WHAT WE BELIEVE
Point Number One —The Bible
We believe the Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative written Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1: 21)
This means we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture and the authority of Scripture.
Sufficiency means that the Word of God is all we need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) We believe that the answers to any issue are found within the pages of the Bible, and that no other book, philosophy or psychological insights are required.
Authority refers to the fact that the Scriptures come from God and therefore express the true and accurate expression of His will toward mankind. When we see a truth expressed in the Word of God we believe that the Lord, Himself, is conveying this truth to our hearts and lives.
Furthermore, we believe the writings of the Bible to be infallible in their original articles. We recognize that years of transmission have had a minor effect on certain portions of Scripture, however, we do not believe the meaning and clarity of the text has been affected at all. Rather, we see the hand of the Lord over the years preserving the Scriptures for us. Although English translations of the Bible may differ in accuracy and readability, we do not recognize one translation as more “anointed” or “blessed” than any of the others. (Pastor Paul teaches from the English Standard Version - ESV.)
Point Number Two—The Godhead
We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Distinguishable but indivisible. (Matthew 28: 19; 1 Peter 1:2)
This, of course, means we are solidly Trinitarian in our theology. This does not mean, as some suggest, that we believe God wears three different functional “hats.” Trinitarian theology makes a clear distinction in the members of the Godhead as separate and distinct Persons—Who together make up the One, true God.
Point Number Three—The Nature and Work of Christ
We believe in the full deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ; in His virgin birth and sinless life; in His complete and finished work on the cross and His bodily resurrection from the dead. (Luke 1:26-35; Hebrews 2:14-15, 9:12, 10:11-12; John 1:12)
There is a lot here. First, is the belief that Jesus is fully man and fully God. Both are essential to what He came to do for us as Lord and human representative. Second, the vital issue of His virgin birth, without which He would not be free from the stain of sin. Thirdly, that our Lord’s work upon the cross securing the sins of mankind was complete and not lacking anything. And lastly, His bodily resurrection, vital for understanding how He conquered death.
Point Number Four—Salvation by Faith — The Promise of the Indwelling Spirit
We believe the only means by which we can be forgiven is to turn from our sin and personally accept the death of Jesus Christ as payment for our own penalty and to receive Him as Savior and Lord. Further, We believe that anyone who believes in and accepts Christ as Savior becomes the recipient of God's Holy Spirit, by which he/she is born again. (John 3:3-9; 20:22; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9)
While the previous point focuses on what Christ did on our behalf, this point defines the result—namely forgiveness of sins, the new birth and entry into the family of God. We believe that the new birth is made possible through the agency of God’s Holy Spirit, Who comes to live within us at the point of faith.
Point Number Five — Water Baptism
We believe in water baptism by immersion—not for salvation but because of salvation—to fulfill the command of Christ. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:34-36)
Since water baptism is a command, it quite obviously cannot save us, since we are not saved by keeping commands but rather putting our faith in the death of Christ on our behalf. Yet, water baptism is a first step of obedience for a new believer, and a public declaration of the death and resurrection we share with Christ.
Point Number Six—The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
We believe there is a work of the Holy Spirit, separate from the new birth, enabling the believer to enter into a new and powerful realm of service, praise, worship, personal edification, and witnessing. (Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:2-6; 1 Corinthians 14)
When an individual comes to faith in Christ, they receive the fullness of God's Holy Spirit to indwell them. By the Spirit's coming within they are born anew (see point four above). But the Scriptures also speak of a ministry of the Spirit in the life of the believer whereby we are empowered to serve Christ. In this function, the Spirit comes “upon” the believer, and we receive power—not salvation, for we are already saved! As the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer, he or she is opened up to the realm of spiritual gifts.
Point Number Seven—Operation of the Gifts of the Spirit
We believe in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit as manifested in the early Church and recorded in the book of Acts and various letters of the New Testament. (1 Corinthians 12:1-14)
This point obviously goes hand in hand with the previous one. Many believers have been taught that the gifts of the Spirit are no longer being manifested in the Church today. We at Calvary Chapel can find nothing in God’s Word that supports that belief.
Point Number Eight—Christ: our Hope
We believe there is found through Christ hope for the broken—physically, spiritually and emotionally. (Psalm 147:3; Luke 9:42; James 5:14-15)
In this statement, we are declaring our trust in the power of Christ to restore and transform lives that have been broken and marred by sin. For many, the human condition has become beyond desperate. Hopelessness seems to reign. But we continue to place our faith in Christ to restore those who call upon His Name—even those whom the world would declare to be broken beyond all hope.
Point Number Nine—The Rapture of the Church, Second Coming of Jesus Christ
and Final Judgment
We believe the Church is the Bride of Christ and will be translated (raptured) to meet the Lord in the air. (This includes believers who have died in Christ as well as those living on the earth at that time.) We believe the Church will be hidden with Christ during the Great Tribulation which will come upon the whole earth and then return with Him after that time in what the Bible refers to as “the Second Coming.” We believe in the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth, the final resurrection and judgment, eternal life for believers and eternal punishment for unbelievers. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:2-6; John 3:36)
Point Number Ten—The Role of the Church
We believe the Church is the Body of Christ on the earth and God’s chosen instrument to proclaim the Gospel of Christ and be a restraint to sin. By this statement, we proclaim our alliance with and prayerful support of every Bible-believing, Christ-honoring fellowship worldwide. (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 5:13-14; John 13:35)
This means we are not competing with other Christian churches, but are linked in Christ and in a common calling.
Point Number Eleven—Marriage
We believe marriage was created by God for the good of mankind, the propagation of the human race, and the expression of His image on earth. Furthermore, we believe that the union of a man and a woman in marriage depicts the spiritual relationship between Christ and His Bride—the Church. Marriage is a union into which one man and one woman may enter for the glory of God and is only broken, according to the scriptural ideal, by death. This understanding of marriage is revealed in Holy Scripture as God's intention for marriage, the truth of which is clearly affirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels. As such, this biblical definition of marriage may not be amended, reinterpreted or redefined by society or the governments of men. (Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6, Matthew 19:8-12, Mark 10:4-9, Romans 7:2)
This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind is the sole and final source of all we believe. The Senior Pastor and Elders of Calvary Chapel Ontario bear the responsibility of overseeing that the Scriptures are handled and interpreted properly within the ministries that exist under the identity of this fellowship of believers.