Essential Beliefs

Wildwood is not affliated with any denomination, but as a church family we do care deeply about doctrine. God asks His people to trust Him and take Him at His Word, therefore we believe His words matter and how we understand His truth is essential to our beliefs and practice.

Wildwood has two documents that govern our beliefs: ”The Essentials” and our “Statement of Faith.” ”The Essentials” are found on the back of the bulletin every Sunday and represent what a person must embrace in order to become a member of Wildwood Community Church. The “Statement of Faith” is a longer document that must be embraced by our Pastors and Elders and reflects our teaching position as a church.

The “Essential Beliefs” are stated below:

We believe that . . .

The Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21, Matthew 5:18)
The Bible is verbally inspired as originally written and without error, and is the supreme authority for all matters in this life.

God (Genesis 1:1, Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19)
There is one living and true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who exists eternally in three Persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Christ (Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:26-38, Romans 1:4, Acts 1:3)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who, being born of a virgin, became a man to give His life as a ransom for our sins. Jesus was completely God and completely man at the same time. Having led a sinless life, He satisfied the Father’s justice concerning sin by dying for us on the cross. He then defeated sin and death by rising bodily from the dead.

Humanity (Genesis 3, Romans 3:9-19, Ephesians 2:1-3)
Mankind was created in the image of God, but because of sin, all people are separated from God and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ. All people sin in thought, word, and deed and thus fall short of God’s glorious and holy standard.

Salvation (Romans 3:24-25, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 9:22, 1 John 2:2)
Mankind is saved only by the grace of God which was made manifest on the earth through the death of Christ on the cross for mankind’s sins. This is the only acceptable sacrifice for mankind’s sins and it must be embraced by personal faith in order to bring any person into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing else.

The Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 5:16-25)
The Holy Spirit is fully God and is at work in this world to bring conviction of sin and empowerment for righteous living and ministry. Every believer in Jesus Christ is indwelled by the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion.

Future (Matthew 24-25, Revelation 19:11-20:6)
At His appointed time, God will bring this world to an appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally (physically and visibly) to the earth in power and great glory to judge mankind and to reign in righteousness.

Teaching Position

Statement of Faith

Wildwood is a church that cares deeply about doctrine. God asks His people to trust Him and take Him at His Word, therefore we believe His words matter and how we understand His truth is essential to our beliefs and practice.

Wildwood has two documents that govern our beliefs: ”The Essentials” and our “Statement of Faith.” ”The Essentials” are found on the back of the bulletin every Sunday (and found online at this link) and represent what a person must embrace in order to become a member of Wildwood Community Church. The “Statement of Faith” is a longer document that must be embraced by our Pastors and Elders and reflects our teaching position as a church.

The “Statement of Faith” you see below represents Wildwood’s teaching position:

The Bible

We believe and teach that the Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s divine revelation to mankind. It is a living book composed by human authors who were supernaturally guided by the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is—as originally written—verbally inspired, without error, and fully reliable. The Scriptures are the complete revelation of God’s will regarding the salvation of mankind and serve as the supreme authority for all matters in this life.

The “normal-literal” method is our guiding principle in interpreting Scripture. This method seeks to understand the customary, plain intended meaning of the author by applying the principles of context, grammar, figures of speech, background history and customs.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21, Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 4:12)

God and Creation

We believe and teach that there is one living and true God, who has always existed, and will always exist, in three divine persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Though each person of the Godhead possesses the same nature and is fully God, each function differently in respect to God’s dealings with man. We understand from Scripture that the Heavenly Father is the planner of redemption from before the foundation of the world.

God is the divine designer and originator of everything that exists in the universe. He created all things and He is the upholder of all things. As clearly stated in Genesis, He created the universe out of nothing by His spoken word.

(Genesis 1; Colossians 1:16-17; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11)

Christ

We believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and the true Creator of all things. God in His wisdom chose that Jesus would be conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, thus becoming God incarnate in order to give His life as a ransom for our sins. Jesus was completely God and completely man at the same time. He lived a sinless life and offered himself up as the perfect, complete sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Jesus fully satisfied the Father’s justice concerning sin when he died for us on the cross. He then demonstrated His victory over sin and death by rising bodily from the dead.

