his, to begin a new and everlasting life with God. Therefore, we believe that our central purpose must be to embody and equip this new life which includes changes within us (personal transformation), changes among us (uniting with and serving others), and changes around us (serving wholeness and justice through prayer and action that manifest God’s will over the powers of this world). These are more fully described in the following:

  1. Personal Transformation: Restoring Identity in God (the Goodness of God WITHIN us)

     Jesus is calling us to be “united with him” in a life of submission and satisfaction in God. Therefore, as disciples (students) of the life of Jesus, we desire to become increasingly centered and satisfied in God’s love; liberating us from the false pursuit of what possessions or even people can provide. This profound process of transforming our identity and inner life involves the heart (will), mind (thought), body and soul. 

    Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We are called from merely striving in our own self-will and strength to that of abiding in God working in us through the indwelling of His Spirit.

  2.  Community: Restoring Community in God (the Goodness of God AMONG us)

    Jesus confronts the reality of a divided world. Apart from God, human nature has been given to contempt and competition. We see divisions all around us: hatreds rooted in ethnic and national identity; hostility between genders; separation between rich and poor. And in more sobering moments we see division within ourselves… pride and prejudice… hurt and hostility…and self-centeredness.

    Christ is establishing a new community to show the world His reconciling power. Through Christ, we are able to begin embracing our common life in God, where our differences no longer define and divide us. The church is to be a “preview” community of the Kingdom of heaven… a foretaste of all things united through God and unto God. This is why Jesus said our unity was essential… and prayed for it. (John 17:23).

    Therefore, we are called into a life in which we develop genuine, supportive relationships and serve one another with the unique gifts God has given us. (Ephesians 2:19, 4:15-16, 25-29; Hebrews 10:25)

  3. Mission: Restoring the World in God (the Goodness of God AROUND us) 

Jesus called his followers to do what he was doing… declaring and demonstrating the Kingdom of God breaking into the world… marked by the healing of sickness, freedom from spiritual bondage, living and relating justly, leading others into the new life he leads… and to do so to “the ends of the earth.”  He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” (John 14:12)  

 

Our Vision: The Qualities We Seek to Embody

The following reflects our values… and how those values have formed our vision.

We believe we are to be…

  1. A church where our lives are becoming increasingly centered and satisfied in God’s love; liberating us from the false pursuit of what possessions or even people can provide.
     
  2. A church where our worship of God continuously brings the depths of our souls before the greatness and goodness of God.
     
  3. A church that rises above fears and a “fortress mentality”; where those first exploring Jesus can safely join those who believe and encounter Christ’s calling together; where inviting and including is a natural part of our gathering.
     
  4. A church where we grasp how we are each met at the point of God’s mercy; where we understand that mercy is fundamental to all that God does. Therefore, we aim to extend mercy to one another and to all to whom we minister, knowing that mercy extends the opportunity to “turn and come home,” which is the most essential response of the human heart. (Romans 2:4; Ephesians 2:13, 3:12; John 8:1-11; Luke 15:11-32; Matthew 18:21-35)
     
  5. A church where the presence of Jesus establishes an atmosphere of grace and truth; where it’s safe to be real but the power of truth to change us is never withheld.
     
  6. A church that creates a culture of authenticity; where we can be open, honest, and objective concerning our experience with God, and do nothing "for effect."  (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
     
  7. A church where the in-breaking presence of the Kingdom of God is recognized; where the power of God, through the presence and gifts of the Holy Spirit, is welcomed to speak, touch, and heal; in a way that is made clear and common for all to experience.
     
  8. A church where we discover Christ’s compassion; where we care for those among us and around us, especially those who may be the most socially lost, least, and left out.
     
  9. A church where “everyone plays”… where every life discovers that God has "shaped" them for significance to serve others. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
     
  10. A church where we enjoy generosity in our giving that truly comes from following Jesus in trusting God as our provider; where the grip of fear and greed can be broken by an ever-increasing work of faith and freedom within us.
     
