What We Believe
A.W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” We are glad you chose to view this page because, in our humble opinion, what an individual person or local church believes, truly is the most important aspect about them because belief drives behavior as well as determines the proximity to the truth.
We believe God wants to be known and has revealed Himself to us through the pages of Scripture. More than anything else, the Bible is a written disclosure of the very nature, character, and purpose of God. It's a collective book of progressive revelation. From Genesis to Revelation it reveals to us who God is, what He is like, what He commands and promises, and how He has and will fulfill His preordained plans for His creation. In short, God uses His written word to reveal everything we need to know about Him in order that we might know, love, obey, and worship Him - in this life and the one to come.
The Elders of Hope Fellowship have worked very hard to base our beliefs and practices upon the Scriptures alone and not on current fads or even various church traditions. While we believe modern methods as well as ancient traditions can be great tools if they are grounded in Scripture, we have discovered that many are not. Just because the majority of the church has believed certain doctrines or engaged in particular practices for hundreds of years, or even if some modern methods appear to grow the church numerically, that doesn't necessarily mean those things are right. Scripture alone must have the final say.
Generally speaking, we adhere to Protestant, Reformed beliefs. In short:
We believe the Bible to be the written revelation of God, complete and sufficient in all respects. We believe the Scriptures to be “God-breathed” and therefore fully authoritative in and of themselves; they rely for their authority upon no church, council, or creed, but are authoritative simply because they are the Word of God. The Scriptures, as they embody the very speaking of God, partake of His authority and His power.
We believe in one true and eternal God, unchanging, unchangeable. We believe God is the Creator of all that exists in heaven and in earth. The God who is described in the Bible is unique; He is unlike anyone or anything else in the entire universe. God has all power, all knowledge, all wisdom, and is due all glory, honor and praise. All that comes to pass does so at the decree of God. All things will, in the end, result in the glory of God.
We believe the Bible teaches that there is but one being of God, yet there are three Persons who share this one being of God: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Each Person is fully and completely God, each is described in Scripture as possessing the attributes of God. The Father, Son, and Spirit have eternally existed in the relationship described by the term “Trinity.”
God’s Plan of Redemption
We believe that man was created in the image of God. Man rebelled against His Creator, and fell into sin. As a result, man became spiritually dead, totally unwilling and indeed incapable of seeking after God. God, from eternity past, having foreordained all things, joined a certain people to Christ Jesus, so that He might redeem them from their sin and in so doing bring glory to Himself. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died in the place of this elect people, providing full and complete forgiveness of sins by His death upon the cross of Calvary. No other work can provide for forgiveness of sins, and no addition can be made to the completed and finished work of Christ.
We believe that God, in His sovereign grace and mercy, regenerates sinful men by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by any action of their own, bringing them to new life. God grants to them the gifts of faith and repentance, which they then exercise by believing in Christ and turning from their sins in love for God. As a result of this faith, based upon the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, God justifies or makes righteous the one who believes. God’s gift of faith, and the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the elect, will result in good works. These good works flow from true, saving faith; they are a necessary result of faith, but are not to be considered necessary to the gaining of justification, which is by God’s grace through faith alone, so that no man can boast.
We believe Jesus Christ established His Church, which is made up of all the elect of God. His Church, as an obedient bride, listens to His Word as found in the Bible. All who believe in Christ are placed in His body, the Church. The local expressions of the Church are very important, and each believer should be actively involved in such a fellowship.
The Return of Christ
We believe that Christ is coming again to judge the living and the dead. This promise is found throughout the inspired Scriptures. Until His return, believers are to live lives that bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. The Church is to be busy doing the work of evangelism and discipleship, proclaiming the pure, uncompromised Gospel of Christ by teaching the Word of God.
We believe that while there are truths that we can know for certain from Scripture and should be held to unwaveringly (such as those listed above), there are beliefs and issues which may remain clouded until Christ's return. We call these issues "secondary doctrines" and there are far too many to list here. While we certainly have our own interpretations that we hold for such issues, we don't believe they are worth creating division within the body, especially where such division may inhibit the biblical imperative to share the gospel with anyone and everyone.
Our efforts to equip the church are not limited to be accessible only to those who agree with us on every finer theological point. However, if you’d like to know more about what we do believe and teach on "secondary doctrines", feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.