We Believe

WHAT WE BELIEVE…

 

…ABOUT THE BIBLE

We believe the Bible is the written word of God. We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the books of the Bible. We believe that the Bible teaches infallible truth, is supreme in authority and is what God desires to reveal to us. The original manuscripts

have been translated into many languages and, though there are contemporary translation

differences, the Bible has been divinely and supernaturally preserved since its origin (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:17-18*).

 

We believe that from the time when the Bible was written and compiled, there have been no new revelations, nor will there be new revelations that are not subject to the word of God or contrary to the word of God. We are called to test and examine all truth and teaching carefully (1 John 4:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).

 

We believe that God gives spiritual understanding so that people can understand His Word, and through this illumination, people's minds, lives and destiny are changed (1 Corinthians 2:12-14).

 

…ABOUT GOD

We believe that God exists (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:6), and that He is personal and knowable (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Because He is infinite (has no limit) He is all-powerful, all-knowing and everpresent (Jeremiah 23:23-24). The Bible declares for our comfort that God is also good (Psalm 73:28), holy (1 Peter 1:16), righteous (Isaiah 45:21) and compassionate (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

  

We believe in the eternal existence of one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We refer to them as the Trinity. God is three persons, each having the same nature and attributes and all three are to be worshipped and obeyed as revealed in the Scriptures (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).  While the members of the Trinity are equal in essence and significance, the Scriptures reveal order and function within the Trinity.

We believe that God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is not the sum of many parts and He is not divisible.  Even though we ascribe characteristics to God, these are reflections of His perfect wholeness and help us to understand His nature and how we relate to Him.  Unlike us, God is always in perfect harmony as a being.

 

 

We believe that God alone is uncreated (John 1:3). Our Heavenly Father exists eternally as Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1), as Head of Christ, the Son (1 Corinthians 11:3) and the One to whom all things shall be subject, so that God may be supreme in all people and in all creation (1 Corinthians 15:58).

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is also eternal and is the only begotten Son of the Father. Jesus Christ is truly and fully God, and is also truly and fully man (John 1:1, 14, 10:30, Philippians 2:6-7, Hebrews 1:8). Jesus was conceived in the womb of the virgin, Mary, by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-35). Jesus revealed God to this world through a sinless life and through His actions and teachings (John 12:49; Acts 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 7:26). Jesus died upon the cross for sinners, the Perfect for the imperfect, paying the price of sin on our behalf because we had nothing to offer (Romans 5:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18).

Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:6; Acts 5:30; Romans 8:11).  Jesus is now seated beside the Father, at the right hand of the throne of God. He intercedes for us (Acts 1:9-11, 2:33; Hebrews 8:1). Jesus will return to earth to establish the eternal rule of God in what we would understand as Paradise (Matthew 25:31, Revelation 21:1-6).

 

The Holy Spirit is eternal and fully God, just like the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17).

The Holy Spirit teaches us and is promised to each person who asks for Him (Luke 11:9-13; John 14:26, 15:26). The Holy Spirit is the sign that we belong to God in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 4:6).

 

…ABOUT PEOPLE

We believe that God created all things and that people are His idea and His creation (Genesis 1:26- 27, 2:7). God made mankind, male and female, after His own image. Our belief in God’s creation and design of human kind causes us to reject the theory of evolution concerning the origin of man and all species.

We affirm the value and use of scientific methods in the investigation of creation but neither scientific theory nor the need to harmonize science with the Bible supersedes the Biblical record of the nature of creation.

The image of God in which we are created is not a physical likeness because God is spirit (John 4:24) while we are flesh and blood. We are like God in the ability to know right and wrong (moral sensitivity), in the ability to reason and contemplate, in having a will, in possessing a soul that lives from creation in the womb for all eternity and in fulfilling the commission to rule creation on God's behalf.

We believe that humanity fell from a higher likeness of God to a broken likeness of God. This fall was a consequence of sin (Genesis 1:15-17, 3:1-7, 3:16-19). The effects of sin, along with the resultant depraved nature, have been transmitted to every human being (Romans 3:23, 5:12-14).

As a result of our creation in the image of God–and the fall of humanity through sin – people are left with an awareness of God but are ignorant of His nature and benevolence (Isaiah 1:2-3: Romans 1:18-21). Sin leaves us in a state called death (Ephesians 2:1). We

are guilty before God and unable to rectify our separation from God because of sin.

We believe in the eternal nature of the human soul. This means that physical death does not terminate the existence of the soul. People will give a personal accounting before God of how life was lived on earth. They will receive either an eternal reward or eternal

condemnation (Romans 2:5-10; Hebrews 9:27-28)

We believe that every human needs to be saved from the wrath of God against sin (John 3:36; Romans 5:9). We believe that this salvation is found only in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12).

We believe in the equality of every human being before God, regardless of race, color, religion, language or gender. This means that every human being is valuable to God and valued by the church (Galatians 3:27-29; Colossians 3:9-11) without distinction. This also means that any person may come to salvation in Christ (2 Peter 3:9) by God’s

gracious invitation.

 

 

…ABOUT SIN

We believe that all evil, ignorance, terror, anger, conflict and despair in the world are the result of sin. We believe that education and information are insufficient to correct the evils in the world. We affirm the betterment of life (joy, peace, happiness, sufficiency) for everyone wherever possible, that God means for us to enjoy life and creation and that God's will for all people is for good. However, God’s first desire is that people come to know Him (Acts 17:24-28*) and be saved by Jesus Christ from sin (2 Peter 3:9).

We believe that sin arises out of temptation and that God does not lead us to sin. We sin when we follow our own evil inclinations (James 1:13-15).

We believe the possibility of sin existed even though humans were created good. This is what made people moral–the ability to choose between good and evil.

We believe that Satan was created, originally good, but then rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12-16). He was subsequently expelled from God's presence (Luke 10:18). It was Satan who tempted Adam and Eve to believe a lie and disobey God's truth (Genesis 3:1-13).

We believe in the two-fold nature of sin. First, sin is a disposition, an inclination or desire to act contrary to the will of God (Romans 5:18; 1 Corinthians 15:22).

Every person is born into this sinful nature. It is our sinful nature that causes us to commit sins or, more properly, transgressions (Romans 7:14-19).

Transgressions are actions, thoughts, and words which are contrary to the Word and will of God.  These works of sin will be judged (Revelation 20:12).

We believe sin results not only in our guilt and condemnation, but also in our estrangement from God. We call this ‘the fall’–we have fallen out of a good and right relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2).

We believe that sin results in death. It first results in spiritual death: separation from God (Genesis 2:17, Ephesians 2:1). Second, it results in physical death (Romans 8:10). It can result in eternal death; eternal existence in hell without hope of forgiveness if a person is not born again before Christ returns (John 3:3-5; Revelation 20:6-15).

 

…ABOUT SALVATION

We believe that God is holy and just and that nothing of our natural self can come before Him (1 Samuel 6:20). But God is also merciful and compassionate (Psalm 86:15) and has provided for our redemption (Psalm 103:10-13).

We believe that salvation has been provided for all people through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross (1 John 2:1-2). Jesus’ death on the cross satisfied God with respect to the penalty of sin, which was death (Isaiah 53:10-11; Romans 6:23).

We firmly believe that it was God's love for us that caused Him to send His own Son to earth to pay for our sins by His death on the cross (Romans 5:8; Romans 8:32; 1 John 4:10).

We believe in the physical resurrection of Christ from the dead and the resurrection of people from the dead to eternal physical life (Acts 3:13-15; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:42-53).

We believe Jesus is the only one who reconciles people to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians, 1:21-22; 1 Timothy 2:5).

We believe that salvation belongs to people who change their minds (repent) and desire to turn from their sins to find salvation (Acts 3:19, 20:21).

We believe that the power for physical healing was made available through the death and atonement of Christ (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:14-17).

