What We Believe
What We Believe
GOD We believe in ONE God revealed to us in three equal persons known as the trinity. GOD the Father, JESUS the Messiah (Christ) and the HOLY SPIRIT. All are of one essence, eternal, all powerful, all knowing and loving. Romans 8:9-10
THE BIBLE We believe that God has revealed himself to us through his special book known as The Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments tell his story. It alone is our guide book for all of life’s most important questions. (Who am I? Why am I here?) 2 Timothy 3:14-17 Romans 15:4 Hebrews 4:12
MANKIND Mankind is the most unique part of God’s creation. We alone are made in his image. We have personality, intellect, emotion and a will to know and do right or wrong. We alone can know our Creator and return love back to him through worship. Acts 17:24-28
SIN All of mankind is born into a sinful world because of Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God. As their descendents, we are all sinners in need of a savior. Romans 3:23
JESUS We believe that Jesus is equal with God the Father. He chose to leave heaven to be born as a descendent of Adam and Eve. This was done to fix the broken relationship with God by dying on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for all who sin. This makes him our only Savior and our only way back to having peace with God. Romans 5:6-11
SALVATION We believe that man must respond to his broken relationship with God by accepting what Jesus has done for us. In that response we surrender our lives to him forever, making him our Lord. We believe that salvation is a process made available only through the Gospel of Jesus’ life, his death on the cross, his resurrection from the grave, and our escape from Hell to a home in Heaven. 1 Peter 1:18-19 1 John 1:7
CONFESS To confess is to state that you believe what the Bible says and acknowledge that you are a sinner in God’s sight in need of a Savior. Romans 10:9 1 Timothy 1:15-16
REPENT To repent is to turn away from worldly behavior and become more Christ-like. Acts 3:19 Luke 5:31-32
OBEY To obey is to make Jesus (not only) the Savior, but the Lord of your life. Matthew 7:21 John 14:23
BAPTISM Baptism is the “marriage ceremony” in which we identify with the death and burial of Jesus Christ, and because of it we will also live with Him. Romans 6:3-8 Acts 2:38
THE CHURCH At New Hope we do not believe that we are the only Christians but we desire to only be labeled as “Christians”. We are simply followers of Jesus. 1 Peter 4:16
Statement of Belief
New Hope Christian Church is an independent non-denominational congregation who stands in the historic tradition of the Church since it began. We do not share all the beliefs of every other congregation, but we believe there is a consensus on most of the essentials of the Christian faith. This core of belief has been labeled by C. S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity." These basics of the faith center on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible, and particularly in the New Testament. As a congregation, we tend to seek unity by focusing on these central truths of the Christian faith, rather than focus on areas that divide and separate Christ’s Body, the Church.
We believe in one God who created everything. We believe in his son Jesus Christ, who is in his very nature God, born of the virgin Mary. We believe he lived a sinless life, as both fully God and fully man. He was killed on a cross, dead and buried. On the third day, he was resurrected from death. We believe Jesus’ resurrection is an example of what will happen when he returns to the earth for His Church. Those who are saved by his grace through faith will rise to meet Him in the air, and be with him forever. There is no hope of salvation outside of Jesus Christ, He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who living in those who are baptized into Christ. We believe He gives spiritual gifts to those who are in Christ, and is active in the lives of believers. We believe He comforts, guides, and convicts the heart of sin. We also believe He makes his presence known in the midst of those who are gathered to worship the Lord.
We believe those who desire to enter into a relationship with Christ must exhibit a personal commitment to Him as Lord and Savior. Belief in God should be accompanied by a willingness to both publicly confess one’s faith and repent (turn away) from sin. There should also be a desire to live a life of obedience beginning with one’s baptism by immersion into Christ.
We believe in the authority of Scripture in both Old and New Testaments. We affirm that Scripture is true and accurate in all matters it addresses, and should be regarded as the final authority on all spiritual matters. We choose to have elders (pastors) in the local body who are responsible for the spiritual well-being of the congregation and to provide guidance for the body when needed.
In the essentials, we desire unity. In areas of opinion, we seek liberty. In all things, we pursue love. This document is designed to clarify our areas of agreement, not to be a creed requiring formal agreement. We desire to have no creed but Christ, and to use the Bible as our final rule of faith and practice.
Frequently Asked Questions on Baptism
Q1: Why do you baptize people?
1. To follow Christ's example.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan (Mark 1:9).
2. To obey Christ's command.
Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matt 28:18-20).
3. To join Christ in his death and resurrection.
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Rom 6:3-4).
4. Because Scripture connects baptism with the Holy Spirit and forgiveness.
Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, cf. Acts 19:1-5).
5. Because every conversion in Scripture includes baptism (Acts 2:36-41; 8:9-17; 8:26-40; 9:17-19, [22:12-16]; 10:44-48; 16:13-15; 16:29-34; 18:5-11; 19:1-7)
Q2: How do you baptize?
We baptize by immersion (full body under water) because:
1. Jesus was immersed (Matt 3:16)
2. Every biblical baptism was by immersion (e.g. Acts 8:38-39)
3. The word baptizeliterally means to dip under water.
4. It best matches the biblical picture of burial and resurrection.
In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead (Colossians 2:11-12).
Martin Luther, I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.
John Calvin, The word baptize means to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.
John Wesley, Buried with Him, alluding to baptism by immersion according to the custom of the first church.
Q3: Who should be baptized?
Anyone who believes.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16).
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:41).
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts 8:12).
Q4: When should I be baptized?
As soon as you believe!
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized? And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him (Acts 8:38-39).
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name (Acts 22:16).
Q5: What does it mean to be a born again?
We are born again when by God's grace we believe in and obey Jesus.
Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5).
And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also, not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21).
Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matt 7:21).
If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15).
Q6: Do I need to be baptized again?
You only need to be immersed as a believer once. If you did not believe when you were baptized, or if you were not immersed, we encourage you to be baptized by immersion.
There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Eph 4:4-6).
Q7: What about those who have not been baptized?
God's grace and sovereign will decides the fate of each person. While we believe Scripture clearly teaches believer's baptism, we recognize we are no one else's judge. We likely all have our blind spots and our imperfections, and we leave the fate of each soul in God's hands. We desire to teach the way of God more adequately.
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately (Acts 18:24-26).
Q8: Do I have to be baptized in front of the whole congregation?
No, though we believe it best to have others present to witness your baptism. If you desire baptism, we provide opportunities after every Sunday morning service during our invitation song for you to come forward and be baptized. We have a large pool of water we keep heated and ready for those who desire to be baptized without further delay. However, we do not believe it essential to have a congregation present, and we will gladly assist you in your baptism at any time.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Gal 3:26-27).
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).
Q9: Do I need to make any special preparations for my baptism?
No, although you may if you wish. Some people invite their friends and family to come to worship on the day of their baptism to share in their joy. A minority decide spontaneously to be baptized and make no special preparations. We do have white baptismal robes to change into for your baptism if you choose to wear them. We also recommend bringing a swimsuit to wear under the robe, as most people find themselves more comfortable that way. The baptistry is heated and is kept ready at every Sunday morning worship service for anyone who chooses to be baptized on that particular day.
I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Jesus in Luke 15:10).