Jesus ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of God and functions as our High Priest and Advocate before the Heavenly Father. He will personally return to earth one day in power and great glory to reign as King of Kings.

(Matthew 1:18-25; 24:29-31; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26-38; Romans 1:4; Acts 1:3; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 John 2:1-2; Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25-26; Colossians 1:15-16 ; 2:9; Revelation 19:11-16)

Humanity

We believe and teach that mankind was created in the image and likeness of God, and designed to reflect the character of their Creator. Through Adam humanity sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.

The fall caused by Adam’s rebellion was a once-for-all historical event and the spiritually deadening effect spread to all men marring the image of God, corrupting man in every aspect of his being, and alienating us from God. Thus every person inherits a sinful nature, and naturally chooses to sin in thought, word and deed.

The ultimate result is that all people fall short of God’s glorious and holy standards, are fully liable to His judgment, and are in desperate need of salvation.

(Genesis 1—3, Romans 3:9-19, 5:12-21, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3)

Salvation

We believe and teach that the heart of the New Testament is the Gospel, which is God’s good news for mankind. Salvation is His gracious gift because we could never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Since we are unable to attain to divine righteousness by our own efforts, we can be rescued only by the mercy and grace of God, which was manifested through the death of Christ.

The core of the Gospel is simply that Jesus died in our place and bore our sins in His body on the cross. Christ’s work on the cross is the only sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world, and He is the only mediator between God and man. We receive salvation and are justified when we recognize ourselves as sinners and put our trust in Christ and His finished work on the cross of Calvary.

Eternal life begins the moment one places their faith in Christ and it can never be lost or taken away. All those redeemed and born again by the Spirit are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever, since they are seated in the heavenly places, full citizens of God’s Kingdom, and adopted members of God’s family. The high priesthood and advocacy of Jesus, along with the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit are dual cornerstones of this great truth.

(John 1:29, 3:16-18, 36; 5:24, 6:3-40, 10:27-30, 14:6; Acts 7:12; Romans 3:24-25, 5:8-9, 8:29-39; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Ephesians 1:5, 13, 2:4-6, 8-9, 4:30, Colossians 3:1-3; Hebrews 7:25, 9:22, 1 John 2:1-2 1 Peter 2:9-10, 24; Hebrews 4, 7:24-25 Isaiah 53:1-12; 64:6 )

The Holy Spirit

We believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is the same in essence, majesty and glory as the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the supernatural personality and agent who: 1) convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; 2) performs the miracle of new birth and permanently indwells every believer at the moment of conversion; 3) empowers believers to live a life pleasing to God and endows them with spiritual gifts to accomplish distinct ministries.

While God always remains the Sovereign Dispenser of spiritual gifts (He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants), our understanding is that the miraculous “sign gifts” are not normative in God’s program for the church today.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the act of placing the believer into the body of Christ and, thus, it occurs at the time of conversion

(John 14:16-17, 16:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

Satan

We believe and teach that Satan is a created being who truly exists and is both the enemy of God, and the deceiver and destroyer of men. As a fallen angel he led an active rebellion against God. The Devil was defeated and judged at the cross and therefore his doom is certain. We are able to resist and stand against him and his forces by putting on the whole armor of God.

(Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:10-18; Colossians 2:14-15; Revelation 12:9; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-15)

The Church

We believe and teach that the universal church is made up of all believers of this present age and is the active expression of the Body of Christ on earth. As a tool to touch the world, the church was created by God to display His glory on earth and in the heavenly places.

Local churches—assemblies of professed believers who join together for the purposes of worship, the study of God’s word, practice of the ordinances, along with fellowship and outreach—are the geographical expressions of the larger universal church.

We understand the biblical model of church leadership to be a multiplicity of Elders whose job is to oversee, shepherd, protect, and instruct the church according to God’s plan.

God has called the local church to serve as God’s ambassadors to this world, to make disciples of all nations, and to shine as light by consistently fulfilling His purposes of: 1) Living out God’s Truth; 2) Investing in reaching others; 3) Giving ourselves in serving; 4) Honoring God in worship; and 5) Teaming together in relationships.

(Matthew 5:16; 7:24-25; 26:26-29; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 12:4-7; 2 Corinthians 5:18,20; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 1:22-23, 3:4-10; 5:8, 19; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:1-2; Titus 1:5-9; 2:10b; Hebrews 12:28; 13:15-16; James 1:22-25; 1 Peter 4:10-12; 1 John 3:14-18, Psalm 105:2-3)

Marriage

We believe God, not man, created marriage. We believe the Bible teaches that the covenant of marriage is sacred and lifelong. The Bible makes it clear that marriage is a legally binding public declaration of commitment and a private consummation between one man and one woman.

(Genesis 2:18-25; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:27-32; 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4)

Ordinances

We believe and teach that the local church is clearly called by Jesus to observe both the ordinance of communion and the ordinance of baptism. The Lord’s Supper is a celebration and commemoration of the Savior’s suffering and death. It is a memorial meal taken regularly and repeatedly by believers, reminding them of the communion they have with the Lord and other Christians because of Jesus’ death on our behalf.

Baptism should be administered upon confession of faith in Jesus as an outward testimony to one’s new life in Christ. As an act of obedience to Jesus Christ and a testimony to His transforming power, baptism is an important event for the believing community to witness.

The New Testament evidence strongly supports the practice of baptism by immersion, a picture of our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. We do not see sufficient biblical evidence to support the practice of infant baptism since the clear, repeated pattern of the Book of Acts is that the early followers of Jesus first believed, and then they were baptized. Since infants are unable to comprehend and respond to the Gospel, they are not candidates for baptism, but should be instructed in the Gospel from the earliest age possible.

(Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:17-20; Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47-48; 16:31-33 18:8; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 11:23-28)

Christian Life

We believe and teach that while before salvation we were enslaved to sin, at the point of salvation the dominant power of sin in our lives was broken. At that point God begins to progressively work within believers to make us more like Christ. The Christian walk is the process of cooperating with God’s sanctifying work in our lives through obedience and dependence upon the Holy Spirit, allowing us to grow spiritually and deepen our relationship with Him.

It is God’s will for us to be growing continually in Christ-likeness over the course of our lives until we arrive in heaven and are experientially made perfect in Christ. Every believer is called not to be conformed to the values of this world, but to live a life by God’s power that manifests the attitudes and character of the Savior himself.

(Philippians 1:6, 2:13; Romans 6-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 12:1-2)

Eternity

We believe and teach that all people are created as eternal beings and will exist forever. Thus, all of mankind will experience bodily resurrection. Unbelievers will be raised to eternal punishment, separated from God in hell and the lake of fire. Believers will be raised to joy and fellowship eternally with God in Heaven.

The souls of believers are, at death, absent from the body and immediately present with the Lord, where they await their future physical resurrection. The souls of unbelievers remain, at death, in conscious misery awaiting judgment until their future physical resurrection.

(Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; Luke 16:19-31; 1 Corinthians 15:1-25; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 1:23)

Things to Come

We believe and teach that at His appointed time, God will bring this world to an appropriate end. God has declared there is a time of Great Tribulation coming to earth, which is an expression of the righteous judgment of God upon mankind.

Prior to this period the church will be called up to meet the Lord in the air, an event aptly described in Scripture as “the blessed hope.”

Upon completion of this tribulation period, according to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally (physically and visibly) to the earth in power and great glory both to judge mankind and to reign in righteousness. At that time He will set up His Millennial Kingdom on the earth to reign with His saints.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is the judgment of believers in reference to rewards, or lack thereof (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Great White Throne Judgment is the judgment of those who do not know God and who will be eternally separated from God in torment (Revelation 20:11-15).

(Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24, John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 6—22)

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