WHAT WE BELIEVE AT LAKESHORE
When it comes to essential beliefs, we must have church unity. Matters like the nature of God, the way to heaven, pleasing God and the like are essential beliefs that we must all share equally. When it comes to non-essential beliefs, we should have individual liberty. Matters that do not involve clear biblical teaching allow people to decide how they are to live and operate with personal liberty and freedom... but never with moral license. When it comes to all our beliefs, we should have charity toward all. Even when we disagree about matters, true Christians are called to love and "disagree agreeably" with others... even those who don't know Jesus personally.
We believe the exclusive basis for our faith is the Bible, made up of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament. All Scripture originated with God and was written through men moved by the Holy Spirit to record the exact words that God desired. As a result, they are inerrant in the original manuscripts. They reflect the background, culture, and style of the author while speaking with the authority of God. The Bible is the only perfect and reliable guide for a life that pleases God. No other writings are similarly inspired by God.
(Matt. 4:4, 2 Tim. 3:6-17, 2 Pet. 1:20-21, Ps. 119)
We believe that there is one holy, true and eternal God who exists in the persons of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity. While existing as three distinct persons, they all possess the same divine nature and attributes and thus make up the God-head. All are worthy of the same worship and obedience. In the beginning, God created out of nothing the world and all things. His sovereign power sustains all creation and He operates the world so as to fulfill His redemptive purposes and to advance His kingdom program on earth.
(Deut. 6:4, John 1:1 & 14, 14:26, Gen. 1-2, Matt. 6:9-13)
We believe that man was originally created innocent and in the image and likeness of God. At the beginning of human history Adam and Eve defied God in the garden of Eden and as a result, they, along with mankind, fell to a place of spiritual separation from Him. Mankind became subject to the power of sin and Satan—a real person who is the originator of sin. In addition, the image of God in man was marred but not erased. Man, as a result, is in a state of total depravity apart from the work of God in their life. We believe that God has ordained marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman and that all sexual activity outside of marriage is contrary to God’s design for sexuality.
(Gen. 1:26-27, 3:1-24, Rom. 5:12, Rom. 3:10-18, 1Cor. 6:9-10, 15-20, Heb. 13:4, Gen. 2:24-25, Mark 10:6-9)
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity and came to earth to reveal to mankind the Father and His will. He was born by the miracle of the virgin conception through Mary as predicted by the prophets. He lived a sinless and perfect life, being the Son of God, and thus is the only person qualified to mediate between God and man. He willingly laid down His life on the cross of Calvary to accept the punishment of sin as man's substitute. He was "very God" qualifying Him to be a perfect substitute to satisfy the holy requirements of God. He was "very man" qualifying Him to redeem people who would meet the requirements of the gospel. He died and rose again on the third day in the same body in which He died and will physically return to earth someday to rule and reign.
(John 8:58, 12:44-46, Luke 1:26-38, 1 Pet. 2:22, 2 Cor. 5:21, John 1:1, 1 Tim. 2:5, John 20: 1-29, Rev. 19:11-20:15)
We believe the central purpose of God's revelation is to call all people to fellowship with Himself. While man was originally created to have fellowship with God, his act of disobedience at the Fall alienated him from God. Mankind was left unable to please God on his own. The salvation of any individual is, then, wholly a work of God's free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness. All who place their repentant faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation will have eternal life in heaven with God. Those who reject Jesus Christ will spend eternity apart from God. Christ's death was for all men but is applied only to those who believe. Because salvation is the gracious gift of God, every true believer will be eternally secure in that salvation since God gives assurance in His Word that He will always continue the work until the day of completion.
(Luke 19:10, 1 John 1:1-4, Gen. 3:8-24, Eph. 2:8-9, Tit. 3:5-7, John 1:12, 3:16, Matt. 25-31-46, 1 Tim. 4:10, 1 John 2:2, Phil. 1:6, Rom. 8:29-39)
The Christian Life
We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was sent by the Father and the Son to the world to carry out the work of salvation in the believer's life. He enlightens the mind of sinners, awakens in them a need for a Savior and regenerates them. He permanently indwells and baptizes every believer at the moment of salvation, and is the agent whereby man can live a life that pleases God. While every Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit, holy and godly living is accomplished by yielding to, or being filled with, the Holy Spirit as a regular way of life. He uniquely bestows on each believer spiritual gifts to build up the body of believers. He guides believers in the understanding and application of Scripture to the issues of life. The object of the Holy Spirit's work in a believer's life is always to produce holy obedience to God so that He will be glorified in all the earth.
(John 14:15-21, 15:26-16:16, Eph. 1:13-14, 1 Cor. 12:13, Eph. 4:30, 5:18, 1 Cor. 12:4-7)
We believe that no individual spiritual gift should be elevated as the single mark of spirituality or of the Spirit's presence in a believer's life, but each gift must be used in a way which edifies others in love.
(1 Cor. 12:29-14:40)
We believe that the church began on the day of Pentecost and consists of local bodies which make up the one, true universal church. A person is in the universal church not by being a member in a local church but by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Scripture commands that believers gather together regularly to devote themselves to worship, instruction from God's Word, prayer, fellowship, use of spiritual gifts to serve the body, outreach to the world, and the two sacraments ordained by Jesus Christ-baptism, which is performed anytime after conversion and communion, which memorializes the atoning death and resurrection of Christ. The objective of the church is to make disciples everywhere for God's glory.
(Acts 2, Eph. 2:11-22, Acts 2:42-47, 1 Cor. 12, Matt. 28: 18-20, 1 Cor. 11:17-34)
Human Destiny & Last Things
We believe in the personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ for the church and His subsequent return to the earth in power and glory to establish His millennial reign on earth. We believe in the eternal blessedness of the saved and the eternal judgment of the unsaved. Death seals the fate of all people for eternity. The judgment that follows will determine that unbelievers will be resurrected to an existence of eternal separation from God where they will suffer eternal retribution for their rejection. Those who believe will be resurrected to enjoy eternal communion in the presence of God.
(1 Thes. 4:13-18, Rev. 19-20, 1 Cor. 15)
Faith & Practice
We believe Scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members where Scripture is silent. In these "silent" areas, believers are to be led by the Lord to whom they are ultimately accountable.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17)
Since we believe this Statement of Faith summarizes the essential teaching of the Scriptures, all members should refrain from advocating or promoting doctrines not included in this statement in ways that cause disunity or dissension among other members and attenders. (1 Cor. 14:40, Eph. 4:3-6)