Statement of Faith

What We Believe

  • God
  • We believe that there is one true and living God who exists eternally in three equally divine persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that God has revealed himself authoritatively in the bible.
    (John 1:1, Matt 28:19, 1 Cor 8:6, John 14:26, 2 Cor 13:14, Matt 3:16-17, Deut 6:4, 1 Pet 1:2, Ex 34:6-7, Is 46:8-11)
  • God the Father
  • We believe that God the Father is the creator of all things, the omnipotent ruler of the universe, and the absolute sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. We believe that he declares the end from the beginning and works all things according to the counsel of his will. We believe that in his sovereignty he is neither the author nor approver of sin but holds men accountable as moral and intelligent creatures. We believe that he is Father within the Trinity, and as creator he is Father to all men, but he is spiritual Father only to believers in his Son, whom he has adopted and given the right to be called children of God. We believe he disciplines those he loves, comforts all who turn to him in mourning, and shepherds his children with tender and unchanging care.
    (Gen 1:1-31, 1 Chr 29:11, Ps 103:19, 145:8-9, Hab 1:13, John 1:12, 8:38-47, Rom 8:14-15, 11:36, Gal 4:5, 1 Cor 8:6, 2 Cor 6:18, Eph 1:4-6, 11, 3:9, 4:6, Is 46:10, Heb 12:5-9, 1 Pet 1:17)
  • God the Son (Jesus)
  • We believe that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. We believe that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of the virgin Mary, is fully God and fully man, and is without sin. We believe he came in the flesh, died, was bodily resurrected, and ascended on high, where he reigns at the right hand of God the Father, and is interceding for us.
    (Is 7:14, Matt 1:20, Luke 1:26-38, Gal 4:4-5, Rom 8:34, Col 1:15-23, 2:9, Phil 2:5-11, Heb 4:15, 7:25-26, 1 Tim 3:16)
  • God the Holy Spirit
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit is eternal and underived. We believe he is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son in all the divine attributes. We believe that he was sovereignly active in creation, the incarnation, the writing of scripture, and that he continues to be active in the work of salvation and the fulfillment of the great commission. We believe that the Holy Spirit came from the Father on Pentecost, as promised by Christ, to initiate and complete the building of his church. We believe he convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, seals the hearts of believers for the day of redemption, transforms believers into the image of Christ (the fruit of the Spirit), and empowers believers for Christian service, apportioning spiritual gifts as he wills.
    (Gen 1:2, Ps 139:7-10, Is 40:13-14, Joel 2:28-29, Matt 1:18, Luke 1:31-35, John 1:32-34, 3:5-7, 14:15-16:15, Acts 1:8, 2, 5:3-4, 28:25-26, Rom 8:9, 8:26-27, 15:13, 1 Cor 2:10-13, 1 Cor 12:1-14:40, 2 Cor 3:6-18, Gal 5:16-26, Eph 4:30, 5:18, Heb 2:1-4, 9:14, 2 Pet 1:19-21)
  • Bible
  • We believe that the Bible, consisting of all sixty-six books of the old and new testaments, is the Holy Spirit inspired word of God, is without error in the original manuscripts, is what God has declared about himself and his eternal purposes, and is the supreme and final authority for testing and determining what is true, right, and best. We believe that the bible should be treasured and obeyed.
    (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20-21, 3:16, Mark 13:31, John 17:17, Ps 19)
  • Man, Sin, and the Fall
  • We believe that Adam, the father of our race, was created in the image of God, free of sin, and pronounced “good” by his Creator. When Adam and Eve sinned at the fall, they became sinners, and sin, death, and condemnation entered the world. We believe that the image of God remains in all men, but it has been marred by the fall, such that in Adam all (besides Christ) receive the penalty of spiritual and physical death, are born in sin, enslaved to sin, shut up in disobedience, subjected to futility, by nature children of wrath, incapable of honoring or treasuring God apart from the grace of God. Because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, (besides Christ). All men are therefore sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration. Being dead in trespasses and sins and being justly under the wrath of God, we need a righteousness and justification that is impossible to accomplish or provide ourselves. We must be born again. We must be made alive together with Christ.
