Our Beliefs

We Believe

WE BELIEVE that only the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, and therefore inerrant, Word of God. It is the final authority for all we believe and how we are to live. Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21.

WE BELIEVE that the one true God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power, and glory. We believe that God not only created the world but also now upholds, sustains, governs, and providentially directs all that exists and that He will bring all things to their proper consummation in Christ Jesus to the glory of His name. Psalm 104; Psalm 139; Matthew 10:29-31; 28:19; Acts 17:24-28; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:9-12; 4:4-6; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6.

WE BELIEVE that Satan, originally a great and good angel, rebelled against God, taking a multitude of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and is at work with his demonic hosts to establish his counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth. Satan was judged and defeated at the cross of Christ and will, at the end of the age, be cast forever into the lake of fire which has been prepared for him and his angels. Matthew 12:25-29; 25:41; John 12:31; 16:11; Ephesians 6:10-20; Colossians 2:15; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-9; 20:10.

WE BELIEVE that Adam was originally created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. In consequence of his disobedience, Adam’s posterity are born subject to both imputed and inherent sin, and are therefore by nature and choice the children of wrath, justly condemned in the sight of God, wholly unable to save themselves or to contribute in any way to their acceptance with God. Genesis 1-3; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:5; Romans 3:9-18; 5:12-21;Ephesians 2:1-3.

WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, that He was conceived and born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and offered himself as a penal, substitutionary sacrifice for sinners. By the blood of His cross He obtained for us eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. He was raised bodily on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, there to make intercession for the saints. Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:10-14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-23; Hebrews 7:25; 9:13-15; 10:19; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 1 John 2:1-2.

WE BELIEVE that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 3-4; 8:1-17,31-39; 10:8-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7,9.

WE BELIEVE that the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit, in whom also we are sealed for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit regenerates, forever indwells, and graciously equips the Christian for godly living and service. Subsequent to conversion the Spirit desires to fill, empower, and anoint believers for ministry and witness. We also believe that signs and wonders, as well as all the gifts of the Spirit described in the New Testament, are operative today and are designed to testify to the presence of the kingdom and to empower and edify the church to fulfill its calling and mission. Matthew 3:11; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15; Acts 4:29-30; Romans 8:9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18.

WE BELIEVE that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances of the church to be observed until the time of Christ’s return. They are not a means of salvation but are channels of God’s sanctifying grace and blessing to the faithful in Christ Jesus. Matthew 26:26-29; 28:19; Romans 6:3-11; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34; 1 Peter 3:21.

WE BELIEVE that the church is God’s primary instrument through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. We believe that women, no less than men, are called and gifted to proclaim the gospel and do all the works of the kingdom. However, final governmental authority in the church has ideally been entrusted to men. Matthew 16:17-19; Acts 2:17-18,42; Ephesians 3:14-21; 4:11-16; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10.

WE BELIEVE that God has called the church to preach the gospel to all nations, and especially to remember the poor and to minister to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service. This ministry is an expression of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ and is an essential part of the kingdom of God. Isaiah 58:6-12; 61:1; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 4:18; 21:1-4; Galatians 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:8.

WE BELIEVE in the literal second coming of Christ at the end of the age when He will return to the earth personally and visibly to consummate His kingdom. We also believe in and are praying for a great end-time harvest of souls and the emergence of a victorious church that will experience an unprecedented unity, purity, and power in the Holy Spirit. Psalms 2:7-9; 22:27-28; John 14:12; 17:20-26; Romans 11:25-32; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28,50-58; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 7:9-14.

WE BELIEVE that when the Christian dies he/she passes immediately into the blessed presence of Christ, there to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Savior until the day of the resurrection and glorious transformation of the body. The saved will then forever dwell in blissful fellowship with their great Triune God. We also believe that when the unbeliever dies he/she is consigned to hell, there to await the day of judgment when he/she shall be punished with eternal separation from the presence of God. Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; John 5:25-29; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 1:19-26; 3:20-21; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:1-22:15.

Leadership Structure

At The Harbour, we are working to establish healthy biblical leadership. Ephesians 4:11 says that Jesus has called some in the Body of Christ to function as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers. According to the text, these gifts are given to the Body for two purposes: equipping the saints for the work of ministry and edifying the Body of Christ. As the following verses promise, when these gifts function in their correct purpose, “…we (will) all come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13).

We believe that God’s design is for a local church to be led and shepherded by a team of Ephesians 4:11 equippers; and we believe this takes place when a number of equippers function as a team of elders (Acts 14:23, 16:4, 20:17, 20:28, 1 Timothy 5:1, 5:17-21, 1 Peter 5:1-5). The members of this team are ordained and set in place by a lead elder, which in many church settings is known as a Senior Pastor.

The lead elder’s role is to serve the other team elders by moderating, coordinating, envisioning and motivating, while functioning in the specific Ephesians 4:11 gift(s) that God has given him.

