Statement of Faith
Church in the Hills – ‘Affirmations of Faith’
(attached to Church in the Hills Church Constitution)
It is our desire at Church in the Hills to stand as a united community of Christian witness. For us at Church in the Hills, the common Christian faith is nothing less than a radical challenge, first to ourselves and then to our world. Our calling as a Christian community is to live in vital connection to the truth we have been given.
The following affirmations refer to relevant sections in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Statement of Fundamental and Essential Truths (PAOC)
Affirmation 1: God and Man
We affirm our belief, trust and hope in the eternal living God as he is revealed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. We affirm the distinct and historic Christian view of God, revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity of eternal persons who constitute the only one true God in the fullness of his revelation.
We affirm that humanity is created in the image of the personal God, and that we grow into authentic personhood through relationship with the living God. We affirm that all aberrant teachings about God and all forms of cultural idolatry are worthy of correction and rebuke in that they finally diminish both the glory of God and our self-understanding as his redeemed children.
Affirmation 2: Scripture and Spiritual Authority
We affirm that the Christian faith is given under authority, and is not ours to define by ourselves. The Bible is our most basic authority. We affirm that the Biblical Scriptures reveal God’s normative voice in all matters of Christian truth. We affirm the authority found in the historic center of Christian faith, and we embrace the historic creeds of the universal church. We seek to affirm an open evangelical spirit, remaining faithful to the gospel while avoiding a narrow denominational spirit. We also affirm our place within the Pentecostal movement as an emphasis on the present need for the Holy Spirit to renew the church and empower its mission.
Affirmation 3: Human Need
We affirm that humanity is meant for relationship with God. We confess that it is human sin and rebellion that, apart from God’s redeeming grace, condemns us as helpless and lost. We affirm that the world is a spiritual place, of spiritual powers that war against our souls, and that we require God’s unique intervention for our salvation. We affirm that, as members of a human culture, we are conditioned by the particular strengths and weaknesses of the culture we live in. So we seek to understand the nature of spiritual lost-ness in an age of material comfort, when the human self and all its desires has been enthroned. We affirm that God’s purposes for us are bigger than what our present culture can offer us. We affirm that as individuals in community we are invited to discover God’s plan and purpose and to learn authenticity through the grace given us in Jesus Christ.
Affirmation 4: Jesus Christ and Salvation
We affirm our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. We affirm that He is uniquely God and man, mediator and head of the church. We affirm that it is by personal acceptance of Jesus’ historical death and resurrection that we are saved. We affirm that salvation faith is an on-going commitment to Christ’s completed work, recognizing that the mystery of God’s choice of us is revealed by our continuing choice of Him.
We affirm the mysterious and inward work of Spirit rebirth, by which we are joined spiritually with Christ and his church. We affirm the public witness of our faith through baptism, which is the sign of our unity with Christ and his body. We affirm our need for personal repentance as a continuing act, and for our continual embrace of God’s transforming work. We confess that God wants us to be spiritually mature, growing in the image of Christ our model and master.
Affirmation 5: Holy Spirit
We affirm the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our personal experience and in our corporate worship. We affirm the Holy Spirit as the personal and abiding gift of the Father given to all that trust in the name of Jesus. Christian life cannot be truly lived apart from the help given by the Holy Spirit. We affirm that to be a Pentecostal Christian means that we live the Christian life in the power and ability that God himself gives. We affirm, however, that the Spirit does not come to speak of himself but of Christ who is the center and focus of our faith. A Spirit-filled Christian is Christ-focused, proclaiming Christ by words, actions, and character.
We affirm the importance of the Spirit’s enabling gifts and his characteristic fruit. We recognize His presence in acts of surprising power, but we also recognize His presence in the gentleness and sensitivity with which he often operates. The power of the Spirit is sometimes seen, but not always. We recognize our need to be continually filled with the Spirit and the basic Christian exercise of prayer for that purpose. We also affirm that the Spirit says nothing and does nothing in contradiction to the written Scriptures which the Church recognizes as the creation of the Spirit’s own breath.
Affirmation 6: The Church
We affirm that faith in Christ necessitates accepting our place in the church of Jesus Christ. We affirm the church universal as the representation of Christ in the world. Church in the Hills is one local expression of a worldwide and historically rich fellowship of believers. We affirm our relationship with the church of Jesus Christ wherever it is found. We affirm that when and where the church is gathered Christ is present. He makes himself real to us through the Holy Spirit, as we proclaim him through the sacrament of communion, as we sing and pray and read the Scriptures. We confess that, as Christ’s Church, we are flawed and incomplete. But we also affirm that we are a community under God’s enduring grace, real though not ideal, truly his people though not yet fully made true, destined for his eternal kingdom though present sojourners in the world. We affirm that in the practice of our worship, and in serving in Christ’s name, we experience and make real the Kingdom of Christ before its full coming.
Affirmation 7: The Future
We affirm that the promised Kingdom of God is both present and future. We affirm that the coming of Jesus into the world has initiated the rule of God in human hearts, but we also affirm the visible and personal return of Jesus Christ at the end of history when the Kingdom of God shall enter visible history. We confess our need to wait patiently for Christ until that day. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the final judgement. We believe that the Christian view of the future gives present urgency to our ministry. We do not see the blessed hope of the church as an escape from our responsibilities in this world but as a call to be actively and intelligently involved in mission, connecting with other people, calling people everywhere to repent and turn to Christ.
Affirmation 8: Holiness of Life
We affirm that the common Christian faith is distorted when we become passive and apathetic about it. Instead, we affirm that Christian belief is the core of an all-consuming and passionate way of living that should color everything we do and everything we are. We therefore affirm true holiness of life but not the caricaturized holiness of legalism. We affirm the value of hearts yielded to God’s will, which is the essence of true Biblical holiness.
Finally, as a community of faith, we seek to search out, understand, and obey what the Scripture teaches about the practical ethical matters we face in daily life: our personal and public life, our work and home life, our financial and relational life. We seek to live faithfully in how we talk, what we think, and what we do with our time. The Christian faith is radical – it informs all of our living. So as we live out this life of common faith, it is our hope and expectation that we will experience God in the disciplined practice of our worship and service, as well as in the serendipitous discoveries of our daily human existence.
To God be the glory!
For a copy of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Statement of Fundamental and Essential Truths we encourage you to look online at www.paoc.org