What do we believe about the Bible?
WE BELIEVE the Old and New Testaments in their original languages are the divinely inspired revelation of God and His purpose to all mankind. In the words of the Bible itself, “…men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.[i]” We accept the Bible as our all-sufficient rule for faith and conduct.[ii]
What do we believe about God?
WE BELIEVE there is one God, existing eternally in three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.[iii]
WE BELIEVE in God the Father as revealed in the Bible and in creation. He is the Father of Jesus Christ and Creator of all humankind. He has always existed and He always will exist. He is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. Of course we can’t explain the mystery of God, but we accept as fact the revelation of His existence.[iv]
WE BELIEVE in God the Holy Spirit, who touches the lives of individuals in many ways, comforting the Christian and bearing witness to God’s work in the world.[ix] It is the Spirit working within that brings salvation to the person who comes to God in faith.[x] In addition, Christians may also be filled with the Spirit in an experience different from and following salvation.[xi] To be “filled” with the Spirit means to be controlled, borne along, and permeated by the Spirit.
WE BELIEVE that it is not only the believer’s privilege, but responsibility to be filled with the Spirit,[xii] to manifest “the fruit of the Spirit,”[xiii] and to exercise all the various “gifts of the Spirit”[xiv] for the edification of the Church as well as the individual.[xv]
The filling of the Holy Spirit will, therefore, empower the believer to spread the gospel and to live the full and faithful life God has promised and expects. The Scriptures reveal this as the normal experience for Christians and teach that every believer should earnestly seek and expect this filling.
Of course, the final evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit is in the life of the Christian. It leads to a deeper reverence for God, a growing sensitivity in worship,[xvi] and an intensified dedication to Christ’s work.[xvii]
What do we believe about humans and their needs?
WE BELIEVE men and women were created good and upright, in fact, in the image of God. But by choosing to disregard and disobey God’s command, they cut off their close relationship with the Creator and introduced suffering and death into humanity.[xviii]
Humanity’s only hope for fulfillment, satisfaction, and restoration to God is the forgiveness God has provided through the death of Jesus Christ. Every individual can be restored to fellowship with God by asking forgiveness for sin and believing in God’s Son.[xix]
Therefore, we believe that all have sinned and need a Savior; that salvation is through repentance for sins and through faith in Jesus Christ.[xx]
What ordinances do we practice? (An ordinance of the church is an outward, visible sign of an inward, invisible grace.)
WE BELIEVE the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper should be observed by all Christians. This is to be done in remembrance of Jesus’ atoning death, in celebration of His resurrection and anticipation of His return to earth.[xxi] We also practice water baptism by immersion as a believer’s public declaration of his identification with Jesus Christ and of his new relationship with God through faith.[xxii]
We do not baptize infants, but we encourage parents to dedicate their children to the Lord in a public worship service.
What do we believe about sanctification?
WE BELIEVE sanctification is an act of our separation from that which is evil and of our dedication unto God.[xxiii] This means: to be set apart for the use for which God intends and not our own; to be His instrument, and to walk in conformity with His ways.[xxiv]
What do we believe about the church?
WE BELIEVE that as a body of believers at Hillcrest Chapel we have been called to eight core community values:
- Worship: We are committed to live and gather in the presence, power and creativity of the Holy Spirit celebrating God through artistic expression and enjoyment of beauty.
- Mission: We are committed to demonstrating our love for God by missional living- sharing the gospel, loving our neighbors locally and globally, seeking biblical justice and caring for His creation.
- Formation: We are committed to participate with God’s Spirit as He transforms us into the fullness of Christ through spiritual disciplines, biblically based equipping and mentoring relationships.
- Truth: We are committed to live in submission to God’s truth as revealed in the person of Jesus and the Bible.
- Prayer: We are committed to being prayerful people, individually and corporately, recognizing prayer as a foundational element of our relationship with God and as a participation with him in the fulfillment of His Kingdom.
- Generosity: We are committed to sharing our spiritual gifts and material resources in response to God’s abundant provision.
- Family: We are committed to authentically share our lives in unity and love, welcoming people of all cultures, affirming God’s created intent for every person, whether single or married, adult or child.