We believe that there is healing for the "sickness" of sin for all people in the death of Christ (1 John 2:2).

We believe that every person who truly repents and turns to faith in Christ receives the Holy Spirit as the sign of membership in this new covenant relationship with God (1 Corinthians 12:13).

We believe that life begins in a new way for those who are saved. A person immediately receives life which has an eternal nature or eternal quality (John 11:25-26; 1 John 5:11-12).

We also believe that in Christ we receive the potential of a new perspective on everything. Just as death pervaded everything without Christ, with Christ all of our existence is being made new (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23).

We believe in justification. We believe that God acquits guilty people by His declaration on account of the work of Christ on the cross. We believe that faith or trust is required on the part of the sinner (Romans 4:5, 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We believe that God credits to our benefit the perfection or righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:30).

We believe that having been made right with God through repentance, faith and perseverance, people stay right with God (justification) even if they are not

perfect (Romans 3:21-24, 4:3-5, 5:1-2). We believe in assurance of salvation (1 John 5:12-13; 1 John 5:1), that we can be confident of our right relationship with God by the witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16; Galatians 4:6).

We believe in the adoption of believers into the family of God. Through this adoption we become sons and daughters of the living God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 3:26, 4:5-6).

We believe in being set apart by God for His service and worship, often called sanctification. This setting apart is done by the virtue of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). We believe that there is a growing practical expression of sanctification (holiness) in our

every day living (Romans 8:3-5; Titus 3:8).

We firmly believe that salvation cannot be earned but is received as God’s gift by His grace toward us (Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We believe in the importance of the believer’s faithfulness to God in Christ, often called

perseverance or endurance (Hebrews 10:35-39). Our perseverance is simultaneous to, and dependent upon, God’s keeping power toward us (Jude 24).

We believe that salvation is offered as a sovereign gift of God. Without this offer there is no possibility of peace with God (John 6:44; Ephesians 1:4). We believe that each person who is offered the gift of salvation must choose to receive or reject it (Romans

11:20-22; Hebrews 6:1-8, 10:26-31).

 

…ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe the Holy Spirit is given to every true believer regardless of creed, culture or religious denomination when a person is born again (1 Corinthians 12:13*). This is the true church.

We believe it is impossible to be born again without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God (John 3:5; Romans 8:14-16).

We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third named member of the Trinity, was integral in God’s salvation plan (Hebrews 9:14).

We believe that through the will of God (Romans 9:19-26), the work of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:11-22) and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) on the day of Pentecost, the church was inaugurated. Furthermore, we believe that until the next coming of Christ, the true church is the present people of God and when Christ comes again, God’s people from all dispensations will be united for eternity (Romans

11:11-12, 25-27).

We believe in the active work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament (Numbers 11:17; Judges 6:34) and that the Holy Spirit is more clearly revealed in the New Testament (John 14:1 to 16:33).

We believe the Holy Spirit inspired the written revelation of God which we call the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21).

We believe that God, in the Old Testament, promised the Holy Spirit to all believers (Joel 2:28-32; Ezekiel 36:25-29).

We believe the Holy Spirit is presently at work to bring conviction for sin to the minds and hearts of people (John 16:8-11), to guide and teach believers to follow Christ (John 16:13-14), and to empower believers for serving God (Acts 1:8).

We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5), the empowering of believers to be witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8). This empowering is subsequent to conversion. All believers are called to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

We believe in all the gifts, ministries and activities of the Spirit and that people are divinely enabled to glorify God, strengthen the church and build the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-19; Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:7-16). This means we believe that every person who belongs to Christ is a member of His body (the church), and that every member has a ministry and a responsibility to serve God, to serve the church and to serve the lost (people without Christ).

We believe these gifts, ministries and activities are discerned in the church body, recognized by mature believers, and released to serve the Lord and strengthen the church.

