3Crosses Church Doctrinal Statement

 

THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

The essential components of the gospel (good news) message are found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: 1)
Christ died for our sins, 2) He was buried, and 3) He arose from the dead.

1) Christ died for our sins. The gospel begins with the understanding of God’s love for the
lost. Believers in the gospel message acknowledge that the central characteristic of God’s
nature is holiness, while the central characteristic of man’s nature is sin. God bridges the
gap between His holiness and our sin by sending His perfect Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to
be our substitutionary sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. (See John 3:13-16; Romans
5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21)

2) Christ was buried. Jesus did not merely suffer at the cross. He died on the cross. (Rom.
8:34; 1 Thess. 4:14; John 19:30,33,40-41)

3) Christ arose from the grave. On the third day following His placement in the tomb, Jesus
arose from the dead in order to demonstrate His victory over and to guarantee the power
to live a new life and a bodily resurrection for every person who would embrace the
gospel message through faith in Him. (John 11:25; Acts 4:2,33; 1 Cor. 15:21)

THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION

Salvation is the work of God (Eph. 2:5). Because humans are sinners from birth (Rom. 3:10-
23), all are in need of a Savior. That Savior, according to the Bible, is Jesus Christ (Mt.
1:21). Only through Jesus Christ can a person be saved from sin and made alive to God
(Acts 4:12). We receive Christ by faith (Eph. 2:8,9; Romans 5:1; 1 Cor. 15:1). The Bible
teaches that when a person admits to God he is a sinner and turns from sin in repentance,
submitting completely to Jesus Christ, God will fulfill his promise of granting eternal life (John
3:3; 2 Peter 3:9). On the merit of Christ’s work at the cross alone, and our belief in God’s
gracious invitation through Jesus Christ, we may become new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). This is
the work of God in regeneration (Eph. 2:1-4). Because salvation depends on the work of
God and not our works, we believe that when God saves someone, that person’s salvation
is secure forever (Rom. 8:30).

THE DOCTRINE OF GOD (TRINITY)

There is only one true God (Deut. 6:4). He is creator of the universe (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:18-
23), sovereign over all (Rev. 6:10) and is an eternal being having no beginning or end
(Psalm 90:1-2). God manifests Himself in three persons, eternal in nature and coequal in
substance and essence. The three persons (or tri-unity) of the Godhead are; Father, Son
and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19) The first person of the Godhead is the Father of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ (Romans 15:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3,17). The second person is the Eternal
Son, preexistent with the Father, who was sent to earth by the will of His Father to redeem
mankind from sin (Isa. 9:6; Galatians 4:4; John 1:1-2). The third person is the Holy Spirit
whose central purpose is to reveal the Son to whomever the Father wills (John 14:26). He
(the Holy Spirit) is coequal to the Father and the Son, and is the abiding presence of God
through every believer in the world today (Acts 1:8).

THE DOCTRINE OF THE FATHER

The first person of the trinity (Godhead) is designated as the “Father.” He is the Father of
the Eternal Son (1 Peter 1:3), as well as Father over all creation (Psalm 90:1-2). As Father,
He rules over the entire universe and bestows upon it His love, truth and justice in all things.
As Father, He initiates His love to all humankind (Rom. 5:1-10). His love was ultimately
demonstrated in sending His own Son Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world–the
redeemer of humankind. (John 3:16ff; Mt. 1:21)

THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son, the second person of the trinity, is the Father’s redeemer of
humankind (Isa. 44:6). At the appointed time, God sent forth His Son, born of a virgin to be
the Savior of the world (Gal. 4:4). In His coming to Earth, the Eternal Son took on a human
body, becoming the God-man who displayed divinity and humanity in one person.
Conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:20), the corruptible seed of sin was
by-passed giving our Savior a complete human body, yet without a sin nature. The writer of
Hebrews declares, “[Jesus Christ]...was able to be tempted in all things as we are, yet
without sin.” (Heb. 4:15) While on Earth, Jesus Christ performed many attesting miracles to
His divine nature (John 20:30-31). He taught kingdom principles which included the
message of hope and forgiveness for all who would come and surrender their lives to
follow Him. Jesus claimed to be the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one could
come to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6). Jesus, in His incarnation was fully God
and fully human. At approximately the age of thirty-three, Jesus Christ was crucified, giving
His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). After His death, He was buried and three days
later, arose from the dead in bodily form presenting Himself to many (1 Cor. 15:1-6),
offering irrefutable proof that He was indeed the Son of God. Forty days later, Jesus
ascended to heaven returning to His Heavenly Father, and in like manner will one day
come again to this earth and set up an earthly kingdom wherein He will rule in
Righteousness and Justice (Acts 1:11; 17:31). Until that day, He reigns over His spiritual
kingdom (the body of Christ) and is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:12).

THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. The distinction is made of His
“Personhood” for the Bible portrays Him as having personality just as all members of the
Godhead share. He is not an impersonal force, but rather a real person who exists in Spirit
(Acts 5:3-4; 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 4:30). By this form, He is able to dwell in our hearts through
faith, accomplishing His grand work of converting the soul, revealing the Son and
illuminating the truth of God’s Word to those who read with a seeking heart. To the
unregenerate world His ministry is to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).
He guides the believer into all truth (John 16:13), enables and empowers for service (Eph.
3:20), bestows upon every believer spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ (1
Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:11ff), helps us to pray in the will of God (Rom. 8:26,27), convicts of sin
and conforms us to the image of Jesus Christ whom He delights in revealing to those the
Father will. He takes residence in the believer at the moment of conversion (Eph. 1:13) and
has been given to us as a pledge (down-payment of what is to come) of our inheritance
(Eph. 1:14).

THE DOCTRINE OF HUMANITY

Man was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26,27). He is God’s crowning act of
creation taking precedence over all living forms and over all creation (Gen. 1:26b).
Through Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience to God when eating of the forbidden fruit in
the Garden of Eden, the righteous judgment of God (Gen. 3:1-24) removed them from this
place of perfection and harmony with God. Adam and Even’s sin was transferred to each
successive generation (Rom. 5:12); thus bringing all humanity under the judgment of God.
The Bible declares that our sinful nature can never be atoned for through any particular
work of our own, but only through the atoning work of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:20). Throughout
the Old Testament, God tutored His people to understand that a “sacrifice” must be made
to atone for iniquity (Heb. 9:11-14). The blood of goats and bulls served as a picture of
what was to come in God’s redemptive plan, as God had promised a Messiah who would
not only rule the Earth, but redeem humanity from iniquity (Heb. 9:28) in his role as suffering
servant (Isa. 53). The scripture declares, “…without the shedding of blood, there is no
forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22). Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, people
can be restored to a right relationship with God through repentance and belief;
surrendering to the will of God through following Jesus Christ. In this act of faith, all sins are
forgiven (1 John 1:7; Eph. 1:7), justification occurs (Rom. 5:1), and eternal life is bestowed on
the one who calls on the Lord (John 11:25,26; Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13). Apart from
repentance and belief in Jesus Christ, all people are lost and will spend the afterlife in a
place of judgment (Hell) separated from God (John 5:25-29).

THE DOCTRINE OF THE BIBLE

The Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus, the sixty-six books of the Bible
constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Peter 1:20-21). The
Bible is an objective, propositional revelation, verbally inspired in every word, absolutely
inerrant in the original documents, infallible and God-breathed (1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16).
It is the authoritative rule book for faith and practice for every believer and stands in
authority over humanity; never humanity standing in judgment over it (Mt. 5:18; 24:35; Heb.
4:12). We teach the literal, grammatical historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms
that God created the heavens and the earth ex nihilo (out of nothing) as stated in
Colossians 1:16.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH

The Church is the visible representation of Christ in the world today (Eph. 4:4-6). It is
comprised of every true believer in Christ the world over (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12). It is
not a building, but a living organism, representing Jesus Christ to the world. Christ is the
head of the body, the church (Col. 1:18), having purchased her with His own blood (Acts
20:28). Jesus Christ leads her to triumph over all spiritual enemies (Rom. 8:37-39; 1 Cor.
15:57; Matt. 12:20). One day Christ will return in order to take the church to be with Him
forever (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-17). She will rule and reign with Him in His glorious
kingdom on earth (Rev. 5:10), and spend eternity praising His awesome name! The Church’s
members have been endowed with spiritual gifts whereby they are built up into a
household of faith (Gal. 6:10), edification (1 Cor. 14:12) and evangelism (Matthew 28:19-
20). Believers are commanded to build up, unify and serve the Body of Jesus Christ. The
Church is both universal and local. Universally, it encompasses all believers in the world.
Locally, it is comprised of a definable number of believers serving under the shepherding of
a plurality of spiritual leaders known as elders (Acts 20:28). The two sacred ordinances
that true believers celebrate within the local church are communion (1 Cor. 10:16-17;
11:17-34) and water baptism (Acts 2:38-41). At Neighborhood Church, communion is
celebrated corporately once a month and water baptisms are held approximately four
times per year. We believe the predominant NT mode of baptism is full immersion (Mt.
3:16; Mk. 1:10; Acts 8:39; 10:47). At Neighborhood Church, believer’s baptism is a
requirement for membership. The church works, watches and waits for the soon return of
her only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:28).