- Anticipation: We are committed to a growing life of hope as Christ restores our lives both now and in the age to come.
WE BELIEVE God has ordained that gifts are to be given to the church. Among the gifts given are:
- Every good and perfect gift.[xxx]
- Manifestations of the Spirit which are also given to each one as the Spirit determines for the common good.[xxxi]
- Gifts of grace[xxxii] which are given individually to each person in the Body of Christ to enable them to function as members of the Body.[xxxiii]
- Servant leaders, including deacons who are called to be worthy of respect[xxxiv] and servants of the Body who enable ministry to go forward[xxxv], as well as pastors/teachers/elders[xxxvi] who are called to be shepherds of God’s flock,[xxxvii] servants of the Body, models of spiritual life[xxxviii] and equippers of the saints.[xxxix]
What do we believe about healing?
WE BELIEVE healing is an integral part of the good news God has for the world and that God heals sickness today as in Bible times on the basis of the suffering and death of His Son.[xl]
We do not pretend to understand everything about healing, but the Scriptures are clear that when one is sick he may pray in expectation of healing.[xli]
The biblical doctrine of healing does not oppose the practice of modern medicine neither does it preclude the proper use of medication. Healings should be confirmed by proper authorities.[xlii]
What do we believe about the future?
WE BELIEVE God will intervene in human affairs to bring history to a climax and usher in a better world, even though there is little to prompt optimism from a human point of view. This will include judgment upon a corrupt world system, including unscriptural religious structures, in a period termed the “Great Tribulation.”
WE BELIEVE that Jesus will return, defeat Satan and consummate His kingdom purposes.
WE BELIEVE there will be a final judgment of the wicked of all ages and they will be judged at the great white throne. At that time whoever is not written in the Book of Life will be consigned to everlasting punishment.[xliii]
WE BELIEVE according to His promises that we can look for a new heaven and a new earth—the home of righteousness.[xliv]
[i] II Peter 2:21 NASB
[ii] II Tim. 3:15-17
[iii] Deut. 6:45; Is. 43:10-11; Matt. 28:19; Luke 3:22
[iv] Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10-11; Matt. 28:19; Mark 12:29
[v] Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:31, 35
[vi] I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21
[vii] Matt. 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Cor. 15:4
[viii] Acts 1:9, 11; 2:33; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1-3
[ix] John 16:13-14
[x] John 3:8; Rom. 8:11
[xi] Acts 2:4; 4:31; Eph. 5:18
[xii] Eph. 5:15-20
[xiii] Gal. 5:22-26
[xiv] 1 Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12; 1 Peter 4:10-11
[xv] 1 Cor. 14:4-5, 12, 16-17, 31, 39-40; Acts 4:31; 6:5, 8; 9:17; 11:24
[xvi] Eph. 5:18-20
[xvii] Acts 4:31-37; Rom. 12:1-2
[xviii] Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:17; 3:6; Rom. 5:12-19
[xix] John 3:3, 16, 17; Acts 20:21; Rom. 10:8-13
[xx] Rom. 3:23; 5:12-19; Luke 24:27; John 3:3; Rom. 10:1315; Eph. 2:8; Tit. 2:11; 3:5-7
[xxi] I Cor. 11:17-34
[xxii] Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4
[xxiii] Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:20-5:21; I Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:12
[xxiv] John 17:17-19
[xxv] Eph. 1:22-23; 2:22
[xxvi] John 17:18; Mark 16:15-18
[xxvii] I Cor. 12:17
[xxviii] Eph. 4:16
[xxix] I Cor. 12:12-26
[xxx] James 1:17
[xxxi] I Cor. 12:1-11
[xxxii] Eph. 4:7
[xxxiii] Rom. 12:3-8; Eph. 4:16; I Cor. 12:12-27
[xxxiv] I Tim. 3:8-12
[xxxv] Acts 6:1-4
[xxxvi] Eph. 4:11
[xxxvii] I Pet. 5:1-2
[xxxviii] I Pet. 5:3; I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9
[xxxix] Eph. 4:12
[xl] Is. 53:45; Matt. 8:16-17
[xli] James 5:12-16
[xlii] Matt. 8:1-4
[xliii] Matt. 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Rev. 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8
[xliv] 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21