STATEMENT OF FAITH
The following is a statement of our position of basic Christian doctrines. As once stated by a great missionary, "There are certain basic Christian truths about which there must be agreement. On all other doctrines there should be liberty. In all things there must be love." It is our resolution to take an uncompromising stand on the essential doctrines of the faith, and extend "the right hand of fellowship" to all who hold to them. It is also our resolution to protect the liberty of Christians to hold different perspectives on the "non-essential" doctrines.
There are doctrines we may consider non-essential, but which are important. We therefore make known our belief on these, while presenting them with tolerance toward those who may hold a different position. We are committed to truth and accuracy in doctrine, but also understand that one can hold right doctrines and still do damage to the body of Christ by causing divisions over the non-essentials. We are therefore just as committed to the essential Christian character, believing that "In all things there must be love." As the apostle stated, "The goal of our instruction is love, from a pure heart and a sincere faith" (I Timothy 1:5). That, too, is our goal and commitment as we promote the following teachings that we hold as truth:
ON THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE.
We believe in the Divine inspiration and authority of the 66 books of the Holy Bible as the complete canon of God's testimony to mankind. We are committed to esteeming Scripture as the very Word of God, inerrant in its original form. We do not accept any doctrine which contradicts Scripture.
We do not believe that any other writings have the same authority as the canon of Scripture. The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to mankind, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (I Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:21).
ON THE ONE TRUE GOD.
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternal self-existent "I Am", the creator of the universe, heaven and earth, and the redeemer of mankind. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:22).
ON THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.
There is only one true God, Who is revealed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Word (Logos) of God. The Word was with God in the beginning, which states His pre-existence as one with God. "By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth" (Colossians 1:16), therefore making Jesus the Creator. Jesus Christ is the Purpose of God found in all of creation. He is the Father's delight and desire, and the Father is looking for the reflection of His Son in all created things. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. In the beginning, it was the ultimate purpose of God for all things to be summed up in Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
Jesus Christ, Who pre-existed with God in the form of God, emptied Himself to become fully a man that He might be the propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Through His propitiatory sacrifice made on the cross, all who believe in Him and His sacrifice have their sins remitted and are restored to the fellowship with God lost by man's transgression.
Jesus was born of a virgin, by the seed of the Holy Spirit. His virgin birth is a testimony that only the Spirit can beget that which is Spirit. The resurrection of Jesus' physical body after His crucifixion was literal.
"There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). All who seek restoration and fellowship with God must go through Jesus and cannot approach God through any person, spirit or doctrine.
The apostolic commission was for His followers to labor until Christ was formed in His church, to present every person complete in Christ, and to manifest the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself. We consider it the primary purpose of the church to esteem and exalt Jesus in every way. It is the focus and devotion of House of Praise Ministries to know and preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
ON THE TRINITY.
The terms "trinity" and "person", as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God. (Matthew 28:19; John 14:16,17; II Corinthians 13:14).
ON THE DISTINCTION AND RELATIONSHIP IN THE GODHEAD.
Christ taught a distinction of persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This distinction and relationship is incomprehensible. (Matthew 11:25-27; Like 1:35; I Corinthians 1:24' II Corinthians 13:14; I John 1:3-4).
ON THE DIETY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare:
His virgin birth (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31, 35)
His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; I Peter 2:22)
His miracles (Acts 2:2,10:38)
His substitutionary work on the cross (I Corinthians 15:3;
II Corinthians 5:21)
His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6;
Luke 24:39; I Corinthians 15:4)
His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11:2, 33;Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3)
ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, GOD WITH US.
The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is therefore, acknowledged to be both divine and human; who because He is divine and human, is "Emmanuel", God with us. (Matthew 1:23; I John 4:2, 10,14: Revelation 1:13,17).
ON THE TITLE, SON OF GOD.
Since the name "Emmanuel" embraces both God and man, in the one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title "Son of God" describes His proper deity, and the title " Son of Man", His proper humanity. (Matthew 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:1-13; I John 3:8; II John 3).
ON THE EXALTATION OF JESUS CHRIST AS LORD.
(Acts 2:32-36; Romans 14:11; I Corinthians 15:24-28; Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 3:22).
ON EQUAL HONOR TO THE FATHER AND TO THE SON.
(John 5:22-23; Philippians 2:8-9; I Peter 1:8; Revelations 4:8-11, 5:6-14, 7:9-10).
We believe that man was created by God from the dust of the earth, without sin or the knowledge of good and evil. The first man, Adam, transgressed the command of God, and as God had warned, the process of death entered him and all of his descendants because of that transgression. Therefore, all have sinned and are worthy of the sentence of death. Because of our unrighteousness, we are unable to approach a holy God, except through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Through Jesus, we not only can come before the Throne of Grace, but we may approach it boldly since our confidence is not in ourselves, but in the Lord Jesus.
ON THE FALL OF MANKIND.
The human race was created good and upright, for God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death that is separation from God. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).
ON THE ATONEMENT.
