What We Believe

The Bible

The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant mes­sage to us (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The Bible gives us direction (Psalm 119:105), shows us right and wrong (Psalm 119:11), and shows us the truth about ourselves (Hebrews 4:12).

God

God is the self-existent, infinite, holy, personal Creator of the universe. God has always existed, and He created the universe by the power of His Word (He­brews 11:3). There is only one true God (Isaiah 45:5). In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons of one substance— the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit— with distinct personalities (Genesis 1:1, 26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19-20; John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

Jesus Christ

Jesus is God’s only Son (John 3:16), yet completely God and one with the Father (John 10:30). We believe in Jesus’ pre-existence (John 1:1), incarnation (John 1:1-14), his virgin birth (Matthew 1:23-25), his sinless life (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and after three days rose from the dead (1 Cor­inthians 15:3,4; Romans 3:23-25; Acts 2:24-27). After forty days Jesus as­cended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), where He is at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), pleading to God on our behalf (1 John 2:1).  Jesus is the Mediator between God and humankind (1 Timothy 2:5), having been sent by God to earth to die for us and forgive our sins (John 1:29).

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, who has always existed with God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit baptizes every believer into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), indwells, seals, gives each of us spiritual gifts, and em­powers us to bear spiritual fruit when we give Him control of our lives (Matthews 28:19; John 3:3-7; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that Jesus Christ is coming back for His church (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

Humanity and Sin

God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:26,27) with an eternal soul (Matthew 10:28). Our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Yet the entire human race falls short of God’s perfect standard because of sin (Romans 3:23). Our sin leads to death, but God has given us eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).

Salvation

We are saved from our sins and death by believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ (John 3:16). There’s nothing we can do to earn our salvation; it is God’s gra­cious gift to us (Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8,9).

Angels, Satan, and Demons

There is a very real spirit world, made up of God’s messengers, called angels, and God’s enemies, Satan and his demons (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is also the enemy of the believer (1 Peter 5:8), and he blinds the mind of the unbeliever (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan and his allies are ultimately doomed to defeat (Revelation 12:7-12; 20:10).

The Church

The church is the universal body of Christ, comprised of all believers everywhere. The church exists so that we can worship God (Ephesians 5:16-19), serve one another (Ephesians 4:12), and share our faith (Mark 16:15).  We believe that the ordinances of the local church are two in number:  water baptism (a public identification of the believer with Christ), and the Lord’s supper (a memorial of the atoning death of Christ until He comes) (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

Future Things

God has a plan for the future, which in­cludes the end of the world as we know it and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. The focal point of God’s future plan is the Second Coming of Christ when Jesus will bodily return from heaven (Titus 2:13).  Judgment and eternal life in hell await the unbeliever (Revelation 20:15). All those who have believed in Jesus Christ will spend eternity in heaven, which Jesus is preparing for us (John 14:1-3).

The Lausanne Covenant

SDM, in community with evangelists, missionaries, mission leaders, theologians, pastors, and national church leaders from nearly 200 nations, endorses the Lausanne Covenant first drafted by the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974. This biblically-based covenant emphasizes the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world. It also affirms Jesus Christ as the essence of the gospel, the necessity of both evangelism and social action/justice in the world, the diverse manifestations of the church in many different tribes and cultures of the world, the need to nurture and disciple believers, and the role of spiritual warfare in both the church and missions.

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