Statement of Beliefs

God

We believe in one infinitely perfect, eternal and personal God, the transcendent Creator and sovereign Sustainer of the universe. This one God is Triune, existing eternally and simultaneously as three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three persons in the Godhead share equally and completely the one divine nature, and are therefore the same God, coequal in power, nature, and glory.

The Person of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is both God (the second Person of the Trinity) and man (the Incarnate Son of God). We also believe in the great events surrounding Jesus Christ’s life and ministry, including:

His eternal preexistence, His virgin birth, His attesting miracles, His sinless life, His sacrificial death on the cross, His glorious bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and His present work in heaven as High Priest and Advocate.

He will return in glory to resurrect and judge all mankind.

The Person of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is indeed a Divine Person, coequal with the Father and the Son. We also believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit in salvation, a ministry which includes the anointing and glorifying Christ, convicting men of their sin, bringing about the regeneration of lost sinners, and indwelling believers and empowering them for godly living and spiritual service.

The Bible

We believe the Bible (the Hebrew Scriptures & the New Testament Scriptures) reveal God’s Message to man. This revelation is “God-breathed” and thus verbally inspired and without error in its original autographs. While God the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of the Bible, that writing nevertheless reflects the words and literary styles of its individual human authors. Scripture reveals the being, nature, and character of God, the nature of God’s creation, and especially His will for the salvation of human beings through Jesus Christ. The Bible is therefore our supreme and final authority in all matters that it addresses.

His Creation

We believe that the physical universe, the realm of nature, is the visible creation of God. It declares God’s existence and gives a trustworthy revelation of God’s character and purpose. In Scripture, God declares that through His creation all humanity recognizes His existence, power, glory, and wisdom. An honest study of nature — its physical, biological, and social aspects — can prove useful in a person’s search for truth. Properly understood, God’s Word (Scripture) and God’s world (nature), as two revelations (one verbal, one physical) from the same God, will never contradict each other.

Mankind

We believe God created mankind in His image and likeness (having rational, moral, relational, and spiritual capacities) to fellowship with Him and give Him glory. Human beings are therefore the crown of God’s creation (possessing inherent dignity and moral worth), and thus distinct in kind from all other life on earth. Adam and Eve, the first human beings, chose to rebel against God and go their own autonomous way. As a result, all of mankind became separated from God, the image of God in man distorted, and the sinful nature passed on to all their progeny. Because of original sin (which includes both corruption and guilt), unregenerate human beings are incapable of pleasing or commending themselves to God. The only remedy for mankind’s pitiful predicament is redemption through faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Redemption

We believe God has acted sovereignly to bridge the gap that separates people from Himself. He sent His Son, born of a virgin, attested by miracles and by a sinless life, to bear the full penalty for humanity’s sin. Jesus Christ suffered and died in the place of sinners, thus satisfying the Father’s just wrath against human sin, and effecting true reconciliation between God and mankind for those who believe. In the atoning death of Christ, both God’s love and God’s justice are fully manifested. The righteousness of Jesus Christ in perfectly fulfilling the law of God has been graciously credited to all believers. Redemption is solely a work of God’s grace, received exclusively through faith in Jesus Christ, and never by works of human merit.

Our Justification

We believe justification is a judicial act of God’s grace wherein He acquits a person of all sin and accepts that person as righteous in His sight because of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Justification is strictly a work of God’s grace, apprehended through faith alone, and solely on the account of Christ.

The Resurrection

We believe Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, conquering sin, death, and all the powers of Satan. The resurrection is God’s historical affirmation and vindication of Jesus Christ’s unique identity, mission, and message. Historical evidence of the resurrection is manifest in Christ’s empty tomb, His many resurrection appearances, and in the emergence of the Christian church. Jesus Christ now resides at the right hand of the Father, and lives to indwell all who recognize their sinfulness, who repent, and who turn their lives over to His authority.

