What We Believe
Statement of Faith
We believe that Scripture is the word of God. All of Scripture is inspired by God as a revelation of Himself to human writers, by no means of their own, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Since God is the only divine Author, the words of Scripture are true and free from error in their original form. Scripture is the supreme and final authority for believers in any age, sufficient for saving knowledge and godly living, and complete in its 66 books (Old and New Testaments), making it profitable for practical instruction and conduct. All Scripture, when properly read and understood, leads to Jesus Christ as it pertains to His person and work and first and second coming, making Him our true living hope. (Psalms 19:7-9, 119:105, 142, 160; Isaiah 34:16, 55:11; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 13:10; Luke 24:7; John 1:1-4, 14-18, 3:16-21, 5:39, 17:17; Acts 1:16, 17:2-3, 11, 18:28, 26:22-23; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, 10:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12, 20-25; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
We believe in the one true God eternally exists as three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — equal in nature, equal in glory, and distinct in relations. Each of the three distinct persons of the Godhead has a specific role yet all three equally share in deity, holiness, work of creation, maintenance of the universe, redemption, and judgment. (Genesis 1:1-2; Leviticus 11:45; 19:2; 20:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-4:1; 28:19-20; Mark 12:29; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:34-35; 10:30; 14:7-12; 15:26; Acts 1:7-8; 7:55-56; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18-22; Hebrews 1:1-4; 1 Peter 1:2; Jude 20-21)
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son – who entered the human race by relinquishing His divine attributes but not His divine essence and took on human form. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is fully God and fully man. He lived a life of perfect obedience, without sin, to the Father and voluntarily fulfilled the will of God by laying down His life as the atoning sacrifice for humanity’s sin. Having fully satisfied divine justice, He achieved salvation for all who place their trust in Him. Raised from the dead by God, He ascended to heaven and is currently interceding for His own, awaiting His return to consummate God’s kingdom and redemptive plan. (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 1:23; Luke 24:50-53; John 1:1-5, 14; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 4:4-6; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 John 3:5; 4:2)
We believe the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make humanity aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He is the Helper that the Son promised to all that believe in Him and therefore lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit has many functions including providing the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth guidance in doing what is right. The maturing Christian seeks to live under His control daily. (John 1:32-34; 3:5; 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-17; Acts 1:8; 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 12:3; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 1:13; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 2:7)
HUMANITY & SIN
We believe that Man was created in the image of God to multiply, fill, and subdue the earth but was separated from God because of sin (The Fall). As a result, the image of God in man became damaged but not erased. Therefore, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are unable to function in moral responsibility before God. We need spiritual regeneration before we can become what God meant us to be and will be redeemed and restored when Christ returns. (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:7, 21-24; 3; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 44:24; 45:12; 53:6a; 59:1-2; Romans 3:10-12; 5:12-21; 6:23; 13:2; Ephesians 2:1-2; 6:11-12; James 4:17; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:16-17; Revelation 21:3-5)
We believe that salvation is a free gift of God that comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Humans are fallen beings completely dead in their sin and unable to save themselves. One achieves salvation at the moment they put their faith in Christ believing that He died upon the cross as a sinless substitute for sinners of all ages and times and was raised from the dead. Only those who respond to God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are justified and will inherit eternal salvation. Upon a confession of faith in Christ, humans are regenerated through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit becoming new creations in Christ and put their faith into action through sanctification. (Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; John 1:12; 3:16; 10:28-29; 14:6; Acts 2:21; 4:12; Romans 1:16-17; 5:1, 8-9, 15-17; 6:23; 8:2, 9-11, 38-39; 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 1:9-10; 5:17; Galatians 2:16, 20; Ephesians 2:1-9; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 6:11; 7:25; 9:28; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
We believe there is one true Church universal (the body of Christ), consisting of all who recognize Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The body of Christ finds expression as local churches where those who have been regenerated by the Spirit come together. Operating under the direction of Jesus as Lord and Head of His body and through Godly servant leadership, believers devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of baptism and communion, fellowship, service to the body and outreach to the lost. (Matthew 16:18; 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 27; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:1-16)
THE RESURRECTION & FUTURE
We believe in the imminent, bodily and visible return of Jesus Christ to this earth to bring to completion His redemptive and kingdom plan. All people who have died will be raised from the dead, and those who have been redeemed will participate in eternal life in the presence of God, but those who have rejected Christ will suffer eternal separation from God. (Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 15:50-56; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 5:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 ; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:13; Revelation 3:5; 20:12; 21:1-5)
RESPONSIBILITY OF BELIEVERS
We believe that all believers should seek to walk by the Spirit, separating themselves from worldly practices and witnessing by life and by word the truths of the Holy Scripture. We believe that all believers will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ and rewarded based on their faithful obedience to Him in this life. (Romans 6:12-14; 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:10-17; 2 Corinthians 5:9-17; Galatians 5:16, 22-23)
We believe that God ordained the family as the foundational institution of humanity. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards and the means for procreation of the human race. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalm 78:1-8; Psalm 127; Psalm 139:13-16; Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 18:2-5; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4)
We believe that the Bible teaches that Believer’s Baptism is both a symbolic and vital step of obedience in professing our conversion and new life in Jesus Christ, which He also commands us to do. We hold that Baptism, which is the ceremonial process of being dipped into water during a time of worship before the whole church body, is a beautiful sign and symbol of Christ’s own death, burial, and resurrection. When we are each baptized, symbolically we also are being “buried” into the water and then raised out of the water which symbolizes our “resurrection” to new life in Jesus Christ. We baptize individuals who can articulate their conversion experience. (Matthew 3:6, 13-17; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; 12:8; Acts 2:38-41; 8:35-38; 10:47-48; 22:16; Romans 6:4-11; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 John 2:3)
Why Believer’s Baptism?
Importantly, we affirm the biblical teaching that only professed Believers, (i.e. those who are old enough to profess that they have had a conversion experience and have given their lives fully to Jesus Christ for salvation) – should be baptized. AFTER, we have received Christ as Savior, we are called to publicly identify with other Believers within the Church that Jesus has saved us (Luke 12:8). The symbolic act of baptism declares publicly that we desire to walk in obedience with Him (Matthew 28:19). Therefore, the act of Believer’s Baptism is commanded in Scripture for all believers, is a symbolic act for our spiritual resurrection and identification with Christ’s, and is a beautiful public profession that we stand with other Believers of all ages as born-again followers of Christ.
Why Should I Be Baptized?
Because of the Lord Jesus:
Jesus was Baptized (Matthew 3:17), demonstrating His own obedience, humility, and the filling of the Holy Spirit. (At Jesus’ baptism, the Trinity was present and God publicly blessed His Son’s example – John 3:17)
Jesus commands that all believers should be baptized (1John 2:3, Acts 2:38)
Jesus authorized His apostles to make disciples (Saved) & Baptize them: (Matthew 28:19-20)
The Importance and Meaning of Baptism:
The Word “Baptize” means to dip, immerse, sink, or plunge.
The ancient Greek Word “Baptize” cannot mean to pour-out/over or to sprinkle. The Bible nowhere uses pour/sprinkle as a mode of baptism.
Baptize is always used in the New Testament as being “immersed” or dunked.
What Baptism Does NOT Mean:
Baptism does not (cannot) save you (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Baptism plays NO role in our salvation (Ephesians 2:1)
Baptism is not a ‘washing away’ of your sins (Hebrews 9:22)
What Baptism Does Mean:
Baptism is a symbol of death/burial/resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12)
Baptism spiritually identifies us with Jesus in a like manner of His death and resurrection.
Baptism is a public profession of Jesus as our Savior & Lord before the Church.
THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe the local church was commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to remember His death until He returns by taking communion (the Lord's Supper), a symbolic act of obedience, with one another preceded by a time of self-examination. This is a symbolic act of obedience. (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-29)
We practice “close” communion, which means we do not prevent people from taking communion with us. Following an explanation, we “welcome” all born again believers to join with us in communion whether members at Harvest Ministries or not. We believe this best honors our responsibility to fellowship with all believers as members of the body of Christ and allows each individual to be responsible for his or her faith and actions.