Statement of Faith
God is the Creator of the world we live in. He controls what happens with His creation (sovereignty). He is eternal, meaning that He has always existed and always will. And He exists in three forms, (The Holy Trinity) all at the same time – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-11; Matthew 38:19; Luke 3:22
Mankind (that is, all human beings, male and female) was made in the image of God. His intent was that we would conform to His character. Mankind was made to give God glory – to be living, walking, breathing reminders that He exists. We fall short of that standard because of sin, an innate predisposition to disobey God. It’s part of us and wasn’t caused by anything we’ve experienced after we were born. Our sinful attitude separates us from God. We can’t have a right relationship with God on our own; we need to be forgiven of our sin, and that is only possible by believing that Jesus’s sacrificial death on our behalf at Calvary was for each of us, individually. Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 3:1-7; Psalm 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:29; John 6:44; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 2:14
Eternal Life is promised to all of us. We are not earthly beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience! We have two possible destinations when our lives on Earth end: Heaven and Hell. The difference between destinations doesn’t depend on whether you were a “good person” or a “bad person;” it depends on whether or not you have asked Jesus Christ to accept the penalty for your sins. If you have, you are as sure to live forever in Heaven. 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21-22
Jesus Christ is the only Son of God the Father. He came to this Earth in human form more than 2,000 years ago, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death for every sin that mankind had committed to that point and would commit afterward. He then rose from the dead and resides in Heaven with God the Father. He has promised to return to Earth to establish a Kingdom here, and all who have accepted a relationship with Him (or, as we often say, those who are “saved” or “born again) will be part of that Kingdom. Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31; Luke 3:5; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Salvation is the condition of being forgiven of one’s sins. It’s not the end of your life as a Christian; it’s the beginning! Men, women and children who are saved express their love for God by serving Him, telling others about Him and worshipping Him – thanking Him for who He is and what He has done. Church services involve many ways of worshipping God – through music, the sharing of His Word, fellowship with others and financially supporting His work. A true worship service isn’t about any individual; it’s about God. Luke 24:47, John 3:3, Romans 10:13-15, Romans 8:16, Ephesians 2:8, Titus 2:11-12, Titus 3:5-7, Ephesians 4:24
The Holy Spirit is the presence of God here and today, as described in chapter 2 of the New Testament book of Acts. Becoming a more mature Christian involves allowing the Holy Spirit to take control over every aspect of your life. When we become more familiar with the Holy Spirit, He provides us with power for living, understanding of God’s ways, courage to share His love with others and guidance to live right. Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4, Mark 3:29, John 16:8, 13, Acts 7:51, Acts 10:19, Acts 13:2, Acts 13:4, Acts 16:6, 1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 6:11, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Peter 3:18, 2 Peter 1:21, Romans 8:5, Philippians 2:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 4:3,1 John 2:29
The Bible is God’s Word for His people. It was written over the course of centuries by human authors under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is inspired (meaning it reflects God’s heart for how we should live and not the opinions of the human authors) and inerrant (meaning that it is absolutely true in all respects). The Bible is the Christian’s rule book, and our challenge is to obey it fully, rather than to selectively obey only the parts we agree with or understand. The Bible is God’s standard, and we experience more success in our spiritual lives as we conform our lives to its teachings. 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13,2 Peter 1:21
The Church (capital “c”) is the fellowship of all Christians around the world. All men and woman who have sincerely accepted Jesus Christ as Lord (ruler) and Savior (salvation-maker) of their lives are members of what is also called the Body of Christ and the Family of God. As in any other family, we can disagree about many things. But also as in any other family, when we have the same Father we have a common bond that never goes away.
The church (small “c”) is also the most common term for an individual body of Christian believers – like the individual campus of Gateway Christian Church. More than just a building, a church is a community of faithful men and women united to worship God together and make Him known to others in a variety of ways.
Baptism is a ritual, or sacrament, practiced in Christian churches to demonstrate that an individual life has been transformed by salvation through Jesus Christ. It is not a substitute for salvation, but a public recognition that salvation has transformed an individual life. At Gateway Christian Church we believe baptism can only be made by a man, woman or child with the capability of understanding what salvation means. We call it believer’s baptism or water baptism (because it involves immersion in a body of water). There is nothing wrong with dedicating an infant or young child to God, but it doesn’t take the place of that child’s eventual need to make his or her own decision for Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47-48, Romans 6:4
Baptism in the Holy Spirit, or “Holy Ghost” baptism, is a noticeable indication of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life, such as happened in the second chapter of the book of Acts. It can show in many ways. At Gateway Christian Church you’ll commonly hear members speaking in tongues, a means of communication with God. That is just one of many manifestations of Holy Ghost baptism you’ll find at our church. Speaking in tongues is not a spiritual badge of honor, indicating some level of Christian maturity that those who don’t do it don’t have. It does permit those who practice it a dimension to their relationship with God they didn’t have before. Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Joel 2:28
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to the believer today. We believe in the Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, the gift of Faith, Healing, Miracles, the gift of Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, the gift of Speaking in other Tongues, and Interpretation of tongues; as recorded in 1 Corinthians 12. At Gateway Christian Church we are open and encourage the Gifts of the Spirit to be active in our Worship Services. 1 Corinthians 12
Communion is a sacrament practiced within the Church to remember the sacrificial death and promised return of Jesus Christ. There are many different ways to observe communion, but each way is modeled on a ceremony Jesus led His disciples in the day before His death, and uses bread or wafers and juice. Communion is most commonly observed during worship services of a local church, but at Gateway Christian Church we believe it can and should be celebrated individually and among families – any time Christians choose to remember Him together – and can be done as often as one is led to do it. 2 Peter 1:4, 1 Corinthians 11:26
The Rapture is the resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Romans 8:23, Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52