We believe that the work of ministry is not primarily the domain of pastors, but belongs equally to those without office in the church. We believe that pastors equip and prepare people for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:2)

At Calvary Temple we believe in church membership in two senses. First, we believe that all who are born again in Christ are members of the universal church–a spiritual membership (1 Corinthians 12:12). Second, we believe in members of a worshipping community choosing to unite together as a visible manifestation of the true church. This is referred to as the local church (1 Corinthians 12:26).

We believe that the local church is to assemble together regularly (Hebrews 10:25). We believe that the essential elements of gathering together are teaching, caring (fellowship), worship and the Lord’s table (communion), and prayer (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 5:19-21).

We believe in the active presence of the Holy Spirit in our every day personal lives, but also as we worship together as a local church (1 Corinthians 14:23-33).

We believe that everyone who attends services in the building is not necessarily a member of the true spiritual church. God alone knows those who are His (Matthew 13:24-30; 2 Timothy 2:19).

 

…ABOUT CHURCH LEADERSHIP

We believe that Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22) and that His Word (the Bible) is the source of truth for leadership (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We believe that God calls people to leadership. Furthermore, we believe that God places people in leadership not simply on the basis of personality or natural gifting but on the basis of His will and by virtue of His gifts (Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 4:11-16).

We believe that those who teach have a particular accountability before God and this responsibility is not to be taken lightly or casually (James 3:1)

We believe that leaders are not necessarily better people, nor are they chosen because they deserve to lead, nor do they have inherent or natural moral or personal characteristics that make them worthy to lead. However, we believe in the Biblical standards for leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9) and in the need for exemplary personal character in leaders.

We believe that church leadership is entrusted with church discipline in terms of conduct and doctrine. Church discipline is redemptive and not punitive. We believe that the right to discipline is not derived out of personal perfection but out of a humble desire to uphold the standard of God’s word in faith and conduct. Every believer falls short of God’s ideal.

However there are times when the offence is significant enough to jeopardize the spiritual welfare of the individual, the reputation of the church or the peaceful fellowship of the church. In these instances mediation through discipline may be warranted. (Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-5).

As leaders, we believe in the necessity of faith, that is, that God wants us to expect Him to meet with us (Hebrews 11:6).

We believe in God to minister to us, to work supernatural works among us, and individually and corporately to commune with us.  The word of God challenges us to believe in God, to ask of God, and to trust God (1 John 5:14-15).

We believe there are several effective models of church governance and that our constitutional structure is not the only model. We have agreed together to structure ourselves in a certain way and to operate in that manner as a community. We believe in

the use of every spiritual gift without regard for official title. For example, we believe in the gift of prophecy but may not recognize the office of a prophet.

We believe in the autonomy of the local church (Calvary Temple) and in the cooperation of like minded local churches (The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada).

 

…ABOUT JESUS

We believe that Jesus is uncreated, the Eternal God, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Whenever all things began, He already was (John 1:1*).

We believe that all things were created by the Father through Christ and for the Lordship of Christ. Creation endures through Christ (Colossians 1:16, 17).

We believe that the eternal Christ took on the form of a man and that the Divine and the mortal existed in Christ in perfect, indivisible harmony. He is no less divine than the Father and is no more or less human than we are (Luke 1:26-38; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4;

Colossians 2:9; 1 John 1:1-4).

We believe that not only did Jesus become fully human, He retains His humanness to this very day and into all eternity (Colossians 2:9).

We believe that when Jesus came to earth He temporarily laid aside His own rights and abilities as God and lived a life subject to the will of God (Philippians 2:5-11). He did and said what the Father told Him to do and say (John 4:34, 5:30, 7:16, 8:26-

29, 12:49, 14:10; Hebrews 10:5-7).

We believe the names given to Jesus signify His nature and work – the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Word of God, Lord, Christ (or Messiah), God, Savior.

We believe that Christ is the full and final revelation of God the Father (Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3). To know Jesus is to know the Father and to see Jesus is to see the Father (John 14:6-10).

