About Pacific Hope
Statement of Faith
THE WORD OF GOD
We believe in verbal plenary inspiration which means that the entire Bible, in its original documents, both in part and in whole, is inerrant and infallible (Psa. 119:160). All sixty-six books of the Bible are literally the Word of God, written down by men of God, who were moved by the Holy Spirit and spoke from God (II Sam. 23:1-3; II Pet. 1:20-21). The Scriptures are the only authoritative and sufficient standard for all matters of godliness, faith, practice, and doctrine through all generations (Psa. 19:7-11; Zech. 7:12; Mt. 24:35; Jn. 17:17; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:3-4, 19). It is the only source of objective truth from God (Jn. 5:39; Rom. 15:4; I Cor. 10:11; Heb. 1:1; Jude 3; Rev. 1:19). God's Word stands in authority over all creation, men, and the church and is what all men will be judged by on the last day (Jn. 12:48; Rom. 2:16; I Tim. 3:15). Because the Bible is the Word of God we are under obligation before God to handle it accurately when we interpret it (II Tim. 2:15). We believe in the literal-historical-grammatical method of interpretation, which means the Bible is to be interpreted literally, taking into account the historical context and genres in which it was written. We believe the interpretation of any given text of the Bible is one, though the principles and applications taken from the one interpretation may be one or many.
GOD THE FATHER
God the Father is the initiator, planner, and organizer of all things, being sovereign over all of His creation (Job 38-41; Isa. 14:24, 27; 37:26; Acts 4:27-28; Rom. 8:29-30; I Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; 2:10).
GOD THE SON
Jesus Christ is God incarnate, which means that He is God become man in the flesh, fully God and fully man (Isa. 9:6; Mic. 5:2; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14, 18; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23) and conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). He is the one and only Mediator between God and man and lives as an advocate for the saints (I Tim. 2:5; I Jn. 2:1). He is the Redeemer (Gal. 3:13; I Pet. 3:18-19), Judge (Jn. 5:22-23; Acts 17:31), Priest (Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:10; 7:1, 3, 15, 21), Prophet (Deut. 18:15, 18; Jn. 6:14; Acts 3:22-26; 7:37), King of kings and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15; Rev. 19:16), and the channel of creation (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2). He lived a perfect life here on earth (I Pet. 1:19; Heb. 2:10; 4:15; 5:9; 7:28), died a vicarious or substitutionary death for the sins of men (Isa. 53:4-6; I Pet. 3:18; I Cor. 15:3), and was the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36). He was buried and rose again bodily on the third day (I Cor. 15:4), conquering death (Col. 2:13-14), and having ascended He is now seated at the right hand of God (Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 10:12), and He lives as an advocate for the saints (I John 2:1).
He came and inaugurated the kingdom at His first coming (Matthew 12:28; Luke 17:20-21), Jesus also taught that there was a sense in which the kingdom of God was still future, both in specific sayings (Mt. 7:21-23; 8:11-12) and in eschatological parables (such as those of the Marriage Feast, the Tares, the Talents, the Wise and Foolish Virgins). He will come again to consummate that kingdom in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21-22). The kingdom of God means nothing less than the reign of God in Christ over his entire created universe (Mt. 28:18). The kingdom of God is therefore both a present reality and a future hope.
Paul also makes statements describing the kingdom as both present (Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:19-20; Col. 1:13-14) and future (1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; 2 Tim. 4:18).
