The following are essentials specified by Paul in Ephesians 4:4-6. Below each essential is a more specific interpretation of what that means to us as an evangelical, Spirit-filled church.
INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES – as the rule for discerning what God is saying and doing in our world today (the assumption that gives credence to the following statements).
• HOLY BIBLE: The Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible and inerrant (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26)
• THE CHURCH: The church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22; 2:10-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23).
• WATER BAPTISM: Following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert is commanded by the word of God to be baptized in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38).
• THE LORD’S SUPPER: A unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and wine (the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-25).
• THE MESSAGE: The message and mission of the church is ”the gospel of the kingdom” which simply means the ”rule” of God. Our responsibility then is to enforce the victory of God over every dark and godless influence, until King Jesus returns.
• BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: Given at Pentecost, it is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His ascension, to empower the church to preach the gospel throughout the whole earth (Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5; 2:14, 17, 38-39; 8:14-17; 10:38, 44, 47; 11:15-17; 19:1-6).
• THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the gospel. The Bible lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the scriptures and should never be used in violation of biblical parameters (Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1: 11; 12:48; , Ephesians 4:16; 2 Timothy 1:5-16; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 14:1-40; 1 Peter 4:10).
• RESURRECTION: Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; they that are saved to the resurrection of life, and they that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation (Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-21; 20:26-28; 21:4; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:42, 44; Philippians 1:21-23; 3:21).
• SECOND COMING: Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His Kingdom. This will occur at a date undisclosed by the scriptures (Matthew 24:30; 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7).
• HEAVEN: Heaven is the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:3, 12, 20; 6:20; 19:21; 25:34; John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; 1 Peter 1:4).
• HELL: After living one life on earth, the unbelievers will be judged by God and sent to Hell where they will be eternally tormented with the Devil and the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:4348; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:12-15; 21:8).
• JESUS CHRIST: Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. On earth, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He is the only man ever to have lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, died on the cross for mankind and thus, atoned for our sins through the shedding of His blood. He rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return again in power and glory (John 1:1-4, 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-6)
• VIRGIN BIRTH: Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father, through the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) in the virgin Mary’s womb; therefore, He is the Son of God (Matthew 1:18, 23-25; Luke 1:27-35; Isaiah 7:14).
• JESUS’ BLOOD: The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary was sinless and is 100% sufficient to cleanse mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and our sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23; 5:9; John 1:29).
• JESUS CHRIST DWELLS IN ALL BELIEVERS: Christians are people who a have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him, thus making Jesus the Lord of their life as well as Savior. They put their trust in what Jesus accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead (John 1:12; 14:17, 23; 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelation 3:20).
• REDEMPTION: Man was created good and upright, but by voluntary transgression he fell; his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Genesis 1 :26-31; 3: 1-7; Romans 5: 12-21).
• REGENERATION: For anyone to know God, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential (John 6:44,65).
• SALVATION: We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human efforts (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16; 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22).
• REPENTANCE: Repentance is the commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, through repentance we receive forgiveness of sins and appropriate salvation (Acts 2:21; 3:19; 1 John 1:9).
• SANCTIFICATION: Sanctification is the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ’s character in us. It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a godly life (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 6:14-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; Romans 8:29; 12:1-2; Hebrews 2:11).
• GOD’S WILL FOR PROVISION: It is the Father’s will for believers to become whole, healthy, and successful in all areas of life. But because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God’s will while on earth. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ’s provision in order to better serve others.
-Spiritual (John 3:3-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10)
-Mental and emotional (2 Timothy 1 :7; 2:11; Philippians 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3)
-Physical (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24)
-Financial (Joshua 1:8; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 34:10; 84:11; Philippians 4:19)
• HEALING OF THE SICK: Healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus, and included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. It is also a part of Jesus’ work on the cross and one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29).
• TRINITY: There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and co-eternal (1 John 5:7; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 3:7-11).
* NOTE: We believe there are many other important truths that may not be considered essential for fellowship, yet are important for growth and maturity in Christ. These we would affirm, share, and yet leave to the Holy Spirit’s revealing and convicting to complete in others.