Hope Community Church is non-denominational. This explanation of what we believe expresses the beliefs of the leadership at Hope Community Church, and everyone involved in a member position is expected to be in general agreement with it.
1. About the Bible
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and without error, and that they are our supreme and final authority in faith and life.
Scripture References: 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21
2. About God
We believe in one true God, eternally existing in three persons: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary…fully God and fully man. We believe that the Holy Spirit lives within us and gives spiritual life to all believers. The Holy Spirit also enables followers of Christ to understand Biblical truth, empowers them for godly living, gives them spiritual gifts and equips them for service and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
Scripture References: Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, John 1:1-2
3. About Human Beings
We believe that all people were created in the image of God to have fellowship with him but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, people are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through their own efforts.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:26-27, Ephesians 2:1-5
4. About Salvation
We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, God freely offers salvation to those who place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin.
Scripture References: Romans 6:23, Galatians 2:15-21
5. The Past, Present & Future Work of Christ
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there for us. We believe in the personal and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe in the eternal nature of all humanity. The resurrection and enjoyment of the presence of God for all those who receive His Son; and the eternal punishment of the absence of God and His influence for those who reject the gift of His salvation.
Scripture References: Mark 10:45, Acts 1:9-11, Revelation 20:4-6
6. About the Church
All who acknowledge and demonstrate Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are united with Him as members of His body, the one true church. Scripture commands believers to gather for worship, prayer, fellowship, and the teaching of the Word; to observe Baptism and Communion as established by Jesus Christ; to offer service to the body through development and use of talents, gifts, and outreach to the world.
Scripture References: John 17:20-26, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
7. About the Christian Life
We believe all Christians are to live for Christ and not for themselves. By obedience to the Word of God and daily yielding to the Spirit of God, every believer is to mature and be conformed to the image of Christ.
Scripture References: Titus 1:5-9, 2 Peter 3:18
8. About Baptism
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. – Acts 2:41
At Hope, we believe that anyone who is of ‘an appropriate age’ and has made a personal commitment to place their faith in Jesus Christ and choose to follow Him with their lives. A personal commitment involves an individual believing that Christ died for the sins of humankind and God raised Him from the dead, and declaring that Jesus is Lord. Baptism is a symbolic act of obedience and a public demonstration to one’s family, friends, co-workers, neighbors of a profession of faith that an individual has already evidenced in following Jesus; who He Himself was baptized. Baptism is also a celebration of one’s loyalty with one’s community of faith. Finally, being a church sacrament, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
Baptism is performed by immersing someone…identifying with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Some churches conduct baptism in different ways. At Hope, we believe this is an act of obedience symbolizing the follower’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Baptisms are provided by the church throughout the year. With regards to children, the elders of Hope see it as a privilege to baptize children who have made a profession of faith in Christ. However, we do encourage the head of the household who is a follower of Christ, to baptize their child.
Additional Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 3:23, Acts 2:41-42; 8:26-40; 9:18; 16:30-33, Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:12
Hope Community Church believes that those who give a believable profession of faith should be baptized. Baptism is appropriately given to those who have received the gospel and trusted in Christ for salvation.
We dedicate infants rather than baptizing them because we understand baptism to be a profession of personal faith of one who is capable of understanding. Scripture strongly suggests the importance (although it is not clearly practiced in the New Testament) of dedicating infants to the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 11:21, 22:6; 1 Corinthians 7:14).
9. About Communion
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.” – Matthew 26:26-27
At Hope, we believe that communion is symbolic act of obedience in where followers of Christ are remembering the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. This death means for a follower of Christ: 1. Forgiveness & freedom from the bondage of sins. 2. The power for life. 3. Our union with Christ and fellow believers. Communion is also a testimony to His death for our sins and anticipation until He comes again.
Communion is taken by eating of bread and drinking of juice. Communion is served with regularity during our Sunday services and on special occasions (ie. Good Friday).
Additional Scripture: Mark 14:22-26, Luke 22:19-20, Acts 2:46; 20:7, 1 Corinthians 10:16&21, 1 Corinthians 11:23-29