WHY WE EXIST
No matter one’s view of religion, Life Christian Center is a church for those who are about knowing God more.
All of us at some point wrestle with big questions like:
- How did everything begin to exist in the first place?
- How can I discover true meaning or purpose in my life?
- What determines right and wrong, and how do I make sense of good and evil?
- How will everything end, and what really happens after I die?
- Could there be more to connecting with God than just what I’ve seen or experienced?
- Even if I believe in God emotionally, is there a way to have my faith in God make more sense intellectually?
- Even if I believe in God, can I still be an honest believer who has doubts?
- Are there more ways I can help my kids connect with God?
- Shouldn’t knowing God more further the cause of peace, goodness, justice, and beauty in the world, including in our local community?
So whether you consider yourself religious or not, please accept our invitation to check out Life Christian Center… for knowing God more.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
God, Humanity & the Gospel
We believe there is one God who created the universe and all life, including humanity - which is uniquely valuable by virtue of being created in God’s image and likeness. God truly is our Father in Heaven.
We believe Jesus Christ was miraculously born of a virgin overshadowed by God; therefore Jesus is the unique Son of God. He is fully God (and therefore eternal and uncreated), and He is fully human yet without any sin. Christ provides the ultimate revelation of God to humanity since He is the image of the invisible God showing us what God is truly like.
We believe Christ’s mission chiefly involved Him suffering the penalty due humankind for our continual breaking of God’s moral law in order to offer us the gift of eternal life in a way that did not undermine divine justice.
We believe Christ proved the truth of His identity, His teaching, and His successful mission by His bodily resurrection from the dead, which was verified by the physical investigation of hundreds of eyewitnesses who then shared this truth with the world at the expense of their own lives. Therefore, our faith is built upon the truth of a real Person - Jesus Christ, and we strive to live according to the ways He taught and endorsed.
We believe that our rescue from the deserved punishment for our continual disobedience of God (called “Salvation”) is provided to us as a gift of God’s unearned favor (called “Grace”), and it is accessed only by our genuinely trusting in the Person and work of Jesus Christ (this trust is referred to as “Faith”).
We believe that, by way of our faith-identifcation with Christ, God credits us with the righteousness of Christ having also poured out the judgment we deserve for our sins upon Jesus on the Cross. In summary, we are saved from the divine wrath we deserve by God’s grace through our true faith in Jesus Christ (i.e., His deity, His death, and His resurrection) and not by our own ability to be good people.
We believe the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is fully God Himself (e.g., 2 Corinthians 3:17-18), referring primarily to God’s empowering activity and works among humanity. Having been spiritually dead in our sins, none of us came to Christ without the Holy Spirit moving upon us.
The Christian Life - Present & Future
We believe that genuine faith is evidenced by a thorough life change (called “Repentance”) that involves turning away from what is evil and turning toward God and His word. This change of heart then requires the Holy Spirit to empower us to keep striving to live a holy life that is intentionally different from the normal path of lust, pride, and greed displayed or embraced by most of the world.
We believe in Holy Spirit empowerment which includes the supernatural experience of believers being filled with the Holy Spirit given as a gift to aid in the evangelization of the world and in building up the Church, including specific instances of Biblically-defined signs and wonders consistent with God’s word and purpose. This powerful operation of the Holy Spirit is to continue in the Church till Christ returns. (e.g., Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4, 38-47; Romans 14:17-19).
We believe there is ample evidence to accept and embrace the Bible as the inspired word of God, written by holy men as directed by the Spirit of God. As such, the Bible is free from error in the original manuscripts when all grammatical, historical, literary, and cultural issues have been considered. Therefore, the Bible is our primary God-given authority in providing instruction regarding what we should believe and how we should live.
We believe that Jesus Christ instructed His followers to water baptize all who put their faith in Him; therefore, we immerse new believers in water into the name of the Lord Jesus - identifying and uniting them with His death for their sins and His burial. Since true faith is a requirement, we refrain from baptizing infants (there is also no Biblical record for that practice).
