Genesis Fellowship – Church Doctrine

What we believe about the Bible

The sole inspired, written foundation of our faith is the Bible. The Scripture is composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen individuals. Therefore, Scripture is the authoritative, inspired revelation of God. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the sufficient, unique and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired of God. As such, the authority of Scripture cannot be overruled by religious tradition or personal experience. (Psalm 119:89, 97-104, 160; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:15-16)

 

What we believe about God

We believe that there is only one true God who is triune and sovereign. We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same confidence and obedience. It pleased God, in the beginning, to create out of nothing the universe and all it contains, in order to make the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness known. By His sovereign power, He continues to sustain His creation. Through His providence He is revealing Himself and working throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 6:1-3; 40:12-18, 21-29; 45:5-8, 18-24; 46:8-11; Matthew 28:19; John 5:22-24; 17:3; Romans 1:18-23; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:1-11)

 

What we believe about Jesus Christ

God has fully and finally revealed Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the second person of the Trinity. Through His miraculous conception and virgin birth, He was united forever with a true human nature and is thus both fully God and fully man. Jesus lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily gave Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all. Through His death on the cross, Jesus fully paid the penalty for the sins of all who place faith in Him alone. After His bodily resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended into heaven as the exalted Lord of all, taking His seat at the Father’s right hand, where He intercedes for His own as the advocate and only mediator between God and man. The Lord Jesus Christ will return again to this earth in power and glory to gather His redeemed from all the ages, to judge the living and the dead, and establish His rule over His Kingdom eternally.   The wicked who exist under the dominion of Satan will be sentenced to the second death along with Satan and his demons; the righteous in Christ will be rewarded with eternal life in God’s presence. (Isaiah 9:6-7; 53:1-12; Matthew 1:1-25; 25:31-46; Luke 1:26-35; 2:8-11, 21-32; John 1:1-4, 14-18; 10:27-30; 14:1-9; 17:3; Acts 1:9-11; 2:36; 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-20; 2:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:9-18; 9:11-28; 10:14; 1 John 1:1-2:2; Jude 24-25; Revelation 1:5-8, 17-18; 5:6-14; 11:15-17)  

 

What we believe about the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was sent by the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, of God's righteousness and of coming judgment, and to enable people to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner upon belief in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body, of which Christ is the head. While we believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a unique, one-time experience for every Christian, we believe those who have been born again and baptized into Christ are called to seek the continuous filling of the Holy Spirit, which results in a Spirit-led vitality of life and ministry. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s seal and pledge, guaranteeing our eternal inheritance. The Holy Spirit indwells those who have been saved, guiding, interceding, instructing, filling, comforting, and empowering believers for godly living. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are intended to edify believers, serve the common good of the Church, and bring glorify and honor to Jesus Christ. (Mark 13:11; Luke 3:21-22; 4:1-2, 14; John 3:5-8; 6:63; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; 13:2; Romans 5:5; 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 3:16-17; 12:4-13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 3:17-18; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 1:13-14)

 

What we believe about Mankind

We believe man was created in the image of God and therefore has inherent worth and dignity as the pinnacle of God’s creation on earth. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden and enjoyed perfect communion with God, but by voluntarily transgressing, fell from their sinless and happy state.  Consequently, all mankind is sinful. All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but also by their own choice, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that, without exception, every man and every woman is totally depraved and needs a Savior. (Genesis 1:27; 2:15-17; 3:1-6; Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-20; 5:12-14; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:1-3)

What we believe about Salvation

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a propitiatory representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that each person who by faith receives Him as personal Savior is justified on the basis of Jesus Christ's shed blood on the cross. Salvation is ours by grace through faith; it is unmerited by any human effort, and entirely God’s sovereign work demonstrated in those whom He has called. Each person who receives Christ as Lord and Savior is born again of the Holy Spirit and, thereby, becomes eternally secure as a child of God.  We believe the Holy Spirit is the divine pledge and seal of God, marking every true believer as a joint heir with Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 53:4-6; John 3:16-18; Acts 2:38; Romans 1:16; 3:21-26; 5:1-5, 12-19; 8:1-2, 26-30; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:21; Ephesians 2:4-10; 4:30; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 2:1-2)

 

What we believe about the Church

In the present age, God's primary work is to call out from among all humanity a people to be His very own, who through common faith in Jesus Christ are united in one spiritual body, the Church. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has been exalted by God the Father as Head of the Church. It is God's will for each believer to be an active and accountable part of a local expression of Christ's body, which is an assembly of those who have made public profession of faith in Christ through baptism, and who unite for the purpose of worship, prayer, ministry of the Word, fellowship, service, observance of the Lord's supper, and discipline. God has entrusted the oversight of the local church to scripturally qualified men called Elders, who serve as accountable to the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, and who by their example, instruction, exhortation, correction, and discipline shepherd the assembly of believers. Functioning under the Elders are scripturally qualified Deacons who serve the assembly by caring primarily for its physical and material needs.  The mission of Jesus Christ for His Church in the world is to go and proclaim the Gospel, making disciples by winning, building, equipping, and mobilizing people to express and advance His kingdom, and exalt His name.  (Matthew 16:18; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:39; 4:32-35; 15:14-18; 20:17-28; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:18-23; 2:21-22; 4:11-16; 5:23;  1 Thessalonians 1:5-7; 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 11:19-25; 13:17; 1 Peter 2:9-10; 5:1-4)

