What We Believe
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth including mankind. Man was made to live in harmony with God and each other by worshipping God with all their heart which would also enable them to love each other. However, man rebelled and sinned against God bringing the curse of sin and death into humanity. But God promised that one day He would send a man to undo this curse. Eventually this man came but He was different. He was born of a virgin, His name was Jesus, and He repeated God’s original mandate: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. He also claimed that He came to pay for man’s sin and to give them eternal life if they would simply believe in Him. He then proved His claims by raising people from the dead, then by dying on a cross for man’s sin, and finally by coming back from the dead. Thus, anyone who simply believes in Jesus receives eternal life, which is a life united with God forever and it begins right now.
This new life that Jesus gives you is a relationship with Him and God, His Father. It’s a life centered on God’s original design for mankind: love God with all your heart and others as yourself. However, He knows how difficult this is for us. He knows that life comes with many challenges that can prevent us from living the way we should. Therefore, Jesus provided us His Spirit to guide and help us shed our sinful ways so that we can become more and more like Him. If we are faithful to obey, when He returns He will reward us and we’ll share in His glory.
Support for these beliefs (and others) follows:
The Bible, made up of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God. In its original writings, the Bible is without error because God the Holy Spirit guided the human authors. The Bible reveals God’s design and plan for mankind which was for God to have a constant harmonious relationship with mankind. This would enable mankind to live in harmony with each other (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Psalm 19:7-11, Matthew 22:34-40, John 3:17, 15:4-5, 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
God is eternal and creator of all. He is one in essence yet has revealed Himself in three distinct Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus God is a Trinity and each member is equal in power and glory but is different in function. The meaning of life is found in the selfless way the three members of the Trinity relate to one another. That is, instead of seeking glory for themselves, each member of the Trinity is constantly and forever glorifying the other two (Genesis 1, Psalm 90:2; Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Corinthians 8:4, 2 Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 48:16, Matthew 28:19; John 6:27, Colossians 2:9; Acts 5:3-4; John 16:13-15, 1 Corinthians 11:3; John 13:31-32, 16:13-15, 17:4-5).
He was born of a virgin and is God in the flesh, therefore, He is fully God and fully man. He came to redeem mankind, thus, being sinless He died for the sin of the world. He had power over death, therefore He was resurrected physically from the dead. Anyone who believes in Him receives eternal life and thus avoids the final judgment. One day He will return and every believer in Christ who was faithful to Him will reign and be glorified with Him (Matthew 1:18-25, John 1:14, Colossians 2:9; John 1:29, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:2; Mark 5:35-42, Luke 24:36-48, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; John 6:47, 5:24, Revelation 20:15; John 14:2-3, Acts 1:9-11; Romans 8:17).
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune God, a distinct personality from the Father and the Son, but united with them and equal in power and glory. He baptizes everyone who believes in Christ into Christ’s body, the Church, and He equips them to function within and for the benefit of His body. He teaches them as they study God’s Word and He enables them to live godly lives. Believers in Christ are to live by means of God’s Spirit instead of grieving Him (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 [Ephesians1:22-23]; Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 16:13:15, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Romans 8:9-13, Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
When God created us in His image, we experienced full humanity. That is, we had a perfect relationship with God and each other; our love for God and each other was selfless. But then we rebelled and sinned against God, thus launching mankind into sin and death. In the end, mankind will either live eternally with God in eternal life or exist in eternal torment separated from God forever. Thus, if you don’t believe in Christ, He can’t return you to full humanity, and in the end your desire to be apart from Him will be fully honored, which will result in eternal torment. Mankind still has a sinful nature after they believe in Christ, but God’s Spirit enables them to live godly lives so that they can avoid God’s wrath against sin now (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7-25; Genesis 2:17, 3:1-24, 4:8, Romans 5:12; John 3:16, 36, Revelation 20:15; John 5:24; Romans 8:6, 9-13; Romans 5:9-10).
Mankind is born dead in sin and needs God’s eternal life. Jesus Christ paid for our sin and gave up His life in order to give us eternal life. We cannot earn salvation by any means; it is God’s gift to us the moment we believe in Christ. Our salvation cannot be lost because our eternal life lasts forever. And our eternal life begins immediately; it’s a relationship with Jesus and the Father through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Peter 2:24, 1 John 2:2; John 6:59; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 6:37-40, 47, 10:27-30, Romans 8:38-39; John 17:3, Romans 8:9-13).
Disagreements About Beliefs
Unity in the Church, the body of Christ, is paramount because all believers in Christ are united to His body. As such, our goal as His body is to work together (not tear each other apart) in order to reach the maturity of our Head, Jesus Christ. Therefore, if two believers disagree about a particular belief, they can disagree, even vigorously, but at the end of their argument they must remain united as brothers/sisters in Christ, as they continue to search the Word and seek the Lord’s wisdom on how to come to an agreement. If the issue concerns a doubtful matter, then we must show loving deference towards those we disagree with (Ephesians 2:5-6, 4:3; Ephesians 4:15-16; Acts 15:1-33, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Hebrews 4:15-16; Romans 14:1-15:6).2019.07.13 GC, What We Believe, for Website.docxhttps://gcoforange.org/