Household of Faith Bible Church - Church Vision
Scripture records in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15... "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who died for them and rose again." It is the "love of Christ" that compels us, not love for Christ. This distinction is very important because the Bible is clear that the reason we have love for Christ is due to the love of Christ. 1 John 4:19 reveals... "we love Him because He first loved us." Our God is the Grand Initiator... not man. He sought us out in salvation motivated by His glory and great love for us. He pursued us in the midst of our sin and rebellion and not the other way around. It is therefore our lifelong joy now that He found us to vigorously pursue Him. In salvation, God pursued us... in sanctification or growth in our faith, we pursue Him (Hebrews 11:6). This pursuit centers around growing in our understanding and comprehension of the "love of Christ." (Ephesians 3:14-21) For as we grow here, we are filled to overflowing and as we are filled to overflowing the great love He has for all will spill out of our lives to everyone around us. (John 7:37-39)
The English word "love" in 2 Corinthians 5:14 in speaking of the "love of Christ" is translated from the Greek word "Agape." This is the Greek word used in the New Testament in reference to the love of God. It is a supernatural, divine love that comes from God. As a matter of fact, it comes from God because it is the very nature of God for the Bible reveals in 1 John 4:8b that "...God is love." God loves because He is love. Although it is impossible to set forth an adequate definition for such infinite love from an infinite God, we understand it to mean in part... "laying down ones life for the spiritual benefit of others." The standard by which this is ultimately defined, known and perceived is that which God did by offering up His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ on the cross. 1 John 3:16a records, "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us..." Our Lord, in obedience to the will of God, the Father, laid down His life on the cross as payment for our sins. What happened on the cross was and forever will be the greatest demonstration of love ever carried out. Romans 5:8 celebrates... "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Our response to that kind of love that has transformed our lives forever through repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21) is called for in the second part of 1 John 3:16b... "And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." It follows that since we are the recipients of such great love, we as believers should be the channels through whom it flows to others. We should, motivated by the "love of Christ.... live no longer for..."ourselves..."but for Him Who died for" us "...and rose again." Our call then is to lay down our lives for the spiritual benefit of others motivated by the "Agape" (love) of God.
After a season of diligently seeking our Lord in the Scriptures in pondering the path of our feet to be established on the rock solid foundation of the Word of God (Proverbs 4:26), we believe the following to be the heart and mind of God relative to the vision of Household of Faith Bible Church. The acrostic A.G.A.P.E. is used to express the vision as follows...
"For the love of Christ compels us,
because we judge thus:
that if One died for all,
then all died;
and He died for all,
that those who live
should live no longer for themselves,
but for Him Who died for them and rose again."
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Adoration All Together - Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20
God Centered for God's Glory - Isaiah 6 (Up, In and Out)
Alignment - Genesis 3:16; Nehemiah 4:14; Ephesians 6:4; Titus 2:1-8; 2 Timothy 2:1-2
Prayer - Luke 11:1
Evangelism - Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-48
Adoration All Together - We are an age integrated fellowship of believers. This simply means that when we meet in corporate worship, all ages are included all the way from little babies to senior adults and everyone in between. It is our conviction that this is the biblical pattern of worship for the church as evidenced by Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20. The Ephesians letter was written by Paul to be read to the church at Ephesus and quite possibly to all the churches in Asia Minor as well. Similarly, the Colossians letter was to be shared at the church in Colosse and the neighboring church in Laodicea (Colossians 4:16). Given that both letters were to be read to the respective churches and in them children are addressed directly in Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20, it is obvious the children were worshipping along with the rest of the church. Moreover, when God addressed His chosen people corporately in the Old Testament He habitually summoned all the people together... young and old alike. See Deuteronomy 31:9-13; Joshua 8:30-35; Nehemiah 4:13-14. Additionally, we are all reminded of our Lord's message to His disciples when parents were bringing their children to be ministered to by Him. Matthew 19:14 records Jesus saying to His disciples ... "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Luke 18:15a records that the people were bringing "...infants to Him that He might touch them." As our Lord made His way into Jerusalem to lay down His life on the cross for our sins, He cleansed the temple of the moneychangers and the Bible records that children were crying out in praise to our God "...saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David." Matthew 21:15b This enraged the apostate Jewish leadership and Jesus responded to them by quoting from Psalm 8:2 saying... "Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise." We strongly believe that patterns of worship including