New Hope's Beliefs
New Hope Church is a family who holds dear the following beliefs:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus, was born of a virgin, 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 to earth, to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift(s) when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
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.
People are made in God’s image, which means we are spiritual beings with a soul. We were created by God to have a personal relationship with Him. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Salvation is God’s free gift but each person must decide whether or not they will accept it. We can never make up for our sins by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness, can we be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled lives and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our lives by faith.
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and sustaining power of God that gives us this security.
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.
There is one true universal church, known in scripture as the body of Christ, composed of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior. The scripture commands believers to regularly gather, to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching the Word and fellowship. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion) are observed as the ordinances established by Jesus Christ. Service to the body of Christ and outreach to the world are accomplished through the development and use of gifts and talents. The local expression of the church is realized wherever God’s people meet in obedience to this command. Partners are to work together in love and unity, under the watch care and guidance of the appropriate leadership, with the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.
It is the Bible’s position that marriage involves the commitment of one man and one woman for one lifetime. Though various cultures and customs have evolving definitions of marriage, it is God alone who has ultimate authority to prescribe and describe marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-9, Mark 10:1-12).
With the Bible as our guide, New Hope Church regards any and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, sex outside of marriage, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or even lustful intent toward such, as sinful and ultimately unsatisfying. We also regard as sinful the intent or desire to surgically alter one’s biological sex to a different sex. Since the body is a creation of God, we hold sexual identity to be biologically determined, and associated gender norms are to be observed as appropriate to biblical standards. Disagreement with one’s biological sex only leads to spiritual confusion and emotional chaos (Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
In order to preserve the function and integrity of the Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical example to the partners, attenders, and the community, it is imperative that everyone employed by the Church in any capacity or committed to the Church in partnership should abide by and agree to this “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” and conduct themselves accordingly.
Though sexual expression outside of biblical guidelines is sinful, it is forgivable. The gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and give up on their sin, seeking mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-7).
Furthermore, there is a difference between temptation and unrepented sin. Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet He never sinned. Partners, employees, volunteers, and attenders of the Church wrestling with all manner of sexual temptation will find a Church ready to point them to Jesus and join with them to fight for their obedience to Christ. Jesus called the weary and heavy-laden to Himself. As a church desiring to help all people become fully devoted followers of Christ, New Hope Church will be a safe place for men and women fighting sexual temptations of all kinds. For those fighting temptation and repenting of sin, the Church will provide love, care and direction (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16).
This “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” does not provide grounds for bigotry, bullying or hate, as we fully believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity, regardless of his or her lifestyle. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be recognized as sinful and are not in accordance with the Bible nor the teachings of the Church.
This “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” is based upon God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Bible, upon which this Church has been founded and anchored, and this shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of partners or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.