Statement of Faith
New Hope Church of Oxford
Our doctrinal position is that of evangelical orthodoxy in the historical stream of the Protestant Reformation as expressed in the New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833. In an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, we seek to emphasize the essential doctrines of biblical Christianity and to observe the time-honored practice:
In the essentials unity.
In the non-essentials liberty.
In all things charity.
The following is a summary of what we believe to be those essentials:
We believe in the full inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is the Word of God, incapable of error and therefore our final authority for all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in the one triune God, who is the creator and sustainer of all things. He is revealed in the Bible as one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity possesses the same essence and attributes of deity and is co-equal in power and glory.
We believe that Jesus Christ, God the Son, is fully God and fully human. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. On the third day, he bodily rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven to the right hand of the Father. Having been given all authority in heaven and on earth, he now sovereignly reigns over all things as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was sent to us from the Father and the Son. His ministry is to convict people of the reality of sin, righteousness, and judgment; to regenerate, indwell, empower, assure, cleanse, teach, comfort, strengthen, and guide those who have believed the Gospel.
We believe that God created men and women in His own image and likeness. God breathed life into Adam and he became a living soul. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He cast them out of his presence and the entire human race fell into sin and death.
We believe that due to their fallen condition people are born spiritually dead, separated from God, eternally lost and totally unable to save themselves from their present condition. But, through no merit of their own, by the grace of God, everyone who believes in Jesus, receives the free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the founder and head of the church. The church is both the Bride and the Body of Christ, composed of all those in heaven and on earth who have believed in Jesus Christ and trusted him alone for their salvation.
Baptism and Communion
We believe that water baptism was ordained by Jesus as the outward expression of an inward reality. Baptism by immersion symbolizes the believer's participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and serves as the means by which new converts publicly identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ and are formally initiated into the community of believers.
We believe that communion was also ordained by Jesus as a symbolic reminder of his death on the cross in our behalf. The bread symbolizes his body, in which he bore our sins and died, and the cup symbolizes the blood he shed for our forgiveness and to inaugurate the New Covenant.
Christ's Return and Final Judgment
We believe that at some time in the future known only to the Father, Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return to earth to gather the church to himself. We believe that at the end of this present age all who have died will be resurrected; believers in Christ will enter into full possession of eternal life in the presence of God; and unbelievers will be judged and condemned to eternal punishment.
We believe that at the moment of death, body and soul are separated and the individual's eternal destiny in either heaven or hell is sealed. We believe that hell is a literal place of never ending torment and the eternal destiny of everyone who has sinned against God and rejected his forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that Heaven is also a literal place. It is the future everlasting home of all believers. Heaven is described as a place where sin, sickness, sorrow, pain, and death are absent. In their place is the incomparable love, beauty, peace, and joy of eternal life as could only exist in the glorious presence of God.
Reference: New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833