 

What we believe about Human Destiny

According to Scripture, all people are sinners and therefore destined to die. Upon death, the soul of the believer immediately enters the presence of God, and the soul of the unbeliever enters a state of separation from God.     For all people, there will be a resurrection of the body and a final judgment. For unbelievers, judgment will result in eternal, conscious torment and punishment in a place the Bible calls Hell. Believers will be rewarded for works done in this life, and experience eternal joy and communion with God in Heaven. At the consummation of all things, God will create a new heaven and a new earth upon which He will eternally dwell with all the redeemed of the Lord. (Isaiah 51:6; Matthew 24:29-31; 25:31-46; Luke 16:19-26; John 3:18, 36; 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Romans 3:23; 5:12; 6:23;            1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 15:12-28, 42-58; 2 Corinthians 5:8-10; Philippians 1:21-23; 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9-10;    2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 1:10-12; 9:27; 2 Peter 3:8-13; Revelation 6:9-17; 20:1-15; 21:1-8; 22:12-15) 

What we believe about Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).  Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.  We believe that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as described in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4).  We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Genesis Fellowship as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to our members and our community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Genesis Fellowship in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality.

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31).  Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed towards any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines and practices of Genesis Fellowship.


What we believe about the Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the elderly and aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).

What we believe about Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct

This Statement of Faith (our Church Doctrine) does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper, ethical conduct of mankind.  God’s Word, the Bible, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.   For purposes of Genesis Fellowship’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Pastor (s) and Elders serve as the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

 

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As evangelical Christians, we dissent from the court’s ruling that redefines marriage.

The state did not create the family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image. We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot. The outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling to redefine marriage represents what seems like the result of a half-century of witnessing marriage’s decline through divorce, cohabitation, and a worldview of almost limitless sexual freedom. The Supreme Court’s actions pose incalculable risks to an already volatile social fabric by alienating those whose beliefs about marriage are motivated by deep biblical convictions and concern for the common good.

The Bible clearly teaches the enduring truth that marriage consists of one man and one woman.

From Genesis to Revelation, the authority of Scripture witnesses to the nature of biblical marriage as uniquely bound to the complementarity of man and woman. This truth is not negotiable. The Lord Jesus himself said that marriage is from the beginning (Matt. 19:4-6), so no human institution has the authority to redefine marriage any more than a human institution has the authority to redefine the gospel, which marriage mysteriously reflects (Eph. 5:32). The Supreme Court’s ruling to redefine marriage demonstrates mistaken judgment by disregarding what history and countless civilizations have passed on to us, but it also represents an aftermath that evangelicals themselves, sadly, are not guiltless in contributing to. Too often, professing evangelicals have failed to model the ideals we so dearly cherish and believe are central to gospel proclamation.

Evangelical churches must be faithful to the biblical witness on marriage regardless of the cultural shift.

Evangelical churches in America now find themselves in a new moral landscape that calls us to minister in a context growing more hostile to a biblical sexual ethic. This is not new in the history of the church. From its earliest beginnings, whether on the margins of society or in a place of influence, the church is defined by the gospel. We insist that the gospel brings good news to all people, regardless of whether the culture considers the news good or not.

The gospel must inform our approach to public witness.

As evangelicals animated by the good news that God offers reconciliation through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, we commit to:

·         Respect and pray for our governing authorities even as we work through the democratic process to rebuild a culture of marriage (Rom. 13:1-7);

·         the truth about biblical marriage in a way that brings healing to a sexually broken culture;

·         affirm the biblical mandate that all persons, including LGBT persons, are created in the image of God and deserve dignity and respect;

·         love our neighbors regardless of whatever disagreements arise as a result of conflicting beliefs about marriage;

·         live respectfully and civilly alongside those who may disagree with us for the sake of the common good;

·         cultivate a common culture of religious liberty that allows the freedom to live and believe differently to prosper.

The redefinition of marriage should not entail the erosion of religious liberty.

In the coming years, evangelical institutions could be pressed to sacrifice their sacred beliefs about marriage and sexuality in order to accommodate whatever demands the culture and law require. We do not have the option to meet those demands without violating our consciences and surrendering the gospel. We will not allow the government to coerce or infringe upon the rights of institutions to live by the sacred belief that only men and women can enter into marriage.

The gospel of Jesus Christ determines the shape and tone of our ministry. 

Christian theology considers its teachings about marriage both timeless and unchanging, and therefore we must stand firm in this belief. Outrage and panic are not the responses of those confident in the promises of a reigning Christ Jesus. While we believe the Supreme Court has erred in its ruling, we pledge to stand steadfastly, faithfully witnessing to the biblical teaching that marriage is the chief cornerstone of society, designed to unite men, women, and children. We promise to proclaim and live this truth at all costs, with convictions that are communicated with kindness and love.