prayer, singing, giving and our faithful response to the reading and preaching of the Word of God should be modeled to our children primarily by parents. For those among us who are single, single again or do not have a mother and father, the parents in the church are strategically placed there by our Lord to serve as a model to them as well. We believe the deacons are to tend to the widows (which would include single again mothers) and orphans (children who have no father in the home) as we function together as the household of God. Over time, the enemy of our souls has sought to weaken us by dividing us. After all, the best way to destroy an army is to cut off their lines of communication. If the entire army cannot communicate with one another, then they cannot execute the battle plan and they are fodder for the enemy. By dividing us by age over the years, the enemy has weakened the influence and witness of the Church. Bringing us back together to worship, love and adore our great God together serves to increase our appreciation and love for one another. In so doing this, the foundation is laid for the relationship building necessary to build up everyone in the most Holy Faith. (Titus 2:1-8)
God Centered for God's Glory - While we believe that salvation by grace though faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is for us... it is not about us. It is about the glory of God! We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that salvation is exclusively by grace through faith, that we are kept by grace through faith and our hope of future glory is secured by grace through faith in the finished work of God through the death, burial and resurrected life of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. We believe that salvation is repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). Repentance is called for because God is A Just God and faith is called for because God is also A Savior. Isaiah 45:21b records that God is "...A Just God and A Savior." Praise His glorious Name! We also believe that repentance and faith are gifts from God and we therefore have no cause for boasting "...except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14b We make our boast in Christ and Christ alone. We celebrate the Five Solas of the Reformation...
Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is the RevelationIn salvation, God seeks us. (Luke 19:10) In sanctification, we seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) And even the desire of the believer for God and to walk obediently in His will and the power to walk there are all from the Lord. Philippians 2:13 records... "for it is God Who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." It is therefore abundantly clear that salvation is exclusively the work of God and not man and all the glory belongs to Him and Him alone. God's way of salvation, which is the only way, ascribes all glory to Him and none to man. The Bible teaches that God does not share His glory with anyone (Isaiah 42:8) and surely salvation is supremely so for on the cross the justice of God and the mercy of God met in a chorus of praise and adoration to Him.
Soli Deo Gloria: For the glory of God alone
Solo Christo: By Christ's work alone are we saved
Sola Gratia: Salvation is by grace alone
Sola Fide: Justification is by faith alone
It is our desire then, motivated by the Holy Spirit Who indwells all repentant believers, to do everything to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) In our experience and declaration of the Gospel in word and deed to all other matters of faith, He alone is to be glorified, worshiped and cherished.
Alignment - A signature verse our Lord gave us is found in Nehemiah 4:14... "And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses." Nehemiah, in his commission by God to build back the walls surrounding Jerusalem, summoned the people together at a strategic moment and shared this word with them. As we purpose to rebuild the walls weakened in part by age segregated ministry, God is calling the fathers among us "to turn" their "hearts"... "to the children." Luke 1:17b In Nehemiah 4:13 we learn that Nehemiah "positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and"... "set the people according to their families..." before speaking the words to them in Nehemiah 4:14. Later on in this chapter we learn that the men building on the wall held a sword in one hand and "worked at construction" Nehemiah 4:17 with the other. We believe our Lord has instructed us to equip the men of the fellowship in order to pick up their swords and trowels and take their place as leaders of their families on the wall to build their section. We are to help each other in this eternal endeavor and when one of us runs into trouble, we sound the alarm as they did in Nehemiah's day and others come to the aid of the ones under attack and in distress and our Lord "will fight for us." Nehemiah 4:20b We are challenging and equipping men to take their place as spiritual leaders and lead! Both the challenge and the equipping come from the Word of God. It is to the men that our Lord speaks in Ephesians 6:4 when we are instructed "...fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." It is the responsibility of the father to teach the Word of God to our children. Our precious wives provide invaluable aid to us in that responsibility, but the responsibility is to the fathers first and foremost. All too often in Church life in America, we farm that responsibility off to others and many of our men are not informed or equipped to do otherwise. We have so professionalized the ministry that we have unintentionally marginalized dad right out of it unawares. We must change this immediately. If we keep doing it for our dads, they will have no reason to change. Moreover, if we do not bother to help them, we fail our Lord and them and will continue to be weakened.
