Statement of Faith

Statement of  Faith –      Shoreline Community Church                        9-15-2021

 

I. The Word of God

 

A. Revelation

 

God has revealed himself in two main ways: general and specific revelation. General revelation provides insight into the character of God including his glory, existence, power, goodness, control of history, and plan of redemption. Specific revelation has been conveyed in two main ways: through the Word of God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, and though the written Word of God, the Bible. (Ps. 19:1-6; Rom. 1:18-20; Acts 14:16-17; Acts 17:28; John 1:1-5, 14; Heb. 1:1-2)

 

B. Inspiration

 

All Scripture is inspired by God and without error in its original rendering  All the original words of the 66 books of the Bible are inspired by God. These books were written by human authors, prophets, apostles, and other men of God, through the means of the Holy Spirit. Scripture provides the basis of conduct and daily living for the church, family, workplace, friendships and individual relationships to God, and is the complete and final authority of God for this age.(Psalm 119:1-3, 9, 105, 160; John 10:35; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

 

C. Interpretation

 

There is one interpretation of Scripture, while there may be many applications. The proper understanding of a passage is determined by a series of factors including author's purpose, grammar, context, historical-cultural setting, type of writing. The Holy Spirit enlightens the understanding of the Scripture and is essential to its interpretation. (John 14:16-17, 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:10-15.)

 

 

II. God

 

A. The Trinity

 

There is one and only one true God, who eternally exists, who eternally exists as three distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who share the work of creation, maintenance of the universe, redemption and judgment. God is eternal, infinite, holy, loving, almighty, all present and independent of the creation He has made (Gen. 1:26, 17:1; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2, 100:5, 139:7-11; Is. 6:3, 40:13-14, 40:25, 45:5-7; Acts 17:24-29; Eph. 4:4-6; Ja. 1:17; 1 Jo. 4:8)

 

B. God the Father

 

God the Father, the first person of the trinity, orders and directs the course of the universe according to His purposes and grace. He is the absolute and sovereign ruler of the universe. He created the universe from nothing. He directs the events of history for his glory, including the choosing of those whom He saves from sin to be His own children, through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the arresting of evil and sin. (1 Chronicles 29:11; Ps. 103:9-14, 145:8-9; Rom. 8;17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 1:3-6)

 

 

 

 

C. God the Son

 

Jesus Christ is God, the second person of the trinity, being one with the Father, yet separate in function and identify. (John 10:38-40) The Father sent the Son (John 5:23; 16:27), who was born of a virgin (Is. 7:14; Matt.1:23).  Jesus emptied Himself of His place of glory by taking the form of a man (Phil. 2:5-8), as a suffering servant (Is. 53:1-6) to pay for the sins of all mankind and redeem man to God the Father (John 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:3; Heb. 10:14.)  Jesus is the Messiah, who has established the church (Matt. 16:18), and will rule over God's kingdom (Ps. 2:7-9.)

 

In summary, Jesus is the only mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim. 2:5), the head of the church (Eph. 1:22-23), the future king who will reign on the throne of David (Ps. 2:7-9), and the final judge of all who do not place their trust in Him (John 5:26-29; Rev. 20:11-15.)

 

D. The Holy Spirit

 

Personhood - The Spirit is part of  the God-head, we recognize as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 1:22-23; 2 Cor. 13:14). The Spirit is a unique person of God, who guides and teaches man, as He directs man to an understanding of Jesus (John 16:13 - 14). At the same time, the Holy Spirit is both unique and inseparable from the Father and Son (2 Cor. 13:14). The Holy Spirit is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-8) and searches all things (1 Cor. 2:10).

 

The Work of the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit was involved in creation (Gen. 1:2) He has been active in history throughout the Old Testament times, in the lives of Jesus and the Apostles, and has been active in the lives of  believers and unbelievers since the time of Christ in the following ways:

 

Work with Unbelievers - The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin. He brings an awareness to people that leads them to a sense of guilt, so that they realize their shame and helplessness before God (John 16:8-11.) The Spirit issues a universal call to all mankind to be saved (John 16:8-10)

 

Work with Believers - The Holy Spirit first brings men and women into the kingdom of God through a new spiritual life (John 3:3-8). (They are born again.) Next, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believers' hearts to guide them  in truth (John 14:16-17), so that they might know the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2:6 -16). The work of the Holy Spirit also sets the believer apart from sin unto God and progressively transforms him into the image of Christ (Romans 8:9 - 14). The Spirit does this by teaching the believer all things ( John 14:26) and guiding the life of the believer in truth (John 16:13.)  The Spirit brings changes in the life of a believer in Christ, including the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)

 

           

III. Angels

 

A. Origin

 

God created angels as his sinless agents to do His work and worship Him (Ps. 148:2-5; Ezek. 28:15; Matt. 26:53; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:13-14). Most angels have remained faithful to the purpose of their creation, as His chosen ministering spirits (1 Tim. 5:21), while some angels did not choose to remain without sin, pursuing their own ambitions (2 Pet. 2:4).

