Statement of Beliefs

STATEMENT OF BELIEFS

GOD – WE believe in one God, Creator of all things. (Gen 1:1-31; Eph 3:9) WE see him as majestic and holy, sovereign over all things. As three equally divine Persons, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, he condescended to us, his creation, to redeem us from sin.  As we believe what his son Jesus Christ did for us, he saves and adopts us as His own for his glory.

Christ – WE believe Jesus Christ is our representative and substitute, having shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for our salvation. His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, and propitiatory. Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possessed all the divine excellencies and in these He is coequal with the Father. At the same time, Jesus was perfectly human – the God man. WE believe that in the incarnation, Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity, but nothing of the divine essence.

WE believe that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

WE believe that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture, and returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20).

Holy Spirit – WE believe the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ as he transforms believers into the image of Christ. He has regenerated us and in Him, we are baptized into union with Christ at the moment of believing. WE experience his divine Fruit as WE live and have our being in Christ. The Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, illuminates, guides, equips, and empowers us for Christ-like living and service through spiritual gifts, and seals us to the day of redemption. (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).  WE believe God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today. Thus, men and women are coequal in using our gifts, since both women and men are equally gifted.

We believe that men and women were both apostles, prophets, teachers  and evangelists grouped under the rubric of “ministry of the Word” (te diakonia tou logou) [Acts 6:2].  1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:14).

Scripture – WE believe the Bible is without error in the original writings. WE believe they are God’s complete revelation of His will for salvation and our ultimate authority by which all realms of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, we believe all it teaches for living out the Christian faith. (2 Timothy 3:16) The Holy Spirit is our divine Teacher who guided the apostles and prophets as they wrote the Bible, thus all Scripture is verbally inspired as objective, propositional revelation, and infallible.  (1 Thess 2:13)   WE believe that the Bible is the literal, grammatical historical interpretation of Scripture.

Humanity We believe God created Adam and Eve in His image and thus they were free of sin with intelligence, volition, self-determination, a rational nature, and moral responsibility to God. (Gen 2:7). When tempted by Satan, Adam and Eve chose to follow their own will. Sinners by nature and by choice, we are alienated from God and are under His wrath. It’s only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ that we can be rescued, reconciled, and renewed. We believe that God’s intention in the creation of humanity was that we should glorify God, enjoy his fellowship, live life in his will, and thereby, accomplish God’s purpose for our lives. (Is 43:7)

Redemption – We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of

God, humanity lost its innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of doing that which is acceptable to God apart from his divine grace. We have no power in ourselves to enable us to recover from our sinful state and are hopelessly lost. Our salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because all people were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all people of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception; all humanity are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration. (Rom 3:9-18; 5:10-12)

The Church – We believe the true Church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. We are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. We see the true Church manifested in local churches whose membership should be composed only of believers. Unbelievers are always welcome to attend so as to be saved, but those who place their trust in Jesus Christ make up the local church. God, through his sovereignty, appoints church leadership through gifts, thereby exercising order, discipleship, and worship. The two ordinances mandated for the church are Believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which, we believe, visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though these ordinances are not the means of salvation, when celebrated in genuine faith, they confirm and nourish our faith. The church offers these ordinances openly to those who have new life in Christ and are living in obedience to him. Baptism involves full immersion in water and demonstrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Lord’s Supper celebrates Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection as we remember his great sacrifice on our behalf. The bread and cup symbolize his broken body and poured out blood, reminding us of God’s great love for us.

We believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ as Head of the Church and Lord of our lives. Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God, who takes the initiative, while humanity must freely respond. God has provided for the salvation of all, but his provision becomes effective only as we choose to cooperate with him and accept his grace. The Bible is embraced as the sole written authority of our faith and practice. Lastly, we, as a church and as individuals, are free to come to God and worship him as we choose.

Worship – By its very nature, Worship exalts God. We believe reverence and adoration must be the product of our heartfelt, Spirit-motivated expression to God because of who he is. (Ps 96:5-6) His splendor and majesty, his strength and glory makes him worthy of our praise. To think that God first loved us fosters an abiding joy and love that overflows as we live a life of holiness unto him. We (should) see this joy spill over as we sing together our praises and thanksgiving as the church and thereby fellowship together.

Discipleship – Discipleship is a process by which followers of Christ grow in their relationship with the Lord Jesus and spread the good news that he made a way to have eternal life with him. We do this by spending time in God’s Word and in prayer, as well as sitting under the teaching of Scripture. Faithful instruction through preaching is essential therefore. ( 2 Tim. 4:1-3). Teaching in both large and small group settings is also provided, and involves opportunities for questions and answers with practical dialogue together with practical applications. Exhortation to positive decisions for Christ also promotes commitment and Christ-like values and living. As we align with Scripture via God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit, disciples obey the Bible’s teaching and the Spirit’s leading out of a sense of gratitude for all God in Christ has done for us in making a way for salvation. Sealed with the Holy Spirit at conversion, we are equipped to overcome challenges and trials in our lives and thereby, become more like Jesus.

Women in ministry – We hold to the essentials of the faith with a strong commitment to religious freedom that allows a woman to minister as she is gifted and called, allowing a woman to Pastor the local church.

We believe Christ exalted women and placed them in high level leadership in the early church. In Paul’s various lists of spiritual gifts and offices, he never associates a gift or office with a certain gender (Rom. 12:4-8). It is our belief that the ministries of the church are based on one’s divine calling and spiritual gift, not gender. Peter’s speech on Pentecost aligns with the giving of the Spirit, where it is reported twice that God pours out his Spirit on men and women alike. (Acts 2:17-18) In looking back to the Old Testament as well, numerous times women are sited as being prophets and therefore, teachers of God’s divine Word to them. With the many examples of women teaching and prophesying throughout the New & Old Testaments, and supported by Early Church Fathers, the Falls Community Church upholds & supports women in pastoral leadership. (Acts 2:17-18; Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthian 11:5; 1 Corinthian 14:6, 23-33; Romans 16:1, 3; Galatians 3:28)

Social Justice – We believe Galatians 3:28 is pivotal in understanding God’s standard for social relationships and, when lived out, will radically highlight and counter injustices in the world today.  Injustice occurs when Satan attempts to distort God’s image and we oppress others. If we acknowledge God is, his justice should pervade all areas of our lives. For example, with sex-trafficking, Satan has distorted the sex act; we have objectified women. However, God’s justice is seen when we open our hearts to minister to those affected by the sex trade.

Evangelism – We believe the church fulfills the Great Commission by actively sharing the gospel to all ages and groups inside and outside the church through relational evangelism. Other methods we advocate are sharing, refuting, reasoning, persuading, demonstrating, and proving. Through our efforts the Spirit of God illuminates a person’s heart to the truth. (Col. 4:5-6; 1Thess. 1:7-8)

Mission – We believe mission is what we ‘do’ as a church. It focuses the multifaceted work of the church as we obey the rally cry of Jesus to ‘go and make disciples’ (Matt 28:19). Jesus’ clarion call gives clarity to the things we do since mission can take us beyond our comfort zones and often outside our culture. Mission involves taking the message of Jesus’ love to those yet unreached, by both words and actions.  It calls people to something of value and captivates their hearts and minds.

Marriage, Gender, & Sexuality – 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 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.

Human Life – We believe in the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to the time of death. All human life is precious in the sight of God. (Psalm 22:10; 71:6; 139:13-14; Psalm 72:14; Isaiah 43:4; Luke 1:15; Galatians 1:15; Mark 8:36)