We place heavy emphasis on our men to equip them to teach and minister to their families and beyond. While ministering to our men and investing in them, we are also ministering to our wives, children, young ladies, young men and seniors for all are the beneficiaries when those called to lead do indeed lead.
Prayer - Oswald Chambers said... "Prayer does not prepare you for the greater work, prayer is the greater work." There is an imbalance of power in the eternal realm and it is decidedly in our favor as children of the Kingdom of Light. We have power that our enemy can never hope to have... we have prayer. We have access as the children of God to the very throne of God with an open invitation to enter 24/7 to "...obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16b We have communion with God through our great High Priest, Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, we are never more like Jesus than when we are interceding for the Bible teaches that this is His eternal ministry for "...He ever liveth to make intercession for" ...us. Hebrews 7:25b By the grace of God, we want to be a "house of prayer." Matthew 21:13 We embrace the precious truth that Christian faith is about a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and knowing Him is eternal life. (John 17:3) We celebrate that eternal life is not a time frame, but a condition. It is being in relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby we have fellowship. This fellowship is walking with our Lord day by day, moment by moment in love. This fellowship is realized and manifested in a robust life of prayer and obedience. Of all the things recorded in Scripture that our Lord's disciples could have asked Him to teach them such as how to give sight to the blind, heal a withered hand, make a crippled man walk again or raise someone from the dead, the only thing recorded that they ever asked Him to teach them was to teach them to pray. (Luke 11:1) Their observation must have been that our Lord's power, sense of direction and anchor was His relation to His Father and the communication they had with one another in prayer. This was His center, His life, they noted, and they wanted in on it. You see, life is not in serving Jesus...it is in walking with Jesus for it is out of that fellowship that service flows. Serving Him is a manifestation of the life we have in Him. In other words, it is an act of Worship! (Romans 12:1-2) We want to go after Him in prayer... to be in fellowship with Him. Our communion with Him is not just a priority...it is everything! His is not just first...Jesus is center! Therefore, we desire to live holy lives in order to fellowship with Him. Our relationship with Him is eternal... "preserved forever" according to Psalm 37:28, but our fellowship with Jesus is hindered by unrepentant sin. We desire close fellowship...not for what God can do for us, but for Who He is and what He means to us and wills to do in us! Prayer is priority! We want to live in the school of prayer and be a people of prayer. In that regard, we desire to make frequent trips to the Bronze Laver in order to be cleansed of any unrepentant sin in our lives. We celebrate in the Communion Cup as our divinely appointed opportunity to examine ourselves... not to enter into relationship for that is settled eternally when we repent toward God and place faith in Jesus Christ. Rather, we celebrate and embrace the self examination called for in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 in order to be in right fellowship with our Lord. We believe we are positionally holy upon repentance and faith through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. After holiness is imputed to the believer upon belief, we are empowered to live holy through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. As we walk holy, our prayers are effective for if we "regard iniquity in" our "heart, the Lord will not hear." Psalm 66:18 By the grace of God, we want to be a people of prayer.
Evangelism - "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10 Our prayer for this fellowship and the Body of Christ everywhere is found in Ephesians 3:14-21. We believe Scripture teaches that our motivation, as stated earlier, for dying to self and living to Christ is the love of Christ, not love for Christ. Love for Christ flows from the love of Christ. Consequently, is it our prayer that we be "rooted and grounded in love..." and "...may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that" we "...may be filled with all the fullness of God." As we are filled with the fullness of God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we will do what our Lord said the Holy Spirit would do when sent by Jesus which is to "testify of" Jesus. John 15:26b All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but not all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. As we yield more and more of us to the control of the Holy Spirit, evangelism is inevitable for the Holy Spirit empowers us to act and speak the testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In other words, we will "proclaim the praises of Him Who called" us "out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." 1 Peter 2:9b-10 As we are filled with the Holy Spirit, evangelism is not just something we will do...it is who we are...the Light of the World on display.