  11. A church where we enjoy the opportunity to tangibly trust God; pursuing what only God can fulfill, through the exercising of faith and prayer.
     
  12. A church where every endeavor is marked by integrity and love.
     
  13. A church that values creativity and the arts; as a gift from God.
     
  14. A church that brings together what our world has pulled apart; where the racial, socio-economic, political, gender, and generational differences, that can define and divide us, discover unity in life with God.
     
  15. A church where individuals and families find mutual support from one another; where single adults are seen equally as “first class” members of the larger community, marriages are honored, and families are supported in love for their children.
     
  16. A church that really sees children as Jesus taught us... welcomed in His presence and blessing; where we invest ourselves in imparting the knowledge of God and the future of His ministry to them.
     
  17. A church where successive generations of lives and leaders will be blessed to rise up and engage their own generation.
     
  18. A church where everyone knows the joy of being a part of God’s love for the whole world in a real and relational way, through planting new churches and partnering with particular ministries around the world as God leads.
     
  19. A church that pursues and demonstrates unity with other local churches… because we actually love the whole church in which Christ is revealed and honored.

Guiding Perspectives: How We Approach “Being the Church”

The following perspectives guide how we understand and approach “being the church."

Our communal calling is more centered than bound; for BEING CENTERED IN JESUS, rather than merely bound in a form of “religious identity,” is what keeps us called every day into an active and ongoing relational response.

We recognize that the traditional way we speak of one “becoming a Christian” can focus on a single and settled choice. While we value the significance of such an initial choice, we recognize that Jesus’s call was to “follow” him, which captures the truth that we are always living in response to his calling.

All that Jesus revealed in his life and teaching, which is rooted in the living testimony of the Scriptures, presents a continuous call on our lives. As such, we recognize that the direction of one’s posture of responsiveness, and ultimately obedience, towards Jesus, is more important than one’s current outward “fit” within a religious tradition.

Our COMMON GROUND is more important than our differences.

We want to confront our common tendency to find our identity through the differences that divide us… by which we so easily distinguish between “us” and “them.” We hear the challenge of Jesus to confront our false notions of separation and superiority. (Luke 10:25-37)  Without diminishing our differences; we recognize the common ground of our basic human nature and needs… and that fundamentally “everyone is us.” Therefore we find value in recognizing the common ground and common good we can share with others. This recognition brings freedom to enjoy diversity in our communal life – across ethnicity and culture, age and stage, and even political perspectives. (Romans 12:18; Matthew 7:3-5; Colossians 1:19-20; Galatians 3:28) Similarly, we want to follow Christ‘s lead as he shared meals with many with whom he did not share the same religious, moral, or political positions… sharing common space without compromising differences. We find it helpful to realize that Christ bears both exclusive truth claims and inclusive love aims.

ENGAGING OUR CURRENT CULTURE’s relevant questions and ideas is a vital part of engaging God.

Culture is neither “good” or “bad”… it is just the collective mindset shaped by current ideas and trends. While the most core nature of human life and ultimate truth may not change, we understand that culture does change. Styles change. Values change. Questions change. The way we think changes. We value engaging the culture as it is. Therefore we want to openly and honestly engage the current views of our day, including those of science, sexuality, ethics, and every other sphere of common thought.

God is involved in EVERY SPHERE OF LIFE.

There has been a longstanding tendency to divide life into what we consider “spiritual” and “secular”… and reduce our sense of what parts of life God is involved in. What if we began to consider God’s involvement in every sphere of life? What if we understood that God is always at work… in our workplaces and living spaces? It is from such an awareness that we can begin to overcome the artificial separation between Sunday and Monday, worship and work, and seek instead a more fully integrated life by listening for how God is speaking into every aspect of it.

Real faith is a journey that unfolds through REAL EXPERIENCE.

