Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

God is Love. And God eternally exists as a loving Community: Father, Son, Holy Spirit; Three diverse entities bound by their perfect love for Each Other.

This Community created the heavens and the earth. And created Humanity in its likeness; Male and female God created them to be one and reflect His nature as a loving community In perfect relationship with God, Themselves, Each Other, and Creation.

But Humanity rebelled against God and, severing access to God’s love, began to relate to God and others out of Shame, Fear, Selfishness, and a desire to control.

But this Loving Community was pleased to have all It’s fullness dwell in Jesus; who was sent by the Father, born of a virgin; Lived the perfect life of love and was crucified for our rebellion to satisfy God’s perfect justice.

Jesus was buried. He arose And conquering death, He returned to the Community of God.

He sent The Spirit to abide in all, who by faith accept His sacrifice as God’s perfect and complete plan to reconcile humanity to Himself.

And now we can each be reconciled to the Community of God and abiding in His love, Live a shameless, fearless and free life of knowing Him from now through all eternity.

One day Jesus will return to establish His everlasting Kingdom of Perfect Love Where every nation, tribe, people and language will be one.

Today, as God’s family, We live to let His Kingdom Come by calling people of all nationalities toward reconciliation with God, Themselves, Each Other, and Creation.

At Bridgetown, we believe that God sent His spirit to empower His church to live out the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth by working to reconcile people to God, themselves, each other and creation.

We acknowledge that there are diverse convictions on non-essential doctrines that are important, but not critical to the authenticity of one’s commitment to follow Christ. Some of these doctrines include the specific functions of women in ministry, the exact timing and nature of the rapture, extent and use of certain spiritual gifts, the relationship between election and free-will in salvation, etc. While our church will be intentional about studying the Word in relation to these non-essentials, we will work hard to not allow these peripheral doctrines to cause division within the church. We will accept into our leadership and membership those who have differing views on the non-essential doctrines, and, through the bond of God’s Love and a desire for unity, will be diligent in seeing that these differences do not cause disunity in the church. While we appreciate theological diversity, we will ultimately pursue the unity of His church.

God.

We believe in One God made up of three distinct yet unified per sons -- the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (2Co 13:14).Each person of the Trinity shares the same eternal will, nature and essence as the other two, and works in complete unity with the other two to accomplish the same purposes.Each person is bound to the other in loving relation ship that demonstrates that God is a perfect loving community -- Father loving Son, Son loving Father, Spirit loving Father, Father loving Spirit, Son loving Spirit and Spirit loving Son (1Jn 4:16).It is this perfect loving community that is the source from which all of Creation comes and it is the pattern for all of God’s creation to follow and become.

God the Father.

We believe in God the Father Almighty, the Author and Creator of all things -- the eternally self-existent “I Am”, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and the First person in the Godhead of the Trinity or Triune Godhead (Ge 1:1, Ex 3:14, Ps 90:2, Heb 1:8).The Old Testament reveals God in diverse manners by manifesting His nature, character and dominions.The Gospels in the New Testament give us knowledge of God the “Father” or “My Father”, showing the relationship of God to Jesus as Father and to all believers as “Your Father in Heaven”.This title signifies that God is the head figure of a loving community just as a father oversees a family.

The Son.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second person in the Godhead of the Trinity or Triune Godhead.We believe that Jesus is eternal in His person and nature as the Son of God, both human and divine, and equal in power to both the Fa ther and the Spirit.We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin named Mary according to Scripture (Mt 1:18) and became the “suffering servant” to redeem humanity from sin and to rec oncile humanity back to God and to one another through His death and resurrection. (Eph 2:14-18, Ro 3:21-25).We believe that Jesus as God in human flesh is a model of God’s inten tion for all of humanity and that all humans should strive through the power of His Spirit to live in per fect love as He did.We believe that Jesus Christ is standing now as mediator between God and humanity, enabling humanity to receive God’s perfect love and to love one another (1Ti 2:5-6, Heb 9:15).

The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, is of the same substance, is equal to in power and glory and is eternally together with the Father and the Son.He is to be believed in, obeyed and worshipped.The Holy Spirit presently functions to bring about God’s salvation of the world by indwelling individuals when they put their faith in Jesus Christ (Ac 2:38, Ro 8:11).The Spirit works out salvation (2Th 2:13) by convicting indi viduals of sin, transforming them into the likeness of Jesus (2Co 5:17), bonding them together in loving relationship (Eph 4:16, 5:1-2), revealing God’s will to them (Ro 12:2), and empowering them to spread God’s kingdom of love throughout the world (Ac 2).The ultimate result of the Holy Spirit is a new community where people are in perfect loving relationship with God, with one another, and with the earth (1Co 12:13).Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a process whereby a believer increasingly relinquishes his or her own will, thereby allowing the Spirit to more fully manifest itself in and through the life of the believer.The more an individual lets go of his or herown will, the more the fruits of the Spirit are evident and the gifts of the Spirit are more effective in the believer’s life.We believe that all the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the Bible are in ef fect today and are to be used to reveal God’s love to the world.

