STATEMENT OF FAITH

We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

The Gospel

The gospel is the good news that God became man in Jesus Christ. He lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died, in our place. Three days later he rose from the dead, proving that He is the son of God and offering the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins to anyone who repents and believes in Him.

The Trinity

It is the testimony of both the Old and New Testaments and of the Christian Church that God is both One and Triune. The biblical revelation testifies that there is only one God and that He is eternally existent in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; I Timothy 3:16)

God the Father

In the Bible, God is called by many different names because there are different dimensions of His personality, but there is still only one God. God is not limited by time or space and is eternally self-existent. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth. While God is one, He has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 8:54-59; Genesis 1 and 2; Matthew 28:19)

Jesus Christ, God the Son

Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God. The Scripture declares His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His substitutionary death on the cross, His bodily resurrection from the dead, and His exaltation to the right hand of God the Father. (Matthew 1:18-23; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; John 3:4-5; Acts 2:22, 10:3738; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Matthew 28:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Acts 1:9, 11; Philippians 2:9-11)

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God, He is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He was active in the Old Testament and given to the Church in fullness at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is given to every follower of Christ to guide, comfort, convict, and adopt us into the family of God. The nine fruits of the Spirit are by-products of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity. The nine gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body. We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts in the context of love. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, subsequent to conversion, releases the fullness of the Spirit and is evidenced by tongues, joy, praise, and other inward and outward manifestations and gifts. (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:1- 11; 1 Corinthians 14:2633; 1 Corinthians 13:1- 13; Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4)

The Old and New Testaments

The Bible is God’s Word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. We affirm that the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, is alone the only infallible, inspired Word of God and that its authority is ultimate, final, and eternal. It cannot be added to, subtracted from, or superseded in any regard. The Bible is the source of all doctrine, instruction, correction, and reproof. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error. For the purposes of interpretation and doctrine, we will utilize the New King James version of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119: 105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 19:7-11; II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20-21)

The Atonement

Christ’s vicarious death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world, but its benefits are only applicable to those who receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Healing of the body, soul, and spirit, is provided for in the atonement, as well as all of God’s provision for His saints, but these must be appropriated. (Isaiah 53:4-7; John 3:16, 5:24; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-26, 5:8-11; Ephesians 2:8; I Corinthians 15:3, 4; II Corinthians 5:18-21, Philippians 2:7; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14, 9:14; I John 2:2, 4:10.)

Salvation

Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. The only means of salvation is through Jesus Christ. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. When we trade our sin for his righteousness, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. Jesus offers people a pardon from their sins and adopts us into God’s family; our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; we become citizens of Heaven; and we are given eternal life. We are born again. God takes ownership of us and we receive an eternal inheritance. The evidence of salvation is two-fold. The internal evidence is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit. The external evidence is the fruit of the Spirit. We become a new creation, and we are transformed into the image of Christ. (this is a process) (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:26; John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Philippians 3:20-21; John 3:16; Revelation 3:5; John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Ephesians 1:13-14; I Peter 1:3-5; Romans 8:16; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Baptism

Every person who confesses Jesus as his or her personal Lord and Savior and desires a relationship with him needs to be baptized. “But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)

Baptism is an important step of obedience that shows others we have personally trusted Jesus for our salvation. Jesus was baptized when He was on the earth, and we do this to follow His example. When Christians are baptized, they are submerged under water to identify with the death and burial of Jesus and raised out of the water to identify with His resurrection.

The Christian Life

Sanctity of Life
We believe all human life is a sacred gift from God and is to be protected and defended from conception to natural death. We will uphold the sanctity of life and bring the grace and compassion of Christ to those who face the realities of previous abortion, unwanted pregnancy, and end-of-life illness.

Marriage and Sexuality
We believe in the importance of marriage. Specifically, that marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman, and that a person’s sex (male or female) is determined by God in the womb and revealed at birth. We respect the complexity and depth of struggle that men and women must endure when faced with issues related to their sexuality. It is our desire to walk beside an individual in such a way that sin’s power is broken through God’s all-encompassing grace, thereby ensuring that the individual is free to know and experience their true identity in Christ and His Church. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Psalm 139:13)

The Church

The Church is the body of Christ and has a four-fold purpose: to Glorify God, make disciples, make Jesus known to a lost world, and to meet human needs. The Church is governed by the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4, (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers); the offices of Elder and Deacon, as well as other offices mentioned in Scripture. It is essential to the life of the Church that scriptural patterns of discipline be practiced and that oversight for Church discipline, individual and corporate, be exercised by the leadership of the Church. (I Corinthians 12:12-27; Colossians 3:16- 17, Ephesians 1:12, and Ephesians 5:16-19; Luke 6:35-36, Acts 11:29, 1 John 3:17, James 1:27; Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2; Acts 1:8)

The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s table consists of two elements: the bread and the cup. Those 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 is an opportunity for a believer to examine oneself and repent in order to experience the forgiveness granted to us in the cross. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross. (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

Eschatology

We affirm the bodily, personal, second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the saints, the millennium, and the final judgment. The final judgment will determine the eternal status of both the saints and the unbelievers, determined by their relationship to Jesus Christ. We affirm with the Bible the final state of the new heavens and the new earth. (Matt 24:27; Acts 1:11; I Thes. 4:13-17) Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence. (John 3:16; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:31-46)

Our Structure

Trinity Church is governed by our Elders and led by our Senior Pastor. Our ministries are led by our staff and fueled by our volunteers.

Each ministry of the church is led by a pastor who sets the ministry guidelines in accordance with the vision and values of Trinity. The staff leads their ministries through the guidance of the Senior Pastor and the Senior Leadership team. Deacons are the servant leaders at Trinity Church.

Deacons are asked to model and champion the Ephesians 4 model of ministry of church discipleship. Deacons are appointed by the Church Elders. The qualifications of a Deacon are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Finances

Trinity Church is committed to being a good steward of all funds entrusted to us. Every year there is an independent audit of all funds by an outside CPA firm to ensure that our accounting practices are to the highest standards.

Because of the strict standards and pursuit of excellence in this matter, Trinity is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship. (Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Church Governance, Eschatology, Human Sexuality, Salvation, Sanctity of Life, The Role of Women in Ministry)

POSITION PAPERS

To learn more about Trinity Church's position on important faith topics, browse through our Position Papers below:

 

Baptism in the Holy Spirit Church

Introduction

We believe the need for the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in a believer’s life is as critical today as it was in the day of the Apostles. We do not teach a dispensational view of the Holy Spirit’s power and the expression of gifts. Rather we hold the position, supported by Scripture that the Holy Spirit’s presence and power are for every believer until Jesus returns.

We recognize that the families and members of Trinity Church come from varied and diverse backgrounds. As such, we extend the opportunity for people to grow in their understanding of the person and power of the Holy Spirit as well as their understanding of His work in their lives. Everyone at Trinity is encouraged to seek the power, presence, and gifts of the Holy Spirit for themselves in a manner with which they are comfortable. No one will ever be forced to receive the Holy Spirit or any of His gifts, but all are taught the contemporary work of the Holy Spirit from Scripture and encouraged to grow in love and intimacy with God.

As we minister to individuals, we will use all the gifts available to us from God to see healing, deliverance and freedom developed in a person’s life. Public expressions of the gifts of the Spirit will be demonstrated in an orderly manner as directed by church leadership. Appropriate expression of a gift of the Holy Spirit in a corporate setting includes submission to pastoral authority and involves expression of the gifts with dignity and order so that it can be received by all.

Jesus promised His Church that they would receive a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ own death and resurrection. It is our view that God desires every Christian to experience this same encounter with the Holy Spirit’s power. In Luke 11:13, Jesus explains that it is our heavenly Father’s pleasure to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Just like salvation, the Holy Spirit is a free gift from the Father, which is received by faith.

Issues of Concern and Practice

Through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, God extends His power and the blessing of His presence to all believers. Our role is to receive. This baptism is marked by an initial act of receiving and continues as a daily response of receiving what God has made available for our service and relationship with Him. Through this process of receiving, we choose to accept His good gifts and all His provision for our lives.

While we acknowledge that emotionalism has often been associated with expressions of the Holy Spirit and at times there has been a failure in the church universal to properly administrate the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, we do not think these are sufficient reasons to limit the work or expression of the Holy Spirit at Trinity Church. The Pastors and Elders of Trinity Church are committed to teaching biblical truth and upholding a biblical standard of order in our corporate worship while at the same time allowing and encouraging an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit’s work among us. We believe this is a better solution to past abuses and excesses in the church-related to the Holy Spirit and His gifts.

At Trinity, there are opportunities to experience the different ways that God manifests His power as we draw closer to Him. We encourage individuals to seek the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. These gifts are not a reflection of spiritual maturity; they are a response of openness and faith to God. Spiritual maturity combines obedience, faith, and character in a process that molds us into the likeness of God.

We believe the gift of tongues has a dual purpose as outlined in the Scriptures. When coupled with the gift of interpretation, it provides encouragement, comfort, and exhortation to the congregation of believers. When used in prayer, it also provides personal edification for the believer and heavenly unction for prayer concerns that we lack words to adequately express (1 Corinthians 14). As a prayer force, it adds a new dimension to our partnership with God.

We believe a person receives the Holy Spirit when they receive Christ according to Ephesians 1:13. However, as demonstrated in numerous accounts throughout the New Testament, a believer must receive the Holy Spirit in a manner that accepts the full measure of His work in order for it to be activated in his life. Many believers have been taught that the Holy Spirit’s role in our day and time is to function as the seal of the promise of salvation. This teaching is true and right according to the Scriptures, but it is only one aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life. Receiving the Holy Spirit after conversion is based on a dawning awareness that His role is more than was understood or explained at conversion. This act of receiving is accepting the broadened biblical role of the Holy Spirit by faith.

Major Points and Scriptural References

The following scriptures refer specifically to the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit and are the basis from which we draw our position as stated below.

  • Ephesians 1:13
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4–11
  • Luke 11:13
  • Matthew 7:7–11
  • John 1:32–33
  • Acts 2:1–4

How Do You Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

You receive the Holy Spirit by faith based on the truth of Scripture and the desire of your heart to accept the promise of God for yourself. The acceptance of the promise of God’s power is by faith—the same faith used to receive Christ as Savior. To receive the Holy Spirit, you simply approach God in an attitude of faith, because according to Luke 11:13, it is His good pleasure to give His Spirit to those who ask.

What Can You Expect?

You can expect things to be different in your life. As demonstrated in Scripture, when a person receives the Holy Spirit, there may be a manifestation associated with the encounter. Some become emotional or express a gift of the Holy Spirit such as tongues, while others notice a change in their insight on Scripture or boldness to witness. While manifestations are not required to receive the Holy Spirit, they are common.

What About the Gifts of the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit brings the experience of the life of Jesus into our lives. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are divided into three categories (1 Corinthians 12:7–11):

  • Vocal Gifts—tongues, prophecy, and the interpretation of tongues
  • Knowledge Gifts—word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and the discerning of spirits
  • Power Gifts—healing, faith, and miracles

The Apostle Paul encouraged us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Although the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to every person who receives the Holy Spirit, they are only activated by faith. If you do not want to demonstrate a gift, God will not make you. If you desire His gifts but don’t understand them completely, He may bypass your mind and give you a gift, but it will always be based on your desire.

Resources

  • The Promise of the Father (Cindy Rowley)
  • Living the Spirit-Formed Life (Jack Hayford)

Conclusion

God’s purpose is for every one of His children to be filled with the same Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus’ own life. We cannot reduce this experience to a simple formula. In fact, we are talking about the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. To receive, we simply go to our heavenly Father in an attitude of faith and ask.

Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, and He wants to fill His children. Through experiencing the nine gifts and the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, we can effectively share the love and power of Jesus Christ with many people. We can also find the power to overcome many temptations, trials, and tests in this life.

Church Government

Introduction 

Trinity Church is committed to building a biblical foundation for church government. Spiritual life is produced when church government and theological correctness are combined with biblical preaching that proclaims the authority of God’s Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We believe the principles of church government are universal and the scriptural formula for oversight and governance of the local church is relevant in every culture.

Issues of Concern and Practice 

Trinity practices an Elder form of government. The board of Elders guides, guards and governs the spiritual well-being of Trinity Church and the implementation of its vision, mission, and values in accordance with its doctrinal beliefs. The Senior Pastor is called and anointed by God and subsequently confirmed and appointed by the board of Elders to lead the church and staff in the realization of God’s vision for Trinity.

Although there are other important positions of leadership for instruction and ministry, it is the Elder board that has the responsibility to govern the church. There are three basic functions of Elders:

  1. To lead the church by governing the vision of the church and establishing policies that provide philosophical boundaries for church life.
  2. To uphold the biblical standards of behavior among church members. This includes enforcing church discipline for factious behavior, unrepentant sin, and doctrinal error.
  3. To individually demonstrate a model for ministry and godly living to the people as they lead the church.

Trinity Church believes that church policies and philosophies for ministry are best decided when the entire Elder team meets together and discusses, debates, and prays. Elder meetings are held regularly and include discussions about policy decisions that affect the congregation as a whole. While the Senior Pastor is the leader of the Elders and is given special respectful consideration, all the Elders have equality relating to input and decision-making. In all cases, the Elders strive to achieve unanimity on an issue, but their decisions are not required to be unanimous. A decision can carry by a simple majority. In every case, the Elders are encouraged to express their thoughts, concerns, and ideas. The Elders always strive to maintain a spirit of unity. As the church grows and new ministries are established, the Elders’ are diligent in keeping the ministry consistent with the vision of the church and the methods of ministry remain consistent with our principles for ministry.

Major Points 

The office of Elder is a governmental office with spiritual responsibilities and rewards. We believe that one day Jesus will review each Elder’s stewardship. Faithful, willing, and sacrificial service to the flock of God will result in a heavenly reward. Elders should set the standard in every area of life. While perfection is not possible, an Elder should take his position seriously and strive to uphold the character qualifications necessary for this office in the church.

Careful consideration is given when choosing an Elder. The qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are used to determine a man’s ability to minister in the capacity of Elder. Trinity Church will only appoint spiritually mature men who are known within the congregation and have served faithfully in the ministries of the church for a season of time. A man must also be gifted governmentally, which is reflected through the following qualities.

The Elder candidate should:

  1. Enjoy overseeing the church and desire the office of Elder.
  2. Have the disposition of a servant and have a distinct love for people.
  3. Have an enthusiasm for every ministry of the church and not have a strong bias towards particular areas.
  4. Understand and respect the authority structure of the church.
  5. Be able to make decisions and maintain his resolve even in the face of intense and sometimes critical opposition.
  6. Be filled with faith for the future and not be overwhelmed by the size of the vision that God has for the church.
  7. Support and be able and willing to defend the Eldership publicly and privately.

The Elder role and scope of service:

  • Trinity Church believes the Senior Pastor should be the leader of the Eldership and should set the agenda for each meeting.
  • Trinity Church has Elders who are serving as staff of the church and Elders who are not a part of the church staff. While the ratio of Elders on staff and those not on staff may vary, it is the desire of Trinity Church to maintain a balance of both.
  • The Elders are given the responsibility to approve the annual budget and to administrate the compensation package of the senior pastor.
  • Trinity Church maintains the position that Elders are men only and should serve as the head of the church just as men should serve as the head of the home.
  • The Elders make decisions after extensive discussion and prayer. Debate is common and differing opinions are welcomed. Every effort is made by each Elder to operate in unity with one another.
  • The existing Elders have the authority to appoint new Elders as deemed necessary. When new Elders are appointed, the congregation will be notified.
  • Elders are appointed for life unless:
  1. They resign for personal reasons.
  2. They are disqualified by sin or a failure to meet the biblical standards of the office.
  3. They leave Trinity Church.

Scriptural References

  • 1 Timothy 3:1–7
  • Titus 1:5–9
  • 1 Peter 5:1–4
  • James 5:14–15

Church Discipline

Trinity Church also believes a primary responsibility of leadership is to model and maintain a standard of biblical behavior in the local church. We believe the Lord has given the Elders the responsibility to provide spiritual oversight for those who join the church. His command in 1 Peter 5:1 to “shepherd the flock of God” is something we take seriously.

Although we do not believe God has given the Elders absolute responsibility or authority in an individual’s life, we believe there are three specific areas in which we are responsible to give spiritual oversight. Because we believe we are responsible before God to provide this spiritual oversight, we will confront our members on their behavior in these areas. If the situation is not subsequently resolved in a satisfactory fashion, a formal process of church discipline will be initiated. The areas of spiritual oversight are as follows:

  1. Open and blatant sin
    It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned, that he who had done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:1–2 
  2. Issues involving doctrinal error
    But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1–3 
  3. Divisive and contentious behavior within the congregation
    But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition. Titus 3:9–11 

Every effort will be made to meet with the member who is involved with these issues. Our desire is to help our members grow to maturity through compassionate mentoring. The biblical model of confrontation and correction is not meant to punish people but rather to protect the Body of Christ from the wages of unrepentant sin. Biblical authority is not a license to exert control; it is a responsibility to exert influence for God’s will to be accomplished.

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15–17 

Our approach to confronting a member of the church involves the following steps:

  1. Begins with personal confrontation
  2. Expands to confrontation by two or more
  3. Broadens to group confrontation
  4. Ends in the removal of membership privileges

In confronting sin, we must remember that:

  • The purpose is redemption.
  • The attitude is humility.
  • The result is accountability.

Conclusion

Biblical government is designed to represent heaven accurately and attack hell successfully. The governmental DNA of the church is produced by pure biblical standards that have not been distorted or damaged by negative influences. The local church is the hope of the world and the hope of the local church is a biblical government that operates under the blessing and favor of God.

Eschatology

Introduction 

We believe Jesus Christ will return to earth personally and visibly according to the promises in Scripture. His return will be for the purpose of establishing His absolute governmental rule and authority on the earth. Christians are exhorted to be watchful and obedient until His return. While there are many viewpoints concerning His second coming, we believe Christians should look for His return with great anticipation while obediently pursuing the mandate of the Great Commission. At His second coming, the righteous who have died and are now with Him will be resurrected and rule with Him.

Issues of Concern and Practice 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36 

“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42 

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Matthew 25:13 

There is much diversity of perspective concerning the specifics of Jesus’ second coming and the rapture of the church. We embrace a variety of perspectives and do not believe any one opinion can or should be used as a test of orthodoxy within a local body of believers. Preoccupation with this subject has produced stagnant and sterile churches that are spiritually lethargic, evangelistically passive, and weak in their social and cultural impact. A church that embraces its identity as an “overcomer” is generally more concerned with its obedience to God’s command of occupying the earth until Jesus returns rather than with speculation on when He will return. Scripture clearly states that we won’t know when He will return.

How Should We Anticipate His Return?

  • We are to continue doing the important work that needs to be completed before Jesus returns—preach the gospel throughout the world!
  • We keep working on building His kingdom realizing that we don’t know exactly when Jesus will return.
  • We are to keep busy because neither Jesus’ delay nor His imminent arrival should be an excuse for idleness.
  • We remain prepared, realizing that each day is the possible day of Jesus’ return (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18).

Major Points

Jesus’ return will be universally unmistakable. It will be obvious to everyone (Mark 13:26). We should be aware of the signs of Jesus’ second coming, but also realize these signs are easily misread. ?Paul wrote, “So that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:4).

This group of believers to whom Paul was writing was considered great in the kingdom of God because of their endurance and steadfast continuation of the work of Christ while in the midst of persecution and attack. The point of Paul’s eschatological message to the church was to encourage each one to “stay the course” in their Christ-honoring, relevant lifestyle. ?

Conclusion

With this in mind, we affirm that Jesus Christ will be returning for a mature bride who has reached “the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13, NASB). He is coming for her as she makes her garments of holiness and righteousness.

Human Sexuality

Introduction 

Trinity Church believes that God created men and women for an intimate relationship with Him and that human sexuality is to be a reflection of the spiritual intimacy that God desires with man. He created marriage as a reflection of this intimacy and ordained sex to be enjoyed in the context of a lifetime commitment in marriage. Man is enhanced and fulfilled by his wife and his wife is enhanced and fulfilled by her husband. This is God’s plan for men and women.

We believe that within the bounds of marriage and with the agreement of both parties there is the freedom to explore and enjoy the pleasure of sexual love. Genesis chapter 2 tells us that God created human sexuality and purity is reflected in respect for each other and consent from both parties to what is practiced by the couple. It is not biblical to violate or dominate one another.

As Christians, we are subject to the boundaries of scriptures and our behavior should stand above the influence of societal norms. Our behavior must be consistent with the parameters of God’s Word. The Bible is our final authority on all issues and it clearly addresses the matters of sexual propriety.

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5 

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 

God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to the sexual impurity of the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Romans 1:24-27 

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. Leviticus 20:13 

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22 

Issues of Concern and Practice 

Trinity Church believes that all expressions of sexual intimacy outside the bonds of heterosexual marriage are both unbiblical and immoral. We do not believe that homosexuality is deserving of greater disapproval than any other sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Neither are those involved in homosexuality deserving of special condemnation; as the Bible states, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” More importantly, we believe that Jesus did not come to condemn anyone, but to redeem and free every individual from every form of bondage in which they find themselves.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 

Distinction between Persons, Policies, and Positions 

While echoing the Biblical message of compassion, forgiveness, and redemption for individuals, we nonetheless stand firm in our opposition to social policies that have the effect of legitimizing non-biblical sexual behavior. We believe that the legitimization of sexual promiscuity in any form has an overall negative moral effect in society and attempts to redefine the family through the legalization of same-sex marriages, the instruction of children and youth on non-biblical sexual lifestyles such as homosexuality and bisexuality as morally equivalent to heterosexuality, and the promotion of behavior lifestyles of promiscuity outside of marriage is not only unbiblical but harmful to the moral fabric of society.

From a Biblical perspective all sexuality, which is outside of the commitment of a heterosexual bond in marriage, is a reflection of the brokenness of humanity. The sins that separate man from God are the result of rebellious choices and personal behavior that miss the mark of God’s desire for His creation. Behaviors that separate us from God include greed, hatred, fear, dishonesty, and intemperance, along with various forms of sexual behavior.

Response to Sinful Behavior 

Trinity Church stands against any form of prejudice, bigotry, or violence toward any person in sin. We believe that moral opposition is not a license to engage in any form of slander or harassment against those with whom we disagree or whose behavior is sinful. Morally and legally speaking, we believe that reacting to sinful behavior through violence is not justified by sinful behavior but is a crime and deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

For You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me When as yet there was not one of them. (NASU) Psalms 139:13-16 

Sexual sins are a breach of the reflection of God’s desire for intimacy and His hand in the act of impregnation and therefore are seriously addressed in scripture. Persons engaged in a sexually immoral lifestyle who are unrepentant of their behavior will be kept from membership and kept from or removed from positions of ministry authority at Trinity Church.

Although membership and leadership positions will be withheld for an unrepentant sinful lifestyle, personal ministry and freedom ministry are available to all who pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is our desire at Trinity Church to always make ministry available to any person seeking God. We believe that every individual is in need of redemption and restoration through the truth and compassion available in Christ. Each person’s journey toward wholeness and change is best facilitated in an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and accountability.

Summation

Trinity Church cites sexual promiscuity, fornication, cohabitation, adultery, and homosexuality as biblically identified sexual sins. Choosing to reconcile such behavior with God can only take place through repentance that is reflected in changed behavior. We respect the complexity and depth of struggle that men and women must endure when faced with issues related to their sexuality. It is our desire to walk beside an individual in such a way that sin’s power is broken through God’s all-encompassing grace, thereby ensuring that the individual is free to know and experience their true identity in Christ and His Church.

VIEW PASTOR CARL'S SERMON

From the Need2Know Series - teaching on the Biblical view of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Sanctity of Life

Trinity Church believes that God is the one who grants life and it is He who forms life in a mother’s womb.

We uphold a woman’s right and responsibility to choose Godly behavior and a lifestyle that is morally right. We do not believe that God gives mankind the right to terminate life.

We compassionately understand that each individual case of rape and/or incest is a wrongful act against humanity. We desire to assist in bringing support and resources to each woman dealing with the consequences of such wrongful behavior. We believe all women faced with an unwanted pregnancy should pursue adoption rather than terminate life.