The Church

We believe the church is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ (its Founder, Head, and Shepherd) and that it encompasses all true believers at all times and places. The function of the church is to carry out the Lord’s expressed will through the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the central purposes of the church is to preach the Gospel (in both word and life), the good news that humankind can find salvation from sin through faith in Jesus Christ. All people who have placed their faith (confident trust) in Jesus Christ for salvation belong to the church and are, thus, the people of God. This community of believers is made up of people who are neither perfect nor sinless, but by grace their lives are coming more and more under the control of the Holy Spirit, expressing His love, joy, peace, and other Christ-like qualities.

The Great Commission

We believe Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. And since Christ has commissioned His people, the church, to go into all the world to disciple, to baptize, and to teach everyone everywhere to obey His Word, we desire, by His grace, to play our part in reaching the world with the Gospel of Christ.

The Sanctity of Life

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life

Gender, Marriage, 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. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. 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. We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. 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 NewLife.

The Future

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth, personally, bodily, and visibly to establish his glorious reign in a kingdom that will never end. As the sovereign Lord, He will resurrect and judge all humanity. Those who have received His offer of life through the Gospel will go to eternal blessings in heaven; those who have rejected it, to eternal conscious torment in hell. We look forward to the blessed hope, Christ’s Second Coming in glory.

Denominational Position

New Life Church’s denominational affiliation is non-denominational. We do not find denominations directed in God’s word and therefore do not subscribe to one. We do believe that specific callings, spiritual gifts, and mission directives can have wonderful expressions across various Christian denominations.  Our desire is to operate with unity across Christ’s global church in the essentials of Christian doctrine (i.e. person of God, salvation by grace through faith, atoning work of Jesus on the cross, the reality of the resurrection and Jesus’ return to rule and reign, etc.).  Within the essentials, our intent is to be present in the global church across geography, generations and culture.

Baptism

We believe that water baptism is an outward sign and obedient action of first importance (as directed by Jesus to His disciples within the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20.)We do not believe that water baptism is a requirement for salvation, but that it is a distinct display of the reality and authenticity of salvation and commitment to Christ, similar to that of a wedding ring as a display of covenant promise between a husband and wife in marriage. We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as described in Scripture. John the Baptizer said, “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).  The only requirement for Holy Spirit baptism is regeneration (being born-again as an adopted child of God through belief in Jesus Christ as the Spirit is present as a deposit guaranteeing eternal life) and functions as an equipping baptism for the ministry of the believer. 

Spiritual Gifts

We believe that the Word of God is living and active. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He manifests the supernatural and gifts His people for kingdom work through the Holy Spirit now abiding in each believer in Jesus. We affirm the presence and plan of God to continue empowering the children of God as the Church for the work of ministry with ALL of the spiritual gifts listed in Scripture (i.e. Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11-12 & 1 Corinthians 12:4-11) through the presence of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are for the development, encouragement, edification and work in ministry of the Church and through the Church to glorify God and advance His kingdom in the world. 

Church Leadership Structure

Our leadership [Shepherding] structure seeks to accurately reflect Scripture.  God has established the church leadership structure in his word: First, with Christ as the head. Next with Elders, exercising shepherding lead, teaching, care and oversight of the flock of God, then with Deacons as front-line servers. Finally, the body/bride of Christ to serve and disciple. Elders at New life are also known as Pastors, as these terms are used interchangeably in Scripture to refer to the office of Elder with the two descriptions of overseer and shepherd. Elders serve by leading; they are not removed from the congregation and its needs, but instead are involved ministers in the life of the Body, leading the flock of Jesus, spiritually and relationally (1 Peter 5:1-4). Deacons are champions of the ministry direction of Jesus through the Elders (1 Timothy 3:8-13). Reflecting and representing the mission and vision of New Life, Deacons lead by serving in unified trust and submission to the authority of Jesus and the Elders.Because we reflect the precedent of Scripture in leadership we do not establish women as Elders but do allow for women to operate as deaconesses (see Romans 16:1) and leaders under the authority of the Elders. 

Human Authority

Our statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe as interpreted and applied by our Board of Elders. Day to day ministry decisions are primarily determined by our Leadership Council and Church Staff