What We Believe

Simply put, we believe what the Bible teaches. That being said, we believe that the Bible in its original Hebrew and Greek format is the perfect Word of God, incorruptible, infallible, completely and totally without error. We believe that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments combined constitute the Holy Bible; no books may be added or deleted. There are many other books and texts that are good and beneficial, but they are not the true Word of God (and are only good and beneficial if they are in complete agreement with the true Word of God).

We believe in one living and true God, eternal, and of infinite power, wisdom, goodness and righteousness. He is a loving and faithful God who is the Creator and preserver of all things (Genesis 1:1; Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Timothy 1:17). We believe that in the unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance with identical qualities and attributes: The Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

(John 1:1-2; 4:24; 5:18; 10:30)

Doctrinal Differences

There are as many opinions on doctrinal issues as there are types of churches. Therefore, there are many things that churches disagree on. To us, however, as long as a church believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He is the one and only way to obtain salvation, we're on the same team. We will not speak against any such church. There are still some specific things that we feel very strongly about at Living Word Bible Church (see below).

Salvation

The only way to the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all mankind, on the third day rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Romans 10 tells us that there are two things you must do to be born again; confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that he is the Son of God who died for your sin and the sin of all mankind and was raised from the dead. If you do those two things, you are in right standing with God (what righteousness really is all about).

You don't need to get yourself cleaned up or "quit" this or "start" that before you come to Christ. You can't do it alone anyway. A bunch of rules never "saved" anyone! Once you come to Christ, you begin a lifelong journey of driving out the junk and becoming more and more Christ-like. The best part is that now you don't have to do it alone. You have Christ in you and the Holy Spirit to help bring that holiness to your life. All God looks for is your continual true heart's desire to allow Him to change you and to be obedient to His Word.

(Luke 1:27, Luke 31:35, John 3:16, Romans 5:10, Ephesians 5:2, Romans 10:9-10)

Water Baptism

We believe in baptizing by immersion. Baptism is an outward, tangible sign of the inward spiritual decision we have made to follow Christ. It symbolizes our death (that is, being ruled by the flesh) and resurrection (being ruled by His Spirit in us) that we were part of when our Savior, who was without sin, did those things for us -- taking on the punishment of sin (death) for all.

We believe baptism is an important experience for each believer, but do not believe it is required in order to be born again. We do encourgae all who call themselves Christians to be baptized.

Gifts of the Spirit

We also believe ALL of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available for today's church. When properly used, they will edify the entire church body, helping the Christian to steadily advance towards completeness and perfection with the power of God flowing out of their lives.

We believe in the orderly operation of the Gifts. The Holy Spirit is not the author of confusiuon and will not offend those who earnestly desire to draw closer to God. Simply put, the Gifts of the Spirit are not supposed to be weird or fruity; they are POWER!

Second Coming of Christ

We believe that those who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior and are unrepentant will be judged by God in His perfect justice and will be doomed to eternal punishment (Ecclesiasties 12:14; Matthew 25:32-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:16). We know that it is the job of the believer to spread the Gospel to the entire world because we know that God wishes that NONE would perish but that all would come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ to receive His believers into heaven and grant them eternal life. The time of His return is unknown, but it may be at any moment. This is the glorious hope for all God's children.

We do not know specifically when Christ will return and we do not try and figure it out. If He returns in our time on earth, we desire to be found busy doing His work and not sitting and waiting.

(John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; James 5:7-8; Revelation 22:12, 20).

Word of Faith

We are a "word of faith" church. By that we simply mean that if God clearly promises something in His Word, we fully expect it to be real and true. When we know we have prayed according to His Word, we know that His promises are "yes, and amen." There may be reasons we fail to see the promises come to pass, but the reason is never on God's end.

No one here is demanding God give them a Rolls Royce—God is not a vending machine. But we do place demands on His Word concerning that which He has promised and purchased for us through Christ's death and resurrection: things like physical and emotional health and healing, peace, destruction of poverty and lack, and blessings upon the work of our hands.

Are we one of those "prosperity" churches? Yes, but we also know that the Word is very clear about how we obtain the promises of God and why we seek them. They are obtained through living a holy and upright life and living by Godly principles like love, the fear of the Lord, integrity, and hard work -- not just "naming it and claiming it." We should always seek prosperity "for the sake of the house of God" and not simply for our personal gratification—that's greed and selfishness. God's promises are always to operate through love!

Tithes and Offerings

We believe that bringing tithes and offerings to the storehouse is not something that died with the Law at Christ's resurrection. In fact, it existed hundreds of years before the Law, and, according to Hebrews 7:8, Jesus is still collecting the tithe today. However, tithing is not a rule and has no bearing on our salvation or how much God loves us (or how much we love you).

Tithing is a principle of God that He established. We believe allows His people to be exempt from the world's systems. We believe that the tithe (10% of all of our increase) belongs to God and that our offerings (those gifts over and above the tithe) are a means to express our love and appreciation to God for all He does in our lives. We believe that where your treasure is, there also is your heart. If you are an active member of this church, you should tithe -- though no one is going to revoke your membership if you don't. Tithing is a way for us to demonstrate our faith in God and His Word.

The tithe is also meant to be brought to the storehouse (the church) so that people may be fed. Nationally, about 12-15% of regular church attendees tithe to their home churches. Imagine what the Church Body as a whole could do to impact this planet if all of God's people tithed!

Finally, we believe that it is important to remember that we are always bringing our tithes and offerings to God and not just a building, ministry or program. Sure, we may designate our gifts, but in our heart we must be bringing the gift to God.

(Malachi 3:10, Proverbs 3:9, Matthew 6:21, Acts 20:35, 2 Corinthians 9:6-12, Matthew 6:33, 1 Timothy 6:17-18, Hebrews 7:8)



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