Our Beliefs

Doctrinal Summary

The emphasis of the preaching and teaching at Maranatha is the Bible, which is the basis of our beliefs and practice. Every word of the entire Old and New Testaments, as originally written, is the inspired Word of God, without error and infallible in all matters of which it speaks. The Holy Spirit helps the believer understand what the Bible says and what it means (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:9-13).

We believe in the one and only one living and true God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in every attribute and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great plan of salvation. God is a personal Spirit, eternal, self-existent, sovereign Creator of the universe. He is holy, just, unchangeable, all-powerful, everywhere present, all- knowing, and a loving merciful God. Thus at Maranatha, the preaching and music in our worship services are geared not to entertain but to honor and glorify our wonderful God (Deut. 6:4; Mat. 28:19; Gen. 1 & 2; Ps. 139; Rom. 5:1-8).

We believe Jesus Christ is the God-Man, possessing complete deity and perfect humanity. He existed before His birth in Bethlehem. He is fully God and fully man yet without sin. He became a man through the virgin conception, a work of God the Holy Spirit. His taking on humanity made it possible for Him to reveal God to man, to provide an example for living, and to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus Christ is at the center of the preaching and teaching at Maranatha. He is the focus of the gospel message we proclaim: His death for our sins and His resurrection. He alone can save sinners from their sins (John 1:1; 20:28; Mark 10:45; Heb. 4:14-16; John 14:6).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person. In the Old Testament He was active in creation. He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. In relation to believers, He is the Agent of their new birth and the security of their salvation. He permanently indwells them and gives them gifts to edify the church. The gifts of apostles, tongues, and healing were foundational for the early church and are no longer in effect. To ensure that Christ is glorified at Maranatha, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us, and empower us as we carry on the various ministries of the church (Gen. 1:2; John 14:16-17; 26; John 3:5-6; Eph. 1:13; 1 Cor. 12-14; Rom. 8:14-27).

We believe in the reality and personality of angels, created by God on the first day of creation. Holy angels carry out God’s will and minister to believers. Evil angels carry out the will of Satan, who is the enemy of God and His people. God created Satan as a beautiful being who became proud and rebelled against God. Satan is now the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to everlasting judgment in hell. We are keenly aware that Satan and his evil angels will try to destroy our ministry at Maranatha. We must be alert and rely on God for strength, on His word for our defense, and on our love for each other for unity (Ex 20:11; Heb. 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10; 1 Pet. 5:8; Eph. 6:13-18).

We believe that God created the world and all that is in it in six literal days. God created man and woman in His own image. Adam voluntarily fell from his innocent sinless state, and all mankind sinned in him, resulting in the total depravity of every individual. Thus, all of humanity is under God’s just condemnation of everlasting punishment in hell. However, before Adam sinned, God had already set into motion His loving plan of salvation through His only Son, Jesus Christ (Gen.1 & 2; Rom. 5:12; Rev. 13:8).

We believe that man’s gravest problem is sin, which separates him from the presence of a holy God and demands the penalty of everlasting punishment in hell. God loved the world and sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the penalty for everyone’s sins then raised Him from the dead on the third day. Belief in this truth and trust in Christ as personal Savior results on the salvation of the repentant sinner. In obedience to Christ’s command, we as a church and as saved individuals are obligated to preach and teach the good news of salvation to everyone in the world (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10; Acts 1:8).

We believe that today God is carrying out His program through the Church. The Universal Church is an organism of true believers from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture. Believers become a part of this organism through Holy Spirit baptism. The Local Church is an organization of immersed believers, who assent to the church teachings, observe the two ordinances of baptism and Lord’s supper, and edify the church by exercising their spiritual gifts.

The Bible designates the pastor and deacons as the two offices of the church. The pastor is a mature godly man who teaches, leads, and administers the affairs of the church. The deacons are mature godly men who serve in its temporal and spiritual ministries. The Local Church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy. Its one and only Superintendent is Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Tim. 3).

We believe that salvation always has been based on the death and resurrection of Christ, but God has dealt differently with humanity during history. God’s program for the nation of Israel is not the same as His program for the Church. Israel possesses a set of unconditional promises reaffirmed and amplified throughout the Old Testament. Through prophecy, God promised Israel a glorious kingdom, which He will establish after Christ snatches His church to Heaven and after the seven-year tribulation period has ended. Christ will then return as King of Kings with the Church saints to rule over the earth for one thousand years. After this, all unbelievers will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. God will then destroy this present heaven and earth and create a new heaven and earth where all believers will forever be with the Lord! (Gen. 12;1-3; 2 Sam. 7:8-16; 1 Thess. 4; Rev. 19-22).

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