    (Gen. 1-3, Ps. 51.5, Jer. 17.9, Mk. 7.14-23, Jn. 1.9-13; 3.1-21, 8.44, Rom. 1.18-31; 3.9-31; 5.12-21; 8.7-8, Eph. 2.1-10, 1 Cor 15:21-22, 1 John 1:8, Ecc 7:20)
  • Gospel
  • We believe that Jesus lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life, that he suffered and died in our place on the cross to fully absorb the wrath of God and pay the just penalty for our sins, that he was buried, and that he rose from the dead. We believe that all those who repent of their sin and believe in Christ Jesus are forgiven, cleansed, fully reconciled to God as his children, and have eternal life. We believe that Jesus is the one mediator between God and man, the only way to the Father, the author and finisher of our faith, and that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We believe that the gospel is of first importance and is to be preached to believers and unbelievers.
    (Rom 3:23-25, John 1:12, 3:36, 1 Cor 15:3-6, 2 Cor 5:21, Gal 2:15, Eph 2:8-9, Col 1:15-23, 1 Cor 6:11, John 14:6, Heb 12:2, Mark 1:15, 16:15, 1 Tim 2:5, Rom 1:16)
  • Been, Being, Will Be Saved
  • We believe that those who are in Christ, have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification), are being saved from the power of sin (sanctification), and we will be saved from the presence of sin (glorification).
    (Eph 2:5,8, Rom 3:23-24, Rom 5:9, 1 Cor 1:18, Rom 6:22, Matt 24:13, Rom 15:11, 1 Cor 15:50-57)
  • Church
  • We believe that in this age, the church is the primary means by which the kingdom of God comes upon the earth, and that the church is God’s chosen vehicle for gospel advancement in the earth. We believe that every believer in Christ, both living and dead, became a part of the church universal at the time of their new birth, and that every living believer in Christ is to express the reality of the universal church, tangibly and practically, through commitment and submission to a specific, biblically based, local church.
    (Eph 3:9-11, Matt 16:18, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor 14:12, Eph 5:25, 1 Cor 12:27, Eph 2:19, Eph 4:25, Phil 1:12, Heb 13:17)
  • Leadership
  • We believe that churches are most commonly planted by apostles, built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, led by a plurality of biblically qualified male elders (shepherds, pastors), and equipped for the work of the ministry by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We believe that church leaders are given authority by God for building people up and that the people of God are called to obey and submit to them so long as those leaders are leading in accordance with the bible. We believe that godly leadership is to be marked by Christ likeness and self-sacrificial service.
    (Eph 2:20, Eph 4:11-13, Titus 1:5, 1 Pet 5:1-5, 2 Cor 10:8, 13:10, Heb 13:17, Mark 10:42-45)
  • Missions
  • We believe that the church is God’s primary missions strategy to expand and advance his kingdom in the earth and to make disciples who make disciples of all people groups. We believe that missions should either be a new church plant by an apostle led team of people, including some who possess the biblical qualifications of an elder, that is sent by God through a local church, or a person or team of people sent by God through the church to strengthen, help, and encourage already existing churches.
    (Eph 3:9-11, Matt 28:19-20, Acts 13:1-4, Rom 1:1-6)
  • Apostles
  • We believe that Apostles are spiritual fathers sent by God with authority to do the work of planting new churches and nurturing existing churches. We believe that apostles are master builders, essential for bringing order and maturity to the church, and that the church is built on their foundation. We believe that modern apostles do not have authority to write scripture and that the unique apostleship of the original twelve eyewitness apostles of the Lamb will not be repeated.
    (1 Cor 1:1, Gal 1:1, Acts 13:2-3, Mark 3:14, Rom 1:4-5, 1 Cor 7:35, 2 Cor 13:10, Eph 4:11-14, Col 1:28-29, Titus 1:5, 1 Cor 9:1-2, Acts 1:22, 1 Cor 3:6-10, Gal 4:19, Eph 2:19-20, 3:5, 1 Cor 12:28-31, 1 Thess 2:11-12, Acts 14:14, 1 Thess 1:1, 2:6, 1 Cor 4:1, 6, 8-9, Matt 19:28, Rev 21:14)
  • Baptism
  • We believe that those who are in Christ should be baptized in water by immersion, not for justification, but in obedience to the Lord’s command, and as an outward expression of an inward gospel transformation.
    (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet 3:21, Mark 16:16, Matt 28:19, Rom 6:3-4)
  • The Lord’s Supper
  • We believe that when the church comes together, those who are in Christ should regularly remember the Lord and proclaim his death through the Lord’s Supper, by eating the bread and drinking the cup.
