What We Believe

God

We believe in the only true God. He created all things and upholds all things by the power of His Word. In Him, we live and move and have our being. He is the God of Truth and is without iniquity. He is just and right, and He shall judge the world.

We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same worship, trust, and obedience.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 9:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; 17:3; Acts 4:3; 17:28; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 4:11

Jesus

We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. He is the eternal, second member of the Trinity. He was born of the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect, sinless life while on earth. He died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world, was buried, and on the third day was resurrected victorious over sin and death. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God. He is our great High Priest and Advocate.

Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 1:26-39; John 1:1-18; 3:16; Acts 1:3, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-23; Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:25-26

Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner upon belief in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body, of which Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for Godly living. The Holy Spirit also convicts the world of sin, of God’s righteousness and of coming judgment. While we believe that the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, they indicate that use of the gifts vary according to the need that each gift meets. The Bend believes in and allows space for The Holy Spirit to move. We promote the Spirit-led giftedness of each believer and the spiritual gifts of each believer are to be used to edify the Church.

Scripture: Mark 13:11; John 14:15-17, 26; 16:8-11, 13-14; Romans 5:5; 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-19; 14:26; Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 4:11-16; 5:18; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 2:1-4

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

When we are born again the Holy Spirit comes to dwell with us and will be in us. Jesus also commanded us to be baptized with the Holy Spirit so each of us “will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This on experience is in addition to Him first being in and with us. We must first be in relationship with Jesus before He can give us power in the Kingdom of God. Just as we are not born saved but must ask Jesus to forgive us and be the Lord of our lives, we must also ask to be baptized with His Holy Spirit after being born again. Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” John the baptizer said “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Jesus is the one who baptizes the child of God with His Holy Spirit when we ask!

Being baptized in the Holy Spirit enables us to participate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which include word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Everyone who is baptized in the Holy Spirit can immediately receive the ability to speak in tongues as the first gift. This was the experience of the Apostles, other Jewish, and Gentile believers throughout the book of Acts.

Scripture: John 14:17, Acts 1:4, Acts 1:8, Luke 11:13, Matthew 3:11, 1 Cor. 12, Mark 16:17, Acts 2

The Bible

The Bible is the sacred scripture of Christianity. We believe it is the inerrant, infallible, divinely inspired Word of God and is therefore the sole, supreme, and final authority in all matters of faith and practice, truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind. Through Scripture, God reveals Himself and His plan of redemption for man through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, there is nothing that should be added to or taken from the Canon of Scripture (the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments), as it is totally sufficient for gaining Salvation and understanding this redemptive plan of the Lord. For purpose of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline. Our elder board is the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:2; 8:3; Psalm 119:97-104, 160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 4:4; 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18-19

Man

We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntarily transgressing, fell from his sinless and happy state. Consequently, all mankind is sinful. All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but also by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man and every woman is totally depraved, meaning that sin has tainted and corrupted all parts of man (flesh, thoughts, actions, wills, dreams, etc.), thereby establishing their need for a Savior.

Scripture: Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 3; Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-19, 23

Salvation

We believe salvation is given by grace through faith plus nothing else! Any addition to the gospel of salvation by faith is heresy. Man in no way merits salvation. All merit is found in the Giver of the gift, not in the receiver of the gift. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that each person who by faith receives Him as personal Savior is justified on the basis of Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross. Each person who receives Christ as personal Savior is born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby becomes eternally secure as a child of God. In Christ, therefore, we become new creations – whereby the old nature is gone, and the new nature of Christ has come. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation and that there is no second baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture: John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23; 8:37-39; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; Ephesians 2:8-9

Sanctification

Jesus Christ not only paid the penalty for sin through his death on the cross, He defeated the power of sin. This means we, as believers, are no longer slaves to sin and no longer sinners in identity. We are saints, perfect and complete in Christ and therefore equipped to be successful in the Christian life. A person committed to a relationship with Christ focuses on a personal walk with Him, worshipping Him, and working for Him. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become mature in Him.

We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders’ lives into others. This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe all disciples of Jesus Christ, not just church leadership, should minister to one another in the local church. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church.

Scripture: Romans 6:1-13; 8:15-17; Galatians 2:20; 4:5-6; Ephesians 1:1; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians1:27-28; 2:6-7; 1 Timothy 2:2; 2 Peter 1:3-11

The Church, Ordinances

Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the Church. There is one Church universal, composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and Lord’s Supper), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to disciple all believers.

Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church under the oversight of Elders and other supportive leadership. Within this Christian community, the body of Christ -in unity – lives, loves, and serves for the unending fame and glory of Jesus Christ. No believer is meant to live in isolation, but in fellowship with one another in community.

In regard to the practice of Ordinances, The Bend practices and acknowledges Christ and His work through baptism by immersion and the partaking of the Lord’s Supper. We believe that baptism by immersion in water is the next step in one’s spiritual journey after trusting Jesus Christ as one’s Savior. It is a public identification with Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded for all believers and believers only. It is a personal expression of one’s decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior and is an outward expression of an inward reality.

Regarding the Lord’s Supper, we believe it is essential for believers to experience the living Christ in fellowship at His table, and to remind the believer of both the work of Christ on their behalf and the glorious hope that He is coming back to share this table personally with His church. The bread and cup are both symbols of the broken body of Christ and His blood that was spilled upon the cross to offer forgiveness for sin and redemption to mankind.

Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17; 16:18; 26:26-28; 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-39, 42-46; 8:12, 36-38; 14:23; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 12:12-31; 14:26; Ephesians 1:20-23; 4:15-16; 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1; Hebrews 10:24-25

Eternal Life

There shall be a bodily resurrection of believers and unbelievers; for the former, a resurrection unto life with Christ in Heaven; for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment, apart from God’s presence in Hell. We believe that the physical, personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent. Though the timing of this “Blessed Hope” is a mystery, the fact of it is as certain as the first coming of Christ. It is an incentive for holy living and sacrificial service towards the completion of Christ’s commission.

Scripture: Matthew 8:11-12; 10:28; 13:49-50; 25:34; Luke 12:5; 23:42-43; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 2:7; 21:8

This article is the doctrinal statement of The Bend. It is not exhaustive, nor does it cover all the points of doctrine that can be established through the study of the Bible. It focuses on central issues that are essential to finding and experiencing life with God through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

—Shane Warren

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