STATEMENT OF FAITH: LAKEWOOD CHRISTIAN CHURCH
GOD-THREE IN ONE
We believe in one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in one true and living God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God reveals Himself in the Bible as Almighty Father, perfect in love and righteous in all His ways; as Jesus Christ, Lord, the only begotten Son; and as Holy Spirit, enabler and giver of life. Each has distinctive personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:15-20; John 16:13)
GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God as the Father, over all, through all and in all.
We believe in God the Father, Almighty Creator of all things visible and invisible. He is unchanging, eternal, loving, and ruler of the universe. He is not of this world but is active in the world today, and is all knowing and all powerful. (Gen. 1:1; Acts 17:24-28; Heb. 11:3)
GOD THE SON
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, our one and only Savior.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who became Man without ceasing to be God. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He led a sinless life, performed miracles, died an atoning death, was bodily resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will personally return in power and glory. (Luke 1:26-35; John 1:14-18; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6)
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the Holy Spirit as the One who lives in Christians and enables obedience.
We believe in the past and the present ministry of the Holy Spirit whose indwelling enables a Christian to live a godly life. He came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement, and to regenerate, sanctify, comfort, and seal those who believe in Jesus Christ, and to empower them to use spiritual gifts for the carrying out of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38; 1 Cor.12-14)
GOD’S HOLY WORD
We believe in the Bible as God’s Holy Word.
We believe in the Bible -God’s Word (Scripture). We believe God inspired the original writings of Scripture and those were without error. We accept that the historical and scientific methods of interpretations are still relevant today, but Scripture is not subject to reinterpretation based solely on cultural changes. We accept the Bible as the final authority for all matters of faith and practice. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:12-13; John 14:26, 16:12-15, 17:17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Acts 1:16; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 4:12)
We believe the Bible teaches that man was created by God; but based on willful disobedience, man is now out of fellowship with God.
We believe that man was created in God’s own image to be like Him in character. Man was created to live eternally, but his willful disobedience separated man from fellowship with God and has imputed sin in man. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2)
We believe the Bible teaches that all men, by nature, resist God and are sinners.
Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude and actions of disobedience toward God called “sin”. We believe that man now has a sin nature and that all men are sinners and in his fallen state is unable to remedy his lost condition and is without hope apart from Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38; Rom 7:14-25)
We believe the Bible teaches that God has provided an atoning sacrifice in His son Jesus Christ as the only way to re-establish fellowship with God.
We believe that eternal salvation is a gift of God brought to man by grace through the work of the Holy Spirit, and is received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. (John 3:16; John 14:6; Acts 2:38)
TWO GREATEST COMMANDMENTS
We believe that the Greatest Commandment that we are given is to “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your Soul and with all your Mind”.
We believe that a Christian’s first love must be of God. This means that in all decisions, in our desires, in our lifestyle, in our words and actions, the priority is to be pleasing God and remaining in His Will. (Matt 22:37-38)
We believe the Second Greatest Commandment that we are given is to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
We believe that Christians have a calling to focus on the needs of others and not just self. The Christian’s first responsibility in this regards is to be in harmony with and attentive to the needs of family, in their own home and in the Church. In addition, we believe that Christians are to show God’s love and compassion outside the fellowship as the best way to reach the lost world for Christ. (Matt 22:39; Luke 10:29-37; Gal 6:10; 1 Tim 5:3-8)
We believe God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to give us an understanding of how to accomplish these commands.
We believe in personal and world evangelism.
We accept the commission of Jesus Christ to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them and teach them to observe His commandments. We join with all those believing in Him to accomplish this urgent task, and accept the commission as personal as well as a command to the entire church. (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:20)
CHRIST’S IMMINENT RETURN
We believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth in a visible way and Christians are exhorted to be watchful and obedient until His appearing.
There are diverse viewpoints concerning the timing and circumstances of His second coming, but these differing views should not be divisive within the Christian community. We believe until He comes Christians should give full attention to obedience. We believe His appearing will occasion the resurrection of the righteous who have died and who are now with Him. (I Cor. 15:50-58; Acts 1:11: I Thess. 4:13-18)
We believe the Bible teaches of a final judgment at the end of the age.
We believe the righteous and the wicked shall stand before Him and be judged after His return. Those who have righteousness produced by faith in Jesus Christ will receive their eternal rewards. Those who are wicked and separated will be eternally punished. (Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Rev 20:11-15)
We believe the very nature and purpose of God is revealed in His Church.
The head of the Church is Christ and the body are those who have accepted Him through His grace. The Church consists of all who live under Jesus’ Lordship, and the Church local is a body of believing people, joined together and practicing the New Covenant. The goal of His Church is to glorify God and make disciples of all nations, to show love and serve others. (Acts 15:22; Matt. 16:18; 18:15-20)
PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
We believe the Bible teaches the priesthood of the believer.
By shedding of His blood, Jesus has become the believer’s High Priest and has made it possible for each Christian to have free access to the presence of the Father. In His presence, each one can come to know God and receive from Him. (1 Pet 2:9-10; Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22)
ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF LEADERSHIP
We believe the Bible teaches that leaders are to be engaged in an equipping ministry.
One of the prime purposes of leadership is to equip the believers for works of service and maturity in the faith. (Eph 4:11-16)
We believe, as an autonomous body, that the Bible teaches that the overseers (Elders) of the Church are responsible for oversight and are responsible to assure that pure doctrine is taught to the Church. All preaching and teaching in the Church will be under the authority of the overseers. The overseers will, by policy, determine scripturally who is able to preach and teach within the Church. (Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF BELIEVERS
We believe the Bible teaches that each believer is to be involved in ministry.
Each believer is given specific and individual gifts by the Holy Spirit and is to utilize those gifts to enable the growth of the God’s Kingdom. All have worth to God and the Kingdom. These gifts are to be used without regard to gender, race, or nationality in ministry. At Lakewood the only limits are that the Senior Pastor and Elders ministry is limited to qualified men within the body.(1 Cor. 12:4-19)
We believe water baptism through immersion is an essential step of obedience after a person has repented of sin and put his faith in Jesus Christ.
It also becomes the demarcation between the past and the future as we identify with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to a new life. We believe it is necessary to be baptized into water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in order to fulfill the command of Christ. (Matt 28:19; Romans 6:4-9; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:20-21)
We believe the Bible teaches the Church to have regular participation in Communion.
As a New Testament Christian Church we believe that the practice of Communion with Jesus as our atoning sacrifice was practiced at each meeting of the church as identified in the book of the Acts. We believe that the bread and the juice are symbolic and a reminder of His blood that was shed and His body that was bruised and battered on the cross. Communion is also a time to remember His resurrection from the dead and His current position at the right hand of the Father. (Acts 2:42; Mark 14:22-26; Matt 26:26-30)
We believe that marriage should be held in honor by all.
Marriage is given by God as an expression of covenant love and sacrifice. Procreation and maturation should take place in the context of covenant love, security, and discipline. We seek to serve redemptively in the lives of those who have been touched by divorce and preventatively in the lives of those who are joined in marriage. (Genesis 1:27-28; Hebrews 13:4; Eph 5:22-33)
TITHES AND OFFERINGS
We believe the Church should be freely and gladly supported by the tithes and offerings of those committed to its mission.
We further believe that when God’s people give with a free and loving spirit, there will be ample financial provision to accomplish God’s purpose. (Gen 14:17-20; 2 Cor. 8:1-7; 9:10-13; Luke 11:42)