THE DOCTRINE OF SANCTIFICATION

True believers are predestined be made into the likeness of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29). This
begins at the moment of one’s salvation (2 Cor. 5:21) and is a continuing work of God in
every believer throughout his/her lifetime (2 Thess. 2:13). The believer is commanded in
Scripture to be trained in practical righteousness (Rom. 6:13, 18) so as to be conformed to
the likeness of Jesus Christ. Out of our deep gratitude for the undeserved grace we have
received from God, we seek to live in such a manner that would not bring reproach to the
one who saved us (Rom. 6:1). We therefore confess and repent of any sin mentioned in
Scripture (1 John 1:9) and pursue a lifestyle of holiness that is characterized by obedience
to all of God’s commands (Heb. 12:14). Our sanctification is pursued with delight rather
than out of duty.

THE DOCTRINE OF SATAN

The Bible teaches that there was once a high ranking angelic being named Lucifer who
rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven along with a third of the angelic host (Isa.
14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-15; Rev. 12:4). Satan is the chief of all fallen spirits and is a foe of
God and His beloved children. The following descriptive titles are given to Satan in
Scripture: “Accuser” (Rev. 12:10); “Adversary,” (I Peter 5:8); “the deceiver of the whole
world” (Rev. 12:9); “the evil one” (Matt. 13:19,38; 1 John 2:13; 5:19); “the prince of this
world” (John 12:31; 14:30); “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2); and “the tempter”
(Matthew 4:5; 1 Thess. 3:5) among many others. The believer wrestles against the spiritual
forces of darkness (demonic influence and oppression) with the armor of God made
available to every believer in the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:10-18). By wearing the
armor of God, every believer has victory over the enemy through Jesus Christ our Lord
(Rom. 8:37). One day, Satan will be judged, along with all fallen spirits and cast into the
eternal lake of fire where they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Matt.
25:41; Rev. 20:10).

THE DOCTRINE OF JUDGMENT

A day is coming when God will judge the living and the dead (2 Tim. 4:1). He will do this
through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). Those who belong to Christ Jesus
will spend eternity in Heaven (1 John 5:12). Those who do not belong to Jesus Christ will be
judged by their works and cast into a place of everlasting torment (Rev. 20:11-15). The
Bible calls this place of torment, “Hell.” There is no way to pass from one place to the other
after death (Hebrews 9:27).

THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST’S RETURN

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ will bodily return to earth (Acts 1:11; Rev.
19:11ff). His return is future and will bring about the end of the age wherein there shall be
a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1-9). The Father alone knows when this will happen.
No man knows the timing of Jesus Christ’s return (Mark 13:33). All date setting concerning
the Lord’s return is mere speculation and has no support in Scripture.

THE DOCTRINE OF MARRIAGE

Marriage is a sacrament (or ordinance or rite) of the Church (Eph. 5:21-33). Marriage has
been ordained (or established or instituted) by God (Gen. 2:24; Mt. 19:5). This church
defines “marriage” as the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which
such union is a lifetime commitment. A civil government’s sanction of a union will be
recognized as a legitimate marriage by the church only to the extent that it is consistent
with the definition of “marriage” found in these Articles.

THE DOCTRINE OF HUMAN SEXUALITY

Legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage (Heb. 13:4). Hence, sexual
activities outside of marriage (referred to in the New Testament as “porneia”) including but
not limited to, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, and pedophilia are inconsistent with
the teachings of the Bible and the Church (1 Thess. 4:3). Further, lascivious conduct,
transgender behavior, and the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography,