We believe the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written by ordinary men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals to us God’s character, His plans, and His purpose for our lives. More than a “how-to” book or a book of inspiration, the Bible is a personal love letter that can be completely trusted. It is our supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. The Holy Scriptures of the Bible reveal God’s nature and purpose and has the power to lead us into an eternal relationship with our creator.
Scripture: Psalm 119:89, Psalm 105; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 22:29; John 5:39, John 16:13-15; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:24-25; 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Peter 3:15-16
There is only one true God, who has always been and will always be, who created and sustains all life. God exists in three persons. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are infinitely holy and equally deserving of worship and honor. The three persons of the Trinity have distinct, but complementary, roles in the fulfillment of God’s flawless plan. God doesn’t change. He passionately desires a relationship with all people.
Scripture: Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:26; Numbers 23:19; Leviticus 19:2; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 28:19-20; John 1:1-13; John 3:16, John 4:24, John 5:26, John 14:1; Colossians 2:9-10; 1 John 5:6-9; John 4:24; Ephesians 4:5-6
The Father is the first person of the Trinity. He is infinite (having no beginning or end), yet He wants to interact with every person on a personal level. The Father is perfect in every quality and virtue. He has the power and integrity to keep all of His promises.
Scripture: Matthew 23:9; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:16, John 6:27; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 1 Peter 1:3-6; Revelation 1:6
The Son, Jesus Christ
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. He is the unique Son of God who always existed with the Father. Jesus entered human history physically on earth during the first century AD. God became man, and was born to Mary while she was still a virgin. Jesus did not lose any of His Godhood, but instead added manhood to His Godhood. Jesus was born and lived free from sin. He performed miracles and taught with authority, giving evidence of His position in the Trinity. Jesus was murdered by being nailed to a cross. He died willingly and His blood provides the perfect and only sacrifice for sin. Jesus was buried in a tomb. Three days after His death He came back to life, demonstrating the greatest evidence that the Father accepted His sacrifice for sin. Jesus returned to heaven and intercedes for the Church in the presence of the Father.
Scripture: Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 3:17, Matthew 8:29, Matthew 14:33, Matthew 16:16, Matthew 20:28, Matthew 28:5-6; Luke 1:26-38, Luke 22:70, Luke 24:46-47; John 1:1-5, John 1:14, John 10:30, John 11:25-27, John 17:1-5, John 20:28-31; Acts 1:9,11; Acts 2:22-24, Acts 7:55-56; Romans 1:3-4, Romans 5:6-8; Romans 6:9-10, Romans 8:1-3, Romans 10:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21-24
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is the One who shows every person how they violate God’s standard of perfection. He reveals what is good and right and that there will some day be a judgment. He lives in each person who experiences spiritual birth. He gives spiritual life and special gifts/abilities to be used for service in God’s Kingdom. He is consistent in His help, teaching God’s people and bringing life-change from the inside out.
Scripture: John 3:6-8, John 14:14-26, John 15:26-27, John 16:7-14; Romans 8:13-14, Romans 8:22-26; Romans 12:6-8; Romans 15:15-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Galatians 5:16-18; Ephesians 3:16-17, Ephesians 4:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:7; Titus 3:4-7
The Fall of Mankind
Man is a created being, made in the likeness and the image of God, but through Adam's transgression and fall, sin came into the world. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no, not one.
Scripture: Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:15-17, Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 3:10-20, Romans 3:23
Every person has broken God’s standard of perfection. Every person has sinned in two ways: First, each person has willingly chosen to do things that defy God’s holy standard. Second, each person has inherited an inner sin nature from our forefathers that has been in violation of God’s standard since the first person, Adam. The penalty for sin is death, which is why Jesus died on the cross, sacrificing himself for the sin of others. Only a sinless person, Jesus Christ, could take on the sin of others. Jesus gave His own blood to provide the only way of forgiveness. It is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal that the blood of Jesus Christ is the only satisfactory price for sin. A person’s first step toward salvation is their knowing that they are a sinner, turning to God in repentance. The Spirit gives the strength to turn from sin and trust Jesus Christ for new life, which brings a person forever into God’s family. We believe those who turn from sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are given new and eternal life. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the Law, which is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, which produces works acceptable to God.
Scripture: Jeremiah 17:9; John 1:12-13, John 3:3, John 14-17, John 5:24, John 8:12, John 10:26-28; Romans 3:19-26, Romans 5:18-21, Romans 8:1-17, Romans 9:14-23; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:9, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 5:12; James 1:14-15
The Church is not a building made of stone but a loving family of God’s people. This includes everyone who has experienced spiritual birth through faith in Jesus Christ, not just those here at The Oaks, but Christ followers all over the world. Those who are followers of Jesus Christ come together in community to worship God, serve others and grow together. We grow in relationship to God through the study and application of His Word, which also leads us to love one another. Jesus is head of the Church. The Church is to do the things Jesus gave us to do and help others learn about the Good News of forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ.
Scripture: Acts 2:41-47, Acts 1:8; Ephesians 2:19-22; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 10:23-25
How Christians should live
Christians have the privilege of living free of the control of sin that trapped us before the Holy Spirit gave us new life. We now make progress living in a way that makes God happy, maintains our freedom and lets others know God does change lives! It is for our best that we learn to live out in our lives that which the Bible teaches. As we grow, we will see God changing our character to be more like the character of Jesus. People around us will see that God really is good.
Scripture: John 14:15, John 14:23-24; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:6-13; Ephesians 4:11-32; Colossians 1:9-14, Colossians 1:27-29; Hebrews 12:1-3; 1 John 2:3-6
Two practices Jesus gave the church
Jesus gave the Church two living illustrations designed to remind His people and show others what God has done in Christ.
The first is baptism. This practice declares what God has already done in us. Baptism symbolizes Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. The believer is “buried” or submerged in water, symbolizing death to the old way of life, and then brought up out of the water demonstrating resurrection and new life in Christ.
Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-41, Acts 8:36-39, Acts 10:44-48; Romans 6:1-11; Colossians 2:12
The second is communion, or the Lord’s Supper. This is meant to help us remember that Jesus died for our forgiveness. The family of God shares bread, which is symbolic of Jesus’ body; and wine (or juice), which is symbolic of Jesus’ blood. The Bible tells us to continue this memorial until He returns.
Scripture: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Freedom in Christ - Accountable to God
We have been given freedom in Christ and are accountable to God - When any person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in that person and will teach them according to the Bible. Each person can speak and relate directly to God and is accountable to Him. The local church also has freedom and accountability before God and should not be controlled by any authority other than Jesus Christ.
Scripture: Acts 5:27-32, 20:28-32; Romans 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:19-22; Corinthians 3:7-18; 1 Timothy 2:1-2