“In essentials unity. In non-essentials liberty. In all things love.” – St. Augustine
Our essential beliefs are intended to be the basis for fellowship. There will always be peripheral doctrines that committed Christians disagree upon, but the essential beliefs of Christianity are non-negotiable. Below is a list of TC’s essential beliefs.
The Bible Is the Inspired Word of God
The Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God, the only written revelation from God to man. The Bible is infallible and the authoritative rule of faith and conduct for mankind (2 Timothy 3:15–17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).
The One True God
God is called by many different names in the Bible because of the different dimensions of His personality, but God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 22:37). God is super-dimensional and eternally self-existent (John 8:54–59). God is love, sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1-2). While God is one, He is also a tri-personal being known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus: The God-Man
Jesus the Messiah (Christ) is the second person of the tri-personal God. The eternal Son of God became man without ceasing to be God (John 1:1–14; Philippians 2:5–11). The Scripture declares His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18–23); His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:4-5); His miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:37–38); His substitutionary death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:4); His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:4); and His exaltation to the right hand of God the Father to now function as our High Priest, Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2). Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).
God the Holy Spirit
We believe that God is sovereign in bestowing spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsibility to attempt to develop his or her sovereignly given spiritual gift(s). The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential, nor do they prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are they an indication of deep spiritual experience (1 Corinthians 12:7,11; Ephesians 4:7–8). We believe that God does hear and answer prayer, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted. We believe that it’s the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to them. (Romans 12:1–8; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 4:10–11). The nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and are evidence of spiritual maturity.
The Fall of Man
Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). However, by a voluntary act of the will, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). That first sin had several repercussions. Man was excommunicated from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23), a curse was pronounced (Genesis 3:14–19), the process of physical death began (Genesis 2:17), and man died spiritually (Romans 5:12–19). Sin separated humankind from God and left man in a fallen (sinful) condition, separated from the life and love of God (Romans 3:23).
The Rescuing (Salvation) of Man
The only means of salvation is Jesus the Messiah (Acts 4:12; John 14:6). He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins (1 Peter 2:24) and rose from the dead on the third day according to Scripture to infuse humanity with His resurrection life. He offers each of us a pardon for our sins (Hebrews 9:26; 1 John 4:9–10) and wants us to become beloved children of God (John 1:12). When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. We become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). We become citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20–21). We are given eternal life (John 3:16). We are adopted and become children of God (Galatians 4:4–7). Our sins are forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 8:12). We are credited with the righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:4–5). We are born again (John 3:3). God takes ownership of us (1 Corinthians 6:20). We receive an eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:13–14; 1 Peter 1:3–5). The evidence of salvation is twofold. The internal evidence is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The external evidence is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). We become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and are transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We believe that all true Christ-followers are eternally secure through the Spirit’s power (John 6:37–40; 10:27–30; Romans 8:1, 38–39; 1 Corinthians 1:4–8; 1 Peter 1:5). We believe that it’s the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11–14).
The Church and Her Mission
The Church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12–27) and has a threefold purpose: to evangelize the world as His missionaries (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18–20; John 17:8), to worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13), and to equip God’s people for ministry (Ephesians 4:11–16; 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12).
Baptism in Water
The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized by immersion (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. Baptism is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It’s a declaration to the world that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
The Lord’s Table consists of two elements: the bread and cup. These elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings on the cross and a celebration of our salvation. It’s an opportunity for a believer to examine himself and experience the forgiveness we possess in Christ.
The Covenant of Marriage
The Covenant of Marriage between and a man and a woman is holy, sacred, and beautiful. We view marriage as God’s divine design of a sacred covenant (a supernatural bonding) between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:23–24; Matthew 5:31–32, Matthew 19:1–12; Ephesians 5:25–33). In our fallen and broken world, relationships are often fragile. Yet, we believe that with the grace and power of God–along with the guidance of Scripture and a faithful community of believers–there is hope to have healthy marriages and to experience healing from past relationships. According to Scripture, marriage reflects the relationship between Jesus and the Church. Just as Jesus lovingly and sacrificially gave His life for His bride, the Church, the husband plays the role of Jesus by giving his life for his wife. And the wife responds to the husband’s sacrificial, loving initiatives by trusting his leadership in her family’s life, just as the Church responds to Jesus by trusting His leadership.
God’s Design for Sexuality
Through marriage, God created a place for sexual intimacy to be enjoyed through a man and a woman coming together as one. Although culture and customs have evolved in their definition of marriage, God alone, through Scripture, has the ultimate authority regarding marriage relationships (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:1-9; Ephesians 5:31).
Any sexual intimacy outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is considered sexual immorality, which is identified in Scripture. This includes sexual intimacy within premarital relationships, same sex relationships, or polyamorous relationships, as well as bisexuality, adultery, bestiality, incest, or pornography (Matthew 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4).
Though sexual intimacy outside of marriage (one man and one woman) is sinful, the Gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, and receive love and forgiveness though Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-7). Likewise, since the human body is a creation of God where sexual identity is biologically determined, disagreement with one’s biological sex or gender identity only leads to emotional chaos and spiritual confusion, and is regarded as sinful in its intent (Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Furthermore, there’s a difference between temptation (attraction) and unrepentant sin (action). Jesus was tempted in all ways as we were, yet He never sinned. We, too, don’t have to give in to sexual temptation or be held captive by sexual immorality but can walk in His forgiveness, grace, and power on a daily basis—sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11, Galatians 5:16-17).
Transformation Church will be a safe place for any person struggling with sexual temptations of all kinds. For those struggling with temptation, repenting of sin, and desiring to walk in who God called them to be, we will provide grace, love, care, and direction to encourage each of us to walk in God’s upward, inward, outward love (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Final Judgment
There will be a final judgment in which the dead will be resurrected and judged according to their works (Matthew 25:31–46; Romans 2:1–9). Everyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life will be consigned to hell, along with the devil and his angels (Revelation 20:11–15). Those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be resurrected and stand at the judgment seat of Christ to be rewarded for their good deeds (1 Corinthians 4:5) and enjoy God in the new heaven and new earth for all eternity (Revelation 21:1–4).