You may wonder why we find it important to state what we believe. Someone once said “it is not as important as to what you believe but just so long as you sincerely believe in something.” We would disagree with that statement. It is not helpful at all to be sincerely wrong. What you believe is important and it determines the lens that you view everything else in life through. While we would certainly acknowledge that Christians for all ages and times have disagreed on some matters of faith, the critical or essential beliefs are of utmost importance and have remained. These essential beliefs, or doctrines, are the foundation that Jesus and his Apostles said His church would be built upon.
Over time, cultural changes, political powers, languages, other religious beliefs and events have influenced the Church but the essential doctrines that measure the orthodox (established and accepted) standard by which the true Christian Church is defined continue. From time to time various individuals or groups arise in the culture and have attempted to express new and contrary beliefs or new statements of “what matters most”, usually in an effort to redefine the established and accepted standard. This is called heresy. Occasionally in response, various Christian groups, Christian denominations, assemblies or even individual Churches have found it necessary and helpful to issue concise and deliberate statements to clarify, restate or reaffirm the essential Christian beliefs. Often these statements of faith, sometimes also called creeds or confessions, address new heretical issues or practices that have arisen in the culture. While we do not hold these statements, creeds or confessions on par with Holy Scripture we do find some of them helpful in expressing the essentials of what MORe Community Church believes. These ancient documents are often the most excellent epitome of the things most surely believed among us. They are not issued as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby you may be saved, but as a means of edification in righteousness. However, many of these statements are excellent, though not inspired, expressions of the teaching of the Holy Scriptures by which all confessions are to be measured. MORe Community Church is Christian in belief, and the essentials of that belief are summarized well in the historic Apostles Creed. A much more detailed expression can be found in the historic Baptist Confession of Faith (1869) with slight revisions by CH Spurgeon. We as a church believe these doctrines are important but we don’t believe a common adherence on all points of these doctrines are necessary for salvation. We hold to the humbling truths of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Salvation is through Christ alone and by faith alone to the Glory of God alone. MORe Community Church holds essential doctrines in a closed hand, but has an open hand on secondary matters of faith, meaning that despite our diversity we can show charity to one another and remain unified in our love for each other. The non-essential or secondary matters of faith we can discuss, debate and even disagree on but if it is a non-essential matter we should never divide over.
Below you will find concise statements of belief that MORe Community Church holds to and teaches on both essential doctrines and some secondary non essential matters of faith as well some historical creeds and confessions.
“In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials diversity, in all things charity.” –Rupert Meldenzie
Historical Creeds and Confessions
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, One holy Church; the communion of the saints;
The forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
Summary Statements of Beliefs
The Scriptures (the Bible) which includes the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament are given by divine inspiration and are the written Word of God, the final authority for the lives of believers in every culture and age, and the infallible rule for faith and practice. The scriptures are divine instructions for us. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. The scriptures are God's revelation and self-disclosure of Himself to man. They are to be interpreted according to their context and purpose in reverent obedience to the living Lord who speaks through them in power by His Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Scriptures reveal the principles by which God judges us. The primary purpose of Scripture is a testimony to Jesus and to lead people to faith in Him. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
We believe in there is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. He is the infinite and eternal God and reveals himself to us as a Triune God, eternally existing in three persons with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being —Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, co-existent and co-equal, having the same attributes and perfections. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is the foundation of Christian faith and life. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.
The Person and work of God the Father
God has revealed Himself to all people as a Father who is an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. Together with the Son and the Spirit He is the Creator of heaven and earth and reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. By His Word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same Word He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and Together with the Son and the Spirit He rules over all and is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; He hears and answers prayer; He is faithful to every promise, He works all things together for good to those who love Him and in His unfathomable grace gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind’s redemption. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man to live in fellowship with Himself.
The Person and work of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God is the eternal Word made flesh, who became fully man without ceasing to be fully God, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He is fully God and is fully man. He was always with God and is God. He lived a perfect, sinless life and fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary's cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, the third day He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and for a period of 40 days appeared to over 500 witnesses. Our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He ascended into heaven, where at God’s right hand; He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all. He is the Head of His body, the church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
The Person and work of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Spirit is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ at conversion, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who in turn came to glorify the Father. He will lead the church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God's Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshipped as God the Third Person of the Trinity.
God made man—male and female—in His own image, as the crown of creation, that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from the special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives enslaved to sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful to God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.
Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the heart of the gospel. Jesus Christ’s death is a substitutionary sacrifice that satisfied the demands of God’s holy justice and demonstrates His mysterious love and amazing grace.
Salvation - Man’s Justification through the Gospel
Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous or justified by God. This justification is as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin an individual is reconciled to God the Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and, through the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
Salvation – Man’s Sanctification through the Gospel
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. All believers are encouraged to persevere in the faith, knowing that they will give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve and sanctify His people until the end, which is most certain.
Salvation – Man’s Glorification through the Gospel
The process called sanctification in this life—the process of transformation from one degree of holiness to the next—is the first stage of glorification. The bible tells us we “are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”. Progressive change that happens in this life can be described in terms of holiness or glory or glorification. The age to come will be a place of great physical glory. But mainly it will be a place of infinite moral and spiritual glory. The main beauty will be the beauty of holiness. Therefore be amazed and sobered that this life is not just a waiting period for that day. We are being changed now “from one degree of glory to another.” We receive salvation now to be glorified by being sanctified. That is, you are being made morally glorious for the age to come.
The church is a spiritual organism comprised of all who have trusted in Christ for redemption, and exists to glorify God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God by His Word and Spirit creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ's Body. The church is God’s imperfect people who are being perfected by grace and together cling to Jesus Christ. The Church also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will in the earth. It is a missionary community created by the Spirit on the mission of Christ to redemptively engage the peoples and cultures of the world. The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to witness, and imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and the work of ministry in the world. We believe all the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner. The gifts are essential in the mission of the Church in the world today. All members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The church joins Jesus Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation of all things to himself. It is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him. The gifts are essential in the mission and ministry of the church in the world today. In the context of the local church, God's people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world.
The sacraments or sometimes called the ordinances of water baptism and communion are to be practiced by the church following Christ’s example and command. Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received by faith the saving benefits of Christ's atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ's command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person's union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person's release from the mastery of sin.
As with water baptism, the Lord's Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ's body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ's death. As we partake of the Lord's Supper with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ's body
Christ will return to earth physically, visibly, personally and gloriously to raise the dead, translate those alive in Christ, judge the just and the unjust, consummate His kingdom, and renew all things, ushering in the new heaven and earth. In the consummation, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God Who makes all things new.