Confession of Faith
Our Confession of Faith unites us in the Lord
The church is a people with answers to life’s deepest questions: Who is God? What is our position before God? What went wrong with us? How can we be saved from sin and death, guilt, and hell? At Heritage, we find our answers to these questions in the Scriptures. We, as the early church also did, devote ourselves “to the apostles teaching” (Acts 2:42). Together, we are a family with a common hope and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and his Word.
Article I: Scripture
We believe the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired Word of God, sufficiently clear in the essentials of the Faith, and the final authority for faith and practice, inerrant and infallible in the original writings (2Tim. 3:16-17; Isa. 8:20; Ps. 119:105).
We believe that the Scriptures were completed under the Spirit’s control in the first century. Because we believe the canon of Scripture is closed, we do not believe in any form of continuing special revelation (2Pet. 1:20; Heb. 1:1-2).
ARTICLE II: GOD
We believe in one Triune God, characterized by holiness, life, limitlessness, purity, integrity, and love, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—co-equal in power and glory, who has revealed Himself in the works of creation, providence, miracles, and especially in the inspired Scriptures (Deut. 6:4; 32:39; Isa 44:6; Isa. 6:3; Jn. 5:26; Jer. 9:24; Num. 23:19; 1Jn. 4:8, 16; Matt. 28:19; Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:17; Ex. 15:11; Heb. 1:1-3).
We believe that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the beginning, by the word of His power, created from nothing the heavens and the earth and all things in them in six days and that all were very good (Gen. 1; Ex. 20:11; Jer. 10:12).
We believe that God has created personal beings called angels, who serve Him through worship, agency, and care for His people. Some angels rebelled against God under the leadership of Satan, one of their own. Satan is not God’s equal but is His defeated enemy; his destiny, like that of all spiritual forces of evil, is eternal punishment in the lake of fire. His futile resistance to God occurs with God’s permission, and while we are to be wary of him and resist him, we are not to fear him or be obsessed with him or his agents (Ps. 148:2, 5; 103:20; Heb. 1:14; 2Pet. 2:4; Eph. 6:12; Rev. 20:10; Job 1; Js. 4:7; 1 Jn. 4:4).
ARTICLE III: MAN
We believe that mankind, both male and female, was created in the image of God, made both physical and spiritual, innocent and capable of obeying God’s will. In Adam’s deliberate violation of God’s expressed will, mankind fell from his sinless, blessed state, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12).
We believe that mankind is thus predisposed to sin—that is, to violate the expressed will of God in nature, thought, word, and action—and is utterly unable to remedy his alienated condition (Eph. 2:1-3).
We believe that as image-bearers of God in the earth, men and women are created as spiritual equals yet are designed in complementary order to assume God-given roles in the home and the church (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:18; Gal. 3:28).
We believe that God has designed the marriage relationship to portray the profound mystery of Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:31-32), to produce godly offspring (Gen. 1:28), to provide helpful companionship (Gen. 2:18), and to promote sexual purity and fulfillment (1Cor. 7:2-5). We believe that marriage is designed by God to join one man and one woman in a lifetime covenant of joyful love (Gen. 2:24; Prov 5:18; Matt 19:3-9; 1Cor. 7:10-11).
We believe that God gives some individuals the gift of singleness in order that they may serve Him without the cares of a spouse or family (Matt. 19:11-12; 1Cor. 7:8).
We believe that God forbids sexual activity outside of marriage. We believe that any form of adultery, fornication, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, and pornography is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1Cor. 5:1; 6:9; Gal. 5:19-21; 1Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4). We believe that attempts to alter one’s sex by surgery or appearance reflect a heart that does not submit to God’s good and sovereign right to determine our sex and thus are disapproved of and forbidden by God (Gen. 1:27; Jer. 1:5; 1Cor. 6:9).
ARTICLE IV: CHRIST
Person of Christ
1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became fully man without ceasing to be fully God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Jn. 1:1-2; 1:14; Lk. 1:35).