Faith begins with something new breaking into our lives… and exploring it. While it begins with something we may hear, it is never something that grows merely from accumulating more knowledge. As Dave Schmeltzer articulates, “Instead, we’re each invited into the kind of adventure that Abraham—“the father of faithful people”—was invited into. Abraham left his comfortable world to take a trip to someplace he couldn’t exactly place on the maps he had, a trip that would require close attention to a supernatural guide. [It involves] feeling vulnerable and taking new risks and wondering if we’re on the right track and suspecting we’re misunderstood and needing to pray at a gut level.” As such, we approach faith as an ongoing process involving personal and practical steps that are always before us. 

There is freedom to be “NATURALLY SUPERNATURAL” as we engage the intersection of heaven and earth.

Jesus explained that he had come to reveal that the Kingdom of God was now at hand breaking into this world… and that God’s reign and rule would be reflected in signs and wonders of such justice and restoration. (Luke 4:18-19) From this, he began to pray for those who were sick… and oppressed. He sent out his followers to do the same – to share and show how God’s working was at hand. (Matthew 10:7-8)  After Jesus crossed paths with a man in need and healed him, Jesus explained to those who were surprised, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” (John 5:17)

We join the call to pray for those in need. We want to remain increasingly aware that we live at the intersection of heaven and earth… and serve what God is doing wherever we are. We understand that Jesus was inaugurating that which would not be fully realized until God brought the full judgment and restoration of creation. Until then, we embrace that the Kingdom of God is both “now and not yet.” As such, we are able to embrace that suffering is real… that God is here with us in the midst of our suffering… and that signs and wonders that point to God’s ultimate reign are real. We find freedom to be “naturally supernatural” without presuming we always understand what only God can sovereignly understand about His working... and knowing that we ultimately need connection more than answers.

LOCALITY MATTERS because loving our neighbors includes our actual neighbors and the communities in which we live.

We recognize that we have become an increasingly “event” oriented culture. This shift has led to approaching “church” as an event with little relationship to location. We value restoring the relationship to where we actually live. The paradox of modern urban culture is that we have more means to connect yet often feel more estranged from those who are the closest in proximity to us. As our world becomes more globally connected, we must also seek to become even more locally connected. We believe we will serve the calling of God best when our connection to Jesus relates more naturally to where we live... and we consider what it means to love our actual neighbors. (Romans 12:13; Luke 5:27-29; Acts 17:26-27)

The healthiest community is one which values and creates connections for EVERY STAGE OF LIFE… and the relationships between them.

We recognize the tendency to become increasingly identified with our own particular generation… and neglect the value and connection with those in other stages of life. As a result, church communities can become either those of adults reaching later years and disheartened that the next generation is missing… or a church community made up primarily of younger adults left to wonder how to navigate the future when the reality of life stages continues.

We hear the beauty of God’s call to bless the children (Mark 10:13-16) and the eldest (Leviticus 19:32; 1 Peter 5:5)… seeing what each offers to life. We believe this is also true of every stage in between. We believe that we are the healthiest as a community when we cultivate connections for each age and stage of life… as well as the relationships between them. We believe that there is something vital in having groups in which we can share with those of the same “generational world” and stage in life, while also being able to have connections that continue through and across all life’s stages.  

The following are simply various principles that we believe offer guiding wisdom for our personal and communal life.

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  • We don’t so much “go” to church… but rather we are to “be” the church. The church is not simply the building we gather at…or even the gathering itself. The church is ultimately all that embodies the life and mission of Jesus. As captured in Christ’s earthly ministry, this does involve gathering regularly with others… but it is gathering in order to grow, and ultimately in order to go and live out our calling. Therefore, we value gathering but understand that this is only a means of “being” the church.
     
  • God is for us. He is committed to reaching us, forgiving us, and changing us.
     
  • The “Gospel” of Christ is truly Good News. The life that Christ is calling us into is the ultimately true and good life. It will often challenge the illusions of life as we have known it – the illusion of being the center, the illusion of control, and the illusion of absolute ownership - so it may not initially strike our human pride and pretense as “good”… but when faced with our true condition, it is the ultimate good of coming home to a life centered in God’s love.
     