This team shepherds God’s flock to bring believers into a place of spiritual maturity. To ensure the church’s healthy growth, the elders also activate believers in their particular ministry gifts, so that all can share in the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:16). God gifts each elder with a certain measure of “grace” in order to fulfill his special role or function within the team of elders. This grace is given to both oversee the local body of believers, and function as an Ephesians 4 equipper with distinct gifting and anointing.

Overseeing a local church as an elder includes authority and responsibility (shared with the other elders) to establish doctrine, cast vision, administer church discipline and manage church resources. Each equipper’s function is specific to his gifting and calling, but usually consists of teaching, preaching, writing, counseling and leading.

Five Fold Ministry

Historically, the Church has had no problem accepting the ministry of evangelists, pastors, and teachers. But while apostles and prophets are equally legitimate New Testament gifts to the Church, there has been a lack of understanding and acceptance of their ministry.

The leadership at The Harbour holds to the theological position that all five of the ministry gifts that Christ gives to build and bless His Church (as described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16) still apply in the Body of Christ today. Nowhere in the New Testament are any of the five gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher limited by time or dispensation of time.

This passage and the entire New Testament clearly reveals the following biblical truths:

  • All five ministry gifts are given by Jesus Christ Himself to His Church.
  • All five ministry gifts are needed for the Church to fulfill her destiny.
  • All five ministry gifts are to operate until Jesus Christ returns for His Church.

Most of the misunderstanding about the five ministry gifts has centered around the ministry of the apostle.The word that is used throughout the New Testament for “apostle” literally means:

One sent forth from someone on a mission. The New Testament calls “the twelve” Jesus sent forth as apostles who had seen Him. The others, like Paul, Silas, Barnabas, Timothy, Epaphroditus, etc., who had not seen Jesus were sent out later by the Church as apostles (Lk.6:13, 9:10, I Cor.9:1, 15:8, Acts14:4, 14, Rom.16:7, II Cor. 8:23, Phil.2:25, I Thess.2:6, etc.).

Jesus Christ’s mission to His apostles is clearly defined throughout the New Testament, and the mission is the same today:

  • Apostles are sent to take the gospel to unreached people groups (Rom.15:20).
  • Apostles are sent to plant or establish new churches (I Cor.3:10, Eph.2:20).
  • Apostles are sent to appoint and train church leaders (Acts 14:21-23).
  • Apostles are sent to be “spiritual fathers” to ministers/churches (I Cor.4:15).
  • Apostles are sent to unify the Body of Christ by establishing covenant relationships with ministers and churches (Eph.4:1-16, Acts 11:27-30, Rom. 15:25-27, I Cor. 16:1-4, etc.).
  • Apostles are sent to demonstrate and impart the supernatural power of God (II Cor. 2:12, Acts 4:33, 8:4-7, 14-15, 10:44, 19:6, Rom 1:11, II Tim. 1:6-7).
  • Apostles are sent to correct false doctrine, sin, or church problems (I Cor. 1:1-16:24, Acts 15, etc.).

God is restoring all five ministry gifts to His Church, including apostleship, so His Church can totally fulfill her New Testament mandate and mission today.

Giving

At The Harbour, we are working to raise up whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ. God’s word says that the eyes of the Lord are running to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). The Father is looking for worshipers!

Jesus restated this idea when He said the hour has come when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). The essence of true worship is to connect the entirety of our heart to God’s heart in ardent, loyal devotion – worship is a lifestyle!

This heart connection involves our “treasure” – in other words, our time, talents and financial resources. The apostle Matthew said it best, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). When we give of our time, talents or financial resources, the real gift is not to the church, but to God as a form of worship.

Many people ask, “How much should I give to God?” There is no set answer to that question because God owns it all (Haggai 2:8). However, there are some principles in God’s word for the giving of tithes and offerings. Before Moses instituted the Law, Abraham tithed 10% of all he had as worship to God (Genesis 14:18-20).

In Malachi 3:8-10, God accused Israel of robbing Him of tithes and offerings. He told them to bring all the tithes — 10% of their income — into the storehouse for the provision of His house. In today’s terms, the “storehouse” is the local church where you are receiving pastoral care under the leadership of elders. The Lord actually challenges us to test Him with our giving and if we are faithful in our obedience to do so, He will open up the windows of heaven and bless us.

Proverbs 3:9 says to honor the Lord with our possessions and the first fruits of all our increase, so our barns will be filled with plenty. As we are faithful to honor God in worship with our giving, He is faithful to provide for all our needs (Luke 12:25-34).

Paul said that if the first fruit is holy, the entire lump is also holy. (Romans 11:16) When we give 10% of our income to the local church, we show God that the remaining 90% is set apart to Him as well. Tithing is a practical way to demonstrate that everything we have is His. We must remember that God does not need our money. Rather, He chooses to involve us in partnering with Him to advance His kingdom through the giving of finances. Therefore, according to the principles of God’s Word, we should give at least 10% of our income to the local church, and pray about tithes and offerings beyond 10% as the Holy Spirit directs us. If you need financial counseling or have any further questions about biblical giving, please contact the Ministry Center at (954) 876-0307 or click here to contact us.

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