We believe that Jesus Christ established His Church (meaning “the called out ones”) as His plan for all who believe in Him. Therefore, devotion and commitment to Christ is evidenced by loving faithfulness to the local church in our coming together for worship, prayer, Bible study, small groups, celebration of Communion, Christian fellowship, and God-ordained ministry to others. Since the Bible refers to the Church as the body of Christ, we must always respect the local church and work to maintain integrity and unity among ourselves.
We believe Christ’s promise to return bodily to Earth to claim His Church and fairly judge all who have ever lived. This will involve the resurrection and miraculous transformation of our physical bodies as Jesus ushers His Church into everlasting life - free from sin, death, disease, pain, and suffering. All who are not saved will receive fair and appropriate punishment at their time of eternal judgment.
FAITH & DOCTRINE
- We believe in one personal God who is self-existent, all-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful – the uncreated Creator of all things Who is characterized by the perfect virtues of love, truth, holiness, justice, and mercy – our heavenly Father. (Mal 2:10; Gen 21:33; 1 Tim 1:17; Rev 19:6)
- We believe that God has given general revelation of His existence to humanity by way of His observable creation and through the witness revealed in the conscience. (Rom 1-2; Ps 14:1-5)
- We believe that God has provided special revelation of Himself to mankind through the Holy Scriptures and in the person of Jesus Christ. (2 Tim 3:14-17; 2 Pet 1:2-21; Heb 1:1-4; John 1:1-14)
- In the Old Testament, the one true and living God revealed His name as “YHWH” (or Yahweh). (Exo 33:19; Deut 6:4).
- We confess that Almighty God has been revealed in the Biblical narrative as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Eph 4:3-7; Matt 28:19). We also believe that this is truly a mystery (1 Tim 3:16) – yet it does not contradict the foundational and established truth that there exists only one divine Being called God. (1 Tim 2:5; Jam 2:9; Rom 3:29-30)
- We believe God came to Earth as a genuine human being, Jesus Christ, (meaning, “Yahweh-Savior, the Messiah”) for the purpose of redeeming sinful humanity. In this incarnation (in which humanity was added to God’s divine existence), God continued to exist as and function just as He always had throughout eternity. (John 1:1-14; 1 Tim 1:15; 3:16; Matt 3:16-17)
- We believe Jesus is both fully God and fully human. He is the visible image of the invisible God, who voluntarily humbled Himself to the confines of a human existence so that He experienced genuine human limitations, suffering, and death. (Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:14-16)
- Since the Holy Spirit of God actually fathered Jesus (Matt 1:18) , Christ is rightly referred to as the unique Son of God. (Luke 1:35) Jesus is also referred to as the word of God and the source of all creation. (John 1:1-3)
- We believe Jesus lived a sinless life, suffered and was executed on a cross, He rose bodily from the dead the third day, ascended into Heaven, and is alive forevermore. (Heb 4:15; 1 Cor 15:1-8; Acts 1:9-10)
- We believe that, because Jesus is God incarnate, His substitutionary death is of infinite value and is therefore more than sufficient to pay for the sin debt of all humanity (Jo 1:29, Ac 20:28)
- We believe that because Jesus Christ is the only Savior and means of salvation for humanity, He is to be the focus of our identity, our behavior, and our beliefs. (Heb 12:1-10)
The Holy Spirit
- We believe that Holy Spirit is God (not an impersonal force), primarily demonstrating God’s activity among His creation. (Eph 4:30; Matt 1:18; 2 Cor 3:16-17) The Holy Spirit is revealed in Scripture by chiefly relating to mankind in our adoption as children of God – our salvation, sanctification, guidance, and empowerment as believers. (Rom 8:9-11; Eph 1:13; John 14:26)
- Being a Christian church of the Pentecostal faith tradition, we believe in, allow for, and encourage every believer to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues (actual unlearned languages) as the Holy Spirit empowers. (Ac 2:1-42; Ac 10:36-48; Ac 19:1-7; Mark 16:15-20; Gal 3:1-5). The Book of Acts indicates this is a gift offered by God subsequent to a believer’s justifying faith.
- We believe in the ongoing exercise of supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit until the final revelation of Jesus Christ in His return to earth in glory (1 Cor 1:7). These gifts are to be exercised in a manner consistent with the character of God – decently, orderly, and motivated/governed by love for God and love for others (1 Cor 12-14; Rom 12:3-8).
- In view of reasonable evidence, we believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, written by holy men as directed by the Spirit of God, and thus it is free from error in the original manuscripts when all grammatical, historical, literary, and cultural issues have been considered. (2 Pet 1:19-21; Jer 30:1-2)
- We believe the Bible is the only God-given authority which man possesses; therefore, all doctrine, faith, hope, worldview, and all instruction for the church must be based on and/or harmonize with the Bible (Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:15-16).
- Biblical themes – perfect communion with God, paradise lost due to human sin, God’s forgiveness and redemption, and paradise regained and restored – focus on the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Bible is a Christ-centered book, and should be read and understood as such. (Luke 24:15-27,44-45)
- We believe that any given passage of Scripture should be interpreted in the manner in which it was intended by the original writer, as indicated by the genre and context.
Salvation By Grace Through Faith
- We believe eternal salvation is based on the grace of God via the substitutionary death and literal, bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and salvation is an undeserved gift of God. (Eph 2:8-9)
- We believe that those belonging to Christ are justified (credited as righteous by God) by genuine faith in Jesus Christ and His saving work. (Rom 4:3-8; Rom 5:1-2) Saving faith is expressed by rudimentary obedience to God’s word, and it strives to consistently produce good works which should testify of genuine salvation (Jam 2:14-26; Eph 2:10; John 14:15; Matt 6:1-34; Ac 10:48; Acts 2:37-42)
- We believe saving faith necessarily involves and is demonstrated by genuine REPENTANCE - a change of heart, mind, and usually lifestyle – turning away from sinful acts and false religious beliefs and turning one’s allegiance toward God and His revealed truth. Scripture teaches that the goodness and grace of God leads sinners to repentance and salvation. (Matt 4:17; Acts 17:30; Acts 20:26; Rom 2:4-11; Acts 2:37-41)
- We believe the Biblical process of salvation is guided by God and is not fully concluded until the believer attains the resurrection of the righteous and is rewarded by Christ with an everlasting life. (Rom 5:5-11; 2 Cor 5:7-10; Rom 14:10-12)
Sacraments & Ordinances
- BAPTISM: In obedience to clear Scriptural commands, we believe in and practice water baptism of repentant believers at a reasonable stage of accountability before God. We administer this normative Christian practice in accordance with the New Testament method of immersion in water in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Acts 8:16; Acts 10:47-48; John 4:1; Col 2:8-12; Heb 6:1-2; Gal 3:26-27)
- THE CHURCH: We believe that Christ established and ordained His church to be the expression of His kingdom on earth until His physical return. (Matt 16:18; Eph 5:23-32; 1 Tim 3:14-15; Heb 12:22-24) The importance of the church is evidenced by the New Testament references to the church as both the body of Christ and the bride of Christ; therefore, we believe that it is crucial to be a member of Christ’s church and to avoid forsaking our gathering together. (Heb 10:19-27; Col 1:17-18) God has ordained His church to be a fellowship of mutually-edifying Christ-followers who worship God in spirit and truth with the exercise of spiritual gifts and teaching. Because of the importance of God’s church as revealed in Scripture, we believe in and strive to practice the principles of unity, commitment, love, and self-sacrifice to benefit the fellowship of believers. (Phi 2:1-4) Because of the sacredness of the body of Christ, the Bible strongly warns Christians who would pollute or divide the church by practicing brazen sins or engaging in slanderously divisive gossip, even prescribing severe discipline to preserve the truth, holiness, and unity of God’s church. (1 Cor 5:1-13; Ti 3:10; Ro 16:17-20; 1 Co 6:9-11)
- MARRIAGE & THE FAMILY: We believe God ordained marriage before the Fall of man into sin, and it is a symbol of Christ’s relationship to His Church. Marriage is a holy covenant between a man and woman, also revealed as foundational to human civilization in history and natural law. Thus we hold both marriage and the family as sacred institutions, and we strive to promote the strengthening of both. (Heb 13:4; Matt 19:1-9; Mal 2:16) Regarding family: we acknowledge that parents are the chief human authorities in the lives of their children; therefore, we respect and promote the Biblical ideal of the family unit and the primacy of parents as chiefly responsible before God for the education, admonition, training, and discipline of their children. The ultimate authority, mentoring, and exercise of Biblical discipline in this sacred family obligation cannot conscientiously be abdicated or forfeited to any other institution; therefore, we encourage faithful home discipleship and an intergenerational church environment for corporate worship and ministry. In this way, the family and the church endeavor work together properly as the main institutions given to influence and impact each successive generation regarding saving faith and discipleship. (Eph 5:15-6:4; Col 3:18-21).
