Friday, May 24, 2013
Overcoming Darkness with the Light of Christ
Beliefs & Mission
What We Believe
· In essential beliefs – we have unity.
John 14:6 - “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
· In non-essential beliefs – we have liberty.
Romans 14:12-13 - “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.”
· In all our beliefs – we show love.
1 Corinthians 13:2 - “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
The Essentials We Believe
1. About God
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
2. About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday. He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
3. About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with the power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer at least one spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
4. About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
5. About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by disobedience toward God called “sin”. Sin separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
6. About Salvation
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith, and is open to all.
7. About Eternal Security
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
8. About Eternity
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Our Five Purposes
At The Lighthouse, we will celebrate God’s presence through worship, bring people into closer fellowship in His family, demonstrate God’s love through ministry, develop people to Christ-like maturity through discipleship, and communicate God’s Word through evangelism.
What We Practice
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
Bible as our sole authority.
2 Timothy 3:16 - “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
Autonomy of each local church.
Colossians 1:18 - “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control. In relating to our “mission churches” that we sponsor, we encourage each congregation to determine its own strategy, structure, and style.
Priesthood of every believer.
1 Peter 2:9 - “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full-time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
Leviticus 27:30 - "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 - “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
At The Lighthouse, we practice tithing 10% of our income as the basis for a start in supporting Christ’s Body, the church, as God commands. In the Old Testament, in addition to the tithe were various compulsory and free-will offerings. Further, the Lord made special provisions to provide for the needs of the poor and needy. In the New Testament, we are taught to give in proportion to the material blessing one has received with special attention and commendation for sacrificial giving. We recognize that we should tithe as a minimum and then give over and above the tithe as the Lord prospers and/or directs us.
Colossians 2:12 - “Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
We practice baptism by immersion under water – the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
John 15:5 - “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right.
Telling others about Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 - “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those God brings us into contact with. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.
Our Purpose Statement
“We desire to be a family of believers, whose basis is the Word of God, and whose purpose is to know Christ and to make Him known.”
The Lighthouse is a Southern Baptist Church, and supports the ongoing mission work of the Southern Baptist Convention through regular gifts to the Cooperative Program.