What we believe
Our church has grown for many reasons, the most important reason being, God has grown it. (Acts 2:47) We have made it our mission as a church and a team to be unified in the essentials. We want to give liberty and grace in the non-essentials and to love Gods way in everything. We try to be a place of truth and a place of love. We believe we glorify God by doing this.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. John 17: 21-22
Now, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so there won't be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)
Our Belief Statements -These are non-negotiable.
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.Biblical references: Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:2.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heavens glory and will return again someday to claim His own and take them to that same Heaven.Biblical references: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3, 4; I Corinthians 15:3,4; I Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13; Hebrew 4:14, 15.
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right, and is our intercessor. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. Biblical references: John 14:16, 16:7-14, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26-27; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; II Corinthians 3:16-17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18.
About the Bible
The Bible is Gods Word to us. Human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is God inspired, it is the truth without any mixture or error.Biblical references: Ps. 119:105,160; Pr. 30:5-6; Mt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21
Salvation is Gods free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ and Gods offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sins penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. This is evidenced by repentance, confession, baptism by immersion, and a life committed to His service. Romans 10:9; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; John 1:12, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5
About Spiritual Gifts
God has designed the local church like a physical body, with Jesus Christ as the head. God gifts each of His children in unique and special ways to serve and build up the body. Therefore, spiritual gifts are not for personal benefit or glory, but to bring glory to God, as well as encouraging and building up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:4 No one individual can have all the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:17-30. We are interdependent on each other; together we are the body of Christ which is a clear demonstration of true diversity. There is no division as we all have equal concern and need for each other. One is an eye, another is a hand, another is a foot; and some are presentable while other parts are un-presentable. We all must be the part God has designed us to be, if not, the body suffers and becomes ill. “If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 Unfortunately, some division can come with reference to the use of tongues. God gives rules in His word for the use of tongues. If someone speaks in a tongue it will be one at a time. 1 Corinthians 14:27. There must be an interpreter. 1 Corinthians 14:28. There must be one who discerns whether it comes from God. 1 John 4:1. It is noteworthy that 1 Corinthians was written to house churches. To preserve unity in the body of Gate City Christian, we ask that the gift of speaking in tongues not be exercised in public meetings (services/small groups). Scriptural References: Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16;1 Peter 4:7-11
Communion at Gate City is defined as scripture defines it.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until he comes.
Communion is a memorial.
Communion is a new covenant.
Communion is a proclamation.
When we take it, we do so in a worthy manner.
1 Corinthians 11: 27-28
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
We do this by self-examination.
Do I have any sins to confess? (1John 1:9)
Relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23-24)
Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)
It is a distinctive of our church that we offer communion every week. We do not believe you have to take communion every week, however when you do partake in it, do so in a correct manner.
(1 Corinthians 11:25-28)
Who should take it?
Only those who believe.
We do not recommend young children who do not understand salvation and the relationship, take it.
About the Priesthood of Every Believer
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to full time Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading. We believe people are called to witness and to minister.
...and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father Revelation 1:6a (NASB95)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
About The End Times (This is a non- salvation issue)
We have people with many views on this issue in our church. Some are pre-millennial, others are amillennial, and there are various other differing views. But, this is not a salvation issue. We believe that there will be a literal return of Christ, a rapture, and a Judgment Day.
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called sin. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.Biblical references: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.Biblical references: John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15
About Financial Giving
At Gate City we believe that every believer who calls our church home should support the church family by giving and serving. We acknowledge that God is the source of our physical and financial blessings; understanding that through His generosity and grace we have much more than we need. God’s word is full of examples and commands regarding being stewards of what He has given us and how we are to support His church. While historically many churches have taught the principal of the tithe and the offering of first fruits; it is our belief that the New Testament instructions from Jesus and the Apostles focus more on the relational aspect of our giving. In Luke 21:3-4, Jesus commends the gift of the Widow to his Disciples. Her small gift of all that she had, a reflection of heart’s devotion, was greater than that given by others out of only their surplus. Much of Paul’s writing in the New Testament focuses on living by the Spirit of the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6). Freed from the “letter of the law” under the Old Covenants, we are now called to explore the freedom He has given us; but being ever mindful of our responsibility to support His work. In 2 Corinthians 8:3-4 Paul holds up the Macedonian church and their generosity “… they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.”
We strive to be like those Macedonian believers, all in for the mission that God has called us to as body of believers. Not that we should have any pride in what we could accomplish on our own, but by being in such a full and close relationship with God that we recognize that people matter more than things. That service matters more than comfort. That love matters more than self. We realize that without the sacrificial giving and serving by the generations that have come before us; we, ourselves, might not have been able to hear the Good News of the Gospel Message. We know that without supporting our Church and the part that it fulfills in His mission someone in the near or distant future may miss out on hearing the message that has saved us. Therefore we give and serve not just to check a box, nor to attain that which we can do on our own. But, rather, to give all that we can, and more, of our time and money to support God’s mission for our Church. Knowing that just as we are indebted to those who came before us, we are responsible to those who need to hear the Gospel message today, tomorrow, and every day thence until our Lord returns.
Marriage, Gender and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as defined in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God.
(Luke 11:34, Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). Human life is of immeasurable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).