A statement of faith is a summary of the essential Christian beliefs that serve as a group’s theological foundation. The following is a statement of our essential beliefs taken directly from the Holy Scriptures and can therefore be understood to be absolute.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, inerrant in its original form and the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
There is one God who is eternally existent in three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ was fully God and fully human. He was born of a virgin, led a sinless life and willingly gave Himself as a perfect atoning sacrifice for sinful mankind. Jesus rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His father’s right hand where He is now our advocate and great high priest. Jesus will come again to bring all things under His authority.
Each member of the human race is fallen, sinful and separated from God. Redemption is a work of God from start to finish through the blood of Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. New life from the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for salvation and restoration to fellowship with God.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit indwells each believer. He seals believers until the day of redemption and empowers them to live a godly life.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
There will be a resurrection of the saved and the lost; the saved to enjoy eternity with Christ, the lost to eternal and conscious judgment, separated from God.
The Church of God began with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and is composed of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. True believers are united to Him and to one another by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This means that the Church of God is not a building or an organization but a living organism known as the body of Christ. The supreme purpose of the Church is to glorify God and bring people to full spiritual growth before God through evangelism and the edification of all believers. The Church will soon be presented to Christ as His perfect bride, to fully enjoy its relationship with Him forever. The local church is composed of believers who gather in Christ’s name for worship, prayer, edification, fellowship and remembering Him by participating in the Lord’s supper or communion service. A plurality of elders is responsible for government and ministry in each local church as outlined in the New Testament letters.
Christ, the risen head of the church, has given spiritual gifts for the ministry of the church, such as evangelists, pastors and teachers. These people are responsible to Christ for their service and ministrythroughout the world and within the body of Christ. Additionally, God has gifted all believers for service in the body of Christ. They are responsible to understand their spiritual giftedness and serve God accordingly in a way that recognizes their personalities and areas of interest.
CHRISTIAN ORDINANCES: Baptism and Communion
Baptism is a public expression signifying our death with Christ, burial with Him in baptism and also resurrection with Christ to walk in newness of life. Communion or The Lord’s Supper is a memorial celebration instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively for believers who are walking in fellowship with Him. In the observance of this memorial, believers remember Him in His death until He comes again and they function as worshipping priests before God.
Every true believer possesses eternal life and is justified, sanctified and sealed with the Holy Spirit forever. However, a believer through sin may lose the enjoyment and privilege of fellowship with God and other believers. He or she may lose joy, power, testimony and reward and experience the Father’s discipline. The believer’s relationship with God is eternal, being established by new birth. Fellowship, however is dependent upon obedience.
THE RETURN OF CHRIST
The personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take His church is imminent.
THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
We believe that the ultimate purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 1:5-6, John 17:10) by presenting everyone complete in Christ (Matthew 5:48; Colossians 1:28). This means that the church, the body of Christ, is responsible for making disciples who become spiritually mature Christians (Ephesians 4:12-16).
In Ephesians 4:12, the apostle Paul describes the church as the “body of Christ.” We believe then that the church is a living organism and as such ought to be growing. Growth in the body of Christ is two-dimensional.
The church grows horizontally as it reaches out to society and the world through local evangelism and world missions. It grows vertically as individual members of the body mature spiritually and become more conformed to the image of Christ.
Here at Linden Life, we have individual as well as corporate ministries and practices pursuing both types of growth in the body of Christ. Both types of growth are seen in Jesus words in Matthew 28:19-20, often referred to as the Great Commission:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always.”
And so we work, counting on His promised presence and blessing.