In every sense we reject the concept that God is one person revealing Himself in three different manifestations (Modalism or Unitarianism). Christ’s oneness with the Father does not mean sameness in being. It means of the same Divine nature and of the same mind and desire. We do not believe that Jesus was initially a mortal man who underwent divine adoption and was “enhanced” by the Holy Spirit. We believe in the ministry of Jesus Christ as Prophet, declaring the full word of God (Deuteronomy 18:15;

Acts 3:17-26).

We believe in the ministry of Jesus Christ as Priest, mediating the new covenant and interceding perfectly on our behalf (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-18, 4:14-16, 5:1-10).

We believe in the Kingship of Christ, appointed heir of all things and to whom all things must be made subject before Christ turns over all things to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

In summary, we believe in the incarnation, life, sacrificial death and supernatural resurrection of Christ from the dead (Luke 2; 1 Corinthians 15:1-5).

We believe that Jesus has disarmed Satan and taken away every right the Devil has to accuse us (Colossians 2:13-15; Hebrews 2:14-15).

We believe in the finished work of the cross (John 19:30) and in the present (but not perfect) realization of that victory in the lives of believers (1 Corinthians

15:57-58; Philippians 1:6, 2:12-13).

We believe in the future fulfillment of that victory in all creation (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28).

 

…ABOUT THE SECOND COMING

We believe that Jesus is coming again (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7) to forcefully and powerfully establish His kingdom on earth and to the furthest reaches of

creation (1 Corinthians 15:28; Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:1-15).

We believe in the rapture of the Church and in the escape of the Church from the destructive wrath of God’s judgment (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:9).

We believe that having been born of the Spirit, we shall never be separated from God (Romans 8:31-39).

We believe that though the body dies because of sin, we are simply moved from life on earth to life with Christ in God (John 11:25; Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8).

We believe that when we die physically as believers in Christ, having received His Spirit, God will give us, in eternity, new bodies that shall never die (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24, 35-49).

We believe that both the incarnation of Christ and His second coming are essential motivations for living a life of righteousness (Romans 8:12-14; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Peter 3:11-14).

We believe that the second coming of Christ and the resulting judgment are essential motivations to communicate the gospel to all people, whether our family, our neighbours or those of other cultures and nations (Matthew 24:14, 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians

5:11-21; 2 Peter 3:9).

We believe in the judgment of all people (Hebrews 9:27).

We believe that Christians will be called to account for their lives and will be rewarded

accordingly (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 14:12-13).

We believe that those who die without faith in Christ will also be judged and condemned to hell (Revelation 20:11-15).

We believe in a literal hell, a place of eternal existence without hope of God or redemption and a place of torment for sin, essentially the sin of unbelief (Isaiah 66:22-24; Mark 9:47-48; Romans 2:4-10).

We believe that God sent His Son first to the people of Israel (Matthew 15:24) and that Israel was the light to rest of the world (Isaiah 42:5-9). We believe that ultimately Jesus fulfilled this mission and the first believers were the people of Israel. We believe that

the nation of Israel, for the most part, disbelieved the Messiah and that through their unbelief salvation was opened to the Gentiles (Romans 11:1-24).

Furthermore, we believe that God will once again restore Israel through faith in Messiah and bring salvation to Israel (Romans 11:25-32).

We believe in the fulfillment of God’s original plan in creation to be completed in what is commonly referred to as heaven. We believe in an eternal paradise with a renewed physical creation (Romans 8:18-25), in other words, with a new earth and new heavens (Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1)

We believe that we will live forever in the very presence of God: God will be in our midst (Job 19:25-27; Revelation 21:3, 22:4-5).

We believe that all suffering will cease and every effect from the fall of man into sin will be erased (Revelation 21:4, 22:3).

We believe that we shall live forever in a real and tangible place (our promised land, the new earth with the new heavens) with physical bodies (Romans 8:11) and experience life as God intended at the beginning of creation. We will have access to the tree of life

from which we were banished (Genesis 2:9, 3:22-24, Revelation 22:1-2).

 

*Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible

©1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission