What We Believe
With over 1200 different Christian denominations in the United States, it is important to understand and know the doctrinal and denominational affiliation of a church.
What does it mean to be part of a denomination or nondenominational church?
Denominations are simply different expressions of the same faith. All true Christian denominations share the basic belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the only Savior of the World as described in the Bible. A denomination (or nondenominational church) expresses these fundamental beliefs differently based on history or current culture. Denominations can be beneficial to individual churches because they provide support to one another in prayer, leadership and finances. Being nondenominational offers unique freedoms in worship and from stigmas.
This is what Anchor Way Church believes about the Christian faith.
We believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments). By verbal, we mean that the original writers were guided by the Holy Spirit in the exact choice of words yet respecting and using the personality characteristics, style and vocabulary of each writer. By the word plenary, we believe that this divine verbal inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the original manuscripts – historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical – so that every word is both infallible as to truth and final as to divine authority. (John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 3:15-16)
We believe in the literal method of interpretation; which gives to each word the same exact meaning it would have in normal, ordinary, customary usage, whether employed in writing, speaking or thinking. The consistent use of this method results in a premillennial dispensational understanding of Scripture. We believe that the greater part of the Bible makes sense when interpreted literally; that it is the only sane and safe check on the imaginations of man; that it grounds interpretation in fact; that it delivers us from both reason and mysticism; and that this approach does not blindly rule out figures of speech, symbols, allegories and types. We must take every word at its primary, ordinary, literal, usual meaning unless the context indicates clearly otherwise. We believe that the following principles are prerequisites to a proper interpretation of the Scriptures: (a) One must be born again and have an utter dependence upon the Holy Spirit to guide and direct; (John 16:7-14; 1 Corinthians 2:7-16) and (b) One must interpret according to the immediate context, according to the larger context, such as the scope or the design of the book itself, and by comparing Scripture with Scripture.
We believe that the unifying principle of the Bible is the glory of God – the revelation of all that He is. His grace manifested in the salvation of the lost is a central aspect of His glory. But God’s glory is also to be manifested in other ways, as in all creation; Israel in its past obedience; judgment and future restoration; His judgment of unbelievers; and His church and its members as they live in obedience to Christ. (John 15:8; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 4:11)
We believe in one God, Who is a personal and eternal Spirit, perfect and unchangeable in all His attributes. This one God eternally exists in three persons, impossible of division, but capable of distinction as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All have precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same honor, confidence and obedience. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Psalm 90:1-2; Isaiah 45:5-6; Matthew 3:16- 17; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 28:18-19; John 1:1-14; Luke 22:70; John 10:30; John 14:10-11; John 16-17; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6; Revelation 19:6)
a. God The Father.
We believe God the Father is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power. We marvel and rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer: and that He saves from sin, its power over our life, and from spiritual death. He also takes the fear out of physical death for all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 6:9- 13; Romans 6:1-13; 1 Corinthians 15:2-4; 1 John 1:5, 1 John 2:1-2)
b. Jesus Christ.
We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ; that He is the Creator of heaven and earth, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary; and is very God and very man. We believe that His death on the cross was substitutionary and representative and a sufficient atonement for the guilt of all men. We believe that He was bodily raised from the dead, and He ascended to the right hand of the Father where He now carries on a ministry as Advocate and Intercessor for believers. We believe in the personal, bodily, and pre-tribulational return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (the Rapture); and that after the Tribulation He will return with His saints to the earth to establish His Kingdom of righteousness, thus bringing to fruition all the unconditional promises made to the nation Israel. (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1,14,29; John 8:58; John 20:28; Romans 3:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Colossians 1:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 10:5-14; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:1,2; Revelation 19:1-6)
c. The Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity and the personality of the Holy Spirit. We believe that God used the Holy Spirit as His agent in the revelation and inspiration of His Word, and that He continues to use the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth of His Word. We believe that it is the Holy Spirit who performs the work of salvation in the heart of the individual believer and, that He then indwells believers and bestows spiritual gifts upon them. (John 14:16-17; John 15:26; John 16:7-14; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21)
a. His Original Nature.
Man was directly and immediately created in the image of God, free from sin. He was created with a rational nature, great intelligence and moral responsibility to God. (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:15-25)
b. His Original Purpose.
He was originally created with the divine intention that he should glorify God, enjoy His fellowship, and fulfill His will and purposes in the earth. (Genesis 1:26-30; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11)
c. His Subsequent Sin.
Man subsequently sinned by a voluntary act of personal disobedience to the revealed will of God. (Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 5:12-14; 1 Timothy 2:13-14)
d. His Present Condition.
As a consequence, man became subject to the wrath of God, inherently corrupt, and incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. Thus, he is hopelessly lost apart from the salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8) The fall of man was an historical and non-repeatable act, the effects of which are transmitted to all mankind, Jesus Christ excepted. Consequently, all men are sinners by divine pronouncement, nature, and deed, and thus face God’s wrath and judgment. (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12-19; James 2:10)
The Gospel Preached to Evangelize Non-Christians
God is the loving Creator and Ruler of the World, creating man to rule over the world on His behalf. (Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:26-28) Man, deceived by Satan, rebelled against God, resulting in death and judgment (Genesis 3:1-24); God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take mankind’s punishment upon Himself by dying on the cross; (1 Peter 3:18) God raised Jesus from the dead and He will one day return to judge the world and reign forever. (Acts 17:31) Mankind has two choices as to how he will respond: Believe in Jesus Christ, or continue in rebellion against God, facing death and judgment. (John 3:36)
We believe that Salvation is only by grace through faith based upon the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ through His substitutionary death upon the cross. All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God. (John 1:12-13; John 3:5; Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8-9)
As a result of salvation, the believer is to glorify God in his body through a life of fellowship and service for the Lord. (Romans 6:13; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Colossians 3:17)
The consummation of salvation will occur at the rapture when the believer shall be delivered from the presence of sin, at which time he will also be glorified, being conformed to the image of Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:1-3)
Once salvation has transpired, it is eternal and unchangeable. We believe this because of: (a) the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love; (b) His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the atoning blood of Christ; (c) the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life; (d) the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven; (e) the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God; and (f) the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved. (John 3:3,8; John 5:24; John 10:28; John 13:1; John 14:16-17; John 17:11,15; Romans 8:29-39; I Corinthians 6:19; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:1-2; I John 5:13; Jude 1:24)
a. Its Nature.
We believe that in accordance with the eternal purpose of God He has revealed the mystery not known prior to Christ’s first coming of His Church. Those who have placed their faith in Christ are united together immediately by the Holy Spirit in this one spiritual body, the church, of which Christ is the Head. This body began on the day of Pentecost, is distinct from Israel and God’s plan for this nation, and will be completed at the coming of Christ. In addition to the spiritual union and communion that extend to the entirety of the body of Christ, the members of this one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies to serve His purpose. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:46,47; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:4-11; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 10:25)
b. Its Organization and Relationships: Authority
These local assemblies have been given the needed authority for administering that order, discipline, and worship which Christ the sovereign Head has appointed. The biblically designated officers, serving under Christ and over the assembly, are elders and deacons. (Matthew 18:15-18; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Corinthians 14:40; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5)
c. Its Organization and Relationships: Spiritual Gifts.
