1 Corinthians 3:11
We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be the full record of God’s self disclosure to mankind. Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved along by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words, inerrant in the original writings. Therefore, those applying themselves to study its literal, historical-grammatical context can accurately understand God’s Word. Scripture is fully trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21).
We believe in the one living and true God, eternally (John 17:3) existing in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19–20). Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemptive history, has precisely the same nature, attributes, and being, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honor and obedience (John 1:1–4; Acts 5:3–4). God The Father We believe God the Father created all things in six literal days for His glory according to His own will (Revelation 4:11), through His Son, Jesus Christ. He upholds all things by the Word of His power and grace, exercising sovereign headship over all creation, providence, and redemption (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3). God The Son We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, moved by love in accordance with the will of the Father, took on human flesh (John 1:1, 14, 18). Conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary. He, being fully God and fully man (John 14:8–9), lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place accomplishing redemption for all who place their faith in Him. He arose visibly and bodily from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, where, at the Father’s right hand, He is now Head of His Body the Church, the only Saviour and Mediator between God and man, and will return to earth in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission (1 Timothy 3:16). God The Spirit We believe the Holy Spirit, in all He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He draws the unredeemed to repentance and faith, and at salvation imparts new spiritual life to the believer, bringing that person into union with Christ and the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, permanently indwells at salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11–12; Romans 8:9–17; 12:4–8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11–13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 2:1–4; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
We believe that God created mankind—male and female—in His own image and likeness, free of sin, to glorify Himself and enjoy His fellowship. Tempted by Satan, but in the sovereign plan of God, man freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind. All human beings, therefore, are totally depraved by nature and by choice. Alienated from God without defense or excuse, and subject to God’s righteous wrath, all of mankind is in desperate need of the Saviour (Genesis 3:1–6; Romans 3:10–19; Romans 1:18, 32).
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ. Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone. Upon salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever. Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Romans 8:37–39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
Upon placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, that believer is made part of the Body of Christ, the one universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head. Scripture commands believers to gather locally in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, the ordinances of baptism and communion, service to the local body through the development and use of talents and spiritual gifts, and outreach to the world to make disciples (Ephesians 1:22–23; Acts 2:42–46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18–20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church under the watchful care of a plurality of elders. A church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
We believe Christian baptism is a public declaration of the believer’s salvation in Christ, identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by immersion in water. The Lord’s Supper is the united commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination (Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3–6; 1 Corinthians 11:20–29).
We believe it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe the primary focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen, and reproduce biblically-based churches, which will then plant churches that plant churches for future generations and God’s Glory (Matthew 28:18–20).
Qualifications (Titus 1:6-9)
Responsibility The Scriptures show the Elders “serve by leading” and their responsibility involves the spiritual oversight of the congregation. All Elders are equal in authority but not necessarily equal in influence. Primary Responsibilities Ensuring the doctrine of the church is biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders. Ensuring the direction of the church is consistent with the Hope Bible Church statement of purpose and the six distinctives. Administering in love and humility the process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20;Galatians 6:1-4; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 and Romans 16:17. Plurality of Elders Scripture teaches a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual giftedness, squares with the Scripture’s teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 24:6.). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board.
The Hope Ottawa Senior Pastor automatically serves as an Elder and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, may be considered “first among equals” as a member of the Elder Board. The Senior Pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.
The Bible teaches that Deacons “lead by serving” (Acts 6). The qualifications for Elders and Deacons are the same regarding an individual‘s character, but they differ in aptitude. The elders are to be “able to teach” while the deacons are to be “able and proved as servants.” The Board of Deacons shall consist of a chairman who shall be a member of the Board of Elders. Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-12)
Responsibilities The Deacons will be responsible for the oversight of all financial, benevolent and facility operations of the church.
We believe in the importance of serving the body of Christ by offering clear paths for people to develop healthy, growing relationships with others in the church body. We value an intentional plan to help every interested person enjoy godly relationships in the church. Church membership is a by-product of people who are growing in Christ and who grasp the importance of serving the Lord by using their gifts to serve others in the local church.
The New Testament indicates that the earliest followers of the Lord Jesus Christ identified with, and committed themselves to a particular local body. In light of this understanding, Hope Ottawa recognizes the need for formal membership. Membership at Hope Ottawa is for all who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and have visibly demonstrated that commitment through believer’s baptism.
The effectiveness of our joining together will be determined by the level of the commitment we make. In a society where so few make commitments and fewer still keep them, Hope Ottawa is seeking a group of people who are determined to know the joy Christ intended for His body, the church. To this end members of Hope Ottawa must be willing to live in submission to our doctrinal statement. Further they must be willing to abide by the entire membership commitment:
While the term of membership continues as long as the believer desires fellowship with Hope Ottawa, the membership commitment will be renewed at a service designated for that purpose. The purpose of this renewal is to ensure that the believer’s commitment to one another and to the ministry God has called us to is a genuine and continuing one.
