What It Means To Be A Christian
Being a Christian is more than identifying with a particular religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation.
The Holy Scriptures
We believe and teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (full) (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We believe and teach that there is but one living and true God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:5-7; 1 Cor 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
God the Father
We believe and teach that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9).
God the Son
We believe and teach that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and co-eternal with the Father (John 10:30;14:9).
God the Holy Spirit
We believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Cor 2:10-13), emotions (Eph 4:30), will (1 Cor 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (Is 40:13-14), omnipotence (Rom 15:13), and truthfulness (Jn 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).
We believe and teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Gen 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9).
We believe and teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
We believe and teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (Jn 3:3-7; Tit 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Jn 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Cor 6:19-20; Eph 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Eph 5:17-21; Phil 2:12b; Col 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Rom 8:17; 2 Pet 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).
We believe and teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, sanctifies (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-11; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
We believe and teach that justification before God is an act of God (Rom 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:10; Isa 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Cor 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Rom 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Col 2:14; 1 Pet 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26).
We believe and teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).
We believe and teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).
We believe and teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Cor 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim 3:1-5).
We believe and teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Cor 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18).
We believe and teach that marriage is a divine union ordained by God. It was first instituted by God in the early chapters of Genesis, codified in the Levitical law, the Old Testament prophets compared it to a relationship between God and his people, examples of it are in the historical narratives, and, the wisdom literature discusses the unique unity of this relationship. Jesus explained the original intention and core elements of marriage, and several New Testament Epistles give explicit instructions on this union. Marriage is a typology of Christ and the Church. As such, the Church views marriage as a profound spiritual institution established by God. Due to the importance of marriage in the biblical witness, Mountain View Community Church holds that “marriage” is the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which such union is a lifetime commitment. A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by the church only to the extent that it is consistent with the definition of “marriage” found in this document.
We believe and teach legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, sexual activities outside of marriage (referred to in the New Testament as “porneia”) including but not limited to, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, and pedophilia are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Further, lascivious conduct, transgender behavior, and the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography, are incompatible with the biblical witness.