 

 

 

 

B. The Fall of Angels

 

One angel fell from sinlessness through pride as he desired to be like God (Ezek. 28:12-19; Is. 14:11-14.) This angel was Satan, the devil, and he influenced other angels to follow him (Matt. 25:41).

 

C. Satan

 

The activity of Satan opposes the work of God. He is God's adversary. By deception, Satan caused the moral fall of mankind (Gen. 3:1-7) and has subjected mankind to his power since (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2, 6:11-12, 16.) Satan is a murderer and a liar (John 8:44), continuing to scheme against man (2 Cor. 2:11, 11:14;1 Tim. 3:7, 6:9; 2 Tim. 2:26).

 

D. God's Judgment of Satan

 

Satan was judged and defeated at the cross (Gen. 3:15; John 12:31; 16:11; Heb. 2:14).  He will be thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the millennium ( Rev. 20:7-10.)

 

 

IV. Man

 

God created man and woman in his image. Their physical, emotional, and spiritual elements reflect God. (Gen. 1:26-28).

 

A. Purpose of Man

 

As designed by God, the purposes of man and woman were to glorify God, have fellowship with Him, and fulfill His purposes. God conveyed specific purposes to man: to be caretakers of the land, to have children, and to serve one another (Rev. 4:11; Gen. 1:26-30; Is. 43:1-7).

 

B. The Fall of Man

 

Man and woman fell into sin by acting against the will of God. Eve allowed herself to be deceived, while Adam willfully followed her sinful action (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:13-14.)

 

C. The Consequences of the Fall

 

As a result of the fall, man and woman (in particular Adam and Eve):

           Were overcome by a profound sense of guilt and self-consciousness (3:7).

           Experienced a separation from God (3:8-10). They tried to hide from God.

           Suffered a separation or breaking down of their relationship, as well (3:11-14). The man blamed the woman and God and the woman blamed the serpent. Man and woman would battle for control of their  relationship (3:16). The woman's natural desire would be to control her man, but he would rule over her.

           The ground would be cursed and require much labor in its cultivation (3:17-19). No longer would a god given garden produce an abundance of  food for man. Man would have to labor by the sweat of his brow just to survive.

           Man and woman would die physically, as they would return to dust, from that which they were made (3:19).

 

In summary, all people of all times would enter life with a nature of sin, subject to the wrath of God, and incapable of choosing or doing what is pleasing to God apart from his divine grace in the person of Jesus. (Psalm 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-18, 23, 5:12-19; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8.)

V. Salvation

 

The result of Christ's work on the cross was salvation through the grace (unmerited favor) of God to the believer. It is bestowed freely upon the man who has faith in that work (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is a work of God for man, but man is responsible to receive that work through faith (Rom. 10:9).

 

Faith is a conviction in the heart of the believer of the gospel of Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; 5:1-2) and a reliance upon the promises of God in Christ (John 3:16; 5:24). Faith involves the intellect (Rom 6:1-11); emotion (John 6:68-69; Acts 2:37); and will (Acts 16:30-34; Phil. 2:13). Faith is a work of God (John 6:28-29). Thus, salvation depends on belief in Christ (John 20:31, Acts 4:10-12), while the source of faith is the Holy Spirit ( 2 Thess. 2:13).

 

Salvation is a process which begins long before the conversion of the believer and continues into eternity. This process includes actions both by God and by man.

 

God elects or determines who will believe (Eph. 1:3-6). Prior to belief, man was in an unsaved, helpless state and separated from God in sin (Eph. 2:1-3). But God intervened in the life of man and began an eternal process of salvation for His elect (Eph. 2:4-7). With foreknowledge, God looks from His place in eternity,  to His relationship with man which is based on His love (Rom. 8:29; 11:2) and to man's exercise of  faith which brings salvation (1 Pet. 1:2-5). With predestination, God looks to the result of those with whom He has engaged Himself to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29).

 

3 Aspects of Salvation

 

Justification  is the work of grace, whereby God pardons man's sins, and accepts man as righteous on the basis of Christ's righteousness imputed to him (Rom. 3:20-28; 5:9; 4:22-25; 8:33). In addition, the believer is adopted into God's family and becomes His heir (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 4:4-7).

 

Sanctification is a progressive work of the Holy Spirit whereby, the believer increasingly is set apart to God from the power sin  (1 Thess. 4:7-8; 1 Peter 1:2). The believer cooperates with God in being transformed into an ever closer likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Phil. 2:12-13). The primary means of sanctification is the word of God (John 17:17; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Tim 3:16).

 

Glorification and eternal security - God keeps the believer from a total and final turning away and continues the work of divine grace begun in regeneration unto its completion in glory (Rom. 11:29; Phil. 2:12-13). The future and final phase of the salvation process is glorification through which the believer is freed from the presence of sin and made perfect (1 Thess. 3:13; Heb. 12:23). All believers will be glorified with Christ when He comes again and be like Him and with Him forever (Rom. 8:30; 1 John 3:2; John 14:1-3; John 17:22-24).

