Convictions, Persuasions, and Opinions (CPO's)
At Faithbridge, we organize our beliefs into CPO's and Social Issues. We consider our convictions to be the essence of Christianity. We maintain our persuasions while recognizing many biblical Christians have drawn different conclusions. Opinions are topics open for discussion but not worth conflict.
Core Christian beliefs that we believe are the essence of Christianity.
Authority of Scripture
The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, the 66 canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is the Word of God, fully true; our final authority in all matters of faith, practice, and lifestyle. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20–21)
There is One true God who exists eternally in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are of one substance and equal in power and glory. (Gen. 1:1, 26; Matt. 28:19; John 1:1; Rom. 1:20; Eph. 4:5; 2 Cor. 13:14)
Deity of Christ
Jesus Christ is 100% God and yet 100% man, born of the virgin Mary. (Matt. 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13)
Though all have sinned and deserve eternal separation from God, Jesus Christ died on the cross as our substitute—taking upon Himself the penalty for our sins. (Isa. 53; Rom. 3:23–26; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 John 2:2)
Resurrection of Christ
On the third day Jesus rose from the dead in the body which had been laid in the tomb, defeating sin and death. (Matt. 28:6; 1 Cor. 15:4–9, 14)
Salvation by Grace through Faith
A person can be saved from the condition of sin and spiritual death only by the grace of God, when that person experiences the free gift of new birth by placing his or her personal faith in Jesus Christ. (John 3:3, 16; Rom. 10:9; Eph. 2:8, 9)
Second Coming of Christ
Jesus Christ will return someday, at a date undisclosed by Scripture, to judge the living and the dead. Those who have received the gift of salvation will spend eternity with Christ. Those who have rejected the gift of salvation will be condemned to eternal separation from God. (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16–17)
Beliefs about which we have persuasions, though recognizing many biblical Christians have drawn different conclusions.
All have sinned and cannot save themselves. Jesus died for all, and God is drawing all people to Himself. Before the foundation of the world, God—who stands outside our continuum of time—foreknew who would place their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. His foreknowledge, though, does not logically necessitate His predestinated salvation of certain individuals. God has, indeed, predetermined that the Church will be saved (corporate election), but a person becomes a part of the Church through responding to His wooing, prevenient grace and choosing to place his or her faith in Jesus Christ.
Assurance of Salvation
Scripture makes clear that it is the privilege of all Christian believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior, and thereafter. This assurance is not based upon any kind of merit but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word (Rom. 8:15–16; 1 John 2:3–6, 3:24, 5:11–12).
The supernatural spiritual gifts still exist today. Speaking in tongues is a valid gift for the Church today and should operate under the boundaries of 1 Corinthians 14. One such boundary: speaking or praying in tongues confuses unbelievers attending a corporate worship service (1 Cor. 14:23–25) and should therefore be expressed in believers’ settings such as like-hearted prayer groups and personal prayer times. Speaking in tongues may accompany being filled with the Holy Spirit but is not “the sign” that a person is filled with the Holy Spirit.
We believe water baptism is a sacrament to be observed by the Church today, a means by which we experience God’s grace tangibly, though not a requisite to salvation or church membership. Faithbridge offers to those who have placed their faith in Christ any of three modes of water baptism practiced throughout Church history: immersion, pouring, and sprinkling. Faithbridge offers either infant dedication or infant baptism, leaving that decision to parents. Any prior baptism in a Christian church, including infant baptism, is acceptable, although we have a strong preference for celebrating believer’s baptism.
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament to be observed by the Church today, a way we experience God’s grace tangibly, though not a requisite to salvation or church membership. We believe that Communion is an outward sign or symbol of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. While we do not believe that the bread and juice literally turn into the actual flesh and blood of Christ, we do believe that in Communion we experience the very real presence and grace of Jesus Christ with us.
Satan and demons exist. They were defeated through the cross but will not be destroyed until the Second Coming. Believers have authority in Jesus’ name over demonic powers. Believers may be oppressed by demons but not possessed. Prayer is essential for the Church.
Women in Ministry
God has established authority in the home based on gender, but He has established authority in the Church based on office. God does call and equip women for pastoral ministry offices.
Several different church government configurations can fulfill the Bible’s description of church government. The Faithbridge Staff drives ministry decisions at Faithbridge, with the Senior Pastor serving as presiding elder. The Council of Lay Elders serves in an advisory and accountability role, primarily to the Senior Pastor.
Church Membership & Leadership
All persons who commit to uphold these beliefs and pledge to live according to the Membership Covenant are welcome to be an active part of the vibrant community and body of Christ at Faithbridge. Potential leaders must be known for a period of time sufficient for two or more other leaders to affirm they are living by their membership commitment (I Tim. 3:1–13; Eph. 4).