The following are the core beliefs of Hope Community based on the foundational truths taught in the bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.
The Bible is the Word of God, and its original manuscripts are free from errors and contradictions. It is the one and only infallible, authoritative, and trustworthy rule for faith and life (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12). The Bible in its entirety (66 books) is to be taken literally except when obviously figurative.
The triune God of the Bible is the only true God — there are no gods before or after him in all of existence, in all places, in all time (Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6,8; 1 Timothy 1:17). He has always been God and was never anything else (Psalm 90:2). He is holy (Revelation 4:8), eternal (Isaiah 57:15), all-powerful (Jeremiah 32:17,27), everywhere present at one time (Psalm 139:7-12), all-knowing (1 John 3:20), he is love (1 John 4:8, 16), light (1 John 1:5), Spirit and truth (John 4:24), faithful (Psalm 117:2), creator (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 40:12, Isaiah 22, Isaiah 26), unchanging (Malachi 3:6). He alone is to be worshipped (Genesis 24:26; Exodus 4:31, Exodus 34:14; 2 Chronicles 29:28; 1 Corinthians 14:25; Revelation 7:11). He is to be served above all else (Matthew 4:10; John 14:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 9:14). He is to be proclaimed to the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
There is one God who eternally exists as three distinct, coequal persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. All three persons are fully God, completely united while also truly distinct. (Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 8; Isaiah 45:5; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 28:19; Luke 10:35; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Father is God eternal, infinite and personal (Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 145:3). He infallibly foreknows all that will come to pass (Psalm 139:1-6; Romans 11:33), he is merciful and just in his concerns for humanity (Jonah 3:10; 2 Peter 3:9), he hears and answers prayers (Psalm 91:15; 1 Chronicles 4:9-10), he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from sin and death (1 John 4:14), and he, along with the Son, sent his Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and empower believers in their sanctification (John 16:7; John 20:21-23).
Jesus Christ is God who became a man after being miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:42). The one person of Jesus Christ has two natures, being fully human and fully divine. Jesus is divine in every way as the Father is divine and the Holy Spirit is divine. Jesus is also human in every way as we are human, yet without sin (Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-13; John 1:1-4,14). Jesus was sent by the Father to be born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:42), to live a perfect life of obedience (1 Peter 2:22), to die a substitutionary death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins of all who would believe in him (Matthew 27:45-56; Romans 10:9), to be raised again to life on the third day (Mark 16:6), and to ascend to heaven in bodily form where he is now seated on the right hand of the throne of God (Acts 1:9; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3). Jesus will come again in bodily form to judge the living and the dead (Romans 1:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
The Holy Spirit is God, a divine eternal person possessing all the attributes of personality and deity. In all the divine attributes the Spirit is coequal and is one in essence with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19, Acts 5:3-4, Acts 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:15-17). The Holy Spirit is involved in the work of revelation (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Samuel 23:2-3), conviction of sin (John 16:7-9; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:11), regeneration of believers (John 3:5,10; Ezekiel 36:25-27), baptism (Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13), indwelling, filling, and illuminating believers (1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 5:5; Romans 8:8-11; 1 John 2:20-27; James 4:5; John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 1:17-18), giving spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; 1 Peter 4:10-11), and sealing believer’s salvation for eternity with God (Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22).
Jesus Christ rose from the dead in the same physical yet glorified body in which he died after being in the grave for three days (Matthew 12:40). He ascended bodily into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father, ruling heaven and earth (John 2:19; 1 Corinthians 15; Luke 24:39). Likewise, we Christians will be raised bodily from the dead, receive our glorified bodies, and spend eternity with the Lord (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:35-49).
Sin is failing to meet the standards of God (1 John 5:17). After Adam and Eve committed the first sin in the Garden of Eden, all humanity thereafter is born with a sin nature (original sin) (Genesis 3; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 2:3). Original sin resulted in condemnation, death, and separation from God (Romans 6:23). In addition to being condemned by original sin, every human person has committed actual sins on their own (Romans 3:23).
Due to original sin and actual sin, every person is spiritually dead in their trespasses and sin (Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1-2) and are separated from our holy God (Isaiah 59:2). Men and women are unable to come close to God through their own efforts (Isaiah 59:2; John 3:3,5; Romans 3:10-12), nor can they understand the spiritual truths of God on their own (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:7), nor can they earn salvation by their attempt at good works or self-righteousness (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:1-6), nor once saved do they maintain their salvation by good works (Galatians 3:1-3). Eternal punishment in hell and separation from the blessed presence of God are the consequences of the unsaved person’s sinfulness that has not trusted in the redemptive sacrificial work of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 6:23).
Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner and saved for eternal life in Christ. Salvation is obtained by grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone (John 3:16; Romans 10:9; Galatians 2:21), and not by our good works (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8-9). We are chosen for salvation by God (Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). Salvation includes the regeneration (John 3:1-15; Ephesians 2:5), legal justification (Romans 3:24, Romans 8; Titus 3:7), adoption (John 1:12; Romans 8:15-17), sanctification (Hebrews 10:14; John 17:17), eternal security (Jude 24; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:38-39), and eventual glorification (Job 19:25-26; Philippians 3:21) of those who receive the grace of Jesus Christ through faith and repentance (John 6:28-29; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 5:1).
Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire, and increases our strength to repent from and resist sin by God’s grace (1 Thessalonians 4:7; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 4:4; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:25). This process continues through the entire Christian’s life and is the result of salvation, not a cause of it nor a contributing factor to it.
Christ has done all that is needed for our salvation and he says that those who have eternal life will never perish (John 10:27-28). We believe that those who appear to be Christian, but fall away, were never Christians to begin with (1 John 2:19). Eternal security does not mean that we have a license to sin, but a freedom to be holy (Romans 5:21-6:2).
God calls Christians to his Church where God is worshipped (Philippians 3:3), where the Word of God is preached (2 Timothy 4:2), where baptism and the communion are administered (Acts 2:41-42), where believers are discipled and disciplined (Matthew 18:15-20; Acts 11:25-26), where believers serve to build up one another (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10), and where believers are sent out to be salt and light to the world (Acts 13:3). The true universal Church consists of all genuine believers wherever they might be and is expressed in the local church (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Baptism by immersion in water is an act of faithful obedience for a Christian and signifies a repentant believer’s identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Though holding no power to save, baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality of faith in the sacrifice of Christ, putting to death and burying our old life of sin, and rising to live a new life clothed in the righteousness of Jesus (Romans 6:1-4). We are made right before God by faith alone, not by faith and baptism (Romans 3:28-30; Romans 5; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; see also Acts 10:44-48). Scripture notes that every believer is commanded by Jesus to be baptized after their profession of faith, and therefore, every believer should obey this command (Matthew 28:18-20). Infant baptism, because it does not reflect the faith of the one being baptized, is not practiced at Hope Community.
Communion is a regular act of worship required of the church and calls to remembrance the work of Christ until his return. Communion is a symbolic act that does not impart grace but is intended to remind believers of the body of Christ which was broken for us and the blood of Christ shed on our behalf. Anyone who has saving faith in Jesus Christ is welcome to participate in communion (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
God calls spiritually mature Christians to serve the church in special leadership capacities, i.e., elders, deacons, pastors, teachers, and evangelists. The office of pastor and elder is limited to qualified men who are called by God, recognized by the body, and meet the biblical standards of eldership. The role of elders is to know, lead, and care for the church (1 Timothy 3:1-14; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5). Women have significant leadership roles within the church and have equal value and identity in Christ in the image of God and in salvation (Galatians 3:27-28). Deacons are men and women who are qualified and called to serve the church, ensuring that the practical needs of the congregation (i.e., widows and orphans) are met (Acts 6:1-7; Romans 16:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. Those who have been saved enter immediately into the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant and will one day see the perfection of that kingdom realized. Because we are citizens of God’s kingdom (Ephesians 2:19), we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God (Galatians 6:10). The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
To be a Christian means participating in expanding the kingdom of God. Every Christian is to work for this end according to the gifts given them by the Lord (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12). Not all are pastors, or evangelists, or teachers (Romans 12:3-8), but each Christian is expected to be a disciple and to make disciples and take the gospel to the lost throughout the whole world, beginning with our family, neighbors, and beyond. This often requires proclaiming the truth of Christianity, refuting false doctrines, false religions, and whatever else might contradict the word of God, but we are to do this without insult (1 Peter 3:15), if per chance God would grant them repentance (2 Timothy 2:25).
After death, all humans will continue to exist for all eternity. Those who are in Christ will be resurrected and live forever in the presence of God in the new heavens and new earth (Matthew 8:11; Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Revelation 21-22). All who are not justified by faith in the blood of Christ will face eternal, conscious, and agonizing judgment away from the presence of God in hell forever (Matthew 8:12; Luke 16:19-31; Romans 1:18-2:11; Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8).