STATEMENT OF FAITH
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Agape Church of San Diego embraces the following tenets of faith. The Bible is our all- sufficient rule for faith and practice. This Statement of Fundamental Truths is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, I Corinthians 1:10; Acts 2:42). No claim is made that it contains all Biblical truth, only that it covers our need as to these fundamental doctrines. We do not presume to say the phraseology employed in this Statement of Fundamental Truths is inspired or that it is the final work on Bible truth. However, we are persuaded that it is proper and consistent with the Holy Scriptures to set forth these fundamental tenets of faith as our declaration of things which are most surely believed among us (Luke 1:1).
WE ARE NON-DENOMINATIONAL
Formerly known as Agape Community Baptist Church, transitional leaders and elders of the church have unanimously decided to leap on a step of faith to become a non- denominational evangelical church to serve the one body of Christ. Though we have nothing against denominations, but we have elected to operate as non-denominational because we believe that the Agape Love of God transcends beyond denominations and is greater than the differences that we may have. Romans 12:5
We affirm our confidence in God’s inerrant Word. We treasure its truths, and we respect its reproofs. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and written centuries ago by chosen men of God. The Bible is without error in its original manuscripts, is completely reliable as the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice, and is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Bible is fully true in all that it teaches or affirms. The entire text of Scripture, including the very words, are a product of the mind of God expressed in human terms and conditions and written through human instruments without negating their personality, culture and freedom.1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; and 2 Peter 1:20–21.
GOD THE FATHER
We acknowledge the Creator-God as our heavenly Father, infinitely perfect and intimately acquainted with all our ways. As the first person of the Trinity, the Father is the source and ruler of all things and is fatherly in His relationship with creation in general and believers in particular. And although there is one eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, just, loving, true, and unchangeable God, in the unity of the one God there are three divine persons— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—equal in power but distinct in roles.Psalm 103:19; Matthew 28:19; and 1 Peter 1:2.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We claim Jesus Christ as our Lord—the one God who came in human flesh—the object of our worship and the subject of our praise. As the second person of the Trinity, the Son reveals the Father. According to the Father’s plan, the eternal Son humbled Himself and became incarnate, inseparably uniting undiminished deity with true humanity. As fully God and fully man, Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died to pay in full the penalty for our sin, rose bodily and miraculously from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will come again in glory. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings; His substitutionary atoning death; bodily resurrection; ascension into heaven; perpetual intercession for His people; and personal, visible return to earth. John 1:1–3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:1–3; and 1 John 5:11–12.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We recognize the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead who is incessantly at work convicting, convincing, and comforting. As the third person of the Trinity, the Spirit isthe personal agent of the Father and Son for revelation and regeneration. We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower in ministry all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe that the seeking believer is filled with the Holy Spirit and power for service, either at the time of or subsequent to regeneration, which is a separate work from indwelling Spirit for salvation. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of biblical gifts of the Spirit as reflected through the fruit of the same Spirit.
Though the word “Trinity” is never used, nor is the doctrine of Trinitarianism ever explicitly taught in the Scriptures, the Biblical evidence of this reality is clearly revealed. God’s being is perfectly unified and simplex: of one essence. This essence of deity is held in common by Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three Persons are co-substantial, co-inherent, co-equal and co-eternal in the Godhead with regard to both the divine essence and function. Deut. 6:4, 20:2-3, Psalm 2:7, Psalm 68:18, Isaiah 6:1-3, 9:6, Hebrews 1:1-13, 1 Tim. 1:17, 1 Cor. 8:4-6, 1 Peter 1:2, John 1:17, Phil. 2:11, Matt. 3:16-17, Acts 5:3-4, Rev. 1:8, 4:8
THE DEPRAVITY OF HUMANITY
We confess that Adam’s fall into sin left humanity without the hope of heaven apart from a new birth made possible by the Savior’s substitutionary death and miraculous, bodily resurrection. As a result of Adam’s rebellion, all people have fallen under the curse of death. Unable and unwilling to please God, all humans are undeserving of His blessings, blinded to His truth, and dead in their sins-spiritually and , ultimately, physically. The state of judgement before the just and holy God is a condition that permeates every facet of human life and cannot be cured apart from the grace of God through Jesus Christ.Genesis 3; Jeremiah 17:9; and Romans 3:10–18, 23; 5:12.