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20;Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). Scripture shows a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin by accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when a person becomes a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4). Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder—through the bread and the juice—of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16), and are infallible in their instruction (2 Peter 1:19), eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25), the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119), and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe the words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore we believe the Bible versions which translate God’s Word most literally into modern English should be preferred.
We believe God created the universe in six 24-hour days and before He created the universe, nothing except God existed (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16). God chose to create the universe and all in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11). We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Acts 25:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).
It is God’s divine decision to save a person (John 6:37; John 6:44; John 6:65; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:11-18; Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3) and it is God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Bible also teaches each person is responsible to embrace or reject Jesus as Savior and Lord, and God welcomes all who come to Him by faith apart from works (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 15:7; Luke 20:9-18; John 6:37; John 7:37; Romans 10:9-13; Acts 16:30-34; Acts 17:30.) Both of these truths—God’s sovereignty in salvation and man’s decision to embrace Christ—are taught in Scripture. Their co-existence is a mystery and is completely understood only in the mind of our omniscient God. All glory for the salvation of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). Those who are born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (Matthew 13:13; John 15:4-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 9). God is faithful to His people, and empowers them to persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19-20). We believe everyone who is born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ is assured of salvation from the moment of conversion (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance relies on God’s decisive and faithful grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation, but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18). Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the conviction God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16:30-34) and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own, they are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Mature disciples walk with Christ, worship Christ, and work for Christ. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and will become complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28). We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders’ lives into others (2 Timothy 2:2). This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12).
The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind and might (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 22:37). All believing men, women and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence. Worship glorifies God through adoration (Psalm 95:6), praise (Psalm 99:5), prayer (Daniel 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Nehemiah 12:46), and a complete yielding to Him (Romans 12:1). Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12). Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:
Hope Bible Church Ottawa affirms the God-ordained and significant role women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. Scripture clearly states men are to serve in the office of Elder and women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality—for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in Scripture.
Satan and his demonic servants viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12). God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 John 4:4; Revelation 20:1-10). Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus’ name for protection against demonic activity, Scripture does not instruct the Christian to “bind Satan in Jesus’ name.” Rather, Scripture instructs the Christian to combat Satan by:
The Lord changes lives and accomplishes His purposes directly through reading and applying Scripture, meditating on the truths of the Bible, and prayer. The Lord also uses those who minister His Word as they encourage, exhort, admonish, edify, implore, reprove, rebuke, console and support others toward godliness. God needs no new or unique insight into the human condition in order to change lives, regardless of whether that insight is gained through psychology or some other tool of human origin. Psychological theories that may help people live healthier and more effectively are embellishments of principles already revealed in Scripture. Although some forms of human wisdom are true, they are not the Word of God. They are infinitely subordinate to, and not to be compared with, the matchless value of God’s Word (Psalm 119:160; Isaiah 40:8; John 17:17). Problems approached by integrating Scripture with psychological theories tend to deceive individuals into diminishing the God of the Bible, and into believing He has not provided and cannot provide sufficient truth, insight, and wisdom to change their lives (Colossians 2:8-10). There are occasions when a medical doctor may diagnose a physical problem that manifests itself in attitudinal, behavioural, or emotional struggles. In those occasions, the use of medications may be appropriate. However, when psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behavior and seek to explain the causes of that behaviour, they enter spiritual territory. Only the omniscient God can explain such causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:5-11). Each Christian’s passion should be to become more like Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2) and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord will the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38). The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2). The Lord’s church is a community of faith—a living body with Jesus Christ at the head (Colossians 1:17-18)—that influences, supports and helps bring men, women and children into healthy relationships with the Lord and with others of the church. A healthy church body applies biblical principles to relationships at all levels, i.e. the overall church context, ministries within the church, families within the church and individuals within the church. God-honouring application of biblical principles throughout the church leads to healthier relationships at all levels (Ephesians 4:14-16; Hebrews 12:12-13). This application also helps ensure the integrity of the church’s corporate and individual witness to a watching world (1 Peter 2:12).
Hope Bible Church Ottawa is a non-charismatic, conservative, evangelical body that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their Saviour and all who are seeking Him. Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body. We believe the Christian life is supernatural and the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe current displays of the gift of tongues distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Current displays of the gift of tongues:
Hope Ottawa seeks to prevent the propagation of doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members to and adherents of Hope Ottawa are not to propagate the teachings and emphases of the current charismatic movement. Although we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, the expression of tongues and other sign gifts are not to be overtly expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Hope Ottawa.