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What Do We Believe?

Here at Shepherd of the Hills Church, we believe that teaching solid, correct doctrine is essential to our ability to carry out the Great Commission and our church’s mission of ‘making Christ known.’  With that in mind, here are the basic tenets of our faith.  If you have any questions about anything on this list, please see one of our pastors.  God bless!

 

Shepherd of the Hills Church

Articles of Faith

As Set forth by the Senior Pastor and the Spiritual Council

 

As declared in the Word of God, we teach that:

·      God is the Creator of Heaven and Earth (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3).  He is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Galatians 3:20) and exists in the three separate but equal persons (the Trinity) of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)

·      The Father is fully God (Matthew 28:19).  He is referred to in the Old Testament as “LORD” (“YHWH”) (Genesis 19:24; Psalm 23:1).  It is His will that is carried out in the world. (John 6:38; Matthew 6:9).  He is the giver of all good things (James 1:17).

·      The Son is fully God (Matthew 28:19; Philippians 2:5-6).  He is referred to in the New Testament as Jesus Christ (Luke 1:31).  He is the Son of God the Father and was conceived of a virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35).  Jesus is fully God (Colossians 1:15; 2:9).  He is the embodiment of the Word and will of God (John 1:14).  He was present and active at creation (John 1:1-3).  Jesus is the head of the church on earth (Matthew 16:18).

·      The Holy Spirit is fully God (Matthew 28:19).  He carries out the will of the Father (Genesis 1:2).  He reveals the Father’s will to man (John 14:26; 16:13).  He indwells the believer (1 Corinthians 6:19).  He equips the believer for the work of the ministry with spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).  He is the agent at work during salvation (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 8:10).

·      Salvation is God’s merciful response to man’s sin (Genesis 3:1-8; Ephesians 2:1; 5).  It comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 4:24-25; 1 Peter 3:18).  Salvation is a gift from God that comes by grace alone, through faith alone and cannot be earned (Ephesians 2:1-10).  Salvation comes only by way faith in Jesus’s substitutionary death for our sins on the cross and resurrection from the grave for our life (John 3:16-17, 36; 20:29; 14:6; 1 John 5:5).

·      The Bible, consisting of the scriptures of the sixty-six (66) books of the Cannon of the Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant (Psalm 12:6; 19:7; Proverbs 30:5) and inspired (2 Peter 1:21) Word of God (Jeremiah 1:2).  It is without contradiction and serves as the governing authority for all life and faith (2 Timothy 3:16).  It is worthy of intense study (Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:15) for the purposes of maturing in faith (1 Peter 2:2).  Presenting the Word is the means by which the Holy Spirit may bring a person to faith (Romans 10:17).

·      Creation was the act of God creating all things (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:4) and occurred in six days (Genesis 1:31).  Creation was accomplished through God’s spoken word (Genesis 1:3) and not through any evolutionary process.  Creation was accomplished by using no pre-existing materials (Hebrews 11:3).  That which was created was done so instantaneously and already mature and ready for reproduction (Genesis 1 [all]).   

·      The Fall of Man occurred at the moment the first sin was committed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6).  Prior to the fall, mankind existed in the perfect image of God.  After the fall, mankind was created in the marred image of Adam, which included a remnant of the perfect image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1-3).

·      Sin is any act that violates the perfect will of God (Joshua 1:18; 1 John 3:4).  Satan tempted Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5).  Sin entered the world through the willful disobedience of man (Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12).  From that point, all of mankind has inherited the original nature to sin (Psalm 51:5).  The result of sin is separation from God (Isaiah 59:2) and death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23).  Sin corrupts the nature of a person, causing them to reject the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).  The only escape from the affects of sin is Salvation (Romans 3:23-24).

·      Heaven is a real and literal place of paradise (Luke 23:43) where all those who have put their faith in Jesus for their Salvation will spend eternity (Revelation 21:27; John 14:1-4).  Heaven is where God resides (Isaiah 66:1).  Heaven is described in detail in Revelation 21.   

