What we believe

theological convictions

Our statement of basic beliefs is a representation of what we believe to be clearly communicated in

God’s word. All Christians everywhere say they believe the Bible, but this statement of beliefs

clarifies what The Church at 4Points and its members believe about the Bible’s

teachings. 

  • the Bible

    We believe concerning the Bible that the Scriptures are true, authoritative, and sufficient.

    The Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative Word, and is God’s witness of Himself to

    all humanity. The 66 books of the Bible are free from any error in its original writings,

    and provide truth directly from God. For additional statements on inerrancy, see The

    Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 
 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter

    1:20-21).

  • God

    We believe that there is only one God who has revealed himself through both the divine

    scriptures and through creation. He is the creator of both heaven and Earth.

    (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; 46:9-10; John 
 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy

    2:5).

  • the Trinity

    We believe that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; and that

    the 
 Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit, the Son is neither the Father nor the

    Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son (Genesis 1:26; Psalm

    45:6-7; 110:1; Matthew 3:13-17; 28:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

  • the person and work of Jesus Christ

    We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He was born of a virgin, and is

    both fully God and fully human. Through him, all things were created and came into

    being, and he holds all things together by the power of his word. (Matthew 1:20; Luke

    2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).


    We believe that Jesus Christ died as my substitute to pay the penalty for my sin, that he

    physically rose from the dead, and that he physically ascended into heaven and will one

    day physically return for the final judgement and the consummation of the kingdom.

    (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8 Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 10:1-18; 14:3; Acts

    1:11; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 15:12-34; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1

    Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 3:18 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7).

  • the Holy Spirit

    We believe that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, and He is

    sent by the Father and the Son to regenerate hearts and give new life through Jesus. The

    Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ through faith, brings about the new birth, distributes gifts, and dwells within the hearts of all believers. (John 15:26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14)

  • sin

    We believe that all humanity (Christ excluded), are by birth and action sinners. Sin has

    fractured all things, and has left all of creation in desperate need of salvation. We believe

    that all humans are under condemnation and apart from Christ are subject to the wrath of

    God against sin. The deserved penalty for sin is death, both physical and spiritual

    (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:19; 6:5; Psalm 51;5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8; 5:12; 6:23;

    12-21; 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3; James 1:14-15)

  • salvation

    We believe that only by trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can I be

    reconciled to God and experience true life and joy. It is only through faith in the

    completed work of Jesus that we can experience union with Christ, and meet the

    righteous requirement of God that is available through the righteousness of Jesus on our

    behalf. We believe that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

    Salvation is only by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ (John 3:5-8, 18;

    14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

  • the resurrection

    We believe in a future physical resurrection of the dead. Jesus Christ will return to the

    world in the future to judge the living and the dead. Those who trust in Jesus Christ

    alone will be raised to eternal reward. Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be

    raised to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).

The gospel, baptism, and the church

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  • What is the gospel? 

    God created things perfect. Flawless. Despite the perfection of God’s creation,

    sin entered the world through the original sin of Adam and Eve. Through this event, all

    humans (Christ excluded) are by birth and action sinners. (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah

    17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21;7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3). The deserved penalty for sin is death,

    both physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:19; Romans 5:12; 6:23; James 1:14-15). Jesus

    Christ entered into our world, the eternal Son of God, born of a virgin, fully God and fully

    human (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3). He died

    as the substitute to pay the penalty for our sins (John 1:29; 10:1-18; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians

    15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18). After His death which served as the

    payment for our sin debt, Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark

    16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34). Rising from the dead, Jesus

    conquered death, and through His life, we are regenerated into true life through Him. He

    physically ascended into heaven and will one day physically return (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1

    Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7). Those who trust in Jesus Christ

    alone will be raised to eternal reward. Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be raised

    to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15). Anyone who trusts in

    the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can be reconciled to God and experience true life and

    joy (John 3:18; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

  • What is baptism?

    Baptism as a verb is derived from the Greek word “baptizein” which means “dip, plunge, or

    immerse.” Although salvation is accomplished because of what Jesus did for us and not through

    baptism, we believe that believers should follow through in baptism by immersion after

    conversion as the Biblical model for baptism. In Mark’s account of the baptism of Jesus, he

    illustrates baptism by immersion when he writes, “and when he came out of the water.” In Acts

    8:36, we also see the immersive form of baptism when Philip baptizes the Ethiopian Eunuch by

    going “down into the water.”


    It is also modeled throughout the New Testament that salvation precedes baptism, and so we

    believe that there is a proper order for baptism in that one should be baptized after truly

    responding to the gospel in faith. It is impossible to truly “demonstrate” through the outer

    obedience of baptism the change that has happened internally in our hearts until we have actually

    experienced salvation. In the New Testament description of the church, those who were saved

    through Jesus Christ were then baptized, and then added to those counted as the “church.”

    One of the most visible external expressions of the internal change that God brings to our lives is

    the ordinance of baptism. Baptism is an important step of obedience for Christians as it is a

    visible declaration of your personal acceptance of the gospel in your life. In baptism, Christians

    are immersed in the water, identifying the death and burial of our former ways with the death and

    burial of Jesus Christ as the one who makes this possible. Our rising out of the water identifies

    the new identity we have in Christ with the resurrection of Jesus offering salvation and an

    empowered life through the Holy Spirit. Through this we see that the underlying motivation for

    baptism for a Christian is in the identification of our lives with Jesus.


    We read in the gospels of the example of baptism that was modeled by Jesus Himself, as

    Matthew’s account in Matthew Chapter 3:16 says that “when Jesus was baptized, immediately he

    went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of

    God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said,

    ‘This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.’” We obviously hold to the theological

    truth that baptism is not a part of our salvation experience, but is an act of obedience, modeled by

    Jesus, that brings great pleasure to the Father.


    After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jesus issues the mission for His followers to accept as

    His redemption plan for mankind is carried out and completed on the Earth. In Matthew 28,

    Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the

    Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded

    you.” The Great Commission is about making disciples. God’s plan is for discipleship to happen

    within His community, the church. Baptism is as much about the symbol of the work Christ has

    done for us and in us, as it is about publicly declaring and identifying with His church.

  • what is the church?

    To understand who we are as the body of Christ, it is important to define a Biblical view from

    scripture of what the church is and how this shapes our understanding of the local church.

    In Titus 2:11-14, we read of the purpose of the gospel in the formation of the church:

    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce

    ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the

    present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and

    Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify

    for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.


    In Acts 2:42-47, we see an important scripture on what it means to be the church:

    And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of

    bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were

    being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in

    common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds

    to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in

    their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having

    favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were

    being saved.


    Though there is so much more in scripture concerning who and what the church is, we see these

    basic theological principles adapted from The Baptist Faith and Message 2000:


    1. In a general sense, the New Testament speaks of the church as the Body of Christ which

    includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and

    people, and nation.

    2. In a specific context, the church is an autonomous local congregation of baptized

    believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the

    two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and

    privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of

    the earth.

    3. Each congregation operates under the supreme Lordship of Christ and through called

    local leadership. Its scriptural offices are elders/pastors and deacons. While both men and

    women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as

    qualified by Scripture.

Distinctives

In addition to the above closed-hand beliefs, we also hold secondary, open-handed distinctives

that are not held by all Christians. Complete agreement with these beliefs is not required for

membership, but it should be recognized that the leadership of the church will preach, teach, and

counsel from a theological perspective based on these beliefs.

  • Gender

    We believe that God created men and women equally, yet with distinct, complementary

    roles. Men and women are equal in essence, dignity, and value, but are given distinct

    responsibilities in the life of the church and the family. In regard to the church, men and

    women will both have leadership roles, but the office of elder is reserved exclusively for

    men. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15;

    Titus 1; 1 Peter 3:1-7)

  • gods sovereignty

    We believe that God is completely sovereign over all things including salvation. We

    believe that it is exceedingly good news that salvation is not dependent on any works or

    desires of man, but is rooted in the glorious election of the Saints by God. In love, God

    predestined his people for adoption. We believe that it is through the gift of a changed

    heart, that God grants the faith to believe in the grace that is offered to us through Jesus.

    (Psalm 115:3; Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 8:26-9:23; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians

    2:13)

  • gifts of the spirit

    We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined in God’s word, and exercised in

    the early church have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle, or the closing of the

    New Testament canon. They are available to the church today, practiced in submission to

    the Holy Spirit, and best exercised in the context of community. The word of God will

    be the authority on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14;

    Ephesians 4:1-16)

  • ordinances

    We believe in two ordinances which have been given to the church. Both ordinances are

    for those who have received salvation through Jesus, and have become a Spirit-filled

    disciple. The first is baptism and is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s

    union to Christ through salvation. We believe that a believer uniting with our church

    family should be baptized after conversion, and the precedent should be immersion in

    water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is meant to

    symbolically depict the union to Christ realized in the life of the believer through the

    death and resurrection of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:12;

    Luke 3:21-22; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-38) We believe that the ordinance of

    communion is to be taken only by those who have become Spirit-filled disciples of Jesus.

    This ordinance, like baptism, is a symbol of the body and blood that was broken and shed

    by Jesus on our behalf. As we come to the Communion Table, we remember the

    crucifixion of Jesus. (John 6:35; Luke 24:30; Luke 22:19-20; Matthew 26:26-28; Acts

    2:42-461 Corinthians 11:17-34)

  • leadership

    We believe in a plurality of elder leadership. Jesus is the head of the church, but the

    word makes evident that the church will be governed by a plurality of leadership called

    Elders that are made up of both Staff Elders and Non-Staff Elders. (Titus 1:6-9; 1

    Timothy 3:1-16; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4)