 

 

VI. Atonement

 

Christ's major work was on the cross, through which He atoned for (made amends to God for) the sins of man. Christ died to enable all men to be saved (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:19), even though only his elect would receive redemption in his blood (Eph. 1:4-7) and would be reconciled to himself (2 Cor. 5:18).

 

As a substitution for the sin of  man, Jesus redeemed--purchased and released man from the penalty of sin as a substitute for that penalty (Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor 5:21).

 

VII. The Church

 

A. Members

 

Those who have faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross are members of one great spiritual body, the church, of which Christ is the head and the Holy Spirit is the unifying agent (1 Cor. 12:13-27; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22, 4:4-6, 5:25-27.)  The church began on the day on Pentecost and will be completed at the second coming of Christ (Acts 2:1-47.) It was build upon the work of Christ on the cross through his apostles (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:19-22.)

 

B. The Organization of the Church

 

The living unit of the church is the local assembly (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:25). The members of the body of Christ are a priesthood, each one with access to God the Father, through Jesus the Son (1 Peter 2:4-9.) Each local assembly has authority from God for administering order, conveying discipline and conducting worship (1 Tim. 5:1-5; Matt. 18:15-18; Acts 2:46-47). The designated offices for the assembly include: pastors, elders, and deacons (Eph. 4:11-12, 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 6:1-6).

 

C. The Operation of the Church

 

For each believer in Christ, the Holy Spirit gives gifts, the Lord Jesus appoints ministries and the Father is responsible for the results (1 Cor. 12:4-7). The church is to function with each member serving in his or her area of giftedness. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be exercised for the building up of the body (1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:4-16; Rom. 12:1-14; 1 Peter 4:10-11.)

 

D. The Purposes of the Church

 

The 5 main purposes of the church are:

 

  1. Sense and Experience God’s Reality (Worship of God) – through singing, serving, praying, and giving

(Ps. 95:1-7; Matt. 22:37-38)

 

  1. Grow Real Relationships with One Another (Groups) – to meet together to devote ourselves to the word of God, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer  (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

 

  1. Prepare people for Meaningful Spiritual Lives (Growth) – to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-13)

 

  1. Share God’s truth in a Loving Way (Grace) – in our community and to the remotest parts of the earth

(Acts 2:42-47)

 

  1. Reach out and Respond to the Needs of Others (Gifts) – to discover and use our spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12-13; Matt. 22:39)

 

E. The Practices of the Church

 

The Church has two rites or ordinances to practice: baptism and the Lord's supper. These rites are to be observed until the Lord returns.

 

Baptism is a one-time outward expression of an inward reality of faith. A believer demonstrates by his or her act of baptism an identification with the work of Christ and with the community of believers. Baptism is a command of Christ for all believers to partake. (Matt; 28-18-20; Acts 2:37-41, 10:47-48.)

 

Communion is a commemoration of the Lord's atoning death. Its two elements, bread and wine, have deep scriptural significance. The bread symbolizes Christ body broken so that a believer could live in Him, who is the bread of life. The wine symbolizes Christ's blood shed on the cross, so that through his death, God established a new covenant with man. Through the new covenant, man is accepted into God's family, man has a new relationship with God whereby he receives personal knowledge of God, God forgives man's sins; man receive a new motivation to obey God.  (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-29).

 

 

VIII. The Last Things

 

A series of cataclysmic events will begin the final events of time. These events will begin with the return of Christ for his people. This is also known as the rapture of the church (1 Thess. 4:15-17).

 

A. The Rapture of the Church

 

Christ will return bodily to remove his church from the earth and to reward them according to their works (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 3:11-15, 15:51-53; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; Rev. 3:10).

 

B. The Tribulation

 

Immediately after Christ's second coming for the church, the Lord will pour out His righteous judgments upon those who has rejected Him. This is the 7 year period, also referred to as the 70th week of Daniel. The climax of this seven year period will be Christ's return in glory with his saints to the earth to establish His new rule. At that time, He will establish new rule on earth, destroy His enemies, restore the land to Israel and cast Satan into the pit for 1,000 years (Dan. 9:24-27; 12:1; Matt. 24:15-31, 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 2:7-12).

 

C. The Millennium

 

Following the 7 year tribulation period, Christ will establish His reign on earth. In His Messianic kingdom, Christ will reign with the saints over all the nations of the earth for 1,000 years. At the end of the millennium Satan will be released from the bottomless pit and cast into the eternal lake of fire  (Is. 11:3-16, 65:17-25; Ezek. 37:21-28; Rev; 19:11-19, 20:1-6, 7-10)

 

D. The Eternal Kingdom

 

After the conclusion of the millennium, the unsaved dead will be raised, judged and condemned to a second death, the lake of fire, which is eternal punishment, separation from God. (2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:11-15). The saved will then enter into the eternal state of glory with God (Rev. 21:1-4). Having finished his work (Rev 21:6), Christ will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father. From that time forward the triune God will reign together (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:10-27, 22:5; 2 Peter 3:10-13).

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