Core Christian beliefs that we understand to be the essence of Christianity.
There is only one God, who exists eternally as a Trinity of three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. Each member of the Trinity is fully and equally God, yet personally distinct from one another.
God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, was crucified and died on the cross, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to Heaven.
The Holy Spirit comes to live within a person once they trust in Jesus as their Savior. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right, and spiritual gifts to build the church and spread the gospel. The empowering of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, is available for every Christian.
God created men and women to live in relationship with him, but the first humans chose to rebel against God and brought sin in the world. Sin spread like a virus to all humans. All have sinned and that sin separates us from God.
God created men and women in his image; that he made us to live forever. We will either exist eternally in community with God in Heaven through Jesus, or exist eternally separated from God in Hell by rejecting Jesus.
God loves the world, and by his grace delights and desires to grant forgiveness and eternal life to all who trust in Christ as their Savior. Jesus died on the cross as a perfect substitute for our penalty of sin, and resurrected to overcome the death penalty caused by sin. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ—not being good enough or doing enough good—that a person can be restored to a right relationship with God.
The Bible is God’s Word to us, written by men who were inspired by God. God wrote his Scriptures to reveal Himself to mankind, to communicate with us, and to direct us in His best way to live life.
The Church is the Body of Christ consisting of believers worldwide, and that God has called believers to gather in local churches.
Christ will return to earth to conclude history and restore God’s plan for mankind.
Beliefs about which we have persuasions, though recognizing many biblical Christians have drawn different conclusions.
We believe all the spiritual gifts are valid for today (1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4; Romans 12). All gifts should be exercised within Biblical guidelines, with order, and under the leadership of the church and ministry involved. All spiritual gifts are given by God, and therefore all gifts are good. God gives gifts as He desires. No singular gift is necessary for or evidence of salvation.
Every follower of Christ is an ambassador on behalf of Christ. Christ reveals himself to the world through his followers. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, believers will be witnesses of Jesus to the entire world. Evangelism is the role of all, not just a gift for some.
Baptism is a public confession of our faith by immersion, post-conversion. Jesus was baptized, he commanded his followers to be baptized, and told us to baptize others who follow him. The Greek word “baptizo” is the word used for baptism and means “immersion.” Baptism by immersion is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Discipleship is the process of following and growing in our devotion and love of Jesus. Discipleship is the process of salvation that begins immediately after we trust in and receive Christ, and continues until we see Christ personally. Specifically, the beginning of our salvation is justification, the process of discipleship is sanctification, and the moment we see Jesus and remain with Him forever is glorification. Jesus made disciples. His main mandate to his followers was to go and make disciples. Discipleship is people leading people to know and love and follow Jesus.
ROLE OF WOMEN IN MINISTRY
Men and women are created equal but not exactly alike. Men and women have unique designs, given by the Creator. Through our unique designs, we have been given unique roles. Men and women have similar giftings, but not similar roles. Scripture delineates between the roles of women and men in marriage, home and in church. Women are crucial in their role in the marriage and family, as they are in church. Marriage and family don’t exist without women, just as the church cannot exist without women fully functioning in their roles in the church. Scripture teaches that women lead in the church in a variety of ways, but God has reserved the roles of elders and overseers to men.
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
Scripture makes clear that it is the privilege of all Christian believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior, and thereafter (1 John 5:11-12). This assurance is not based upon any kind of merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word (Rom. 8:15-16; 1 John 3:24).
All have sinned and cannot save themselves (Rom. 3:23). Jesus died for all, and God is drawing all people to Himself (John 12:31-33). Before the foundation of the world, God – who stands outside our continuum of time – foreknew who would place their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29). We do not know who the “elect” are, but we preach the gospel so that all who hear can have an opportunity for salvation (Rom 10:11-15). God has, indeed, predetermined that the Church will be saved, but a person becomes a part of the Church through responding to the Gospel and choosing to place his or her faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9-10).
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament to be observed by the Church today, a means by which we experience God’s grace tangibly, though not a requisite to salvation or church membership. We believe that Communion is an outward sign or symbol of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. While we do not believe that the bread and juice turn into the actual flesh and blood of Christ, we do believe that in Communion we experience the very real presence and grace of Jesus Christ with us.
Satan and demons exist. They were defeated through the cross but will not be destroyed until the Second Coming. Believers have authority in Jesus’ name over demonic powers. Believers may be oppressed by demons but not possessed. Prayer is essential for the Church.
Our stances on controversial issues in our culture today.
God is the Creator of life. He decides and designs all life he creates. He initiates, and it is his decision when life is ended. Scripture is clear, and science reveals this truth to us, that life begins at conception. We believe the life inside a mother’s womb is a living person (Ps. 139:13-16; Jer. 1:4-5) and, therefore, we believe that the act of abortion is incongruent with God’s will (Ex. 20:13). At the same time, ours is not a message of guilt for past choices, but of grace—knowing God offers full forgiveness to anyone who repents of their sin and turns to Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7; Col. 2:13-15).
While it is not a sin to drink to alcohol—Jesus made real wine out of water—Scripture teaches that alcohol has many dangers associated with its use. Therefore, believers should be careful in their consumption of alcohol. They should never become drunk (affected in their emotions or decisions) or dependent on alcohol and should not rely on alcohol to meet their emotional needs (comfort, peace, happiness). Believers should also be cautious of when and where they consume alcohol to ensure that they are not damaging their witness or discouraging anyone else in their faith. All “Wake” functions and events will be alcohol-free zones.
Scripture offers healthy guidelines for marriage between a man and a woman in terms of procreation (Gen 1:27-28), godly intimacy (Gen 2:18), the nurture of children (Mal. 2:15), and sexual activity (1 Cor. 7:2). Outside of marriage, the potential negative consequences of living together are many: lack of commitment, confused intentions, and emotional damage to adults and their children. Wake Church encourages resisting sexual temptation and choosing to live consistently with the counsel of Scripture. We at Wake Church are here to encourage, not condemn. We invite those currently cohabitating or considering a cohabitating relationship to get in touch with one of our pastors so we can help with premarital counseling. We heartily advocate marriage and stand ready to help couples facilitate and celebrate that life-changing commitment.
God created men and women out of his desire for design. In creation, physiologically, emotionally, sexually, etc. men and women are created differently to fit and function and fulfill purposes of their creation. Apart from obvious physiological signs, Scripture is clear that homosexuality is not God’s design or desire for sexual and marital relationships. We do not elevate homosexuality over other sins, but respond to homosexuality as we would all sins. We love, encouraging repentance and submission to Jesus. When necessary in the church, as with all unrepentant sins, we respond with biblical steps of correction and discipline.
The Bible says that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:14-16). But the good news is that God loves every divorced person, and so does Wake Church. God’s plan for marriage is that no husband and wife would ever divorce. Jesus did give an option for choosing and initiating divorce under the condition of an adulterous spouse. Jesus did not encourage divorce due to adultery, but gave an option due to the damage adultery inflicts on the offended spouse and on the covenant. Every person who is divorced is not accountable for the divorce. Just as one who has been sinned against by being robbed is not accountable for the sin of the robber, the one who had the sin of divorce committed against them is not accountable for the sin of the one who chose divorce. All persons in a marriage are sinners, and all persons will sin and be sinned against. Reconciliation and repentance should be pursued in all matters of sin in a marriage. In the case of abuse, there should be separation for the sake of safety. We do not encourage a person to stay in an abusive situation and would consider abuse to be infidelity to the marriage covenant.
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