Because all have sinned and are therefore under the sentence of death, all must trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of sins. There is no other way to reconcile with God or escape from eternal judgment, except through the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus.
Those who trust in Jesus Christ have access to the Throne of Grace by His sacrifice and by His sacrifice alone. Good works are acceptable to God only as a love offering given to Him because of His worthiness, and have no bearing on our acceptance, standing or approval, all of which were accomplished by the cross of Christ. Good works offered for the purpose of acceptance, standing or approval are therefore an affront to the cross by which all of these things were gained for us by Jesus. Good works are not offered for His approval, but for His joy and glory, and must be offered through the Son (I Peter 2:5) in obedience to Him. Mankind's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11,3:5-7)
ON THE NEW BIRTH.
Believing in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and in His propitiation made for our salvation results in a regeneration and renewal that constitutes our new birth into new creations. Although this does not imply immediate perfection in our temporal life or lifestyle, it does mean that true faith will result in a radical change in us. Being "born again" implies a new beginning, not an ending. Christian maturity in faith, truth and life is a process. Even so, this process must begin with spiritual regeneration or new birth. While it is possible to change our behavior without regeneration, changing our hearts requires the new birth, and it is our hearts upon which God looks. Scriptures on the evidence of Salvation. (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12).
ON WATER BAPTISM.
We believe that water baptism should be by immersion and accomplished immediately after commitment to the Lordship of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice for our sin. This ordinance is a personal and public statement of faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf, and is a commitment to lay down our lives to be one with Him in His death, burial and resurrection. (Matthew 28:19; mark 16:16; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:4).
ON THE LORD'S SUPPER.
We acknowledge the ordinance of the Lord's Supper in remembrance of Jesus and as a testimony of our communion (common-union) with Him in His body, the church. We consider it a holy ordinance, but we do not accept the teaching that communion is for the purpose of remitting sins, which Scripture testifies is based solely in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.(Hebrews 9:25-28, I Corinthians 11:26; II Peter 1:4)
ON THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We believe that the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is an additional impartation which may be subsequent to regeneration (see Acts 8:15-17 and 19:1-6). This baptism is usually accompanied (in God’s timing) by the gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc.
We believe that this gift is presently available to all who believe (Acts 2:38-39), but is not essential for salvation or regeneration. Just as Paul made it a priority to instruct those believers and pray for them to receive this gift, we are committed to doing the same.
The purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to impart spiritual power to the believer to be a witness (Acts 1:8, 5:32). We believe that when Christians truly have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, they should begin to take on His nature, bear the fruit of the Spirit, becoming "helpers" and "comforters", leading others into truth, and testifying of Jesus. (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8: I Corinthians 12:1-31; Acts 8:12-17, 10:44-46.11:14-16,15:7-9; John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8; Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28; Mark 16:20).
ON THE PRESENT MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We believe that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) and that His ministry in and through the church by the Holy Spirit has not changed from the beginning. We accept, acknowledge, encourage and seek all of the biblical gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as present and vital for the church to accomplish her full purpose today.
(Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 13:12; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 12:14; I Peter 1:15-16).
ON THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST AND ITS MISSION.
-To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Matthew 28:19-20; mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8)
-To be a corporate body in which people may worship God (I Corinthians 12:13)
-To be a channel of God's purpose, to build a body of saints being perfected in the image if His Son (I Corinthians 12:28, 14:12; Ephesians 4:11-16)
ON THE MINISTRY.
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the three fold purpose of leading the church in: evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20), worship of God (John 4:23-24) and building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11, 16).
We believe in the five fold ministry, gifts given to the church for the building up the body of Christ and for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:)
These gifts should be fully operational in the church, and the church is to nurture and develop all who are called into these gifts and ordain them into service. (Ephesians 4:11-15)
ON THE PURPOSE OF FAITH.
God's purpose in requiring faith for salvation is to raise our focus and concentration above the temporal to the One who is eternal. Therefore, the gospel that is able to save souls must be preached in the power of the Spirit of God. The gospel is not dependent upon human eloquence or persuasion that may change minds, but cannot change hearts. Only the Spirit of God can reveal the Son of God, and only the Son of God can reveal the Father.
ON DIVINE HEALING.
Divine Healing is an integral part of the Gospel.
Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers. (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17, James 5:14-16).
ON THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
We believe in the literal, physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take authority and rule on earth. We also believe that those who are alive and remain at the return of our Lord and have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be changed and caught up to be with Him in the air. Those who have died in the faith will be resurrected and precede those who are alive. (Romans 8:23;I Corinthians 15:51-52;I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Titus 2:13).
We believe in the resurrection of both the just and the unjust for the Day of Judgment. For those of us who have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf, this resurrection is for eternal life in fellowship with God. Those who are not justified by faith in Jesus are resurrected for an eternal judgment.
ON THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST.
(Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27-30; Revelation 1:7, 19:11-14, 20:1-6).
ON THE FINAL JUDGEMENT.
(Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20, 20:11-15, 21:8).
ON THE NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH.
(II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:and 22).