Core beliefs introduce our foundational theology and values. We envision the church built on a solid foundation in Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20). LifePoint’s theological foundation—the core—is comprised of our theological perspective, theological standard, and core theology.
Theological perspective helps to understand and know how to relate to God. Not that we, as humans, have the capacity to fully understand God, but that God is known as he reveals himself through the Bible by Holy Spirit. God is the beginning and the end. He is the creator, source, and sustainer of life and is known because he has chosen to reveal himself. Because of his revelation we can know him, but while God is known and can be experienced, he is not fully comprehensible. This pursuit is our theology—the revelation of God and how we have come to know him as he draws us closer to himself. With this perspective, we know God in three ways:
God is completely revealed in his son Jesus Christ, in his Word, and by Holy Spirit. Jesus is God Incarnate and is the origin for all that is. God is truth, and there is no truth beyond him. God as truth provides authority (Jn 1:14).
We cannot fully know or fully comprehend God, but he reveals himself so we may know him more fully. Not to say that God does not desire to be known; he does. But he is above and beyond all. He is known and not yet fully known. God as mystery provides freedom to pursue him (1 Tm 3:16).
God is at work to reconcile the world unto himself in Christ Jesus. He calls his people—the church—to be on mission with him in reconciling the nations unto himself for his glory. God as story provides continuity and synergy in his eternal work on the earth (Jn 1:1–4).
Theological standard helps us know how to relate to one another in matters of theological positions. Augustine—a fourth-century early church father and theologian—is credited with giving the standard that states, “In essentials, we must have unity. In non-essentials, we must be willing to grant liberty. In all matters, we must show love.” This is an excellent standard that we embrace in order to build unity among the body at LifePoint. There are essentials doctrines in which we expect members should be united. These are defined by scripture itself and can be found in the following section. Other doctrines are important and should be handled seriously and with care, but where disagreement exists, brothers and sisters in Christ should learn to grant liberty to one another while maintaining genuine love for one another.
As Christ-followers, we need a set of beliefs that serve as a foundation for our lives. Core theology details the foundational beliefs on which our journey as Christ-followers is based and which are essential to every member at LifePoint.
The Bible is God’s holy Word written by men under divine inspiration and is God’s revelation to man for salvation in Jesus Christ. It is truth without error and holds authority for life, faith, and practice. It is our foundation, instruction, direction, standard, measure, and ultimate authority.
There is only one true and living God, and he is holy and perfect in all of his attributes. He is eternal and sovereign. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present. God is the creator, source, and sustainer of all life, and he is one-in-three—the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are co-equals and worthy of worship. God is ultimate and intimate and desires relationship with man for his glory.
God the Son, Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice of atonement for sin by dying on a cross. After three days, he rose from the dead to demonstrate his power over sin and death; he then ascended to heaven’s glory and will someday return to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is fully God and fully man and is the one mediator between God and man. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to God except through him. He now sits enthroned at the right hand of God, where he fulfills his ministry as representative, intercessor, and advocate.
God the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is the divine counselor who inspired men to write the Bible and who convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He calls humanity to Jesus Christ, seals every believer as a guarantee of salvation, and works within every believer to illuminate Scripture and transform life. He empowers all believers to serve and glorify God by giving them spiritual gifts and provides the believer with power for living, understanding spiritual truth, conviction of sin, and guidance in doing right. He intercedes for believers in their weakness with God’s will. As believers, we are to live under his control every day.
We as humanity were created to glorify God in relationship with him. By choice, Adam sinned and eternally separated us from God, condemning us to death and hell. We are in bondage to sin at birth through our sinful natures and are unable to please God or glorify him. Though we hold a desire to know God, our sinful nature rebels against God, does not seek God, and is antagonistic toward the things of God. Without a savior, we are hopeless and helpless to know God.
Salvation, Eternal Security, & Assurance
Salvation is a gift of God given to us by grace, and we receive it by a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By trusting Jesus as personal Savior and Lord, we can be rescued from hell through a new birth, called regeneration; redeemed from sin with a full acquittal, called justification; reconciled to God the Father in relationship to become more like Jesus, called sanctification; and prepared for Jesus’ return to spend eternity in heaven with God, called glorification. Because God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ, a true Christ-follower is secure in that saving relationship for eternity. If Christ-followers biblically surrender their lives to Christ and accept his gift of life through his forgiveness of sin, they cannot lose their salvation; for salvation is given, kept, and completed by his grace and power. We cannot earn it, so we cannot un-earn it. By faith, those saved will persevere to the end.
Priesthood of the Believer, Ministry, and Spiritual Gifts
All believers are baptized with Holy Spirit at their conversions and thus have direct access to God through prayer, and God hears the prayer of faith in accordance with his will. All believers are given spiritual gifts by the sovereign will of God and are responsible to develop and use those gifts, and all believers are called to serve, regardless of their vocations.
The Church & Two Ordinances: Baptism & Lord’s Supper
The church is God’s physical presence in the world and is made up of those who have been rescued, redeemed, reconciled, and redefined to the world. The Bible refers to two types of churches: the universal church and the local church. Universally, the church is the bride of Christ preparing for Christ’s return, the body of Christ serving in Jesus’ name, the family of God growing in relationship with God and one another, and the army of the Lord advancing his kingdom mission. God uses both the universal and local churches to carry the gospel to the people of the world.
Christ is the recognized head of LifePoint—not any person, group, or religious organization—and while recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, every local church should be autonomous, self-governing, and independent from any denominational control. The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in New Testament Scriptures.
We recognize believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church. Believer’s baptism is a step of spiritual obedience and public testimony and symbolizes the spiritual work of salvation; however, there is no power for salvation in baptism. Likewise, the Lord’s Supper elements symbolize Christ’s body by the bread and his blood by the cup; again, the elements hold no power for salvation.
Jesus will return to this earth personally, visibly, and universally. Those who have received Jesus are sealed with the Holy Spirit and will be taken to heaven. Those who have rejected Jesus will be eternally condemned to hell. This return will usher in the eternal state.
Eternity: Heaven & Hell
People were created to exist forever, and we will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell, but to be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence.