Sandy Hill Community Church

Statement of Faith

I. Preface

 

We believe that the Bible is our “only” rule of Faith and Practice. From the Bible, we receive our direction and definition of how we should worship and minister to both the Body and those outside of Christ.  The Bible is not a dictionary or easy reference book.  It requires diligent and prayerful study to understand its truths.  The Holy Spirit gives understanding into its divine propositions, principles and commands.

Our doctrinal statement, as stated below, describes our core set of beliefs, those that we as a local body of believers in Jesus Christ hold sure and firm, as clearly established by God’s Holy Word.  It is essential to unity that all who teach/preach or minister as members or guests of Sandy Hill Community Church and the organizations and individuals we support or serve with, embrace these same beliefs.

We acknowledge that there are doctrinal teachings presented in scripture that are not addressed in this declaration of our core beliefs.  These doctrines, while important, can legitimately evoke within the body of Christ, variances in emphasis and understanding.  We will make every effort to see that   these variances are not obstacles to our call to worship and fellowship together as a unified body of believers.

II. Core Beliefs:

            The Holy Scriptures:


We believe and teach that the Bible is God’s special revelation to mankind.  The Bible is a complete revelation contained in 66 books which are divided into two parts, the New Testament/Covenant and the Old Testament/Covenant.  The Bible is the very Word of God and is verbally inspired, plenary (inspired equally in all parts), absolutely inerrant (without textual error), infallible (incorruptible) and God-breathed in its original documents.  The Bible is the only rule of Faith and practice.
Psalm 119:105-106; Matthew 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21


God
:

There is one living and true God. He is infinite in that He has always existed and will continue to exist forever.  God is one in essence and He eternally exists in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Triune God is a personal God that is perfect in Holiness, love and justice. God is worthy of our love, worship and obedience.  God is Omniscient (all knowing), Omnipresent (present everywhere), Omnipotent (all powerful).

God created all things, including all mankind and all earthly and heavenly creatures.  Both the physical and the metaphysical were created by God.  Being a personal God, He cares for and sustains all of His creation.  He is immutable in all His ways and therefore unlike mankind, is totally dependable and can be relied upon for all things.  While God is sovereign, He is neither author of nor does He give approval to sin.  All Sin will be judged and must receive the penalty righteously determined by God.
Genesis 1:1; Exodus 34:6-7; Numbers 23:19; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 9:8,11:7, 33:5, 147:5; Isaiah 40:28, 42:8-9; Jeremiah 10:10; Hebrews 4:13, 9:27;
Matthew 5:48, 28:18-19; Luke 1:37; 1 Timothy 1:17


God the Father:

God the Father is the first Person of the Trinity.  He has all of the Divine attributes of God, is co-equal with the Son and the Holy Spirit and eternally exists as God.  He orders and disposes (carries out) all things according to His own purpose, will and grace.  He is Father to all mankind and is Spiritual Father only to believers.  He adopts and saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.
Isaiah 46:9-10; John 10:30; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:3-6


God the Son—Christ Jesus:

He is the second person of the Trinity.  He has all of the Divine attributes of God, is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit and eternally exists as God.  Being obedient to the Father, Jesus submitted to the Father by becoming God incarnate.  Born as man to the virgin Mary, by the over-shadowing of the Holy Spirit.  He became man, while surrendering only the prerogatives of deity, but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind.

In the incarnation, Jesus accepted all of the essential characteristics of humanity and thus became the God-Man: fully God and fully man. Being man He is able to identify with our weaknesses and temptations, yet without sin.  The purpose of His incarnation was to reveal God, to live a perfect life under the Law, to redeem mankind and to rule over God’s Kingdom.

Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption from sin through the shedding of His blood by His sacrificial death on the cross.  His death was both voluntary, vicarious (in our place), propitiatory (satisfied God’s wrath), and redemptive.

His literal, physical resurrection from the dead is evidence of God the Father’s acceptance of His Son’s sacrifice on the cross and His perfect life as the God-Man and therefore the Body of Christ is justified before a Holy and righteous God.  Jesus now reigns and sits at the right hand of God’s throne in Heaven, where He is our Advocate, High Priest and Mediator.

Jesus will return on an unknown day and hour and will receive the Church, which is His Body, unto Himself.  At the conclusion of having accomplished the mission God the Father gave Him, He will turn all rule and authority back to Father God.
Isaiah 53; Matthew 16:16; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1-2, 29, 14:6-10; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Corinthians 15:1-6;

God the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit is third Person of the Trinity.  He has all of the Divine attributes of God, is co-equal with the Father and the Son and eternally exists as God.  The Holy Spirit executes the Divine will to mankind which includes His sovereign activity in creation, the incarnation of the Son, the written revelation and the work of salvation.  He is the supernatural and sovereign agent in salvation.  The Holy Spirit indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers the Body for service and seals them unto the day of redemption.  He convicts mankind and the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.

The Holy Spirit is the Divine teacher and without Him no one could understand the Holy Scriptures or the work of salvation.  He enables the believer to discern spiritual truth.  Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.
Luke 1:35;
John 3:5-8, 14:16-17, 16:7-15; Acts 2:1-14, 10:43-45; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 3:22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:22.

Mankind:


God’s purpose for creating mankind was to give glory to Himself, to procreate, to fill the earth and to govern God’s creation.  We believe that the first man (Adam) was created from the dust of the ground by God’s spoken word.  Adam was created in God’s image and likeness, and while possessing a rational nature, a God-given intelligence and volition, was created free of sin.  God also gave Adam the ability to make self-determining, independent decisions.

            We believe that Adam sinned against God through disobedience.  Because of this sin, Adam came under God’s wrath and judgment, incurring
            the penalty of Spiritual and physical death.  This was transmitted to all mankind and all of creation.  With no recuperative power towards
            self-regeneration or redemption, mankind is wholly in need of salvation.  That salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ.
            Genesis 1:26, 2:16-17, 3, 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5, 139:13-14; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-19; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Ephesians 2:1-10;
            1 John 3:8. 


            
Marriage:

            We encourage and affirm singleness, marriage and children as gifts from God.  We believe that marriage is a permanent covenant relationship                   between God, one man and one woman, and that right sexual union takes place only within the marriage relationship.  As Christ loved the church,               we believe that husbands and wives should take seriously their respective roles of leadership, submitting to one another in love.  We strongly                     encourage the nurture of children as a high priority of parents.
            Gal. 5:16-21; 1 John 3:8; Mt. 19:1-12; 1 Cor. 7; Eph. 5:21-33 

            Angels & Heavenly Host:

            We believe that the angels and heavenly host, excluding God, are created beings.  While they are more powerful than mankind, they should not 
            be worshipped, honored nor used as mediators.  Satan is part of the created heavenly host and while he should be taken seriously, he should not
            be feared but be resisted in the power of God.  He should not be worshipped.  Satan was once Lucifer, an exalted angel of Heaven.  Being carried               away with pride and a desire to be God, he was damned along with a third of the angels and cast down.  He will be judged at the Great White
            Throne Judgment, at the end of the ages, where he ultimately will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
            Ephesians 3:10, 6:12; Hebrews 1:13 & 14; Jude 6; Revelation 7:11 & 12, 20:10.


            The Church: 

            The true Church is the body of believers, chosen and sustained by God. This universal Church is called out of the world from every
            people group and culture over many centuries, past, present and   future. They are often part of the visible church which is
            representative of the outward body of Christ.

            The Body of Christ, the invisible Church, is united together by the Holy Spirit and is the Bride of Christ in which Christ Jesus is
            the Head.  We believe that this same Body will one day be raptured (removed from this earth) to be with the Lord Jesus Christ
            forever.

The Church’s primary roles are to obey the Great Commission, teach and preach the Word of God and minister to the Spiritual and
material needs of people.  The Church is to care for the hurting, the widows, orphans (born and unborn).  The Church is called to
fully embrace Christ’s teachings regarding loving our neighbor, practicing unqualified forgiveness, seeking reconciliation and living
peaceably with all men.  In all that we say and do, the Church is called to give glory and honor to Jesus Christ. 
Matthew 16:16-18, 25:35; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 26-27; Ephesians 1:20-23, 4:1-6;Philippians 2:2-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-10;
James 1:27.
The Church, universal believes and ministers two ordinances: 1). Communion:  We celebrate and remember the sacrifice, the suffering and the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a symbol, representing the body and blood of Christ.  2). Baptism:  We believe that baptism is commanded by our Lord and should be part of all believers’ obedience to Christ.  Baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus and by submitting, we agree, identify and symbolically acknowledge the Lord’s work  on our behalf.
Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 10:47-48, 16:32-33, 18:7-8; 1 Corinthians 11:26  

Salvation:

All mankind are fallen in the sense that they are born cursed by God due to the sin of Adam, the first physical head of mankind.  Since mankind is fallen, they
are under penalty and judgment of God.  Salvation is necessary to redeem mankind from that fallen state.  Salvation is of the Lord.  Salvation from
condemnation and judgment is accomplished by the Holy Spirit to all who receive Christ's gift of redemption.   The redeemed are those who confess/profess faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and through Him have received forgiveness from sin. By faith, they are attributed with the righteousness of Christ and are therefore reconciled in their relationship to God.  The remainder of mankind will be judged by the light that they have and their deeds both good and bad at the great white throne of final judgment at the end of the ages.  The Church too will come under the judgment seat of Christ, not unto Salvation but for good works done in the body.

            We recognize that Christ’s atoning, sacrificial work on the cross was sufficient to pay for the sins of the entire world but only
            efficient to save those that come through faith.  All those who are saved must confess from their hearts, Jesus Christ as Lord and 
            believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead.           
            Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 53, 64:6-7; John 1:12, 3:7-18, 36, 5:24; Acts 4:10-12, 13; Romans 1:16-17, 3:21-25, 8:1-2, 10:8-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22;
            2 Corinthians 5:10, 16-21; Galatians 3:13, 22, 26-28; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 9:11-12, 14, 26-28; 1 John 5:4-5, 10-13;
            Revelation 20:11-12, 15.

            Eschatology—Future Things:

            We believe in the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We believe He will return as promised to judge the world.  We believe
            that all those in Christ will always be with Him, even upon the death ofour mortal bodies and into eternity. 
            Matthew 24;Acts 1:10-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-10; Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 20:11-12.