We Believe :: Full Statement
How do our beliefs affect our lives? Through relationships we grow in grace as we apply the truth of who God is, what He has done and what He requires of us. Magnify Church strives to foster a culture of honest, transparent, authentic, Spirit-filled relationships. We desire to be a community of faith that accepts each other despite our shortcomings and struggles. This attitude of acceptance encourages spiritual growth in ways that reconcile and restore rather than judge and condemn. From this environment of God-honoring relationships will flow the worship of God from grateful hearts and the desire to reach people with the richness that is life in Jesus Christ.
God is a person (not merely personal) and jealously desires to be properly identified. God has acted in history in order that we may know that the Lord God of Israel is the one and only God. He is the source and creator of all that exists and His character and will determine what is good. We are able to recognize many characteristics of God in Scripture. These characteristics are properly understood from the multiple contexts in which they are expressed. God is both transcendent above creation and immanently involved in it. God has life within Himself. He is a spirit. He is omnipotent, omniperceptive and eternal. God is just, holy, loving, merciful, faithful and true. God is the creator, deliverer, redeemer, king and Lord of everyone and everything. Beyond our comprehension, the one God exists eternally as three persons (Trinity): God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Godhead is one in substance yet three distinct persons. Each person has the same nature and attributes, but they may take different roles in a given activity. They are equal in position and deserving of homage.
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, having eternally been fully God, also became fully human without giving up His deity. He is the exact representation of the nature of God. Jesus did this in obedience to the Father, taking the form of a servant. Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a perfectly holy life. He was tempted in all respects as we are yet never sinned. He died on a cross, was buried and came to life again after three days effectively accomplishing a substitutionary atonement for the sin of humankind. Jesus then ascended to the right hand of the Father, as is exalted as Head over all. He serves as our High Priest and advocate before the throne of God. Just as He ascended, He will again return physically to reign on the earth.
The Holy Spirit is eternally God and was active in God’s plans prior to the ministry of Jesus. After Jesus’ ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent by Christ to believers at Pentecost. By His baptism, the Spirit unites all believers to Christ. The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus. He also convicts the mankind about sin, righteousness and judgment. He regenerates believers and bears witness with their spirit that they are the children of God.
Revelation :: General, Special, and Scripture | Because of sin, humankind is separated from God and dependent on His mercy to reveal Himself. God and His truth are apparent in part through creation, which reflects His imprint (general revelation). Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, was the fullest revelation of God communicated to humankind (special incarnational revelation). The full significance of both these forms of revelation are mediated to us through the special revelation of the Bible. The Spirit of God moved in some to write His message. This message is the full word of God, delivered in the words and styles of people. This revelation is preserved for us as Torah, the Prophets, the Writings and the New Testament. This word of God, spoken through men, is reliable and trustworthy in regard to matters of its intent – i.e. infallible and inerrant. Scribal copying errors, phenomenal language, approximations and the like do not challenge the veracity of Scripture. Because of our limited perspective, humankind is not free to discount from Scripture what may not seem logical. God’s revelations through Jesus and through the Bible are examples of Him bending low to meet man at his level. The Word of God is divinely initiated and inspired, yet contextualized to man’s references. Scripture functions by the principles of human language and is embedded in specific human language systems and cultural circumstances. This truth, emphasized by movements like the Reformation, call the Church to treasure and promote the understanding of the biblical languages, and language generally. The Bible is authoritative for the faith and practice of the church because it is God’s word, yet being in the words of men. It is ascertained through human language analysis in conjunction with God’s Spirit as He convicts and reproves. The Spirit illuminates the minds of believers with regard to the application of properly understood scripture, but does not typically reveal the original intent of the biblical authors by means separate from matters of literacy. Truth from the Scriptures may be appraised by the tests of coherence and correspondence. The test of correspondence always takes precedence over coherence. However coherent a statement of belief may seem, its validity depends on correspondence to the meaning of Scripture. Principles derived from Scripture must be controlled by the whole. For example, God’s faithfulness must be understood in light of Joseph’s imprisonment and Sarah’s infertility as well as the defeat of Jericho.
Humanity & Sin :: God directly created humankind in His image, male and female. Humans were to rule the world while living in harmony with God, each other and creation. They were to freely use their abilities to serve God’s perfect and admirable purposes. With the choice by Eve and Adam to disobey God, humankind lost spiritual life, becoming dead in sin and began the process of dying physically. This provoked God to curse creation. Because all people are descended from Adam, everyone sins and is inclined to sin. Jesus is the only human exception to the sin nature. The result of sin is death. Only through faith in the atoning work of Jesus through His death and resurrection is humankind able to overcome the barrier sin placed between man and God. God’s plan of salvation enables believers to be spiritually alive and gives the certain hope of resurrection, along with the promise of a new heaven and earth where believers will live in harmony in the presence of God.
Salvation :: In His rich mercy, God has chosen to pursue relationships with people. Salvation is initiated by God and comes by grace, faith and Christ alone. The only basis for salvation is Christ’s substitutionary atonement for our sin. Salvation was accomplished by Jesus’ death on the cross and validated by His resurrection. The core element of man’s responsibility in salvation is a faithful allegiance to the true and living God. This faith is expressed differently in different times. Prior to Christ, a man like Abraham was justified by God (legally declared righteous) because of his faith. As preplanned by God, salvation is of the Jews but extended freely and equally to all who believe. The true believer pursues godly character with a genuine faith that produces good works. The believer is sealed by the Spirit of God and kept eternally secure by Christ.
The Church :: All those who believe in Christ are united to Him by the Spirit and are members of His Church as the body of Christ. Christ gave the church two ordinances: water baptism as a special testimony of faith and communion as a memory of Christ’s work. Church members bear the responsibility of standing firm in one spirit, striving together for the sake of the gospel and building up one another in the faith. As the bride of Christ, the church waits with eager expectation for His return. The above beliefs summarize our faith.