What is the gospel?
“Gospel” simply translates as “good news.” The good news is that through Jesus Christ, who lived, suffered till death on a cross, and was raised from the dead, the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to renew the whole world. Though we, God’s creation, have rebelled and sinned, God shows us grace when we believe and rely on Jesus’ work and record (rather than our own) for our relationship with God; that kingdom power comes upon us and begins to work through us.
We now have been forgiven of our sins, welcomed as sons and daughters, and empowered by His Spirit to live lives that reflect His goodness and love. (See 1 Corinthians 15:3–5; Romans 1:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:8)
This is the gospel! The gospel is our life’s passion and the very story that is forming and fueling the church.
Statement of Faith
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all, being self-sufficient, not dependent on anything for existence; and to him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience that springs from faith (Deut. 6:4; Ps 145:3; John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rom. 11:36), who sovereignly chooses some unto everlasting life — not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ — thus they are called, justified, and glorified (Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 1:27-29; Eph. 1:4, 11).
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three divine (co-equal, co-eternal), yet distinct persons, each having distinct attributes: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1,3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6). We affirm the doctrines of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (AD 381) as follows:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made, Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets.
And we believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the age to come. Amen.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe he died in the place of all sinners, bearing the wrath of God for all who would believe in Him. We believe in his bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16). We affirm the doctrines of the Chalcedonian Creed (451) as follows:
We, then, following the early church Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the Holy Spirit sent into the world by God to glorify the Son of God. We believe that without his effective call no one would come to faith. We believe that His work in regeneration is not the result of water baptism or any outward ritual. We believe He indwells everyone who trusts in Christ, and helps them make progress in overcoming sin and in becoming more like Jesus Christ in thought, deed, and love. (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; John 16:9-14; John 3:3-8; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26)
THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and without error in the original manuscripts. We believe that God’s intentions, revealed in the Bible, are the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and what is right. In matters not addressed by the Bible, what is true and right is assessed by criteria consistent with the teachings of Scripture. (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13: 14:37; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; 14:26; 16:13-14; 17:17; 20:31; Acts 20:32; Matthew 22:29, 43-44; 24:35; Numbers 23:19; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 12:6; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2)
THE HUMAN CONDITION AND SALVATION
We believe that man was created by God in His own image and for his glory; but that man sinned and fell short of God’s glory, and thus incurred physical, spiritual, and eternal separation from God. We believe humanity has inherited a sinful, human nature, opposed to God’s law. As a result they are under condemnation. We reject justification by works of the law, and we believe that only those who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, by virtue of His atoning death on the cross, submitting to him as Lord, are justified, delivered from condemnation, and receive eternal life. We believe that this faith leads to a heartfelt turning from sin and repentance. The Christian life involves growth in grace through persevering, Holy Spirit-empowered resolve to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. (Genesis. 1:26-7; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Eccl. 2:11; Matt 13:44; John 1:13; John 3:14; 3:16; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; 17:3; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Phil 3:7-8; I John 1:9; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:11; 8:1; I Corinthians 15:1-2: Hebrews 3:12-14; Hebrews 6:11-12; Hebrews 10:39; Rom 3:28)
Repentance is granted by God, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin and his wretchedness, humbles himself, with godly sorrow and detestation of the sin, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things (Acts 2:37-38; 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10-11).
Saving faith is a gift from God through the power of the Holy Spirit and is the belief, on the basis of God’s authority, of whatever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for the forgiveness of sin, justification, and eternal life. It is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness (Rom. 3:27-28; 4:1-5; 4:17-25; 10:14, 17; Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; Jas. 2:14-26).
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything good in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ. By faith His righteousness is imputed to them as a gift (Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:21-26; 8:34; 10:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9).
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after holiness in determined obedience to all Christ’s commands (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:27-27; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Cor. 9:27; Gal. 5:13-24; Titus 2:11; 2 Pet. 1:3-11).
We believe in one holy, universal Church made up of all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. We believe that God calls us to unite with other believers in local churches to help each other to value Christ above all, to praise Him together, to grow in our love and knowledge of Him, to stir each other up to good works, and to serve his mission to make Christ known to all peoples. We believe that Christians should be baptized and regularly partake of the Lord’s Supper. (Ephesians 1:22-23; Acts 15:36, 41; 16:5; I Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4,10,11; Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
THE LAST THINGS AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe at His return he will finally and fully vanquish Satan. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the final judgment of all people, leading to the eternal happiness of the righteous in the Lord’s presence, and the eternal separation of the wicked from the presence of the Lord. (Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:15-8; II Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 4:5; I Corinthians 15; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20: 11-15)
We believe the Lord has left the Church two sacraments: baptism and communion (also called the Lord’s Supper or the Lord’s Table). Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is baptized in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 12:13). The practice of Apostles Church is believer’s baptism, baptizing those who have professed personal faith in Jesus Christ as seen throughout the New Testament. Nevertheless, Apostles Church affirms the baptism of those who were baptized as infants in the Triune name by a confessing church that proclaims the gospel of justification and does not affirm the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, as outlined in our By-Laws. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the cup, and to be observed by His churches until He returns. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him (Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-34).