In summary, our Lord laid out the distinguishing mark that should characterize His church, serving as a witness to others that we are His disciples...the Agape of God! Consider... "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 We, by the grace of God, want to grow in our comprehension of that love which will result in deeper levels of surrender to our Lord in practice...not to get Him to love us, but because we are growing in our understanding of how much He already does indeed love us. All that we believe for this fellowship can only be accomplished by Him. He is the vine, we are but branches. John 15:5 We want to abide in Him and bear fruit unto Him whereby He is glorified! John 15:8 Praise the matchless name of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ!
Household of Faith Bible Church - Statement of Faith
Christ is the Head and Final Authority for the Church. His Word, the Bible, is the binding and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. We believe the Bible was inspired by God and inerrant and infallible in the original autographs and is preserved by God in such a way as to be authoritative and completely reliable today. We also believe that it is truth without any error.
To this end, we hold these specific doctrines:
- A belief in one God, Infinite Spirit, Creator, and Sustainer of all things, who exists eternally in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence but distinct in person and function. (Genesis 1:1, John 10:30, John 14:9-28)
- The Father is the first person of the Trinity and the source of all that God is and does. From Him the Son is the radiance of His Glory and the exact representation of His Being (Nature, Person - Hebrews 1:3) and from Him the Spirit eternally proceeds. He is the Designer of creation, the Speaker of revelation, the Author of redemption, and the Sovereign of history. (Genesis 1:1, Exodus 3:13-15, Psalm 24:1-2, John 1:1-4, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 4:11)
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity. Eternally begotten from the Father, He is God. He was conceived by the Virgin Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. He lives forever as perfect God and perfect man; two distinct natures inseparably united in one person. (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 3:16, John 10:30, John 14:9-11, Philippians 2:5-11, Hebrews 4:14-15)
- The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son and equal in deity. He is the giver of all life, active in the creating and ordering of the universe; He is the agent of inspiration and the new birth; He restrains sin and Satan; and He indwells and sanctifies all believers. (Genesis 1:2, John 3:5, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
- All things were created by God. Angels were created as ministering agents, though some, under the leadership of Satan, fell from their sinless state to become agents of evil. The universe was created in six historical days and is continuously sustained by God; thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created (not evolved) in the very image of God. As reasoning moral agents, they are responsible under God for understanding and governing themselves and the world. (Genesis 1-2, Job 37-39, Daniel 10, Matthew 26:53, Colossians 1:16-17)
- Adam, as the first man, willfully disobeyed God, bringing sin and death into the world. As a result, all persons are sinners from conception, which is evidenced in their willful acts of sin; and they are therefore subject to eternal punishment, under the condemnation of a Holy God. (Genesis 3, Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12)
- Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice by the appointment of the Father. He fulfilled the demands of God by His obedient and sinless life, died on the cross in full substitution and payment for the sins of all, was buried, and on the third day He arose physically and bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven where He now intercedes for all believers. (Isaiah 42:1-10, Luke 24:45-47, John 3:16, John 10:15, Romans 8:28-34, 1 John 1:9)
- Each person is saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior. The believer is declared righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of heaven. We have assurance of our salvation because... Jesus Christ protects it! Hebrews 7:25 says, "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." He is our Mediator. Jesus Christ is guaranteeing our salvation. We are not secure because of anything in us. We are secure because of Him. (John 10:28-30, Ephesians 2:8-9, Colossians 1:13)
- The Holy Spirit indwells all who are born again, conforming them to the likeness of Jesus Christ. This is a process completed only in heaven. Every believer is responsible to live in obedience to the Word of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)
- The church is a local assembly of baptized believers, under the discipline of the Word of God and the lordship of Christ, organized to carry out the commission to evangelize, to teach, to administer the ordinances of believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper. It is led by pastors and functions through the ministry of gifts given by the Holy Spirit to each believer. (1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
- The return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The unsaved will then be raised and judged according to their works and separated forever from God in hell. The saved, having been raised, will live forever in heaven in fellowship with God. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-13, Revelation 20:1-6, Revelation 20:11-15)
- The Priesthood of every believer. We believe every believer has direct access to the Father through the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins and because Jesus is our Great High Priest we can boldly approach the Father (Hebrews 4:16) because Jesus is the sole Mediator between every born again believer and God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5). It is the responsibility of every believer to study the Scriptures for themselves and to live their lives according to the Scriptures. (2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 2:5,9)