·      Hell is a real and literal place of darkness (Matthew 22:13), burning (Revelation 21:8) and torment (Matthew 8:12) created for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41).  Hell is also the eternal destination for those who die without Salvation from Sin (John 8:24; Revelation 20:12, 15).

·      Angels are celestial beings created by God to serve and worship Him (Revelation 7:11-12; 19:6-7).  They are not to be prayed to (Revelation 19:10; 22:9) and serve primarily as messengers of God (Genesis 16:9; Matthew 1:20) and agents of His will (Matthew 13:49).  They will proclaim the Gospel in the last days (Revelation 14:6).

·      Satan and Demons are literal and real enemies of God (Zechariah 3:1-2) and His children (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:10).  Satan, named Lucifer, is described a once-beautiful, kind of “first angel” who esteemed himself higher than God (Isaiah 14:12-15) and led other angels (now called demons) in a rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4), which He defeated.  Satan and his demons were cast out of Heaven forever and await final punishment for their sin (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).  It was Satan that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5) and continues to tempt us to Sin today (Matthew 4:3).  He is described as one seeking those he may consume (1 Peter 5:8).  Until he and his demons are destroyed forever in Hell, they are free to roam about enticing mankind to sin (Job 1). 

·      Water Baptism is defined as “washing with water” and is one of two ordinances of the church (Matthew 28:18-19).  It is an outward demonstration of the transformation that occurs when the Holy Spirit indwells the believer.  Historically it was usually performed through immersion in order to show death to sin [going under the water] and rising in life [coming up out of the water] (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).  Water Baptism is not required for salvation (Luke 23:43; Ephesians 2:8-9).  Water baptism as commanded by Christ in Matthew 28 is a symbolic act and therefore not the same as the baptism for repentance practiced by the Old Testament Jews (Matthew 3:6).

·      Communion (AKA: “The Lord’s Supper”) is an act of deliberate remembrance of Jesus death and resurrection and is one of the two ordinances of the church (Luke 22:19-20; John 13:15).  It consists of consuming the Bread and drinking from the Cup.

The Bread symbolizes the body of Christ that was destroyed as punishment for man’s sin (Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 Corinthians 11:24).  The contents of the Cup symbolize the blood of Christ that was shed in establishment of a new covenant of grace (which makes Salvation possible) in place of the old covenant of The Law (1 Corinthians 11:25).

·      Human Life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16).  Any effort to end a life prematurely through abortion or euthanasia is a violation of God’s image (Genesis 9:6) and is not in keeping with the sanctity of the God-created life.  This status does not extend to the plant and animal kingdom (Genesis 1:26-30; 9:3, 6).

·      Gender Dysphoria (AKA: “transgender”) is a result of sin entering the world and negatively affecting all aspects of human life.  God created gender (Genesis 1:27) and declared it “good” (Genesis 1:31).  Any attempt or decision to alter one’s gender is an assault on the perfect work of God (Deuteronomy 22:5).    

·      Marriage and Purity refers to the lifelong bonding of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-31).  Human marriage emulates the relationship Christ has with His church (Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 21:2).  Human sexuality was given as a gift to mankind for the purposes of reproduction (Genesis 1:28) and to be fully enjoyed within the confines of a monogamous marriage (Genesis 2:24-25; Song of Solomon [all]).  Any sexual conduct outside of a monogamous marriage is Sinful and adulterous (Matthew 5:27-28; 1 Corinthians 7:2).  Any effort to redefine marriage or sexuality to include any variance from these traditional definitions as given in scripture violates the will and Word of God (Romans 1:24-32; Revelation 21:18-19). 

·      Divorce is never commanded for any reason (Malachi 2:16).  If at all possible, divorce should be avoided and reconciliation should be sought, even in cases of unfaithfulness.  However, because the trust may have been irrevocably damaged, God allows divorce in cases of adultery (Matthew 5:32) and abandonment (1 Corinthians 7:15).

·      Sanctification is the process of setting a person apart from the world (Romans 12:1-2) for the purpose of becoming more like Christ (Matthew 5:48; John 17:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:14).  This is a process that lasts an entire life and will not be completed until the believer physically dies and goes to be with God in Heaven (Philippians 1:6; 3:12-14).