The following represent the core beliefs of Community
The Bible, in the original writings of its sixty-six books, is inspired by God and without error. Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words. Scripture is fully true, reliable, and trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
There is only one true God, who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and each is fully God. All things exist for His glory. (Jn 17:3; Matt 28:18-20; 1 Jn:1-4; Acts 5:3-4)
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the course of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. He adopts into His family those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He answers prayer. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. (Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19)
God the Son
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who became flesh and dwelt among us. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, He lived a sinless life, was crucified for us (see “Salvation” below), and bodily rose from the dead, forever both fully God and fully human. (John 1:14; Jn 14:8-9; 1 Tim 3:16)
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit’s chief office is to exalt Jesus in the world. He converts unbelievers, drawing them to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. He then seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, sanctifies, equips, empowers, and bestows gifts to the believer for service to the church. He also convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 2:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12, 2 Cor 4:6).
God created man—male and female—in His image to glorify and enjoy Him, and reflect His glory on Earth. But man sinned and fell short of His glory, becoming spiritually dead, utterly lost and incapable of returning to God apart from the intervening work of the Holy Spirit. This state of humanity is true of all men and women today, who, apart from the saving work of Christ alone, are left only deserving of the just condemnation and wrath of God. (Gen 3:1-6; Rom 1:18-32, 3:10-19)
God, being rich in mercy, sent his Son in to the world to save us, taking our sin upon himself, and as our substitute, bore our sin in his body on the cross to fully satisfy the wrath of God due us, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward all who trust only in Jesus for their salvation through faith. This results in the justification of the believer before God, credited and clothed with the very righteousness of Christ, and forever secure in the family of God. He or she now lives to Christ, to know Him and make Him known in this world, striving to walk in holiness with the saints (Eph 2:1-9; Rom 3:23-24, 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13)
The universal church, the body of Christ, is the redeemed of God throughout all generations, of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. The local church is a body of believers, who by covenant agree to meet regularly with one another for the purpose of worship, fellowship, instruction, exhortation, encouragement, to observe the ordinances (below), and to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, to make disciples of all nations. (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25-26, 10:24; Eph 4:12; Rev 21-22:5).
Marriage and Sexuality
Marriage is the sacred institution of a covenant bond between one man and one woman, to mystically reflect Christ and the church to the world. Sexual activity is a gift from God to be enjoyed only within the covenant of marriage, and all forms of sexual lusts and acts outside of marriage, including pornography, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, are sinful and harmful to its participants, leading to moral confusion and emotional ruin. (Gen 1:27, Rom 1:26-32, 1 Cor 6:9-11)
The Sanctity of Life
As all men and women are created in the image of God, all human life is sacred, dignified and of inestimable worth, including pre-born babies, the aged, and the physically or mentally challenged. We are called to value and defend life and condemn efforts to abort, euthanize, or otherwise devalue life.
We joyously and expectantly await the glorious, visible, and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will descend from the sky on a date of His choosing. The lost will be raised to judgment, and to eternal conscious torment in hell; the saved will be raised to everlasting joy in the very presence of God, to never again be afflicted by sin or sorrow (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25-26; Rev 21-22:5).
In obedience to the command of our Savior, the church observes two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is administered to the believer, symbolic of their faith in Christ for the washing away of sins, death to sin, burial of the old man, and resurrection to walk in newness of life.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper (“communion”) is our memorial to the death of Christ, remembering his sacrifice on the cross of us by partaking in the elements of bread and wine, examining our hearts in light of His calling, and anticipating His second coming.
The Sovereignty of God
We teach that God completely and totally controls all things, and continually holds all things together. He does not merely foreknow the future, but actively brings it to pass, planning and accomplishing his purposes throughout all time, even temporarily permitting the abhorrence of suffering and evil to demonstrate his power in redeeming all things to the praise of his glory. Concerning our salvation, before the world was made, God chose some men and women whom He decrees to save, and in His timing irresistibly reveals His splendor to them, prompting the compatibly genuine response of the human will in saving faith. God elects, converts, and securely keeps all who call on His name.
We teach that spiritual gifts are abilities given to all believers for the building up of the body, given at the moment of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at conversion. Different gifts are given to believers, and in differing strengths, and believers are to develop their gifts. We see in Scripture the downplaying of the more extraordinary gifts (miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretations) and prominence given to the fruit of the Spirit, love, prophecy, and intelligible speech (Gal 5:22; 1 Cor 13:8-13; 1 Cor 14:4-5). We acknowledge a spectrum of beliefs in our body over whether the extraordinary gifts are still extant, and so consider this a second-order theological issue, not desiring to divide the body along these lines.
We teach tongues are intelligible human languages. Even so, we see the clear preference of preaching and teaching in our common tongue (namely, English) above the occasion of tongues, and so we do not allocate any portion of our liturgy to the expression of the gift of tongues. (1 Cor 14:23-24)
We teach that God can and does heal people as he wills, and often in response to prayer. God may allow physical suffering to afflict a believer for his or her ultimate good in accomplishing his sovereign purposes. Therefore, we repudiate the “faith healing” movement, or any derivative which teaches that God is obliged to heal on account of sufficient faith.
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, who were literally the first human beings, whom God created personally and individually. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9).
We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4). We also see the goodness of design in Scripture that the roles of elder and pastor are eligible only to men, not to imply an inequality between men and women, but a distinction in role (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9).