We believe that every member of the Body of Christ has been given at least one spiritual gift at his conversion according to the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are to be developed and used in the local assembly to the end that every believer will become completely mature in Christ. Their specific purpose is the mutual edification of the saints. The use of any gift must meet the test of edification. If it does not edify the Body, it should not be used within the local assembly. We are totally opposed to any teaching that is challenging to the teaching of the believer’s security or to the teaching of the universal baptism of the Spirit at the moment of salvation of every believer. (1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 Corinthians 14:1-33)
d. Its Organization and Relationships: Ordinances
(1) Baptism. We believe that baptism by immersion is an ordinance of definite institution in the New Testament. It is the outward sign and confession of our identification with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. (Acts 2:38-41; Acts 8:36-38; Acts 9:18; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:3-7; Colossians 2:12)
(2) The Lord’s Supper. We believe the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the Lord’s body which was broken for us and of His blood that was shed for our sins. There are two requirements that must be met before a person can partake of the Supper. First, a person must be born again, for one who is not saved cannot show forth the Lord’s death when he has been unwilling to accept the Savior and His atoning work personally. Secondly, a Christian must examine himself to determine if he is in right fellowship with the Lord. We are warned of the consequences of partaking unworthily. When these two requirements are met, the believer is free to participate. We believe it is the Lord’s table and as such is open to all believers who are in right relationship with God, regardless of denomination. Not only is the Lord’s Supper a memorial of what Christ has done on the Cross, but it proclaims the Lord’s
We believe that sanctification, or setting apart, is a process of becoming holy unto God and is threefold:
a. Sanctification is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is called to be holy unto God in the same way in which Christ is set apart unto God.
b. We believe, however, that the believer retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. However, provision has been made for victory over the old nature. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is not more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, consequently, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace,” and to be changed by the unhindered power of the Spirit.
c. We also believe that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him.” (John 17:17,19; Romans 6:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:22-25; Ephesians 4:24; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 10:10,14; Hebrews 12:10)
Marriage and sexuality.
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
Regardless of any other definition that may be applicable outside of the church, we believe that biblically the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one genetic man and one genetic woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6)
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Hence, sexual activities such as, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, transgenderism, bisexuality, cross dressing, pedophilia and bestiality are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and thus sinful and unacceptable to God. Further, lascivious behavior, the creation, viewing and/or distribution of pornography and efforts to alter one’s physical gender or gender related appearance are also sinful and incompatible with a biblical witness. For the same reason, AWC cannot solemnize or bless cohabitation or domestic partnerships between unmarried couples, civil unions, same-sex sexual relationships, or other similar conduct because those sorts of relationships are contrary to the Bible’s teaching. (Deuteronomy 27:20-23; Matthew 15:18-20; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 1 Timothy 1:9-11)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, including sexual sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) We believe that despite their sin, every person should be afforded compassion, love, and kindness. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31)
The Bible spends considerable time – for example; in the teachings of Christ, the letters of the Apostles Paul and Peter, and in other Old and New Testament prophecies – discussing future events. After prayer and study of the Biblical texts, we believe the following best reflects the Bible’s teaching regarding future events, and it is our hope.
b. The Intermediate State.
At death, the souls of the redeemed pass immediately into the presence of Christ and there remain in joyful fellowship until the first resurrection, which is their bodily resurrection unto life. The souls of the unsaved at death descend immediately into a place separated from God where they are kept under punishment until the second resurrection, that is their bodily resurrection unto damnation. (Luke 16:22-23; Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Revelation 20:4-5)
c. The Rapture of the Church.
The next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the personal, bodily coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus. At that exact moment, every believer will be conformed unto His image. This event is the blessed hope set before us in Scripture and we are encouraged to be constantly looking for it. (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:2)
d. The Tribulation Period.
After this removal of believers from the earth, the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon the unbelieving world. These judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth, at which time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will also be raised and the living will be judged. (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:15-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 6:1-19:21)
e. The Millennium.
After this judgment Christ will establish His Messianic Kingdom in which the resurrection saints may reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth for one thousand years. (Isaiah 11:1-16; Isaiah 65:15-17; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Revelation 20:1-6)
f. The Eternal State.
At the close of the millennial reign, the unsaved dead will be raised and judged and committed to conscious eternal punishment in the lake of fire. The saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God. Having fulfilled His redemptive and kingdom missions as the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, Christ will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father that the Triune God may reign forever in all spheres. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:1-4-8; Revelation 22:5)
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
This Doctrinal Statement does not exhaust the extent of Anchor Way Church’s beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of AWC’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the Board of Elders is the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. (Romans 16:17-19; Ephesians 5:11; Colossians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 4:2-5; Hebrews 13:9; 2 Peter 3:17-18)