    (1 Cor 11:17-27, Acts 2:42, Luke 22:17-20)
  • Gifts & Power of the Holy Spirit
  • We believe that no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit, that all who are in Christ have been baptized into one body in the Spirit, and that anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. We believe that being baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit is a distinct, separate experience from regeneration, that is available as a gift to all believers in Christ, and should be continually prayed for and received throughout a believer’s life, for service, gospel witness, boldness, power, ongoing sanctification, and the spiritual gifts. We believe that all the spiritual gifts are necessary for the building up of the church and should be eagerly desired by all believers.
    (Matt 3:11, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:5, 1:8, 2:1-13, 2:38-39, 4:23-31, 8:12-17, 9:17-19, 10:44-48, 11:15-16, 13:9, 19:1-6, 1 Cor 12:7, 12:13, 14:1, 14:12, Joel 2:28-29, Eph 5:18, Rom 15:18-19, 1 Pet 1:2)
  • Kingdom
  • We believe that Jesus rules and reigns over everyone and everything, everywhere, for all time and eternity. We believe that his kingdom is unrivaled, uncontested, and is to be sought first. We believe his kingdom has come, is coming, and will come in fullness when he returns.
    (Is 9:6-7, Matt 6:10, 6:33, 12:28, 13:31-33, Mark 1:15, Luke 12:32, 17:20-21, Heb 1:8, 2:8, 1 Cor 15:24, Rev 1:5, 11:15, 12:10, 19:16, Dan 4:3)
  • God’s Glory
  • We believe that God alone is within Himself glorious, that He reveals His glory through His Son, and that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever1.
    (Is 42:8, Heb 1:3, 2 Cor 4:4-6, Is 43:7, 1 Cor 10:31)
  • God Speaking
  • We believe that God speaks to his people and that his sheep hear his voice. We also believe that God will never speak anything that is contrary to the word of God and that all revelations, prophecies, and interpretations should be tested with the word of God.
    (John 10:27, John 8:47, 1 Thess 5:20, 2 Tim 3:16, 1 Cor 14:1, 29)
  • Prayer
  • We believe that God has sovereignly chosen to partner with his people to accomplish his will on earth as it is in heaven through prayer, and that his people are to be devoted to prayer. We believe that prayer is a means of grace for communion with God, for warfare against Satan and sin, for the effectualness of gospel mission, and for the building up of the church.
    (Matt 6:10, Col 4:2, 1 Thess 5:17, 1 Tim 2:1-4, Jer 33:3, Matt 26:41, James 5:16, Eph 6:18, 2 Chron 7:14)
  • Life
  • We believe that human life begins at conception and should be honored and esteemed regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or gender.
    (Ps 22:9-10, Job 31:15, Is 44:2, Jer 1:4-5, Gen 1:27, Ps 139:13-16)
  • Creation
  • We believe that God created all things by his will, and that all things were created through him and for him, that in everything He might be preeminent. We believe that God created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Therefore, the world was created by God to provide a context for the display of himself, that the nations may know that he is the Lord, that his glorious grace might be praised, and that all things might be summed up in Jesus Christ.
    (Rev 4:11, Rom 11:36, Col 1:16, Eph 3:9:10-11, Eph 1:5-6, 9-10, Gen 1-3)
  • Devil & Demons
  • We believe that the devil is our enemy and that we are in a battle with him and his demons: the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. We believe that Jesus disarmed them by triumphing over them on the cross, but that a person can give the devil a foothold or a stronghold through unforgiveness, habitual sin, believing lies, unbelief, rebellion, or occultic involvement. We believe that those who are in Christ have divine power to demolish such strongholds and to be free in Christ. We believe that it is often helpful and/or necessary for the direct, Spirit empowered, authoritative, prayers of other believers to obtain such deliverance and freedom.
    (1 Pet 5:8, Eph 6:11-13, Col 2:14-15, Eph 4:26-27, 2 Cor 10:3-6, John 8:31-32, 1 Sam 15:23, Luke 11:20, Gal 5:1, 2 Cor 3:17)
  • Gender Equality & Roles
  • We believe that men and women are created equal in the image of God, with different but complementary roles. We believe that the value of a man or woman is not derived from or determined by his or her role. We believe that in the church elders and church planting apostles are to be men and that in the family the head of a wife is her husband.