The fact that the kingdom of God is present in one sense and future in another implies that we who are the subjects of that kingdom live in a kind of tension between the “already” and the “not yet.” We are already in the kingdom, and yet we look forward to the full manifestation of that kingdom; we already share its blessings, and yet we await its total victory. Because the exact time when Christ will return is not known, the church must live with a sense of urgency, realizing that the end of history may be very near. At the same time, however, the church must continue to plan and work for a future on this present earth which may still last a long time. Referred to some as Amillenialism, also known as realized millenialism or inaugurated millenialism, we teach that the millenium is now. We are now in the millennial reign of the incarnate, risen Lord Jesus Christ with the tares growing among the wheat. We believe that the Kingdom continues to expand by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible, and triumphant appearing of Christ when he returns to the earth as King.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the godhead being fully God in every way (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; I Cor. 12:11,18; II Cor. 3:18). The Holy Spirit assisted in creation (Gen. 1:2), was the agent of the virgin birth (Luke 1:35), and is the divine agent of the inspired revelation of God (Zech. 7:12; II Pet. 1:20-21). The Holy Spirit is active in convicting the world of sin and judgment (John 16:8), and regenerating and empowering those who are saved (Ezek. 36:27; Jn. 3:5-8; II Cor. 12:1-7; Gal. 5:16; Tit. 3:5). The Holy Spirit enables men, through His illuminating work, to understand the written revelation of God (I Cor. 2:10-16; I Jn. 2:20; 27). The Holy Spirit permanently indwells, and enables believers in the process of sanctification (I Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:13-14; Eph. 1:15-18; 3:14-21; II Thess. 2:13). He is the pledge and guarantee of our future inheritance (II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
Man was created to give glory to God (Isa. 43:7; Col. 1:16-18). Man was created perfect and without sin on the sixth day of creation. Man was formed by God out of the dust of the ground and God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living being (Gen. 2:7). Man is unlike the animals being created in the image of God to rule over the earth and all living creatures (Gen. 1:24-31; Eccl. 7:29; I Cor. 15:39). Shortly after man was created Eve was deceived by Satan into eating the forbidden fruit (II Cor. 11:3; I Tim. 2:14) and Adam ate the forbidden fruit willingly (Gen. 3:17; Hos. 6:7). As a result of their sin both died spiritually (Eph. 2:1-2; Col. 2:13) and later physically because the wages of sin is death (Gen. 5:5; Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27). Adam was the representative head of the human race and when he sinned the entire human race fell in him. Adam's sin is imputed to all of his descendants (Rom. 5:12-14; I Cor. 15:22), hence all men are totally corrupt being conceived in sin (Psa. 51:5), born sinners (Gen. 8:21; Psa. 58:3), and sin because they are sinners (Jer. 17:9; Mk. 7:21-23; Rom 3:10-18, 23; Eph. 2:1-3). All men suppress the truth in unrighteousness and are sinners by nature and choice (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 1:18-25; Tit. 1:15). The consequences of sin have made man unable to understand the things of God (I Cor. 2:14), unable to please God (Rom. 8:5-8), and unwilling to seek Him (Jn. 3:19-21; II Thess. 2:10-12).
THE NEED FOR SALVATION
Unrepentant sinners have God's wrath abiding on them and hence all men are in need of salvation from sin and its consequences (Jn. 3:36; Rom. 3:23-24; 6:23; Eph. 2:3). The ultimate consequence of sin is to suffer the holy wrath of God's justice for eternity in the lake of fire (Nah. 1:3; Rev. 20:14-15).
PREDESTINATION OF THE ELECT TO SALVATION
God chose and predestined some to be saved from before the foundation of the world (Rom. 8:29-30). All men are called to repent and believe in Jesus Christ (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 17:30), but only the elect who are predestined to salvation believe and are saved (Matt. 22:14; Acts 13:48; Eph. 1:4-5).
PROVISION OF SALVATION
God's only provision for salvation is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the promised Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), the Redeemer (Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19), and Savior of all those who believe in Him for eternal life (John 3:16). The Lord Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one can come to the Father but through Him, and there is no other name under heaven by which men must be saved (Mt. 11:27; Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12).
THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION
The only way to be delivered from the wrath of God is by hearing and believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God for all who believe (Rom. 1:16; 10:14-17; I Cor. 1:18-24). The essence of the gospel is that Jesus Christ, out of love for us, died for our sins on the cross as our substitute, was buried, and rose again on the third day conquering death (Acts 2:22-32; Rom. 5:8; I Cor. 15:1-4; I Pet. 3:18). The gospel message is a call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Mt. 3:1-2; 4:17; 11:20; Acts 2:38; 3:19-21; 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:19-20; Rom. 2:4; II Cor. 7:9-10).
APPROPRIATION OF SALVATION
Salvation is not a result of works but it is an undeserved, unearned gift, received by God's grace and mercy, through the faith which God supplies to the elect (Gal. 5:4; Eph. 2:8-9; II Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:5). Saving faith is not only an intellectual assent to the facts of the gospel (Jam. 2:19) but a volitional heart commitment to trust in the gospel (Luke 9:23; Luke 14:26) and a willingness to submit and obey the Lord of the gospel who is Jesus Christ (John 3:36; I Jn. 2:3-5). Salvation is only appropriated through the ministry of the Holy Spirit whereby God draws the elect to His Son (Jn. 3:5-8; 6:44). Men, apart from the grace of God, do not seek Him (Rom. 3:10; Jn. 3:19). God seeks men (Lk. 5:31-32; 19:10) and men respond to the irresistible grace of God which draws them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Mt. 11:27; 13:11; Jn. 6:37; Acts 13:48; Phil. 1:29; II Tim. 2:25; I Cor. 1:18). Repentance is to have a change of mind, to acknowledge one's sins, turn from them and to pursue righteousness and faith in Jesus Christ as God incarnate, Savior, and Lord (Isa. 55:6-9; Joel 2:12-13; Jn. 1:12; 8:24; Rom. 14:8-9; II Cor. 4:5).