  • We do not need to accept all of life’s circumstances as part of God's ultimate “will” for our lives, for we know that God Himself "suffers long" against evil, while He also sovereignly redeems our lives from both human and spiritual powers. (2 Peter 3:9) In the midst of what may be far from His ultimate will, He is working His ultimate good (Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
     
  • While we value change in our lives, we believe the healthiest change flows from discovering the goodness inherent in God’s truth. Therefore, discovering the goodness of God’s design and desires that leads to change in our lives is more valuable than just changing our behavior.

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  • Holiness and righteousness are a process of identity, more than a process of law… a process of relationship more than rules.
     
  • The essence of leadership is not power, position, or popularity, but a God-given call to serve the communal good. The authority of leadership is born of responsibility and a commitment to build the Body of Christ with personal sacrifice, humility, grace, and integrity.  Leadership is a vital and functional part of community life, called out by God, and recognized and confirmed by others.
     
  • The primary foundation for healing in all dimensions is love. Such love includes truth when applied with love.
     
  • As adults, we each must take responsibility for developing relationships… including mutually supportive relationships with those following Jesus. While the local church should organize itself in ways which help make such relationships accessible, we recognize that each individual is responsible for the practical pursuit of “continuing to meet together… to stir one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
     
  • Unity is not based on conformity to any particular ideal based on religious traditions or personal preference, but on Christ as the source of our common life in God.
     
  • Our particular church community is not for everyone.  Our desire is to welcome and bless every individual as a member (or potential member) of the Body of Christ while respecting that each individual is responsible for choosing a church whose particular perspectives and priorities they can fully commit to.  Ultimately, commitment to a community of real people is a necessary and essential part of fulfilling God’s intentions for our lives.
     
  • Mature, adult spirituality will lead to a partnership in the work of the church by serving others in some form of regular ministry. We believe that our primary service should reflect how we are gifted, and our secondary services by how we are needed. It is best to focus our regular role of serving according to what we discover about how God has shaped us to serve… while also embracing the basic communal responsibility and servant’s heart to meet the basic needs in a given setting… such as moving chairs, cleaning dishes, providing transportation, etc.
     
  • Relational conflict is a natural and normal part of authentic relational life. Conflict can be a means to personal insight and growth when we allow ourselves to reflect upon what our differences may represent and learn to engage others in ways that are more direct, timely, and mutually constructive.
     
  • The ministry of the Holy Spirit is both subtle and surprising, powerfully leading us in inner convictions and promptings, as well as demonstrating God's manifest presence and power. Such ministry cannot be manipulated or manufactured but is rather to be encouraged and embraced as God reveals it (see John 5:19).
     
  • The best way to learn to hear God's voice, whether speaking to us personally or on behalf of others in ministry, is to…
    • Grow familiar with His voice through His Living Word (Scripture).
    • Limit our presumption of certainty about what we believe we may hear from God; allowing one another freedom to discern and confirm what each may believe God is speaking… without being intimidated by the certainty of others or fearing being wrong ourselves.
       
  • It is essential for the strength of the Body that pastoral staff assume their role as "equippers" who nurture and release the ministry of others.  (Ephesians 4:11-13; Acts 6:1-7)  In order to enable maturity and ministry in others, the priorities of pastoral staff should remain those of personal devotion to Christ, vision and leadership, teaching and training (discipleship), and pastoral counseling where appropriate in communal life.
     
  • We understand that some may come to the church’s building and various on-site staff as the “headquarters for helping people.” However, we do not believe that the building is the church. The building is a place that provides gathering space for the church. In our current functioning, Monday through Saturday the building provides space for a café business which serves the specific purpose of building bridges through coffee and related products and space for social and working purposes. It also provides offices for some staff primarily designated with planning and administrative tasks. When individuals come to engage these lives, they may naturally think they are engaging “the church,” but they are more accurately engaging a few members of the church who are at work with designated responsibilities… and in the truest sense… do not represent the church any more than any other individual members at their workplace.
In that day-sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it.
— Isaiah 27:2-3

