Our Beliefs

Community Church of Portage Lakes

 

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Church Doctrine

We accept the Scriptures as our authority in matters of faith and practice, and adopt the following Confession of Faith as our interpretation of Bible Doctrine:

  1. We believe the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired by God; inerrant in the original manuscripts, and the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
  2. We believe in one God, holy, eternal, self-existent and self-revealing in three distinct persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. His virgin birth, His perfect Deity and humanity. His substitutionary atonement for sin, His bodily resurrection. His visible, imminent, premillenial return for His church, His glorious and literal kingdom over all the nations for a thousand years, and His eternal reign with the Father in the New Heaven and the New Earth.
  4. We believe in the personality of the Holy Spirit, who convicts the world of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals and sanctifies all who become children of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  5. We believe that man was directly created in the image of God, but in sinning brought both spiritual and physical death to himself and his posterity who have within themselves no possible means of recovery or salvation.
  6. We believe in salvation by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in whom all true believers have a present possession, eternal life, a perfect righteousness, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation and every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness.
  7. We believe in separation from this present world in its evil ways, worldly amusements, unclean habits and that we should seek the things that are above, walk as He walked, and be careful to maintain good works.
  8. We believe in the personality of the Devil, the arch enemy of God and man and in eternal conscious punishment of the lost in a literal hell of torment.
  9. We believe that the Church is an elect company of believers, the Body of Christ chosen by God to glorify Jesus Christ by an aggressive effort to disciple all nations through the preaching of the Gospel.
  10. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has gone to prepare a place for all the saved, that their souls go to be with Him at death, that their bodies will be resurrected or transformed at His second coming at which time they will be rewarded according to their works.
  11. We believe that the Church shall, in all its endeavors, be supported by God’s financial plan of “Tithe and Offering.”
  12. We believe that ordinances of the Church, given by the Lord, are baptism (by immersion) and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion).
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Our Mission Statement & Core Values

(working document; March 2013)

 
Our Mission Statement
 
To know Christ, His life-changing power, and to make Him known
 
Our Core Values;
 
  1.  Our chief end and highest aim is to glorify God. 
When practically applied to the life of the church, this means amongst other things;
    • This will always be the first “filter” by which we evaluate opportunities and ministries of the church.  Thus what appears to be the most effective idea, if it fails to bring glory to God, must be rejected (1 Cor 10:31; Romans 11:36).
    •  Our priority will be honoring God’s name by working to expand his kingdom, not just our local church.  Thus we will be committed to embrace and celebrate ministries that will expand and further the greater church even if they do not directly benefit our local church body (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:6-8; Acts 8:1-4; Acts 13:1-3). 
    • We will be committed to doing what is right, as defined by the Bible, and to doing what most glorifies God, even if that course of action is not popular and/or if it appears that doing so will be to the church’s temporal disadvantage (Daniel 1:8-21; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8).  
    • For the benefit of the spiritual growth of our members and to protect the testimony of Christ’s church, we will be committed to modeling, teaching, and applying the Biblical teaching on accountability and church discipline to deal with unresolved conflicts and ongoing patterns of undealt with sin within our church. (Matthew 18:15-18; Matthew 5:23-24; Galatians 6:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5)
 
  1. Our theology regarding the inspiration and authority of the Bible is translated into our practice through the priority on the practical, effective, and expository teaching of God’s Word  
When practically applied to the life of the church, this means amongst other things;
    • In every area of our ministry we will rely on the Bible as our only authority, and employ the direct study of the Bible as our primary strategy, with an emphasis on both understanding and applying Biblical truth.   (2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Corinthians 10:3-4; Psalm 1)
 
  1. As Jesus’ disciples we desire to both know and to live out His heart for servant hood and his passion for the lost.  This is made evident through our commitment to praying for unsaved friends and personal involvement in intentional evangelism.
When practically applied to the life of the church, this means amongst other things;
    • Intentional evangelism begins with prayer, thus we will encourage our members to pray regularly, modeling asking God to give them Jesus’ heart for the lost, to give them opportunities to share their faith, to make them aware of the opportunities He gives, and that God would give them the words to say. (Ephesians 5:19-20; John 14:12-14; Matthew 21:21-22; Matthew 28:18)
    • Since we believe that evangelism is primarily the result of intentional relationships, we will encourage, teach, model, and celebrate the importance of building intentional and purposeful relationships with unbelieving friends, neighbors, and coworkers motivated by the purpose of sharing our faith. (Colossians 4:5-6; 1 Peter 3:15; Mark 1:17; Luke 15:4-7; Luke 19:10; Acts 2:24-27)
 
  1. We affirm that we were created to worship, know, and celebrate God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) as He has revealed himself in the whole of the Bible, and recognizing that God is glorified the most when we find our greatest joy in him.

When practically applied to the life of the church, this means amongst other things;

    • Worship is coming to God, declaring his strength and his character, acknowledging and confessing our brokenness and need, and surrendering to His deserved place in our lives and relying on His gracious provision.
    • Since the Bible teaches that we are created for worship (Isaiah 43:21; 1 Peter 2:9), and that worship will be our primary occupation in heaven (Revelation 4 and 19:1-5), we will emphasize the proper worship of God as an essential element of our corporate gatherings as a church, while also stressing the importance of worship in each believer’s personal life (Luke 10:27; Hebrews 13:15).
    • While there is a place for personal testimony (both in word and song), our corporate worship, by definition, will be God-centered.  When applied to the content of our worship, this means that the focus of our singing will be songs to and about God  (Psalm 29:1-2 & 96:7-9; Ephesians 3:14-21; Revelation 4).
    • God calls us to worship Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, or all of our emotions, intellect, and will (Matthew 22:37-39, Deuteronomy 6:4), and Jesus taught that true worship must involve our spirit and truth (John 4:23- 24)
 
  1. We are committed to developing a deeply caring community where we know and meet each other’s needs, and that is characterized by radical love, transparency, meaningful fellowship, and a commitment to speak truth into each other’s life in a way that is driven by grace. 
When practically applied to the life of the church, this means amongst other things;
    • In our relationships we will seek to follow the model of Jesus Christ who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  Thus we will be committed to lovingly speak truth into each other’s lives with the goal of “spurring one another on” and encouraging one another daily (Hebrews 10:24-25, Hebrews 3:12-13, Matthew 18:15-18, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 1 Thessalonians 5:14).
    • Our love for each other should be radically different than the type of community outside the church (John 13:35), with the uniqueness of our Christian love and fellowship is not defined primarily by the absence of sinful speech or actions, but our focus on the faith that unites us. (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 5:42, Deuteronomy 6:5-9, Philippians 4:2-3, Titus 2:6-8).
    • We will work to develop numerous and diverse small groups and challenge each member and attender to get involved in one.  These groups will be designed to foster close relationships defined by transparency, which is expressed by sharing and meeting each other’s needs, praying for each other, confessing our sins, forgiving one another, bearing each other’s burdens, restoring each other when we fall and above all, “loving each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8, Acts 2:42-47, James 5:16; Galatians 6:1-5, 1 Peter 4:8, Ephesians 4:32)
 
  1. We are committed to sharing the Good News of the Gospel by proclaiming its truth through our words and displaying its truth through our actions, especially through our acts of benevolence toward those in need, and bringing restoration to all areas of people’s lives.
When practically applied to the life of the church, this means amongst other things;
    • Just as Jesus ministered to the whole person (spiritually, physically, emotionally), so we as a church will be committed to building ministries that minister to the whole person (Luke 3:4:18-19; Luke 7:22-23; Ezekiel 16:49; James 1:27).
    •  We must remember that while our primary and ultimate purpose is to meet a person’s spiritual need, while seeking to meet their spiritual need we have a God-given responsibility to meet their temporal (physical, emotional, financial) needs.  (James 1:27, Matthew 25)
    • Because of the unique and sometimes specialized nature of benevolence and mercy ministry, we will seek to intentionally and strategically partner with para-church ministries and other churches in the community to most effectively accomplish this ministry. (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:4-5, Ephesians 4:15-16, Philippians 2:30)
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