What do we at Common Ground Church believe?
Our core beliefs are rooted in Scripture, rather than speculation or tradition. Though we seek to be geared to the times, we are determined to anchor ourselves to the rock of timeless truth. What follows are some of those timeless truths, with Scripture references included. (TIP: To easily and simultaneously look at the selection of Scriptures under each paragraph below, simply go to www.biblegateway.com/passage
. Then copy-and-paste the list of verses from this page to one of the search bars on that page.)
1) THE BIBLE
We believe the Bible (every verse in all 66 books) originated with God, though it was written by chosen authors. It speaks with the authority of God while at the same time reflecting the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of these human authors. In its original manuscripts, it is infallible and inerrant. It is the full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. No other writing is similarly inspired by God, nor comes close to having its life-transforming potential. Therefore, it is to be thoughtfully and diligently, happily and prayerfully read and taught, memorised and meditated upon, understood and applied, believed and obeyed.
2 Tim 3:15-17, 2 Pet 1:20-21, Prov 30:5, Deut 4:2, Ps 19:7-9, Isa 55:9-11, Neh 8:1-8, Josh 1:8, Rom 10:17, James 1:21-25
We believe God is uncreated, eternal, self-sustaining, unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere and entirely wise, good, loving, gracious, compassionate, righteous and holy. This one God eternally exists as a loving community of three equal persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He created the universe, the world and everything in it. Through his sovereign authority and unrivaled power, God continues to sustain and govern his creation. He operates within and over every detail of history, past, present and future, as he fulfills his redemptive purposes.
Acts 17:24-25, Mal 3:6, Ps 90:2, Jer 23:23-24, Isa 46:9-10, Dan 4:34-35, 1 John 3:20, Dan 2:20, 1 John 4:8-10, Rev 4:8, Deut 6:4, 2 Cor 13:14, Matt 28:19, Neh 9:6, Eph 1:11, Acts 17:26, Rom 8:28
We believe God created humankind, male and female, in his own image and likeness with dignity and worth. He created us to worship, enjoy and love him forever, and to be responsible stewards of his creation. But the first humans sinfully defied God, consequently corrupting the entire human race, alienating us from God (and in many ways from each other), and bringing us under his righteous judgment. Neither good deeds nor religious observance are able to restore this broken relationship with our Maker. Yet, God lovingly took it upon himself to restore us back to himself. Over 4000 years ago, through Abraham, he brought about the ancient nation of Israel, a people to whom he progressively revealed himself through saving deeds, covenants, prophets, signs and Scripture. But most significantly, God promised them the coming of a divine Saviour for all people, a promise that was fulfilled over 2000 years ago...
Gen 1:26-27; Ps 95:6, Gen 2:15, Gen 3:1-12, Psalm 51:4, Matt 15:19, Rom 3:22-23, 5:12; Eph 2:1-3, Gen 12:1-2, Heb 1:1-2, Luke 24:25-27 4) JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became fully human, without ceasing to be fully God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He lived an extraordinary life, marked by profound miracles and teachings. He related to the Father with perfect obedience and intimacy. Primarily, he came to pay the price for the sins of all people by willingly dying on the cross as our substitute, satisfying divine justice on our behalf. Through this sacrifice, he mercifully provided the free, eternal gift of salvation, which includes forgiveness, new life and adoption into God's family. He rose from the dead and later ascended into heaven where he now sits at the right hand of the Father as the only reconciling mediator between a holy God and sinful people. This gift of salvation is available to all who turn to and trust in Christ alone as their Lord and Saviour. Moreover, he promises to personally and visibly return to earth to climax human history.
John 1:1-2, John 1:14, Luke 1:35, John 5:19, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 1:3-5, Heb 7:25, Heb 9:24, Rom 8:34, 1 John 2:1-2, Eph 2:8-10, Eph 1:5,7, 1 Tim 2:5, Acts 16:31, Acts 1:9-11
5) THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit indwells each believer upon salvation. Scripture calls every believer and church to glorify Christ, a calling that is only made possible through continual reliance on the Spirit's presence, power and leadership. The Spirit also reveals the Father and the Son to us, pouring out their love into our hearts, and conforming our characters to reflect theirs. This transformational process requires our participation, including whole-hearted trust and obedience, and the disciplined pursuit of God and his will. Additionally, the Spirit assures believers of their eternal security as God's child, guides and strengthens, illuminates the Bible and its truths, distributes spiritual gifts, enables unity between believers, empowers gospel proclamation, and draws unbelievers to trust in Christ.
1 Cor 6:19, John 16:13-14, Eph 5:18, Acts 2:1-4, Rom 5:8, 2 Cor 3:18, Gal 5:22-23, Rom 8:16, Eph 1:13, 2 Tim 2:7, 1 Cor 12:8-11, John 16:7, Eph 4:3-4, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:39 6) THE CHURCH
We believe all Christians are united with Christ as members of his body, the one true church. This one universal church finds expression in varied local churches. In each local church, believers are to be a spiritual family that regularly gathers for worship, prayer, the teaching of the Word, baptism and communion. Each church is to be led, equipped and cared for by elders and leaders, and each believer is to do all they can to strengthen the church through loving one another, protecting the unity of the church, and generously serving and giving in whatever ways they can. The priority of every church is to impact the world, and penetrate culture, with the good news of Jesus Christ. All this is done under the direction of Christ, who is both the head of the church, and the one who is building it.
1 Cor 1:2, Heb 10:25, Gal 6:10, Acts 2:41-47, 1 Tim 5:17, Heb 13:17, Eph 4:11-12, Eph 4:2-3, 1 John 3:16-18, 2 Cor 9:7,13, Rom 12:4-8, Matt 4:19, Matt 28:18-20, Eph 1:22-23, Matt 16:18
7) THE JUDGMENT
We believe God is grieved and angered by sin, unbelief and rebellion. He promises to judge everything and everyone that contradicts his character and defies his will. Everyone lives once, and then faces God on Judgment Day, an event that will follow the return of Christ. Depending on whether we spurn or embrace Christ and his grace in this life, we will either suffer eternal condemnation without him, or be received into eternal communion with him. Additionally, depending on their faithfulness to Christ, believers will receive heavenly rewards.
Rom 2:5, 3:19, Acts 17:30-31, Heb 9:27, 2 Thes 1:8-9, Rev 14:9-11, Luke 23:39-43, Phil 1:21-23, 1 Cor 3:12-15, Col 3:23-24
8) THE KINGDOM
We believe that Christ, through his first coming, introduced his kingdom in part on the earth. Through his second coming, his kingdom will be fully realized: a redeemed humanity will enjoy immortal resurrection bodies as they celebrate God's manifest presence and grace forever in the new heavens and new earth, a world purged of all suffering, injustice, sin and death. The church is to both live in joyful anticipation of this certain future, and to provide the world with 'foretastes' of it. We do this through proclaiming the gospel, living counter-culturally, building authentic community, serving the poor and marginalized, confronting injustice, and protecting creation, all the time praying, 'Let your kingdom come.'
Mark 1:14-15, 1 Cor 15:51-54, Rev 21:1-3, 22:1-5, Isa 65:17-25, Matt 6:19-21, Heb 6:5, Luke 24:46-49, Matt 5:13-16, John 13:34-35, Luke 10:27-37, Job 29:12-17, Matt 6:9-10