Our Statement of Faith
Our Statement of Faith defines our understanding of what it means to be a Christian and consequently defines whom the church recognizes as a Christian. At The Chapel, we define a Christian as someone who has authentically pledged to trust and follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior now and forever.
The Bible is the inspired word of God and is composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is both the sufficient and effective guide in all matters of faith and conscience, and is the authoritative source for all beliefs, values, and practices.
THE IDENTITY OF GOD
There is one holy, loving, and almighty God who eternally exists in the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God wants to be known by all humankind, and can be known by every single person through the Bible, through the world he created and through the active working of his Spirit in their lives.
THE NATURE OF HUMANKIND
Human beings are the pinnacle of all of God’s earthly creation, created as the very image of God himself, designed to live in a perfect, harmonious relationship with God and to steward the rest of creation on his behalf.
THE NATURE OF GOD
The center of God’s nature is his goodness. His essence is expressed most succinctly through the Hebrew term chesed, a term God frequently uses in the Old Testament to describe himself. Chesed is the giving of oneself fully, with love and compassion, to another. God’s nature most profoundly manifests itself in a loving-loyalty to his creation, but most particularly to those who return God’s love with a believing loyalty towards him.
THE MISSION OF GOD
The mission of God is to extend his kingdom over all the earth. As God’s imagers, all humankind is called to cooperate with God, in extending the power, goodness and influence of his kingdom over and against the dominion of darkness.
THE FALL OF HUMANKIND
Humankind chose to abandon God by rebelling against both his leadership and his way of life. As a result, all humanity was plunged into a state of eternal, relational separation from God and consigned to live in a world filled with evil, strife, suffering and death.
THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS
Jesus Christ is God incarnate, Lord over all creation. He is both fully God and fully man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a cross for the sins of humankind, was physically resurrected from the dead, reigns now at the right hand of the Father and will one day return to fully establish his kingdom over all the earth forevermore.
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS
The message of the gospel is that through repentance and faith in Jesus every person can be reconciled to God, adopted as his sons and daughters, and begin to experience the reality of his kingdom today, even in the midst of a fallen and broken world.
THE NATURE OF SALVATION
In the midst of humankind’s rebellion, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for the sins of all people. The only way for an individual to be reconciled with God is by placing their faith in Jesus, pledging their allegiance to him as their Lord and Savior forever.
The worldwide Church is the community of God’s kingdom on earth, and is composed of all those who have been reconciled to God through faith in Jesus, having received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit continues to be present and active today as revealed in both the Old and New Testaments. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in and through the lives of believers that enables them to carry the life and ministry of Jesus today.
THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD
One day, at an unknown point in time, Jesus will return to bring the fullness of his kingdom over all the earth forevermore. He will judge both the living and the dead, and those whose names are written in the Book of Life (i.e., those who have been rightly reconciled to God through faith in Jesus) will enjoy an eternity of life with God under his uncontested reign over all creation.
THE PRACTICE OF BAPTISM
Baptism is an individual’s first proclamation of their faith in Jesus. Though baptism is not necessary for salvation, it is a vital and essential act of obedience for every believer. We reserve baptism for those who are old enough to make a sincere and intentional decision to follow Jesus.
THE PRACTICE OF COMMUNION
Taking communion is how we remember and recognize the significance of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. The elements represent his body and blood and carry spiritual significance.
THE DEFINITION OF GENDER
According to the Biblical account of Creation, God fashioned all humankind into two distinct genders; male and female, which are determined according to their biology at birth.
THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is created by God and available to all humankind as a means of imaging God and stewarding Creation. By definition, marriage is the lifelong, monogamous covenant between one man and one woman as husband and wife.