The Bible.

We believe in the Bible as the Holy Spirit-inspired, infallible Word of God, and the final authority in faith.It is a guidebook for living life as we were created to live it, as a loving community committed to serving both God and one another.It is the indis putable and definitive authority of the Revelation of God, His will and His way for all of human ity (2Ti 3:16-17, Ps 19:7-11, 2Pe 1:16-21).

Humanity.

Humanity is the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in God’s image and created to have authority over all of creation (Ge 1).Humanity was created to be in perfect loving relationship with God, one another, and all of creation (Mt 19:19).The original humans chose to live separate from God through their disobedience, thereby cutting themselves off from God’s love, resulting in the distortion of their relationships with one another and with the earth (Ge 3).Humanity, therefore, currently is in this state of separation. (Isa 59:2, Ro 3:10-18, Eph 4:18)The result is pain and suffering in the world, and an individual’s bodily death and eternal separation from God.Through God’s gracious love, however, God sent his son Jesus to take the consequence of sin, and through faith in Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, provided a way for humanity to enter back into loving relationship with God, humanity, and the earth (Ro 3:23-24).

Sin.

Sin is disobedience against God and rebellion against His desire for perfect loving community.By choosing to find fulfillment apart from God, humanity has alien ated itself from God (Ro 8:28), resulting in alienation from others and from all creation (Gal 5:19-21), and ultimately resulting in death (Ro 6:23).Apart from God, humanity is unholy, self-centered, self-willed and rebellious.Since humanity is in an imperfect state due to sin, humanity is unable to please God and to restore right relationship with God on its own (Ro 8:3).God has therefore enabled humanity to be restored to its intended state of obedience and love through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.Through faith in Jesus Christ, which leads to confession of sin and submission of will to His Spirit, humanity enters into salvation whereby it is able to be restored into loving relationship with God and with one another, starting now and lasting for all eternity.

Salvation.

Salvation is God’s process of restoring all of creation to its intended state of eternal loving community through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.Humanity can experience salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit which comes about in an individual’s life through faith in Jesus Christ.Once a life has been given over to Christ, the Holy Spirit leads the believer through a process of turning towards God in repentance (2Co 7:10), confession of sin to Jesus and one another (Jas 5:16), transformation from death to life through regeneration (Tit 3:5, 2Co 5:17) and continual renewal into the image of God through sanctification (1Co 6:11, Ac 20:32, Heb 10:10).Humanity is called to participate in this salvation through the proclaiming of God’s truth and the demonstration of God’s perfect love to the world.The result of this process is conformity to the will of God, leading to the eternal ex perience of love for God and others.In the end, the results of humanity’s sin will be destroyed and all of creation will be restored to a perfect state of union with God and with one another (Rev. 21:2-4).

End Times.

We believe in the personal, visible, and imminent second coming of Christ (Ac 1:11, Ti 2:11-13, Mt 16:27, 24;30, 25:30, Lk 21:27, Jn 1;14, 17, Titus 2:11) that will judge all people, abolish all sin and recreate humanity and the world into a com munity of perfect love and peace, glorifying God and reflecting His very nature.

Church.

The church is the community of believers in Jesus Christ who are bound together in loving relationship by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.The church is meant to be an earthly representation of the Kingdom of God in heaven.The Church’s su preme mission is to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19) so that all of humanity is restored to right loving relationship with God and with one another.This mission is carried out through the proclamation of God’s truth (Ac 2:40-41) and the demonstration of God’s love through acts of service (Ac 2:44-47).The local church is continually strengthened and edified through prayer, worship, study of God’s word, observance of the ordinances, and exercising of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to build up the body of Christ and to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-13).

Ordinances and Practices.

We practice the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper which we believe are outward demonstrations of one’s conversion experience and dedication to Jesus Christ as personal savior.Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper so we will remember his body which was broken for us and his new covenant which enables humanity to be in loving relationship with God. (1Co 11:23-26)The baptism of a believer is a public witness, and symbolizes his or her submission to Jesus Christ and identification with His death, burial and resurrection (Ro 6:3-5).In addition to the ordinances, we regard the practice of washing one an other’s feet, as modeled and taught by Jesus, as a symbol of humility (Jn 13:5), the Christian marriage ceremony as a witness to God’s order and design for the covenant relationship of one man and one woman (Mt 19:6) and the practice of child dedication as a commitment to raise chil dren to love and serve God (Lk 18:16).We also practice the laying on of hands and anoint ing with oil in the name of the Lord for the healing of the ill and deliverance of the oppressed (James 5:14-15).