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. 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 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 foreknew, predestined, justified and glorified all who are called children of God. (Deuteronomy 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 7:11; 28:19; Romans 8:30).
God the Son
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who became flesh and dwelt among us. He lived a sinless life, was crucified for us (see “Salvation” below), and rose from the dead (John 1:14; Jn14:8-9; 1 Tim 3:16).
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit’s chief office is to exalt Jesus in the world. He converts unbelievers, 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. (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. 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. The saving work of Christ alone can redeem man (Gen 3:1-6; Rom 1:18-32, 3:10- 19).
God, being rich in mercy, sent his Son into the world to save us. Jesus took our sin upon himself, bore our sin in his body on the cross to fully satisfy the wrath of God due us. All who trust in Jesus alone for their salvation will, through faith, be saved. 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 agree to meet regularly with one another for the purpose of worship, fellowship, instruction, encouragement, and to observe the ordinances (below). We also stimulate one another to love and good deeds, and 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. All forms of sexual activity outside of marriage, including pornography, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, are sinful (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 unborn 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 for 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.
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 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 (Galations 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 1 Corinthians 14:4-5).
We teach tongues are probably intelligible, human languages; even so, see the clear preference of preaching and teaching in our common tongue (namely, English) above the occasion of tongues. We do not allocate any portion of our liturgy to the expression of the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:23-24).
We teach that God can and does heal people as He wills, and often in response to prayer, though God may allow physical suffering to afflict a believer for his or her ultimate good, in accomplishing His sovereign purposes. We repudiate the “faith healing” movement, or any derivative which teaches that God is obligated to heal on account of sufficient faith or human petition.
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. The elders determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government for the local body (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).