What We Believe
Life Church believes the Bible is God's written message to humanity, which has been sovereignly preserved through the centuries. Although it was written over a span of 1,500 years and over 40 generations in various places by over 40 authors from diverse walks of life, the Bible has a central unity: God's salvation of people. The Bible is both timeless and timely, relevant to common needs of all people at all times and to the specific problems of contemporary living. It was written by people, but inspired by God. The human authors were under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit so that what was written was the very Word of God. Because it is inspired by God, it is true and trustworthy without any mixture of error, and it has the power to transform lives. Therefore, it is the supreme source of authority for Christian belief and behavior.
God the Father
Life Church believes there is only one God. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He is personal as opposed to an abstract force. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and all-good. He is both transcendent and immanent, and he is both holy and love. He has eternally existed in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one. Jesus refers to God as Father.
God the Son
Life Church believes Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, is co-equal with God and has always existed. Because of his love for the world and obedience to the Father, he chose to lay aside the benefits of being God and come to earth in the form of a man. He was both wholly God and wholly man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus lived a sinless life, taught with authority, and performed many miracles. He offered himself as a perfect sacrifice by acting as a substitute for people and dying on the cross in their place and for their sins. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate his power over sin and death and to secure the salvation of those who would believe in him. He ascended to heaven, was given all authority, and will return again someday to manifest his eternal reign.
God the Holy Spirit
Life Church believes the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God and has always existed. His purpose is to be a "Counselor" who assists believers. He is present in the world to make people aware of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. To those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Spirit brings salvation and new life in the body of Jesus Christ. He lives in believers teaching and empowering them to be like Jesus Christ as they follow his leadership.
The Holy Spirit also gives believers spiritual gifts for the purpose of serving others and building up the church. All of the spiritual gifts appear to be functioning today, though some are operating in a limited sense. The chief evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in a believer is moral, not miraculous or mystical. The litmus test for Christian growth is the fruit of the Spirit, not the gifts of the Spirit. The spiritual gifts are to be exercised in an orderly manner to build up and unify the church and are to be submitted to the overall purpose of the church which is reaching those who do not know Jesus Christ.
Life Church believes men and women are made in the image of God, meaning that they have a spiritual dimension allowing them to communicate with God and a moral dimension allowing them to differentiate right from wrong. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although people have tremendous potential for good, they have been marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." Sin separates people from God and causes a multitude of problems for people, both individually and corporately. The ultimate result of sin is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.
Life Church believes salvation is the solution to the sin of humanity. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of all people. Jesus Christ is the only way people can come to God to receive salvation. If it were possible to obtain salvation by some other means, Jesus Christ never would have had to die on the cross.
Salvation is God's free gift to people, but they must accept it. People can never make up for their sin by their own efforts of self-improvement or any other good work. Both repentance (turning from sin) and faith (turning to God) are inseparable aspects of the single event of conversion. When people choose to repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ, they are converted, receiving salvation and a new life.
Salvation consists of God establishing his relationship with individual believers (justification), beginning his work of making believers more like Jesus Christ (sanctification), and accomplishing his goal of making believers like Christ when they die (glorification). Therefore, though salvation begins at a specific time, salvation is best viewed as a process in time, not a point in time. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of Christians. Consequently, nothing a believer does can cause him or her to lose the gift of salvation.
Life Church believes the Head of the church is Jesus Christ. The church is both universal and local. It is universal in the sense that it is composed of all believers in all places who have ever lived. It is local in that it is a body of believers in one location who have united around a common faith in Jesus Christ and statements of beliefs, values, purpose, strategy, and vision.
Church members are to strive to live lives of love and holiness as they model the life of Jesus Christ. Church members also care for one another and support the church with their time, talents, and tithes.
The two ordinances of the church are baptism and communion. The two offices of the church are pastors and servants. Though the church utilizes these two offices, all Christians have equal access to God and are gifted to serve him as ministers. The leaders of the church are to model the servant leadership of Jesus. The church is an independent body, operating through both representative and democratic processes under the Headship of Jesus Christ.
Life Church believes that God, in his own time and in his own way, will bring the world to an appropriate end. Though some of the details of the events encompassing this time period are vague, there are many certainties. Jesus Christ will return to manifest the kingdom of God. At this time, the dead will be raised and all humanity will be judged by God. Those people who have received salvation through Jesus Christ will be destined for heaven, the total presence of God. Those people who have rejected salvation through Jesus Christ will be consigned to hell, the total absence of God. Both heaven and hell are real places of eternal consequence.