    (Gen 1:27, 2:5, 15, 18, 23-24, 3:9, 12, 17, 20, Ex 21:10, 1 Kings 2:1, Job 38:3, Prov 31:17, 25-26, 30, 31, Luke 8:1-3, Mark 15:40-41, Acts 1:22, Rom 5:12, 16:2, 1 Cor 11:3, 7-9, 14:34-35, Eph 5:22-31, 6:4, Col 3:18-19, 1 Tim 2:11-15, 3:1-5, 5:8, 10, 14, Titus 1:6, 9, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Pet 3:1-7)
  • Marriage
  • We believe that marriage is a life-long covenant between one man and one woman where God joins the two together and makes them one. We believe that the exclusive place for sex is between a husband and a wife in the context of marriage.
    (Gen 2:22-24, Mal 2:14-16, Prov 2:17, 1 Cor 7:2, Mark 10:7-9, Eph 5:31-32, Heb 13:4)
  • Homosexuality
  • We believe that the practice of homosexuality is a sin and that those in Christ who are tempted to practice homosexuality have sufficient grace and power to resist temptation and in some cases to be delivered from same sex attraction altogether.
    (1 Cor 6:9-11, Rom 1:26-28, 1 Tim 1:8-11, 1 Cor 10:13)
  • Death and Last Things
  • We believe that death is gain for those who are in Christ; that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We believe in the blessed hope, which is the personal, visible, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the judgement of all mankind, the reception of Christ’s people to Himself, the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in hell, and the fellowship of the redeemed in the Kingdom of God, consummated by a new heaven and a new earth, wherein the dwelling place of God will be with man forevermore.
    (Ps 22:27-31, 47, 89:19-29, 110, 132:13-18, Is 2:1-4, 9:6-7, 24:21-23, Ez 37:24-28, Zech 14:1-9, Matt 24:1-51, 1 Cor 15:1-58, Eph 1:9-10, 1 Thess 4:13-5:11, 2 Thess 1:5-2:17, Rev 20:1-22:21)

What The Elders Teach (That Partners Are Not Required To Agree With)

  • Divorce & Remarriage
  • The elders of Bellicose Church hold different positions about what the Bible teaches concerning the legitimate grounds for divorce and remarriage. For example, an elder believes that Scripture permits (though does not mandate) divorce under limited circumstances but forbids remarriage as long as the other spouse is living, no matter what the circumstances of the divorce were. Another elder believes that Scripture permits (though does not mandate) divorce and remarriage under limited circumstances. An elder holding this position believes that divorce truly ends the marriage, and the aggrieved spouse is free to remarry in the Lord. While the church’s elders and partners have different convictions on how to interpret and apply what the Bible teaches regarding divorce and remarriage, we are united in our commitment to upholding a high view of the marriage covenant.
    (Mal 2:16, Matt 5:31-32, 19:3-9, Mark 10:2-12, Luke 16:18, 1 Cor 7:10-16)
  • Israel
  • We believe that the everlasting covenant which God made with Abraham has Christ at its center, but that it does not dissolve the plan of God for the people and land of Israel. There are not two peoples of God, but rather one body in Christ, made up of Jews and Gentiles. However, the promises made to Israel in the bible are still in force, and will one day be fulfilled when the whole house of Israel is grafted into the people of God again. The church has not replaced Israel, nor is it the “new Israel.” It has been grafted into the faith by the king of Israel. Hence, we have a calling, not only to the Gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel to preach the gospel and pray for their salvation, and to look with faith to the day when all Israel shall be saved.
    (Gen 12:1-20, 15:1-21, 17:1-27, Is 11:1-16, Jer 30-33, Ez 37:1-28, Zech 12:1-14:21, Rom 9:1-11:36)
  • Death and Last Things
  • Following the final tribulation, Jesus will physically and visibly return to this earth to execute judgment upon unbelievers, to raise imperishable those who are in him, and to establish his global kingdom reign upon the earth from Jerusalem. At the end of his millennial reign will come the Great White Throne judgment of the wicked, Satan and his hosts, and of death itself. They will go into eternal punishment in the lake of fire. After this, the new heaven and the new earth will be revealed to the glory of God and the everlasting joy of His people, and all things will be summed up in Christ.
    (Ps 22:27-31, 47, 89:19-29, 110, 132:13-18, Is 2:1-4, 9:6-7, 24:21-23, Ez 37:24-28, Zech 14:1-9, Matt 24:1-51, 1 Cor 15:1-58, Eph 1:9-10, 1 Thess 4:13-5:11, 2 Thess 1:5-2:17, Rev 20:1-22:21)
1. Westminster Shorter Catechism