What we believe at Tree of Life Church about Jesus, the Bible, and the Church
We believe in the divine, verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures in the original manuscripts in the original languages and their consequent inerrancy and infallibility. We believe the Bible is the Word of God, and the ultimate authority not just in matters of doctrine, but in how we live our lives today. We believe where the clear statements of the Bible contradict tradition, circumstances or our senses, we can and should still believe and accept the Bible as truth.
We believe that although the entirety of the Bible is written for us, not all of it is written to us, and we must rightly divide the Word of God as Christians living under the New Covenant, and not under the Old and obsolete Testament.
We believe in one God, He is the creator of heaven and earth and all that is in time, He is love, He is light and He is spirit. He has existed from eternity past and will exist for all eternity future. He has and has always been a loving unity of three persons who are all equally divine: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God has unlimited power and knowledge, and the only limits He has are the limits of His good nature, and any self-imposed limits whenever God makes a covenantal promise.
We believe Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. That is He is God become human. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, one person with two distinct natures. Jesus is the Messiah promised throughout the Old Testament, conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life, was crucified, died on the cross, and then rose again bodily on the third day from the dead. He ascended to heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest.
We believe God made mankind in His image and likeness as the pinnacle of all creation and gave humanity dominion over all of creation. We believe that God made male and female, and that consequently gender is binary, not fluid. We believe that God made Adam directly from the earth and made Eve from Adam. We believe that God made every man and woman spirit, soul and body. Every human is a spirit with a living soul that lives inside a body. These are the three components of every person: spirit, soul and body.
We believe that although God made Adam and Eve sinless and perfect, they sinned when they were tempted by satan. As all humanity born was in Adam during that sinful act, all humans are born sinful, sinners by nature, alienated from God. Only through the complete work of Jesus Christ on the cross is there reconciliation to God for any human. Through the fall of man, every human is now born with a dead spirit that is not connected to God, with a soul that is darkened, and with a mortal body.
We believe that Jesus Christ was our substitute when He died on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, becoming sin so that we could be made righteous before God. He was cursed so that we could access the blessing of Abraham. The only grounds any person has for salvation is in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe this redemptive work is only available as a free gift given to us purely because God is love and God is gracious to His creation. We believe this grace is only accessible through faith. The redemptive work immediately changed our spirit, is revealed in our soul as we are transformed through the renewing of our minds, and means we will one day have a resurrected body.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God, one of the three eternal persons of the Holy Spirit. We believe He was sent into the world by Jesus Christ upon His ascension to heaven to convince the world of their unbelief in Jesus Christ, to convince the world that righteousness is freely available now, and to convince the world that the devil has been judged and defeated eternally on the cross. The Holy Spirit reminds believers and leads them into truth. We believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are freely available to all and any believers as the Holy Spirit wills.
We believe that when a person puts their faith in the gracious redemptive work of Jesus Christ in the cross, they do not just change position before God, but actually change nature on a spiritual level. Their spirit changes from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive, from having a sin-nature, to a righteousness-nature. This new spirit is absolutely perfect and complete, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It is a new creation, and it is completely godly, completely holy, completely pure, completely alive. This perfect spiritual transformation is so powerful it can only be referred to as a new birth.
We believe that salvation affects the human spirit and gives the human complete righteousness. However, to receive the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit, a person must undergo a secondary, subsequent experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We believe that this experience is synonymous with being filled with the Spirit, and is a unique, one-off event that does not need to be and is not repeated. The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives believers the power to be witnesses to the entire world, and that the evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is speaking in a language given to us supernaturally by the Holy Spirit that both speaks mysteries to God and builds up the believer.
We believe that Jesus Christ’s redemptive work includes redemption from all sickness and disease, that Jesus was as much our sickness-substitute as our sin-substitute. That Jesus carried our sicknesses and diseases on the cross, and that by His stripes all of humanity has access to a life of divine health. Healing is provided for all humanity through the grace of the redemptive work of Christ and is accessed by faith in that work.
We believe that Jesus Christ’s redemptive work includes redemption from all poverty and lack, that Jesus was as much our poverty-substitute as our sin-substitute. That Jesus carried the curse of poverty onto the cross, and that He became poor, so we could be made rich. Prosperity and abundance is provided for all humanity through the grace of the redemptive work of Christ and is access by faith in that work.
We believe that the church is a collection of Christians in a local area who consistently assemble to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, to fellowship, to pray and to devote themselves to the apostle’s teachings. The unity of the church is found in our mutual faith in and love for Jesus Christ. We believe that Christians should consistently attend local church and seek to find their place in the local church and should submit to the leadership of that local church and bring life and freedom to that local church.
We believe that all Christians should, in obedience to the command and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, be baptized in water. We believe that baptism means to fully immerse, and that the mode of baptism should be a complete immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that baptism should be done as soon as possible after someone is born again.
We believe that Christians should regularly share bread and wine to remember the death, resurrection and soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that the bread and wine are not transformed substantively but are powerful symbols of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that not everything that occurs on planet earth is the will of God. God has given dominion to the planet to humanity, and He is not enforcing His will on every event on this planet. This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray that the will of God would be done on earth as it is in heaven. We believe heaven is the best picture of the will of God that there is right now, and that we should pray for things on earth to be done like they are in heaven. We reject the idea that sinful behaviour, sickness, poverty, and anything we are redeemed from are the will of God in any way at all. In addition God does not have a second, ineffable will by which He does things that He explicitly says in Scripture are not His will.
We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. We believe that sexual activity should only occur inside marriage. We believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment that should not be entered without due prayer and thoughtfulness. We define man as someone born male and woman as someone born female.
We believe that satan was an angel who fell due to pride and rebellion. We believe that he was completed, irrevocably defeated by Jesus Christ on the cross, and that He was stripped naked of all authority and power. If he is resisted by believers, then he has no choice but to flee from them. His only weapon is deception and trickery, which we defeat through the truth of the Word.
We believe in the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe this coming will be visible, bodily and will usher in a new phase for the planet earth. We believe that no one knows the time or date of the return of Christ and setting dates is a futile and foolish activity. We believe that the church should maintain an attitude of constant expectancy of His return, and that this expectation should motivate us to live a life of purity and service to the Lord.
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