2. We believe that Christ suffered all the weaknesses of man without sin (Heb. 4:15; Rom. 8:3).
Work of Christ
1. We believe that by His incarnation Christ revealed God and redeemed sinful man (Jn. 1:18; Gal. 4:4-5).
2. We believe that Christ accomplished our redemption through His perfect obedience to the law of God and His death on the cross, shedding His blood and satisfying God’s wrath as our representative, vicarious sacrifice and that our salvation is made sure by His physical resurrection from the dead (2Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:24-25; 1Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1Pet. 1:3-5).
3. We believe that Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where as our High Priest He acts as our Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9; Heb. 9:24; Rom 8:34; 1 Jn. 2:1-2).
4. We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of Christ. At His coming Christ will conquer all enemies, create new heavens and a new earth, and reign forever (Jn. 14:3; 1Thes. 4:13-18; Mk. 13:32; Rev. 19:11-16; Isa. 65:17; 2Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-5; 11:15).
ARTICLE V: SALVATION
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by repentance from sin and by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood (Eph. 2:8-9; Isa. 55:6-7; Acts 26:20; Jn. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:18-19; Heb. 10:19; 12:24; 9:25-26; Rev. 1:5).
We believe that before salvation God chooses, calls, and draws individuals to Himself; that at the moment of conversion God justifies, forgives, regenerates, redeems, reconciles, adopts, sets apart, and baptizes the believer in the Holy Spirit; that throughout the believer’s earthly life He progressively conforms him to the image of Christ; and that at the believer’s resurrection He glorifies him, bringing him into perfect conformity to the image of Christ (Eph. 1:3-14; Rom. 5:1; 8:29-30; 1Cor. 12:13; 2Cor. 3:18).
We believe that God imputed the sin and guilt of Adam to all his descendants, that at the cross He imputed our sin to Christ, and that at our salvation He imputes Christ’s perfect righteousness to us (Rom. 5:12; 2Cor. 5:21).
We believe that those who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ and thus persevere in faith and obedience (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Tit. 2:11-15; Heb. 3:12-13; 6:9; Jn. 6:35-40; 10:27-29).
ARTICLE VI: THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is sovereign in all of His activity and is able to do all His holy will (1 Cor 12:11).
We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment and that He regenerates, indwells, and seals all believers for the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Cor 3:6; 1 Cor 12:12-13; Rom 8:9; Eph 1:13-14).
We believe that He is the divine Teacher, speaking in the Scriptures and guiding the believer to understand them, and that it is the privilege as well as the duty of all the saved to be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:10-13; Eph 5:18).
We believe sanctification in the Holy Spirit to be the work of God’s free grace, by which we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God and are enabled step by step to live unto righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:23-24; 2 Cor 3:18; Rom 6:6, 14; 8:4; 2 Cor 7:1; Heb 12:14).
We believe the Holy Spirit gives to believers a diversity of gifts for the common good of the church (1 Cor 12:4-7).
ARTICLE VII: THE CHURCH
We believe that the Church, which is the body of Christ, is made up of all believers, who are characterized by love for God and love for others and are committed to Christ’s mission of making disciples (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; 1Cor. 12:12-24; Matt. 28:19-20).
We believe the New Testament demonstrates the establishment of local churches, properly led, as the context for the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28; 1Tim. 3:1-13).
We believe that identification with a local church through membership reflects the loving relationships within the Holy Trinity and is identification with Christ Himself (Jn. 17:21; 1Cor. 5:3-5).
We believe baptized believers should join a local assembly for the purpose of worship, discipleship, edification, mutual care, service, giving, exercise of spiritual gifts, and the celebration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42; 1Cor. 12:7; 12:21-25; Heb. 3:13; 10:24-25; Matt. 28:19; 1Cor. 11:23-26).
ARTICLE VIII: THE FUTURE
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people, the saved unto eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46; Jn. 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
We believe that the spirits of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the resurrection (Lk. 23:43; Rev. 20:4-6; 2Cor. 5:6-9; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1Thes. 4:16-17).
We believe that the spirits of the unregenerate remain, after death, in conscious misery until the resurrection, when they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer eternal conscious punishment (Lk. 16:19-26; Matt. 25:41-46; Mk. 9:43-48; 2Thes. 1:7-9; Jd. 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall return to the earth and that because the time of His coming is hidden, believers should live in confident expectation and constant readiness (Tit. 2:13; Jn. 14:3; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6; 1Thes. 4:13-18).
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