Our “roots” as the Westside Vineyard are that of a seeking generation being met by a sovereign movement of God.  The 1970’s ushered in a generation with an anti-establishment “counter-cultural” perspective through which many saw the radical and revolutionary nature of Jesus afresh… capturing what more conventional religious perspectives had often lost.  They sought expressions of this shared “living relationship” with the revolutionary Christ marked by desire for a personal experience of God’s love and presence, vitality of contemporary music, simplicity of structure, and an invitation to make a real difference in a lost world. Out of this movement, in 1974 Kenn and Joannie Gulliksen began a fellowship in West Los Angeles, originally affiliated with the Calvary Chapel movement, which God led to take the name of the "Vineyard." (Isaiah 27:2-3; John 15:5)  God worked through many mistakes as well as successes as people were willing to take risks to follow Jesus. Several couples went out and began other affiliated Vineyards in California, with similar priorities and values.

In the early 1980's John Wimber (located in Anaheim) became the spiritual father of this emerging movement of associated churches, and God imparted to John a vision for thousands of new churches as well as serving the renewal of the larger church across various traditions. 

As God's Spirit continued to bless and shape this vision, John and the Vineyard's ministry emerged into one of the most influential ministries of renewal to the church worldwide in recent history.  The Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC) serves as the support and structure which unites and strengthens the planting of new churches.  (There are approximately 620 Vineyard congregations in the US and over 2,400 in 90 countries internationally, with over 300,000 people worldwide who consider a Vineyard their church).  As the movement continues to emerge, the conviction remains that God's desire is not primarily for us to build the Vineyard but to seek His Kingdom (His reign), to love the whole church, and to bless what He's blessing.

Here in West Los Angeles, the Westside Vineyard continues to rise to the calling to know God and make Him known by revealing His Kingdom in our own time and place.  In 1991, Associate Pastor Brad Bailey, who along with his wife Leah was born and raised on the Westside, accepted the position of senior pastor.  The recent years have been marked by both expansion and the emergence of a new generation. After twenty years of ministry without a facility, in 2000 the Westside Vineyard purchased the 17,000 square foot Bruno's restaurant located at the intersection of Centinela Avenue and Venice Boulevard. Increasingly diverse individuals and families began discovering and developing their relationship with God through the Westside Vineyard. In this same season, a new generation of young adult lives and leaders began to emerge. Then in 2006, Comunidad Viña began as a Spanish-speaking congregation connected to the Westside Vineyard.

What has emerged is the reality that our calling is more than just being a “new” type of church… it involves learning how we can truly reflect God’s uniting of generations and ethnicities as we rise to fulfill God’s calling for our unique time and place in His-Story.

As God’s “Vineyard,” we celebrate His ongoing faithfulness and fruitfulness in our midst.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
— John 15:5

Our Affiliation The “Vineyard” Community of Churches

Our affiliation is like our tribe.  Like a tribe, we choose to overcome our excessive independence by belonging to something larger than just our local gathering. We both grow from the wisdom of a wider network and contribute to that wisdom from our own experience. We have freedom to venture but values that keep us rooted. We find such a tribe essential to our health… especially when one of the core values of that tribe… is a love for all Christ’s tribes. John Wimber, as the “father” of the Vineyard movement, was known above all for his call and example to “love the whole church.”

We are proud of our roots as the first Vineyard church which is now part of an ever-growing global movement of Vineyard churches. The global family has now expanded to over 2400 churches in over 90 countries. While we are autonomous in our local church operations, we are bound together by our common values and mutual support. We are committed to worship with passion, serve with devotion, equip people of every age, ethnicity, language, and background to do the works that Jesus did…and to the planting of new churches as “outposts” of God’s Kingdom to a world in need. From the beginning, the Vineyard has sought to hold in tension the biblical doctrines of the Christian faith with an ardent pursuit of the present day work of the Spirit of God.

Statement of Faith - VineyardUSA

God the King and the Holy Trinity

We believe that God is the Eternal king. He is an infinite, unchangeable Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, power and love. From all eternity He exists as the One Living and True God in three persons of one substance, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory.

