Proclaiming the authority of God’s Word without apology. (2 Timothy 4:2)
Lifting high the name of Jesus through worship. (John 4:24)
Believing firmly in the power of prayer. (Ephesians 6:18)
Sharing the good news of Jesus with boldness. (Ephesians 6:19-20)
Pursuing genuine and loving relationships. (John 13:34-35)
Delighting in Christ through personal adoration and gathered worship.
Devoting our lives to Christ through abiding in Him (Bible study, prayer, fasting) as well as fellowshipping in community with other believers to mutually build, encourage, and challenge each other to a deeper relationship with Christ.
Displaying Christ's glory through loving freely, serving sacrificially, giving generously, and proclaiming openly the good news of Jesus Christ.
We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in their original writings. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God's complete and sufficient revelation and therefore carry God's authority for the total well-being of mankind (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16).
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, He is just and right, (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8). We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20).
We believe Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man (John 1:1,14,18; John 8:58; John 14:8-9; Colossians 1:15-19; Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:6-11; 1 Timothy 3:16). In His humanity, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20), born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:34-35; Isaiah 7:14-16), and lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 2:22). In death, He was an atoning sacrifice for our sins (Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 3:23-26; Romans 5:19; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Hebrews 1:3). In His resurrection, He was victorious over death and now intercedes for His people as an eternal high priest (1 Corinthians 15:42-46; Acts 1:6-11; Hebrews 7:23-25).
We believe in the total deity of the Holy Spirit and that His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of God's righteousness, and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11). The Holy Spirit actively works in regenerating the sinner upon belief in Christ and baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:13; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state. Consequently, all mankind is sinful. All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defence or excuse. We believe that without exception every man and woman is totally depraved and needs a Saviour (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18; Romans 1:32; Romans 5:12).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that all who by faith receive Him as their personal Saviour are justified on the basis of His blood shed on Calvary. They are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become eternally secure as children of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes a person who believes into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7); the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, all believers have therefore become part of His body, the church. There is one church universal, composed of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:19-20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command there is the local expression of the church – under the oversight / care of elders and other supportive leadership. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16).
We believe that marriage is created by God to be shared between one man and one woman, in a lifelong holy covenant, for the purpose of companionship, sexual intimacy and procreation. Our created gender, sexuality, and sexual fulfillment are gifts from the Creator and are to be embraced with gratitude and worship. God designed sexual intimacy to be expressed and consummated only between a man and a woman when they are united as one flesh in marriage (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).
Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
We believe in the EXISTENCE OF Satan as the originator of sin and the arch-enemy of God. As a spirit being, he leads his demonic forces in continual attack upon the people and purposes of God (1 Peter 5:8).
We believe in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, premillennial, and imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe in the importance of serving the body of Christ by offering clear paths for people to start and develop healthy and growing relationships with others in the church body. We value an intentional plan to help every interested person enjoy godly relationships in the church. Church membership is a byproduct of people who are growing in Christ and who grasp the importance of serving the Lord by using their gifts to serve others in the local church. For more information on the process and commitment of membership, please visit our membership page.
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-6). Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder - through the bread and the juice - of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:20-29; Matthew 26:26-29).
Hope Bible Church is a non-charismatic, conservative, evangelical fellowship that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their Saviour and all who are seeking Him. Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body. We believe that the Christian life is supernatural and that the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe that current displays of the gift of tongues distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Current displays of the gift of tongues:
Hope Bible Church will not promote doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members of and adherents of Hope Bible Church are not encouraged to promote the teachings and emphases of the current charismatic movement. Although we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, the expression of tongues and other sign gifts are not to be overtly expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Hope Bible Church. We will seek to emphasize the more excellent way of love as well as zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; John 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:11-13; 1 Corinthians 12:19; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:25).
The Great Commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. God is glorified as we manifest His presence as we do His work (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when Hope Niagara and other like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support, and admonish.
As members of the Great Commission Collective (GCC), we are committed to partnerships that multiply churches around the world (gccollective.ca).
The Lord changes lives and accomplishes His purposes directly through reading and applying the Scriptures, meditating on the truths of the Scriptures, and prayer. The Lord also uses those who minister His Word as they encourage, exhort, admonish, edify, implore, reprove, rebuke, and console others toward godliness. God needs no new or unique insight into the human condition in order to change lives, regardless of whether that insight is gained through psychology or some other tool of human origin. Problems that are approached by integrating the Scriptures with psychological theories tend to deceive individuals into diminishing the God of the Scriptures and into believing that He has not provided and cannot provide sufficient truth, insight, and wisdom that will change their lives (Colossians 2:8-10). When psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behaviour and seek to explain the causes of human behaviour, they enter spiritual territory. Only the God of the Scriptures can explain causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:5-11). Each Christian's passion should be to become more like Christ and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2, Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38). The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2).
We believe God created the universe in six twenty-four hour days and that before He created the universe, nothing except God existed (Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16). God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11). We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God's gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25-28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; Ephesians 4:6).
It is God's divine decision to save a person (John 6:37; John 6:44; John 6:65; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:11-18; Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3) and it is God's kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Bible also teaches that each person is responsible to embrace or reject Jesus as Saviour and Lord and that God welcomes all who come to Him by faith apart from works (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 15:7; Luke 20:9-18; John 6:37; John 7:37; Romans 10:9-13; Acts 16:30-34; Acts 17:30). Both of these truths - God's sovereignty in salvation and man's decision to embrace Christ - are taught in the Scriptures. Their co-existence is a mystery and is completely understood only in the mind of our omniscient God. All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). Those who are born of God's Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (John 15:4-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 9). God is faithful to his people, and empowers them to persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19-20). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance relies on God's decisive and faithful grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer's salvation but indicate the reality of the person's love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18). Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord's guarantee of each believer's adoption as His son or daughter, His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit, and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16:30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ's crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ's possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God's unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Mature disciples delight in Christ, devote themselves to Christ, and display Christ. A person committed to a relationship with Christ focuses on personally adoring and corporately worshipping Him, abiding with Him and fellowshipping in spiritual community, and loving freely, serving sacrificially, giving generously, and proclaiming openly the good news of Jesus. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become "complete in Christ" (Colossians 1:28). We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders' lives into others (2 Timothy 2:2). This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Satan and his demonic servants viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12). God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 John 4:4; Revelation 20:1-10). Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus' name for protection against demonic activity, the Scriptures do not instruct the Christian to "bind Satan in Jesus' name." Rather, the Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by:
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16), and are infallible in their instruction (Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19), eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25); the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119:1-176); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that the very words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore, we believe that the Bible versions which translate God’s Word most literally into modern English should be preferred.
Hope Bible Church Niagara affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.
The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 22:37). All believing men, women, and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence. Worship glorifies God through adoration (Psalm 95:6), praise (Psalm 99:5), prayer (Daniel 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Nehemiah 12:46), and a complete yielding to Him (Romans 12:1). Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage, and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:12). Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:
The biblical teaching on the subject of two church offices is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Although there are three terms used for the offices of the church, i.e. bishop, elder, and deacon, a careful analysis of these terms indicates that bishop and elder are used interchangeably. The pastors of the church have spiritual authority in the church. However, with the exception of the Senior Pastor, they will serve on the board only as needed and at the request of the elders.
When the need arises for additional elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing board of elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the board of elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for elders, no specific fixed term of office is recommended. Instead, each elder, upon appointment, shall be asked for a three-year commitment. At the end of three years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow elders. During the review, both the individual and the other elders shall evaluate his continued service as an elder, again considering the biblical qualifications, as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service as an elder may be discontinued by his own decision or by a consensus decision of the other elders. A person leaving the board of elders would not preclude his service as a future elder, subject to the regular selection process.
The Scriptures show that the elders "serve by leading" and that their responsibility involves the spiritual oversight of the congregation. All elders are equal in authority but not necessarily equal in influence.
The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders exercising their individual giftedness squares with the Scripture's teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counsellors (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 24:6). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the elder board.
All members of the pastoral staff will be chosen by the board of elders. The senior pastor will automatically be a member of the board of elders. The elders may nominate additional member(s) of the pastoral staff to serve on the board of elders.
The Hope Bible Church senior pastor automatically serves as an elder and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, is a vital member of the elder board. The senior pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.
All pastoral staff members will serve for an indefinite period of time. The senior pastor is responsible and accountable in the performance of his duties to the board of elders. All other staff members are responsible to the board of elders through the senior pastor. A staff member may only be dismissed by a consensus decision of the board of elders.
The responsibility of the senior pastor will be to faithfully preach God’s Word and model the priority of discipleship within the church. He will give oversight and direction to all ministry staff and work with the board of elders in carrying out the overall vision of Hope Bible Church.
The qualifications are equivalent to the biblical qualifications of an elder.
Ministry descriptions for the remaining pastoral staff will be established by the Board of Elders in keeping with the giftedness of the individual and agreed upon at the time of hiring.
The office of deacon is one that exists biblically to give leadership to the serving functions of the church (Acts 6:1-6). The qualification for deacons are the same as elder in the area of character, but different in aptitude. The elders are to be “apt to teach” while the deacons are to be “able and proved as servants”.
The deacons will be responsible for the oversight of all financial, benevolent, and facility operations of the church.
The Great Commission Collective is an international family of churches that exist to glorify God by planting, strengthening and multiplying Great Commission churches.
We are excited to see how the Lord will use this strategic partnership for His glory around the world!