- HOLY COMMUNION: We believe in partaking of the Lord’s Supper as a Biblical facet of our worship that symbolizes the very real presence of Christ in our midst and proclaims His death for our sins until His return (1 Cor 11:23-34).
- THE MINISTRY: We believe God has ordained the priesthood of each believer belonging to Christ; therefore, each Christian is able to pray, offer Biblically-defined spiritual sacrifices, and minister before God and others (1 Pet 2:4-5). While acknowledging the priesthood of the believer, we also believe that God has sovereignly empowered specific ministry offices (in which not all believers may necessarily function) as gifts for the edification of the church (Eph 4:11-15; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 1 Cor 12:4-30; Heb 13:7-18).
- FOOT WASHING: We allow for the private and public ministry of foot-washing while not mandating participation or elevating the practice as an essential sacrament for our Christian identity and witness. (John 13:5-15) It is important that the spirit of the act replicate the intent of Christ as given within the cultural climate of the first century church.
- We believe the work of the Holy Spirit includes sanctification – setting apart born-again believers unto God. Sanctification includes a sense of conviction and a separation from the sinful elements of this world and mortifying elements of our sinful nature often reflected in speech, attitudes, motives, and actions. (1 Thes 4:1-8) Jesus Christ commanded all who would follow Him to practice principled self-denial.
- We acknowledge that the spiritual disciplines necessary for essential Biblical holiness are enabled solely by God’s Spirit and His grace in our lives. This grace that brings salvation teaches us to abstain from worldly lusts and that which harms the purity of our spirits before God. (Titus 2:11-15; Heb 12:10-15; 2 Pet 3:10-14)
- Some specific expressions of personal holiness will be revealed by God to individual Christians in accordance with their own consciences. For this reason, personal convictions are encouraged to be held in love by those in this assembly. Because of the sacredness of holiness, we shall encourage our members to refrain from using the doctrine of holiness as an excuse for mean-spirited self-righteousness. (Rom 14:1-15:6) However, the more depraved and sinful society becomes the more inevitable our separation from worldly elements will provide a sharp contrast with those outside the faith. (2 Cor 6:12-7:1) Scripture reveals many of the common areas and principles of Biblical holiness that are commonly rejected in much of the culture today, including but not limited to: human sexual activity, human communication, moral absolutism, etc.
The Second Coming of Christ
- We believe in a literal, bodily return of Jesus Christ to earth at which time He will claim His bride (the Church) and execute fair judgment on an unbelieving and sinful world. Scripture teaches that even the dead in Christ will be bodily resurrected to meet His return, fulfilling the hope of the Church. (2 Thes 1:3-10; Acts 1:9-10; 1 Thes 4:13-18)
- We believe there is coming a time when all who ever lived will stand before Jesus Christ to be fairly judged. (Heb 6:1-2; Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10)
- All who are not saved will be justly punished by God, and all saved by Christ will inherit eternal life. This eternal state is revealed to include our physical bodies and will be characterized by freedom from all death, pain, sin, grief, and suffering. (Matt 25:31-46; Rev 20:11-21-8)