God the King: The Creator and Ruler of All Things

We believe that God’s kingdom is everlasting. From His throne, through His Son, His eternal Word, God created, upholds and governs all that exists: The heavenly places, the angelic hosts, the universe, the earth, every living thing and human beings. God created all things very good.

Counterfeit Kingdom: Satan and Demonic Hosts

We believe that Satan, originally a great, good angel, rebelled against God, taking a host of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and, as a usurper of God’s rule, established a counter‐kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.

The Kingdom in Creation, The Fall, and The Doctrine of Original Sin

We believe that God created mankind in His image, male and female, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth. Under the temptation of Satan, our original parents fell from grace, bringing sin, sickness and God’s judgment of death to the earth. Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God’s good creation. Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam’s original sin. Human beings are born in sin, subject to God’s judgment of death and captive to Satan’s kingdom of darkness.

God’s Providence, Kingdom Law and Covenants

We believe that God did not abandon His rule over the earth which He continues to uphold by His providence. In order to bring redemption, God established covenants which revealed His grace to sinful people. In the covenant with Abraham, God bound Himself to His people Israel, promising to deliver them from bondage to sin and Satan and to bless all the nations through them.

We believe that as King, God later redeemed His people by His mighty acts from bondage in Egypt and established His covenant through Moses, revealing His perfect will and our obligation to fulfill it. The law’s purpose is to order our fallen race and to make us conscious of our moral responsibility. By the work of God’s Spirit, it convicts us of our sin and God’s righteous judgment against us and brings us to Christ alone for salvation.

We believe that when Israel rejected God’s rule over her as King, God established the monarchy in Israel and made an unconditional covenant with David, promising that his heir would restore God’s kingdom and reign over His people as Messiah forever. 

Christ the Mediator and Eternal King

We believe that in the fullness of time, God honored His covenants with Israel and His prophetic promises of salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, into the world. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, as fully God and fully human in one person, He is humanity as God intended us to be. Jesus was anointed as God’s Messiah and empowered by the Holy Spirit, inaugurating God’s kingdom reign on earth, overpowering the reign of Satan by resisting temptation, preaching the good news of salvation, healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. Gathering His disciples, He reconstituted God’s people as His Church to be the instrument of His kingdom.

After dying for the sins of the world, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, fulfilling the covenant of blessing given to Abraham. In His sinless, perfect life Jesus met the demands of the law and in His atoning death on the cross He took God’s judgment for sin which we deserve as law‐breakers. By His death on the cross He also disarmed the demonic powers. The covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth from David’s house, His Messianic ministry, His glorious resurrection from the dead, His ascent into heaven and His present rule at the right hand of the Father. As God’s Son and David’s heir, He is the eternal Messiah‐King, advancing God’s reign throughout every generation and throughout the whole earth today.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus.

We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the filling or the empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.

The Sufficiency of Scripture

We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture so that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. We receive the sixty‐six books of the Old and New Testaments as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

The Power of the Gospel over the Kingdom of Darkness

We believe that the whole world is under the domination of Satan and that all people are sinners by nature and choice. All people therefore are under God’s just judgment. Through the preaching of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, God regenerates, justifies, adopts and sanctifies through Jesus by the Spirit all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. By this they are released from Satan’s domain and enter into God’s kingdom reign.

The Church: Instrument of the Kingdom

We believe in the one, holy, universal Church. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and form the living Body of Christ, of which He is the head and of which we are all members.

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are available to all believers.

The Kingdom of God and the Final Judgment

We believe that God’s kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible and triumphant appearing of Christ–His return to the earth as King. After Christ returns to reign, He will bring about the final defeat of Satan and all of his minions and works, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment and the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal conscious punishment of the wicked. Finally, God will be all in all and His kingdom, His rule and reign, will be fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, recreated by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells and in which He will forever be worshipped.


 

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH

God the King and the Holy Trinity
Deuteronomy 33:27 Isaiah 44:6 Romans 1:20 Psalm 95:3 Isaiah 43:15 Psalm 147:5 Job 11:7-9 James 1:17 John 4:24 • Matthew 5:48 Isaiah 6:3 1 Peter 1:15-16 Psalm 104:24 Proverbs 2:6 Isaiah 28:29 Exodus 33:19 Psalm 31:19 Psalm 33:5 Psalm 89:14 Isaiah 30:18 Exodus 15:6 Psalm 63:2 1 John 4:8 Isaiah 43:13 Isaiah 45:5 1 Corinthians 8:4 Psalm 42:2 Psalm 84:2 Jeremiah 10:10 John 1:18 John 10:30 John 14:9 John 14:16-17 John 14:26 John 15:26 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 John 1:1    John 1:14 2 Corinthians 3:17 Matthew 28:19-20 2 Corinthians 13:14 Revelation 1:4 Revelation 5:13 Ephesians 3:14-21

God the King: The Creator and Ruler of all things
Psalm 45:6 Psalm 145:13 Daniel 4:3 Psalm 93:1-2 John 1:1-3 1 Corinthians 8:6 Colossians 1:15-16 Hebrews 1:1-2 Genesis 1:1 Psalm 95:3-5 Colossians 1:17 Hebrews 1:3 Psalm 103:19 Psalm 104:24-29 Psalm 96:4-6 Psalm 89:11 Psalm 103:20-21 • Colossians 1:16-17 Psalm 104:5 Psalm 103:22 Psalm 22:28 Psalm 47:8 Genesis 1:31

 Counterfeit Kingdom: Satan and Demonic Hosts
Revelation 12:7-9 2 Corinthians 11:14 Colossians 1:13-14 Ephesians 6:12 Mark 3:22-26 Ephesians 2:1-2 • 1 John 5:19  

The Kingdom in Creation, The Fall and The Doctrine of Original Sin
Genesis 1:26-27 Genesis 1:26 Genesis 3:1 Revelation 12:9 Genesis 3:8 Romans 1:21 Romans 5:16 Romans 5:12 John 5:14
1 Corinthians 15:22 John 8:44 1 John 5:19 Romans 8:20-23 Psalm 51:5 Galatians 1:3-5 Galatians 4:8-9 Colossians 1:13

 God’s Providence, Kingdom Law and Covenants
Psalm 24:1 Psalm 96:10 Isaiah 40:22 Hebrews 1:3 Romans 9:4 Ephesians 2:12 Genesis 17:3-8 Genesis 12:2-3 Genesis 15:4-6 Romans 4:3-5 Romans 4:16 Romans 4:20-25 Galatians 3:6-9 Galatians 3:13-14 Exodus 15:3-18 Exodus 19:3-6 Exodus 24:3-4 Exodus 24:7 Romans 8:3-4 Romans 8:12-14 Deuteronomy 5:1-3 Deuteronomy 30:15-18 Galatians 3:23-25 Psalm 25:8-10 Romans 7:7 John 15:26 John 16:8-11 2 Corinthians 3:14-17 Romans 7:13 Galatians 3:19 Galatians 3:21-22 Romans 2:1-11 Galatians 3:24 Philippians 3:8-9 1 Samuel 8:6-8 1 Samuel 8:21-22 1 Samuel 9:15-16 1 Samuel 10:1 1 Samuel 10:24 2 Samuel 7:11b-16 Psalm 89:34-37 Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 11:1-5 Jeremiah 23:5-6 Ezekiel 34:23