We believe the offer of salvation is God’s love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Jesus Christ. Because fallen humans are unable to save themselves, God, according to His sovereign mercy , acts to save those who come to Him by grace through faith and repentance . God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the penalty of death in place of condemned humanity. Simply through believing the good news that Jesus Christ died for his or her sins and then rose from the dead, a person can be forgiven of all sin, declared righteous by God, reborn into new life, and guaranteed eternal life with God. Salvation is by grace alone and involves faith and repentance according to the Scriptures.
John 3:16; Luke 7:44-50, 24:46-49; Acts 3:38-40, 15:11, 16:31; Romans 10:9–10; 1 Corinthians 15:1–5; and Ephesians 1:4–12, 2:8–9.
THE BODY OF CHRIST
We know the Lord is continuing to enlarge His family, the universal body of Christ, over which He rules as Head. The body of Christ is the ever-enlarging universal church consisting of true believers in heaven and on earth over whom Jesus Christ reigns as Lord. Regardless of denomination, all true believers are spiritually baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s body and are therefore spiritually united with Him and with one another. Romans 12:4–5; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Ephesians 4:11–16; and 1 Peter 2:9–10.
THE FAMILY OF GOD
We are grateful to be a part of the local church, which exists to proclaim God’s truth, to administer the ordinances, to stimulate growth toward maturity, and to bring glory to God. Believers are called to faithful membership in a visible, local congregation for the purpose of mutual encouragement and spiritual growth. As the family of God, a healthy local church is marked by God- glorifying worship, Scripture-centered teaching, intimate fellowship, and vivid expressions of the church’s faith, hope, and love through evangelism, disciple-making, financial support, and service. Acts 2:41–47; Philippians 2:1–4; and Hebrews 10:24–25
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the fivefold purpose of leading the Church in:
Evangelism - Evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20)
Discipleship - Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Fellowship - Encouraging each other (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:46)
Worship - Worship of God (John 4:23,24)
Ministries - Meeting human needs with ministries of love and compassion. (Psalms 112:9; Gal. 2:10; 6:10;James 1:27)
The church is to be taught and led by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the purpose of every believer seeing and exercising their priestly and kingly ministry as outlined in 1 Peter 2:5,9 and Revelation 1:6. The five-fold ministry is to teach and train its people to do the work of the ministry with maturity and unity in mind. They are also called elders in the Bible. Working with these ministries will be deacons, deaconesses, and the gifted men and women of the church. Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:11-13; I Timothy 3:2-12; Titus 2:1-15
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: 1) baptism, and 2) the Lord’s Supper. We believe in baptism by immersion, and Lord’s supper, both of which are open to all believers in Jesus Christ. We believe baptism as stated to the disciples by Jesus (baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit) in partial fulfillment of the great commission. The Great Commission instructs us to make disciples while we are going throughout the world and while we are going about our daily activities. As you are going, “baptizing,” and “teaching” are the means by which we fulfill the command to make disciples . (Matthew 28:19-20). We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of our redemption by Christ’s death. To those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive it, the bread and the cup is a partaking symbolically of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Though Jesus Christ is really present, no change is effected in the elements that are never to be considered objects of worship. The supper is also a symbol of the love and unity that Christians have among one another. Mark 14:22-24; John 6:53-58; I Corinthians 5:7-8,10:16, 11:20, 23-29, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:41, Romans 6:1-4, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:4-6.
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers. Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16
THE BLESSED HOPE
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church. Though a believer’s spirit is ushered into the Lord’s presence immediately upon physical death, the fullness of salvation awaits Christ’s return, when He will resurrect believers in glorified bodies like His own immortal body that can never die (1 Corinthians 15:51–57). We anticipate our Lord’s promised return, which could occur at any moment. According to the Father’s plan, Jesus Christ will one day return in power to bring completion of salvation and rewards to believers and judgment and wrath to unbelievers. The Bible teaches that the years leading up to the judgment will be marked by increasing evil, but the actual time of the end is unknown. It could begin at any moment. Though the details of Christ’s return are sometimes unclear, its reality is certain, and all believers are called to live holy lives in anticipation of His coming. 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12; Hebrews 9:28; and Revelation 19:11–16.
THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years. This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel, (Ezekiel 37:21,22; Zephaniah 3:19,20; Romans 11:26,27) and the establishment of universal peace. (Isaiah 11:6-9; Psalms 72:3-8; Micah 4:3,4) Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19:11-14; Revelation 20:1-6
THE FINAL JUDGMENT
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. See Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8
THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH
"We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells." See 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21; Revelation 22