Hope Church: What do we believe?
The One True God
We can know the one, true and living God, revealed in three persons in unity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We know Him as we believe and know the Son of God. (John 14:1-21 & 17:3)
The power of God’s Word
The Scriptures are divinely inspired, with full authority, and the power of God’s living Word. They testify of Jesus Christ and transform those who believe. (John 8:31-32 & 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Jesus Christ – God in the flesh
We believe that Jesus the Christ is God, come in the flesh and that He is both fully divine and fully human, the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38; John 14:1-3; Acts 2:36, 3:14-15; Philippians 2:5-12 & 1 John 2:18-25). His entire life was supernatural and victorious. He died on a Cross and rose again on the third day in the power of the Holy Spirit. He destroyed sin, overcame the world, defeated death and conquered satan. (1 John 3:8) He then ascended to God’s right hand ruling as King of all. Believers can and will share in all the facets of His victory, both now and in the age to come.
Man’s state & God’s Salvation
All of humankind is born into sin and have sinned against God. By repentance and faith in the Son of God we can know grace, forgiveness, deliverance from sin’s power, healing of the past, life in the power of His Spirit, and a purpose with Him, both now and in the age to come – eternal life. (Romans 2-4) For those who choose not to believe and follow, we believe that the Scriptures clearly set forth the teachings of eternal punishment for the lost and eternal life for the saved (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46; Luke 19:19-31; John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:11-15).
Right relationship with God
At the cross, Jesus Christ has dealt with the offence of sin, its guilt, its effects, its power and the punishment humankind – that both Jew & Gentile deserves. He also dealt with the wall of separation keeping us out of His family. Those who believe in him are counted as ‘not guilty’ in the sight of God, and also given His righteousness, and the Holy Spirit to empower people to live holy and like Him. By being declared ‘in the right’ through Jesus Christ, we are also made part of God’s family. (Ephesians 2 & Romans 4)
The Return of Jesus Christ as Saviour, King and Judge
Upon being exalted to God the Father, Jesus commanded His disciples to do His will, until He returned. Jesus Christ has promised to return to this world physically and in complete glory for those who have faith in Him. On that day His people will be resurrected in His likeness and glory. To those who choose to ignore His offer of salvation He will come in judgement and wrath upon the world. (Matthew 24:30-31; Acts 1:11 & 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Christ’s followers are commanded to be baptised, to demonstrate to the world their repentance and faith in Jesus, and to testify of being His disciples. Also, as a sign of the covenant that exists between God and His people, believers regularly celebrate His Death and Resurrection receiving the Lord’s supper in the eating the Bread and Wine, symbolising His body and blood given for us. (Acts 2:38 & Luke 22:7-20)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Jesus Christ has promised the gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a definite experience of the supernatural, transforming power of His presence, fullness and fire. It brings power to witness, faith, freedom, and a revelation of Jesus Christ transforming our character and deeds. This is usually followed by speaking in unknown languages, by the Spirit’s power, and other manifestations of the Spirit. From this experience, we are given supernatural gifts to be used by God in worship together with His people, and also in fulfilling the great commission. (Acts 2 & 10; 1 Corinthians 12-14)
The Church is not a building but the called out congregation of Jesus Christ. Every believer must be a disciple, every disciple becomes part of God’s called out people. This Body is comprised of Jew & Gentile. We should pray for people of all nations to come to the knowledge of the truth in Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:1-8) The Church should pray that the Jews as a people and nation would turn to the Lord Jesus Christ as a sign of His return (Romans 9-11), and with believing Gentiles form One New Man. The Church’s sole purpose is the Great Commission, and seeing a people formed for God’s Name on the earth. (Matthew 28:16-20 & Ephesians 2)
New Testament Leadership
The Bible sets out that the local church is ultimately led and cared for by elders and deacons, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Phil 1: 1). All those who serve in such positions must be chosen by the Lord, and fulfil the Biblical character qualifications set in Scripture. We believe that in the context of those offices, the New Testament describes unique and distinct ministry gifts in Eph 4: 11 and 1 Corinthians 12, that work in the context of a unified New Testament local church, and further afield in its wider mission. In the Old Testament an elder cared for a city, whilst those elders particularly gifted as prophets, moved among a number of related cities. In the New Testament an elder cared for the local church, whereas those elders called as apostles and prophets pioneered new churches and cared for them, though they were still locally based. We believe that this is how leaders function in the Church of Jesus.
We believe that apostles and prophets are foundational ministries in the house of the Lord and Kingdom expansion, and they serve with equally important evangelists, pastors and teachers to mobilise the saints to kingdom gospel expansion and build strong houses where God dwells. The goal of these ministries is not themselves but is the kingship and knowledge of Jesus in His Body touching the world. They are in the church to serve by caring, building and mobilising. They are not to lord it over God’s flock, but to serve and shepherd them.
The local church is to relate to such ministries within its God-given sphere, but also to others from other spheres of ministry, as the the wider body is also equipped with such gifts. As individuals and as congregations, we mature when we relate and honour such Jesus glorifying ministry from within and without.
The Church’s purpose
The Kingdom of God was set in motion upon the first advent of Jesus Christ, has been working in the earth since then in history, and is present today in the realisation and manifestation of God’s rule (Mark 1:14; Matthew 16:18-19; Luke 10:8-9; 11:20; 17:20-21; Acts 1:3; 2:32-36; 8:12; 17:3,7,18; 19:8; 20:25; 28:25-31). Whilst it is unique from the Church, God’s congregation are the primary instrument of proclaiming it, carrying it and advancing it. We believe that the Kingdom is present today and now, but also will be ultimately and fully realised when Jesus returns physically, and in power & glory to bring all things under His rule, and hand the Kingdom back to His Father.