 Christ the Mediator and Eternal King
Mark 1:15 Galatians 4:4 Romans 1:2-4 John 1:14 John 1:17-18 Luke 1:30-35 John 1:14 Philippians 2:5-7 Romans 5:19 1 Corinthians 15:22 1 Peter 2:22 2 Corinthians 5:21 Romans 8:29 Luke 3:21-22 Luke 4:16-21 Mark 1:14-15 Luke 11:20 Luke 17:20-21 Luke 4:1-13 Luke 4:43 Luke 4:40 Luke 4:41 Luke 7:14-17 Mark 1:16-17 Mark 3:13-15 Matthew 16:18 Luke 9:1-2 Luke 10:1-17 John 1:29 John 6:51 1 John 4:9-10 Mark 8:31 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 Galatians 3:13-14 Acts 3:14-15 Hebrews 4:15 Romans 5:18-19 1 Peter 2:24 Galatians 3:13 2 Corinthians 5:21 Romans 1:18 Romans 1:32 Romans 2:12 2 • Thessalonians 1:6-10 Colossians 2:13-15 Matthew 1:1 Luke 1:68-72 Luke 2:10-11 Matthew 9:27 Acts 2:24-28 Acts 2:29-36 • Romans 1:1-4 Hebrews 1:1-3 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 Ephesians 1:19-23 Revelation 5:5

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:8 Acts 2:1-4 1 Corinthians 12:13 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 John 14:16-17 Romans 12:1 Ephesians 5:18-20 Romans 8:3-4 1 Corinthians 14:12 1 Corinthians 14:26 Romans 12:4-6 Luke 11:20 1 John 3:8b Ephesians 6:10-20 John 14:12-13 Romans 15:18-19 1 Corinthians 4:20 Romans 8:9-10 John 16:7 John 14:26 John 16:13-15 Romans 8:14 Luke 24:49 Acts 4:31 Acts 8:18-19 Acts 19:1-2 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 2 Corinthians 4:7 2 Corinthians 6:4-7 Joel 2:28-29 Acts 2:15-17 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 • 1 Corinthians 14:1 1 Corinthians 14:5 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Acts 8:14-17 Acts 19:6 Mark 1:41 Luke 6:18b-19 Mark 16:18 • Acts 13:1-3 1 Timothy 4:14 2 Timothy 1:6

 The Sufficiency of Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Peter 1:20-21 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 John 14:26 Psalm 19:7-9 Psalm 119:30 Psalm 119:43 Psalm 119:89 • Matthew 5:17-18 John 3:34 John 10:35 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Revelation 22:6 Luke 24:44 2 Peter 3:15-16 Revelation 22:18-19 • Isaiah 40:8 Matthew 24:35 Matthew 7:21 Matthew 7:24 Luke 1:38 James 1:22-25

 The Power of the Gospel Over the Kingdom of Darkness
Luke 4:5-7 1 John 5:19 1 Corinthians 15:22 Ephesians 2:1-3 Romans 1:21-23 Romans 1:32 Romans 1:18 Romans 2:5 2 Corinthians 5:10 Ephesians 5:6 Mark 1:14-15 Acts 8:12 Acts 28:31 Ephesians 5:5 John 16:7-11 John 3:5-8 1 Peter 1:23 • Romans 5:1-2 Romans 5:9 Romans 8:15 Galatians 4:6 Ephesians 5:25 Hebrews 13:12 1 Peter 1:1-2 Acts 2:38 Romans 10:9 • 1 John 4:13-15 Colossians 1:13-14 Philippians 3:20

 The Church: Instrument of the Kingdom
John 17:20-21 Ephesians 4:3-6 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Matthew 16:17-18 1 Corinthians 1:2 Ephesians 2:18-19 1 Peter 2:9-10 • Titus 3:4-7 Romans 12:4-5 Ephesians 1:22 Ephesians 5:23 1 Corinthians 12:27

 Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Matthew 28:19-20 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

 The Kingdom of God and the Final Judgment
Daniel 7:13-14 Matthew 4:23 Matthew 12:28 Matthew 6:10 Matthew 10:7-8 Matthew 24:14 Mark 13:11 John 15:26-27 Romans 14:17-18 Mark 13:26 Acts 1:9-11 2 Thessalonians 2:8 Revelation 19:11-16 Matthew 25:31-32 1 Corinthians 15:23-25 Revelation 20:10 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 John 5:28-30 Revelation 20:11-15 Matthew 25:31-46 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 1 Timothy 6:13-16 2 Peter 3:13 Revelation 21:5 Revelation 21:27 1 Timothy 1:17 Revelation 7:9-12