Tenets of Faith
(HopeNet’s Unifying Statement of Faith)
Our unity is centered on Jesus Christ our Lord and his Word. We believe that there are Biblically based theological non-negotiables that must be maintained. In other matters, however, we believe the church should be proactive with contemporary culture in order to maintain cultural relevance to maximize its potential to reach the lost.
Confessions of faith should be functional and practical in discipleship, not merely a document buried in a file or policy manual. These truths are life-giving. The following guiding beliefs are based on the statement which was issued by Christians from more than 150 nations who participated in the International Congress on World Evangelism at Lausanne, Switzerland, July 1974.
We believe there is one God eternally existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Scripture References: Isa. 40: 18-28; Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; Isa. 42:1-9; Rev. 1:8, 17-18; John 14:23-27; 16:15; 1 Cor. 2:9-16
We believe God revealed himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the inspired word of God, without contradiction, the only reliable guidebook for life.
Scripture References: Ps. 119:9, 30, 65-72; Ps. 119:105, 137-144; Neh. 8:9-12; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Heb. 4:12-13; 2 Peter 1:16-21; John 20: 30-31
We believe God revealed himself supremely in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, being both fully human and fully divine.
Scripture References: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-14; Heb. 1:1-14; Isa. 9:6-7; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 4:14-16
We believe that in the beginning God created all things by his Son. He made humanity in His divine image, with free will, moral character, and a spiritual nature.
Scripture References: Gen. 1; Col. 1:15-16; Ps. 104:1-35; Ps. 139:1-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-49; Rom. 1:18-20; Prov. 16:1-3
We believe humanity fell into sin, bringing depravity and death upon the race; as a sinner, each one of us is self-centered and self-willed, unwilling and unable to break with sin that leads to eternal separation from God.
Scripture References: Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 3:9-18; Ps. 14:1-3; Eccl. 7:20; Jer. 17:9-10; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Ps. 51; 1 John 3:4-10
We believe that on the cross Jesus Christ took our place, bore our sins, died our death and rose from the grave; and for that reason alone God freely forgives those who repent and believe in faith.
Scripture References: Eph. 2:1-10; John 10:14-18; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13-14; 2:13-15; Rom. 6:1-14; John 3:16-17; Acts 4:8-13
7. The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, guides for life, and empowers for service. His supernatural work makes new life and new birth possible.
Scripture References: Gal. 5:16-26; John 16:7-15; Rom. 8:5-17, 26-27; 1 Sam. 16:13; Luke 4:18-19; Acts 1:4-8; 2:17-21; Luke 11:9-13
8. The Church
We believe the church is the body of Christ, a redeemed people, obedient to God, a people of love, prayer, and healing.
Scripture References: Eph. 2:19-22; 1 John 2:3-6; John 17:6-26; Phil. 2:3-4; Gal. 6:1-5; 1 Peter 2:21-25; Col. 4:2-6
9. The Great Commission
We believe God gave the whole church and every member of it the task of making disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
Scripture References: Matt. 28:16-20; John 15:15-17; Col. 4:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:11-6:6; Acts 4:18-31; 1 Tim. 6:11-16; Acts8:4
10. Spiritual Gifts
We believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to all who follow Christ, so that men and women, single or married, young and old, can work together to build up the church and bring the world to Christ.
Scripture References: Luke 24:45-49; Eph. 4:7-16; 1 Cor. 12:1-31; Eph. 3:7-8; Rom. 12:1-8; Eph. 4:29-32; 1 Peter 4:8-11
11. Spiritual Victory
We believe spiritual warfare demands spiritual weapons; the word must be preached in the power of the Spirit; and we must intercede for Christ’s victory to be manifest over principalities and powers of evil.
Scripture References: Eph. 6:10-20; 2 Cor. 10:3-4; Daniel 10:10-14, 20; Matt. 18:18-20; 1 Peter 5: 8-11; Luke 8:26-39; 1 Tim. 2:1-8, 1 Cor. 15:25-26
We believe we must demonstrate God’s love visibly by caring for those who are deprived of justice, dignity, food, and shelter.
Scripture References: Isaiah 58; 1 John 3:16-18; Matt. 5:13-16; Col. 3:12-17; Matt. 5:43-48; Rom. 12:9-21; Matt. 25:31-46; James 2:14-19
We believe that those who repent and believe should be baptized with water as a symbol of cleansing from sin, new life and commitment to Christ.
Scripture References: John 3:1-8; Matt. 3:13-17; Acts 2:36-39; Acts 8:36-40; Acts 10:44-48; Rom. 6:1-14; Heb. 10:19-23
We believe that the church observes the Lord’s supper as a symbol of Christ’s broken body and shed blood, and the fellowship of his church until his return.
Scripture References: Luke 9:18-22; Mark 10:32-34; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 22:7-23; 1 Cor. 10:14-17; 11: 23-34; Acts 2: 46-47
15. Marriage and Purity
We believe that both singleness and marriage are honored by God, who designed marriage to be the union of one man and one woman for a lifetime; sexual intimacy is reserved for within this sacred union.
Scripture References: Gen. 2:20-25; Eph. 5:22-33; Song of Songs 2:3-13; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:10-16; Matt. 19:3-12
16. Christ’s Return
We believe that Jesus Christ’s personal return will be visible in power and glory to consummate salvation and judgment, thus the church serves sacrificially and joyfully anticipating eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Mark 13: 5-31; Rev. 1:5-8; Matt. 13:37-43; 1 Cor. 15: 20-26, 51-56; Rev. 21:1-5; 2 Tim. 4:6-8; Rev. 22:12-21
In addition to the above non-negotiables, there are many secondary issues that can bring conflict among Christians because of differences in culture, upbringing, personal taste, and past experiences.
Where such secondary issues arise, these opinions should not be allowed to divide Christians and dampen the passion for the Great Commission. There should be much grace extended in these matters—they are not to be treated as non-negotiables.