These nine theological distinctives provide an overview of the beliefs of Autumn Ridge Community Church.
Our faith is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. We affirm the full deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ: in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood on the cross, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His future personal return in power and glory.
We affirm the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals, which includes the following points of emphasis:
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God: the sufficient and complete revelation of God’s will and plan for salvation, and authoritative on all matters of faith and Christian living.
- We believe God originally created humanity, male and female, in the image of God and free from sin. We further believe that since the fall all persons are sinners by nature and choice and, therefore, spiritually dead.
- We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and lost, the eternal existence of all people in either heaven or hell, in divine judgments, rewards, and punishments.
Confident in God’s purposes of grace
We affirm that God chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will. We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw his people to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe. We also believe that these, the church of God whom he gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith. We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes his ordained ends.
The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might live in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures. The Holy Spirit who indwelt and empowered Christ in like manner indwells and empowers us through spiritual gifts he has bestowed for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ.
The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church. We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the gospel, to engage it boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ.
Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant-leadership and sacrificial love characterized by Jesus Christ. Similarly, the Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men. These instances of male headship should not be confused with, nor give any hint of, domineering control, but rather should reflect the person and work of Christ who sacrificed his own life to care for his people and his bride: the church.
We affirm that baptism is a church ordinance consisting of the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We affirm the authority and the autonomy of local congregations beneath the Lordship of Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We furthermore affirm the liberty of the human conscience, and stand for universal religious liberty for all people in all settings