WHO WE ARE
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Although we are not fundamentalists, we do hold certain fundamental beliefs in community. At Living Hope Church we seek essential unity in the following beliefs ...
God: We believe in one God, who exists in three distinct persons ... Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is equally God in being, essence, character and power. We believe that God is a God of grace who loves us unconditionally and longs for us to know him intimately. There is nothing that we have done or can do to earn that love ... it is a free gift ...and nothing is able to separate us from God’s grace.
Jesus: We believe that it is God’s grace that was revealed fully in the person of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior who came to earth in the flesh to reveal God to humans and to restore all of fallen humanity to a personal relationship with God. Jesus willingly died on the cross to demonstrate God’s love for sinful humans and to provide salvation for all humanity. His sacrifice in our place provides all humans the means to be reconnected with their loving Creator. Jesus will return to earth in the future to establish God’s perfect peace and justice for all time.
Holy Spirit: We believe that Jesus is present to all God’s children through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God present and living within each follower to empower a life that reflects the lifestyle, values and character of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the source of inspiration and the enabler of change in the lives of all Christians, illuminating God’s word for understanding and application in the life of each believer. The Spirit is intimately involved in progressively transforming each follower into the image of Christ, and is actively and powerfully working within the Christian community and in the world at large to bring about God’s plan of redemption for all people and all of creation.
The Bible (Holy Scripture): We believe that the Holy Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God and are the final authority in matters of Christian belief and practice. We assert that Holy Scripture requires interpretation that is informed by our God given reason, human experience, and Christian tradition; and is best understood when read and studied within the community of faith, the Church.
The Church: We believe that the Church is the “Body of Christ,” a physical and spiritual community made up of all those in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ who are called to live in fellowship and to worship together. The Church is God’s vehicle on earth to bring about God’s redemptive plan of justice and mercy for all people and all of creation. As such, we believe that everyone in relationship with Christ is gifted, empowered, and called to participate in God’s mission to reach the world. We strive to be a Christ-centered ministry that feeds the hungry, welcomes those who live on the margins, shares our gifts and possessions, offers healing and hope to the lost, and shares the witness of our faith.
Community: We believe that true discipleship is not “independent discipleship” ... for we are called into Christian community. We are not separatists or sectarian; we affirm the basic Christian doctrines. We affirm the historic creed. We join in ministry with Christians whenever and wherever we can.
Salvation: We believe that all people can be saved. We take John 3:16 literally, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God does not will that any should perish. God has made no decision that would exclude anyone from the possibility of being saved, for Jesus died for all (no one needs miss this abundant life in time or for eternity).
Assurance: We believe in assurance, which is confidence in God in the present. Assurance is not saying, “Look what a good Christian I am” but is instead declaring, “Look what a great Savior I have!” Assurance is the source of the critical sign of our salvation, joy; for the Christian life is truly a blessed and joyful life.
Christianity is a life to be lived and not merely a set of beliefs to be affirmed.
For more on what we believe as part of the global United Methodist Church, visit www.UMC.org
© 2012 The Living Hope Church - 5475 Lumley Road, Suite 102, Durham NC 27703 - 919.251.8989