LABOR OF LOVE USA
1. WE BELIEVE… in Sola Scriptura; that the BIBLE is the sole written divine revelation of God to man. We believe that the Holy Scriptures (all 66 books of the Old and New Testament) are divinely and verbally inspired and are the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
2. WE BELIEVE… that there is only ONE TRUE GOD, eternally self-existent in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. WE BELIEVE… in the deity of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His literal miracles, His substitutionary atonement and finished work on the cross; His death, burial and bodily resurrection, and His literal exaltation to the right hand of God The Father, and His visible, bodily return (second coming) to the earth in power and glory at the end of the age.
4. WE BELIEVE… mankind (Adam/Eve) was originally created good and upright for the purpose of enjoying unbroken FELLOWSHIP and life with and in God the Creator. However, by voluntary transgression (choice), mankind fell into SIN (i.e. to fail to glorify God – Romans 3:23) resulting in DEATH (physical and spiritual – Romans 6:23) SEPARATION from God; which condition has been passed on to their descendants - the entire human race.
5. WE BELIEVE… JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY SAVIOR AND LORD. We believe in Christ’s incarnation, life, death, resurrection and exaltation on our behalf to bring about our salvation. We believe in Solus Christus; Christ is the only mediator in whose work we are redeemed. We believe in Sola Gratia; our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us in Christ and in us by the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. We believe in Sola Fide; that justification is by faith in Christ alone. Our faith in the finished work of Christ is the sole ground of our acceptance by God by which our sins are forgiven. We believe THE GOSPEL (the Good News of Jesus Christ) is the message of the New Covenant; that every person can be restored into a personal fellowship and union with God through repentance and faith. Repentance is “changing your mind” about the truth of the Gospel and Christ’s work on your behalf. Faith is “placing your trust and obedience in Christ” which is the only true basis of our righteousness/right standing with God resulting in salvation (Born-Again/New Birth/New Creation). The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit to your spirit. The outward evidence of salvation is the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifested in your new life in Christ.
6. WE BELIEVE… in two New Testament ORDINANCES / SACRAMENTS (i.e. visible signs of invisible realities) of the church: (1) WATER BAPTISM (by immersion) which is the visible symbol of our entrance into and union with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Body by the Holy Spirit; which is our participation by faith into His death, burial, resurrection. (2) HOLY COMMUNION (The Lord's Supper) which is the covenant meal of the New Testament representing the Believer’s continuing remembrance and participation in and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ because of His finished work on our behalf; resulting in our common-union with His Body; the church.
7. WE BELIEVE… in THE HOLY SPIRIT, who is fully Divine and equal to the Father and the Son and whose mission and passion is to bring us into communion with the Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father through the Son to reveal The Truth by living within us by giving us a New Birth – by which the Holy Spirit is outpoured upon us. The Holy Spirit is the seal of our redemption and empowers us for effective service. This is the “promise of the Father". The Baptism of the Holy Spirit includes an overflowing fullness and deepened reverence for God, an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, an active love for Christ, His work and the lost, and a release of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We believe all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today.
8. WE BELIEVE… in SANCTIFICATION, which initially occurs at Salvation (the New Birth) as a declaration that a Believer is righteous before God, but continues progressively as a life-style of separation from the world’s system and its values, the flesh (old life) and the devil (demonic forces) by living for/in Christ and drawing ever closer in personal/spiritual intimacy with Christ, evidenced by maturing Christ-like behaviour.
9. WE BELIEVE… in the CHURCH (the Body of Christ) both its local and global expression throughout the ages. The essential IDENTITY of the church is not any particular denomination or brand. Neither is the church or Christianity a “religion” (i.e. a set of rules/conduct/behaviours). The church is essentially the people/family of God united in loving relationship to Christ and another. The MISSION of the church (its witness) is basically to reveal Christ to lost humanity through the clear presentation of The Gospel by the Holy Spirit. The New Testament has much to say about the kind of community the church ought to be before the world. Jesus made it plain that the reason He “called out” a people to Himself (the church) was to develop a true and living community of people (a new creation/ new way of living) united with God "… that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:21). That is Jesus’ ultimate goal and the church’s mission! This can only occur as the church receives and learns to walk in THE LOVE OF GOD “… that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:23) When the church lives out The Gospel in loving relationship to its members/one to another, this Christ-centered lifestyle becomes the most powerful force for attracting non-members into the church.
10. WE BELIEVE… a divinely called and scripturally ordained LEADERSHIP (Eldership) serve the Church with the Senior Pastor being the Head Elder. However, there is only one ultimate HEAD of the church; the Lord Jesus Himself. Pastors and Elders are called to serve the church under Christ (as under-shepherds) to nurture, feed, guide, correct and equip the church to follow Christ and live in/from Christ in their relationship to Him and work for Him until they reach full maturity in Christ.
11. WE BELIEVE… in divine HEALING of the sick as a provision of Christ's atonement. Yet, no one in the New Testament demanded healing. Rather, people came to Jesus beseeching Him. They did not look on healing as their right, but as a gracious privilege extended to them. Yet, healing was not peripheral to the ministries of Jesus and the apostles. The Bible shows a close connection between the healing ministry of Jesus and His saving, forgiving ministry. Jesus is the SAME yesterday, today and forever and the gifts of healing are still operational today. Jesus recognized that sickness is often the result of sin (John 5:14) or of the activity of Satan (Luke 13:16). But He also recognized that sickness is NOT always the direct result of sin (John 9:2, 3). There were times when it was rather an opportunity for God to be glorified (Mark 2:12). And the privilege and promise of divine healing does not rule out suffering for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s. Nor are we to look to divine healing as a substitute for obedience to the rules of physical and mental health. Neither is divine healing a means of avoiding the effects of old age (Deut. 34:7; 1 Kings 1:1–4; Ecclesiastes 12:1–7) common to all mankind. The Bible indicates that until Jesus returns (the second coming), we groan because we have not yet received the redemption (resurrection, immortality) of our bodies (Romans 8:23) and only then will we be impervious to sickness, aging and physical death (1 Corinthians 15:42–44, 51–54).
12. WE BELIEVE… In the RESURRECTION of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord as the BLESSED HOPE of the church (Titus 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:3). At some future moment, all Believers; those who have died will arise from their graves, receive their resurrected bodies and meet the Lord in the air, and those Believers who are alive and remain, will be caught up together and receive their resurrected bodies and forever be with the Lord.
13. WE BELIEVE… in the righteous and FINAL JUDGMENT of God upon the world's system at the end of the age and the wicked dead (unbelievers; those who refused the Gospel of their salvation.) According to the Scriptures, the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works and whosoever is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will experience outer darkness (a.k.a. the lake of fire), which is the second death.
14. WE BELIEVE… in the future NEW HEAVENS and NEW EARTH as the eternal habitation/abode of all the redeemed (the church, Body of Christ) of all ages, “according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness" where we will live and dwell with God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit and all His people forever and ever. Soli Deo Gloria; to God alone belongs the glory! (Updated 2010)