Statement of Faith
The Elders of Hope Fellowship Church recognize that any doctrinal statement is but a fallible human attempt to summarize and systemize the riches of an infallible divine revelation. This in no way detracts from the importance of having such a statement. The affirmations below carefully specify our teaching positions with regard to the major Biblical doctrines, and thus provide a framework for curriculum and instruction at our church. They also provide an anchor to protect our body against theological drift.
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6, 119:105,160; Proverbs 30:5
The Bible is God's Word to all mankind. Human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it. It is the supreme source of truth for the followers of Jesus Christ. We believe it is inspired by God, it is truth, never changes, and without error.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is infinitely perfect and externally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are equal and are one God.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make us aware of our need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer at the moment of salvation, and continues to empower the believer with spiritual gifts, as He desires. All spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament continue to this day, as God so chooses. Any form or manifestation of a spiritual gift is not required for salvation.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2
Mankind was created in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. He is the supreme object of God's creation. Although mankind has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by disobedience toward God called "sin." This disobedience separates us from God.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12, 14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. People can never make up for their sin by self improvement or good works. Only by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can mankind be saved from eternal separation from God. Eternal life with God begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10-14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
Because God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the believer. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.
Hope Fellowship Church understands Scripture to teach that only professing believers qualify for Baptism. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ, fulfilled by individuals who have submitted themselves to His Lordship, and profess to be born again. Baptism only symbolizes the spiritual cleansing through divine forgiveness and the newness of life believers experience by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. Baptism follows the salvation experience. Baptism does not save an individual nor does baptism initiate any type of forgiveness. Any Baptism prior to the salvation of the individual is not recognized as biblical baptism. Baptism provides an opportunity for believers to make a formal profession of their faith before the church. As a biblical rite of initiation into the body of Christ, the Baptism of a believer is considered a prerequisite for becoming a member of the church. Hope Fellowship’s position is that Baptism by immersion paints the truest picture of dying to sin and arising to Christ and new life.
Priesthood of the Believer
1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6
Every Christian has direct access to God through Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, the sole mediator between God and human beings. However, the priesthood of all believers is exercised within a committed community of fellow believers - priests who share a like precious faith. The priesthood of all believers should not be reduced to modern individualism, not used as a cover for theological relativism. It is a spiritual standing which leads to ministry, service, and a coherent witness in the world for which Christ died.
Jesus' Last Supper, the Passover meal He shared with His disciples on the night before He was crucified, is the Biblical foundation for the Communion meal. Communion is "the believer's meal," a sacrament intended for Jesus' followers, by which they acknowledge and remember His work on the cross—the ultimate sacrifice made on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins. Hope Fellowship extends an "open" invitation to the Communion table, meaning the invitation to receive Communion during a service is open to any follower of Christ, regardless of membership at Hope Fellowship. Anyone who has accepted His forgiveness and surrendered their lives to Him is invited to share the Communion table. We believe we have the freedom to partake of the Lord’s Supper, without being bound by a particular tradition or teaching on the frequency or infrequency. It is our desire to celebrate this unique ordinance with value and grace.
The Return of Christ and the Age to Come
John 3:16; 1 John 2:25, 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15
We believe that Jesus will return suddenly and in bodily form at the second coming to judge the redeemed and the lost. In the eternal state, those who have been regenerated will receive perfect and sinless glorified bodies and will dwell with Christ for eternity on the new earth. The unregenerate will likewise be raised to face punishment for their sins by being cast into the lake of fire along with the devil and the fallen angels where they will experience the second or final death. This reality motivates us to share the Gospel with those who have yet to repent and trust in Christ.
The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of immeasurable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139).
Marriage, Gender and Sexuality
We believe that God creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis.1:26-27.) 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. (Genesis. 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 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 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, pedophilia, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.) We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Hope Fellowship, and to provide a biblical role model to the Hope Fellowship’s attendees and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Hope Fellowship in any capacity, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality and will not participate in the officiating of a same sex marriage. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22). We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and turn from their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 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 nor the doctrines of Hope Fellowship.
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Hope Fellowship’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Elder Board is Hope Fellowship’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.