God's Garden Church's Statement of Beliefs
Section A - The Word of God, The Bible
WE TEACH the Bible, which includes the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, to be the divinely inspired, infallible, inerrant, supreme and final authoritative Word of God for faith and life. (Ps. 19:7-11; Luke 24:27; John 17:17; Acts 17:2-3; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:15-16)
Section B - The Trinity of the Godhead
WE TEACH that the one God eternally exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfection, and are worthy of the same homage, confidence, obedience, praise and worship. (Is. 48:16; Matt. 28:19; Mark 12:29; John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14)
Section C - The Total Depravity (Sinfulness) of Man
WE TEACH that human beings were originally made in the image of God; that we sinned through disobedience and thereby incurred not only physical but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that all human beings are born spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins; that all have fallen short of the glory of God; that we express our sinful natures through thoughts, words and deeds; and that in and of ourselves, we cannot please God, or be right with Him. (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 3:1-19; Ps. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 6:44,65; Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 8:7-8; Eph. 2:1-3)
Section D – The Person and Work of God the Father
WE TEACH that God the Father is the first person of the trinity. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and orders all things according to His sovereign council. He sent Jesus the Son as our sacrifice. Because of His holy nature, sin had to be judged and God the Father judged the sins of His people through the sacrificial death of His Son. The justice of God is then fulfilled and He can forgive repentant sinners. The Father is both infinite and Personal. His unchangeable nature assures us that all that He has promised will be fulfilled.
Section E - The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
WE TEACH the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, His absolute deity, His sinless humanity and perfect life, the eternal all-sufficiency of His atoning death, His bodily resurrection, and His ascension to the Father's right hand, where as the only mediator between God and man He makes intercession for us until He comes again. (Isa. 7:14; Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:30-35, 2:40; John 1:1-2,18; Romans 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:4; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-15; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 2:14-18; 1 John 3:5)
Section F - The Blood Atonement of Jesus Christ
WE TEACH that Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures as a substitutionary sacrifice. His shed blood is the redemptive price for sinners, the only means of atonement (propitiation) for sin, and is appropriated by faith alone. (Lev. 17:11; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:6-8; 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23;15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Heb. 2:17; 9:22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19, 23; 3:18; 1 John 2:2; 4:10)
Section G - Justification
WE TEACH that justification is a judicial act of God whereby He pardons the believer's sin and declares the sinner righteous (imputation) solely on the merits of Christ's sacrificial death and shed blood. This is an act solely of God and is appropriated by faith in Jesus Christ alone. (John 1:12; 3:7-8; Rom. 3:24,28; 4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal 3:6; Eph. 2:8-10; Col. 1:13-15; Titus 3:5-6; Phile 18; 1 John 1:9)
Section H - The New Birth (Regeneration)
WE BELIEVE that the new birth, or regeneration, is the act of God whereby the Spirit of God indwells the believer and is the seal guaranteeing our inheritance in heaven. When we were dead in our sins, He raised us up and made us alive together with Christ by grace alone. He imparts to us a new nature and puts his laws in our hearts and writes them on our minds. (John 1:12; 3:3-7; 14:17; Rom 3:10,23; 8:9,11; 1 Cor. 12: 13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:13,14; 2:1-5; 4:4-6; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; Heb. 10:16; 1 Peter 1:23)
Section I - The Assurance of Salvation
WE TEACH that God's Word teaches the assurance of salvation when people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their salvation as eternally secure. (John 5:24; 10:28-29; Rom. 8:1, 28-39; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6-8; Phil. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:11-13)
Section J - The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
WE TEACH that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and that He regenerates, indwells, seals, enlightens, guides and empowers the believer. (John 3:6, 14:16-17, 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18)
Section K - The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
WE TEACH that the Holy Spirit sovereignly gives each believer at least one spiritual gift; that no believer is destitute of such a gift; that He gives these gifts to believers so that they might serve the body; and that the Church has been given specific gifted believers whose purpose it is to equip the saints for service and building up the body of Christ. (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:7-12; 1 Peter 4:10)
Section L - The Christian Walk
WE TEACH that all who are born again by the Holy Spirit are made partakers of the divine nature, and are called with a holy calling to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and that they can be victorious over the flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit and thus not manifest the works of the flesh, which would dishonor Christ's name, but manifest the fruit of the Spirit, which glorifies God. (Rom. 6-8; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 1:3-14; 4:1-6:4; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 2 Pet. 1:3-4)
Section M - Marriage and Human Sexuality:
WE TEACH that God has established marriage as the exclusive, lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:3-9). Hence, sexual activities outside of marriage including, but not limited to, adultery, premarital sex (fornication), homosexuality, and pedophilia are forbidden (Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9; 7; 1 Thess. 4:3-8). Further, lewd conduct, transgender behavior, bestiality, and the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography, are incompatible with Christian conduct (Matt. 5:27-28, Eph. 5:3-5).
Section N - Missions
WE TEACH that we should obey Christ’s command to go into the whole world to make disciples, proclaiming the gospel by word and deed. (Matt. 28:18-19; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Col. 4:5-6)
Section O - Ordinances
WE TEACH that there are two church ordinances (sacraments), communion and baptism, which are the outward signs of inward spiritual reality and which our Lord Jesus Christ instituted and commanded for the Church.
1. Communion: The Church celebrates Communion with the use of bread and the cup (fruit of the vine), symbolizing the body and blood of Christ, in accordance with the accounts given in the Scriptures (Matt. 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-27; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:1-34). We believe that the Lord's Supper should be an important part of the Church life and a priority for every believer. Thus we observe communion frequently and regularly.
2. Baptism: Baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is administered by immersion to born again believers (Matt. 28:18-19). Baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus Christ, a symbol of identification with Christ (Romans 6:4), and a public testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit's inward work of regeneration (Matt. 10:32-33). Baptism does no impart salvation, but follows salvation. (Acts 8:12; Ephesians 2:8-9) (Believer’s baptism by immersion is the official teaching position and practice in this church. We will consider accepting into membership those who hold a different view of baptism, providing they agree not to teach this view in our church or make it a point of contention or division. Members accepted under this exception to doctrine shall be allowed to vote in all church matters except for amendments to this section of the constitution. They shall not be eligible to hold the position of Elder unless they come into full agreement with the view of baptism stated above. Elder board approval shall be required prior to their acceptance into membership.)
Section P - Second Coming of Christ
WE TEACH the personal, imminent (at any moment), and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to this earth in power and glory, which is the blessed hope for which we constantly should be looking (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14). We recognize that godly, Bible believing scholars have different views on the end times. While these views are worth studying and debating in a brotherly manner (because the Scriptures speak much about these matters), we should not make our views on prophecy a matter of faction or division in the church. Rather, biblical prophecy is given to motivate us to godly living and increased zeal for Christ’s kingdom (2 Pet. 3:3-14; 1 John 3:2-3).
Section Q - Heaven, Hell, and the Resurrection of the Saints
WE TEACH the resurrection of the saints to eternal blessedness in heaven and the lost (unregenerate) to be raised to judgment, condemnation and eternal punishment in hell. (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:22-23; John 3; 5:24,28-29; 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:16-23; 2 Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 1 John 5:11-13; Rev. 20)
Section R - The Personality and Work of Satan
WE TEACH that Satan is a real and personal spiritual being and that, as the "prince of the power of the air," he is now working in the children of disobedience. He uses demons and humans as agents in the execution of his ungodly purposes, and his final defeat is assured. (Isa. 14:12-27; Matt. 4:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 11:3-4,13-15; Eph. 2:2; 2 Peter 2:4; Rev. 12:9; 20:10)