God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22 ; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10 -30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they step over the line of faith. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16 ,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12 , 3:16 ; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called sin. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23 ; Isaiah 59:1, 2
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12 ; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
Envisioned by God, established by Jesus Christ, and energized by the Holy Spirit, the church is universally united under faith in Christ (comprised of every man, woman and child, past, present and future, who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) and local in carrying out the ministry of Christ. The purpose of the church is to carry out the Great Commandment (love one another) and the Great Commission (make disciples of Jesus). Jesus has ordained the church to corporately celebrate baptism and communion.
Deuteronomy 7:6; 1 Peter 2:9; Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 1:22-23
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot lose it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25 , 10:10 ,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5, Romans 8:35-39; John 5:24
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9
At ECC, God's truth revealed to us through the Bible determines what we believe.
God has given each of us the freedom to read and understand the Bible for ourselves. Christ followers, however, don’t always agree in their understanding of some parts the Bible. Therefore, we have adopted the following guidelines to help us stay true to the Bible’s central message of Jesus Christ and still offer the freedom of personal convictions the Bible describes in Romans, chapters 14 & 15 and the book of Galatians.
In essential beliefs, we have unity.
There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all… Ephesians 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs, we have liberty.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters… Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Romans 14:1, 4,12, 22
In all our beliefs, we show charity.
…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Statement of Unity and Liberty
Together we will agree on the Essential Beliefs and the Gospel as defined in Scripture and we will also agree NOT to be the cause of any division regarding Non-Essential Beliefs. Many of the areas where Christ followers have different understandings of the Bible revolve around lifestyle practices and preferences. They fall into the Apostle Paul’s category of disputable matters; areas where we have the freedom to agree to disagree. Many more areas simply have to do with culture or tradition. But there are some clear teachings in the Bible we believe are essential to unity of purpose and mission of the church. All who sign the Encounter Christian Church Membership Covenant agree to the 10 essentials above.