What We Believe

On the Trinity

There is one God, who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4, Psalm 110:1, Matthew 5:48, Matthew 28:19).

 

On the Person of Jesus

Jesus Christ is the Word (Logos) of God (John 1:1). The Word was with God in the beginning, which states His pre-existence as one with God (John 1:2-3). “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth” (Colossians 1:16), therefore making Jesus the Creator. Jesus Christ is the purpose of God found in all of creation. He is the Father’s delight and desire, and the Father is looking for the reflection of His Son in all created things. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). In the beginning, it was the ultimate purpose of God for all things to be summed up in Christ (Ephesians 1:10).

 

Jesus Christ, Who pre-existed with God in the form of God, emptied Himself to become fully a man that He might be the propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind (1 John 2:2). Through His propitiatory sacrifice made on the cross, all who believe in Him and His sacrifice have their sins remitted and are restored to the fellowship with God lost by man’s transgression (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 3:19).

 

Jesus was born of a virgin, by the seed of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:26-37). His virgin birth is a testimony that only the Spirit can beget that which is Spirit. Those of the new creation are not solely of human origin, but are born from above by the Holy Spirit. The resurrection of Jesus’ physical body after His crucifixion was literal (John 20:1-30), as will be the resurrection of both the just and the unjust on the Day of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

 

“There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). All who seek restoration and fellowship with God must go through Jesus and cannot approach God through any person, spirit, or doctrine (John 14:6). It is also a supreme presumption for any person or institution to seek to be the mediator for others in place of Christ Jesus Himself.

 

The apostolic commission was for His followers to labor until Christ was formed in His church, to present every person complete in Christ, and to manifest the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (Matthew 28:19-20). When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself (John 12:32). We consider it the primary purpose of the church to esteem and exalt Jesus in every way. It is the focus and devotion of Gateway Fellowship to know and preach Him, and not ourselves. We pray for the grace to continually respond to His call to return to our first Love (1 John 4:19, Revelation 2:4), that we might passionately devote ourselves to pleasing Him in all things while preparing for His return.

 

On Man

We believe that man was created by God from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), without sin or the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15). The first man, Adam transgressed the command of God, and as God had warned, the process of death entered him and all of his descendants because of that transgression (Genesis 3:6-7). Therefore, all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and are worthy of the sentence of death (Romans 6:23). Because of our unrighteousness, we are unable to approach a holy God, except through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Through Jesus, we not only can come before the Throne of Grace, but we may approach it boldly since our confidence is not in ourselves, but in the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 4:16).

 

On Creation

We believe that God’s creation, as stated in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, was accomplished in 6 literal days.

 

On the Atonement

Because all have sinned and are therefore under the sentence of death, all must REPENT and trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of sins. There is no other way to reconcile with God or escape from eternal judgment, except through the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus. Those who trust in Jesus Christ have access to the Throne of Grace by His sacrifice and by His sacrifice alone. Good works are acceptable to God only as a love offering given to Him because of His worthiness, and have no bearing on our Salvation, standing or approval, all of which were accomplished by the cross. Good works offered for the purpose of Salvation, standing or approval are therefore an affront to the cross by which all of these things were gained for us by Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Good works are not offered for His approval but for His joy and glory, and must be offered through the Son (1 Peter 2:5) in obedience to Him. Therefore, the goal of our service is obedience and not sacrifice.

 

On the New Birth

Repenting of our sins and believing in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and in His propitiation made for our salvation results in a regeneration and renewal that constitutes our new birth into new creations. Although this does not imply immediate perfection in our temporal life and lifestyle, it does mean that true faith will result in a radical change in us. Being “born again” implies a new beginning, not an ending. Christian maturity in faith, truth and life is a process. Even so, this process must begin with spiritual regeneration or new birth. While it is possible to change our behavior without regeneration, changing our hearts requires the new birth, and it is our hearts upon which God looks.

 

On the Purpose of Faith

True faith is of the heart and not just the mind (Romans 10:10). God’s purpose in requiring faith for salvation is to raise our focus and concentration above the temporal to the One who is eternal. Therefore, the gospel that is able to save souls must be preached in the power of the Spirit of God (Romans 1:16). The gospel is not dependent upon human eloquence or persuasion that may change minds, but cannot change hearts. Only the Spirit of God can reveal the Son of God, and only the Son of God can reveal the Father.

 

On the Authority of Scripture

We believe in the Divine inspiration and authority of the 66 books of the Holy Bible as the complete canon of God’ testimony to mankind. We are committed to esteeming Scripture as the very Word of God, inerrant in its original form (2 Timothy 3:16).

 

We do not accept any doctrine which contradicts Scripture. We understand that there are many practices and doctrines that are considered orthodox which do not contradict the Scripture, but which are not directly addressed in His Word. We are committed to giving liberty in the belief and practice of these teachings, but we will endeavor to maintain the simplicity of the biblical testimony and its stated practices as we are given grace to perceive them. We do not accept any spiritual experience as having its source in the Holy Spirit that does not have a precedent in Scripture. We do not accept any revelation, vision, dream, prophecy, or discernment as truth which contradicts Scripture, or cannot be verified by it. We do not believe that any other writings have the same authority as the canon of Scripture.

 

On the Lord’s Supper

We acknowledge the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus and as a testimony of our communion (common-union) with Him in His body, the church (Luke 22:1-20). We consider it a holy ordinance, but we do not accept the teaching that communion is for the purpose of remitting sins, which Scripture testifies is based solely in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Hebrews 9:25 -28).

 

On Water Baptism

We believe that water baptism should be by full immersion and accomplished immediately after commitment to the Lordship of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice for our sin. This ordinance is a personal and public statement of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf, and is a commitment to lay down our lives to be one with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection.

 

On the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” is an additional impartation which may be subsequent to regeneration (Acts 8:15 -17, 19:1-6). This baptism is usually accompanied by the Gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc. which we believe to be functioning in today’s church and of the Lord.

 

We believe that this gift is presently available to all who believe (Acts 2:38 -39), but is not essential for salvation or regeneration. While these are accomplished by the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-7), there were disciples who did not even know that there was a Holy Spirit. Just as Paul made it a priority to instruct those believers and pray for them to receive this gift, we are committed to doing the same.

 

The purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to impart spiritual power to the believer to be a witness (Acts 1:8, 5:32). This baptism is to be distinguished from being filled with the Spirit (Acts 4:31, 7:55, 13:9,52), which can be a special and repeated empowering for specific purposes.

 

We believe that when Christians truly have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, they should begin to take on His nature and fruit, becoming “helpers” and “comforters,” leading others into truth, and testifying of Jesus.

 

On the Present Ministry of the Holy Spirit

We believe that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and that His ministry in and through the church by the Holy Spirit has not changed from the beginning. We accept, acknowledge, encourage and seek all of the biblical gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as present and vital for the church to accomplish her full purpose today.

 

On the Rapture

We believe in the Rapture of the Saints where Jesus Christ will come down from Heaven to meet the Saints in the air with a shout. We believe that those who are alive and remain at the return of our Lord will be changed and caught up to be with Him in the air. Those who have died in the faith will be resurrected and precede those who are alive in being changed and caught up to be with Him and be transfigured into new bodies (1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).

 

On The Second Coming of Christ

We believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be a literal, physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take authority and rule on earth for 1000 years and then the entire earth will be remade and Jesus Christ will rule the new earth forever.

 

On Judgment

We believe in the literal, physical resurrection of both the just and the unjust for the Day of Judgment. For those of us who have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf, this resurrection is for eternal life in fellowship with God. Those who are not justified by faith in Jesus are resurrected for an eternal judgment.

 

On Marriage
We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman for life as Jesus Christ defined it:   "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Matthew 19:4-6 (NKJV) We reject any other definition and will not perform or condone a marriage ceremony outside these confines.

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© Scott Towner