THE CALL TO SALVATION
God calls all men everywhere to repent and believe in the gospel (Acts 17:30-31). God is longsuffering, not willing for any of His elect to perish (I Tim. 2:4; II Pet. 3:9). He however, takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:23; 33:11). Men are without excuse before God because creation, conscience, and the law of God written in men's hearts is enough to show them that God exists, yet all men suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18-20, 25; 2:4-5,14-16). Because all men suppress the natural revelation of God, the only way a person can be saved is by hearing and believing in special revelation, which is the Word of God, the gospel (Matt. 24:14; Rom. 1:16-17; 10:8-17; I Cor. 1:18).
ATONEMENT OF SIN
Christ's sacrificial atonement is definite, and therefore applied only to the elect who place their faith in the message of the gospel (Rom. 5:6, 8; I John 2:2). The Lord caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Christ (Isa. 53:6). Jesus shed His blood to redeem those who would be saved (Lev. 17:11, 14; Eph. 1:7; I Pet. 1:18-19). He came to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29), died for mankind from throughout the world (John 3:16-17; I Jn. 4:14 ), offered as the only Savior of mankind, but is only Savior to those who believe (I Tim. 4:10; Tit. 2:11). He tasted death for them all (Heb. 2:9), and is the sacrifice that satisfies the wrath of God (propitiation) not only for our sins but the sins of the redeemed throughout the entire world (I John 2:1-2).
RESULTS OF SALVATION
Salvation includes total forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7; Col. 2:13-14), adoption into the family of God (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5-6), reconciliation to God (Rom. 5:10-11; 11:15), declared righteousness through justification by God (Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:16); propitiation before God (I John 2:2; Heb 2:17-18); eternal life with God (Jn. 3:16, 36; 10:27-28); redemption from the curse of the law and slavery to sin and Satan (Gal. 3:13; Eph. 2:1-9; Titus 2:14); sanctification (I Cor. 6:11; I Pet. 1:14-16; I John 3:2-3); deliverance from the lake of fire (Jn. 5:24; Rom. 5:9), and glorification (Rom. 8:29-30).
THE MANIFESTATION OF SALVATION
Salvation is the supernatural work of God in a person that manifests itself in a transformed life (II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24). All true believers will bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance and will be known by their fruit (Mt. 3:8-10; 7:16-23; 12:33-35; Lk. 6:43-45). The kinds of fruit which salvation produces in the life of every believer is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25), a hunger for God's Word (I Pet. 2:2), a pursuit of righteousness (Prov. 4:18), increased godliness and Christ-likeness (Phil. 1:6; II Cor. 3:18), a desire to be with the saints (Heb. 10:24-27; I Jn. 2:19), and a desire to obey God in everything (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 5:9; I Pet. 2:12).
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
We can know we are saved by the internal witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:16-17; I Jn. 3:24; 4:12-13) and by the righteousness which true saving faith produces in the life of every believer who receives the truth of the gospel (Jn. 17:17; Col. 1:3-6; I Thess. 2:13; I Jn. 2:3-4). A person who practices sin and rebellion against God has no assurance of salvation (Jam. 2:14-26; I Jn. 2:29; 3:4-10; 5:2). Everyone should regularly examine themselves to see whether they be in the faith (Psa. 139:23-24; Lam. 3:40; I Cor. 11:28, 31; II Cor. 13:5).
THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
God saves men while they are enemies (Rom 5:8) and once a person is saved, their salvation can never be lost or rejected (John 6:37, 39; Rom. 8:38-39). God seals all believers with the Holy Spirit who is given as a pledge of our future inheritance until the day of Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). God enables every believer to persevere unto the end (I Thess. 5:23-24), and God loses none whom He has called (John 6:37, 39; 10:27-30). The saints persevere in their salvation not because of what they do but because of what God does for them (John 6:44, 65; I Thess. 5:23-24; I Pet. 5:10; Jude 1).
THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
The ultimate purpose of the Church is to give glory to God (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). The Church can only give glory to God by submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ out of love and by obeying His Word (Jn. 14:15, 23-24; I Jn. 5:3). The Church gives glory to God by worshiping Him (Jn. 4:21-24; Rom. 12:1-2), by evangelizing the lost (Mt. 28:19-20; Lk. 24:46-48; Acts 1:8; Col. 1:23), and by equipping the saints for work of service both now and in the age to come (Mt. 24:45-47; 25:21-23; I Cor. 3:12-15; Eph. 2:10; II Tim. 3:16-17; 4:7-8; Tit. 2:11-14).
THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
There is a universal church comprised of all true believers everywhere, baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one body of Christ through faith upon conversion (I Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 2:11-16; 4:4-6). The Universal Church age started at Pentecost and will end at the glorious return of Christ (Acts 2; I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 5:13-18).
THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe in the existence and independence of the local church which is comprised of all those who profess faith in Jesus Christ (I Cor. 1:2; I Thess. 1:1). In every Local Church there may be those who profess to be believers but are not (Mt. 7:21-22; Tit. 1:15-16; Jude 1:4).
The Local Church is responsible to look after the spiritual welfare of any member and discipline those who continue in unrepentant sin according to the Scriptures (Mt. 18:15-20; Acts 5:1-11; Rom. 16:17-18; I Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1; I Thess. 5:14-15; II Thess. 3:6-15; I Tim. 5:20; Tit. 1:13; 3:10-11; Rev. 2:2, 14-15, 20).
THE HEAD AND LEADERS OF THE CHURCH
Jesus Christ is the Head, King, and Lord of the Church (Acts 2:36; Eph. 4:15-16; 5:23; Col. 1:18) and believers are members of His spiritual body (I Cor. 12:12-13). Jesus guides the body through the Bible and under-shepherds who submit to the Bible. God's under-shepherds are the elders, pastors, or overseers who must possess certain spiritual qualifications (Acts 20:28; I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9; I Pet. 5:1-3). Leaders must be examples to the flock as those who will give an account (II Tim. 2:24; Heb. 13:17), showing others how to live as humble servants of the King (I Pet. 5:3). The church must also appoint faithful men who meet the qualification of deacon (I Tim. 3:8-10, 12-13). Deacons are appointed to help meet the physical needs of the church and to assist the elders so the elders can focus on prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4; I Tim. 4:6, 10-13, 15-16).
THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
The church has two ordinances: water baptism (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 8:38) and communion, or the Lord's supper (I Cor. 11:20-26; Matt. 26:26-29). Both water baptism and communion should be observed today in the local church by believers.
Water baptism is reserved for believers who have placed their faith in Christ and whose conversion has become naturally evident to the local church community. (Regarding the age requirements for baptism, please see Baptism of Children.) Baptism is not a means of salvation or grace, but is an act of obedience whereby a believer makes a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38, 41). It symbolizes the inward reality of being united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-6). Baptism is to be by immersion (Mark 1:10; Jn. 3:23; Acts 8:39) and is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and the Lord’s Supper.
LORD'S SUPPER OF COMMUNION
Communion is an act of obedience whereby a Christian remembers the sacrifice of Christ, proclaims the death of Christ, and anticipates the glories of Christ's kingdom to come (Luke 22:19; I Cor. 11:24). Communion is not a means of salvation or grace, but is the result and privilege of Saving Grace. Communion is only for believers who are not living in unrepentant sin (I Cor. 11:17-34).
SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF THE CHURCH
We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles' message (Hebrews 2:3 4; 2 Corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Corinthians 13:8 12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:12; Revelation 13:13 14). The only gifts in operation today are those nonrevelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Romans 12:6 8).
We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1 6; John 5:7 9; 2 Corinthians 12:6 10; James 5:13 16; 1 John 5:14 15).
MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:18-25). This special union uniquely represents the union of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:25-32). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Leviticus 18; Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Romans 1:26-27; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Pacific Hope Church as the local Body of Christ and to provide a biblical role model to the PHC members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by, who are members of, or who serve as volunteers of PHC in any capacity agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of PHC.
Angels are created spirit beings (Ex. 20:11; Job 38:4-7; Col. 1:16). Angels were created to worship God and minister to believers (Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:11-12). All angels were at one time holy but when Satan rebelled a third of the angels fell with him (Rev. 12:3-4). Fallen angels are called demons or evil spirits and will be judged along with Satan and thrown into the lake of fire (Mt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
THE INTERMEDIATE STATE
We believe that when Christians die they pass immediately into the blessed presence of Christ, there to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Savior until the day of the resurrection and glorious transformation of the body. The saved will then forever dwell in blissful fellowship with their great Triune God. We also believe that when unbelievers die they are consigned to hell, there to await the day of judgment when they shall be punished with eternal separation from the presence of God (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; John 5:25-29; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 1:19-26; 3:20-21; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:1-22:15).
DOCTRINE OF LAST THINGS
We believe in the personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ. After Christ returns, he will bring about the ultimate defeat of Satan, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the eternal blessing of the righteous. At that time, the Kingdom of God will be completely fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, in which righteousness dwells and in which he will be worshipped forever (1 Corinthians 15:20-28,50-58; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 19:1-21).
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pacific Hope Church is a San Diego church.