For resources and support during an unplanned pregnancy: https://www.forherlubbock.com/

The Role of Women in Ministry

Introduction 

Trinity Church strongly believes in recognizing and supporting the contribution of women in the ministry of the church. We believe in the value of women in all aspects of ministry with the exception of those areas that exercise governmental authority within the church. Furthermore, we believe God has ordained the family unit to serve as a model for the entire church with the father as the head of the home and functioning as a servant-leader as described in Ephesians 5. We, therefore, believe that both men and women can reach their fullest potential in ministry within the structure of the biblical family model. We believe a woman can teach and lead within any of the vast arrays of ministry roles and positions as long as she demonstrates a biblically qualifying lifestyle. She must also submit herself, along with other servant-leaders; to those leaders, God has placed in positions of governing authority, specifically, the Senior Pastor or the Elders of the church. We believe that the positions of Senior Pastor and Elder are (because of their governmental responsibility) reserved only for men. With the exception of these two positions, we consider all ministry positions and opportunities to be open to women.

Equality of Men and Women 

The Bible clearly reveals that God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34; Ephesians 6:9). At Trinity, we ascribe to a belief in the equality of all men and women. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled both men and women alike without concern for gender (Acts 2:1–21). Both women and men are called to faithful service and good stewardship of all that God provides. We discover throughout the New Testament that both genders participated in a full variety of Christian services including prophecy, leadership, and teaching (Acts 2:15–18; Acts 18:26; Acts 21:9; Romans 16:7; 1 Corinthians 11:5).

The Work of the Holy Spirit 

One of the most quoted prophetic declarations is found in the book of Joel where the prophet writes that God will pour out His Spirit “upon all flesh; and ... your daughters shall prophesy ... and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit” (Joel 2:28– 29; see also Acts 2:17). Ministry in the New Testament is defined within Spirit-empowered expressions of God’s wonderful gifts. Nowhere in the writings of the New Testament do we find conditions or exceptions placed on the distribution of spiritual gifts along gender lines.

Thus, while some gifts are a spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit and others are recognized ministry gifts to the Church, all gifts are given by God for His greater purpose and without regard to social, economic, or gender demarcation (Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:7–11, 27–28; Ephesians 4:7–12; 1 Peter 4:10–11). We conclude, therefore, that women can serve in vital roles in ministry and this position is further illustrated in the apostle Paul’s many references to women serving with him in ministry throughout the church.

Controversial Texts Concerning Women in Ministry 

There are two often-quoted passages within the Pauline writings that have caused heated debate over many generations on the topic of women in ministry.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 

In the first passage Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “Let your women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak...” (1 Corinthians 14:34–35, KJV). Unfortunately, this passage has mistakenly been cited to justify a position that rejects the biblical role of women in ministry. Actually, when understood within the context of Paul’s complete letter to a very troubled church, we gain a more informed perspective. Given that earlier in his letter Paul gave instructions regarding how women should pray and prophesy in public (1 Corinthians 11:5), it can be assumed that Paul must have meant something other than absolute prohibition for women in the public arena of ministry. Such an interpretation would simply fail to coincide with countless other Pauline writings that affirm the ministry contribution made by women. Therefore, we conclude that within the context of the situation at Corinth that prompted the letter to be written originally, Paul’s admonition here is in reference to excessive disruptions and disorder taking place. Therefore this passage, like the rest of the chapter, is an attempt to bring correction to the chaos and to affirm that “all things are done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

1 Timothy 2:11–15 

Another challenging passage centers on Paul’s instructions to his young apprentice, Timothy, when he writes, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man...” (1 Timothy 2:12). This passage has troubled biblical scholars and church leaders for centuries. Was Paul offering some kind of transcultural mandate, or was he instead seeking to provide Timothy with spiritual counsel concerning the improper conduct occurring among some women in Ephesus (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Timothy 5:13; 2 Timothy 3:6)? A review of the entire text of Paul’s letter gives a strong indication that he was offering advice to Timothy on how to confront the heretical teaching and misconduct occurring among a number of women within the church. To view this passage in any other context would require denying the legitimacy of Paul’s other references to the work and ministry of women within the various churches of his day. Such a perceived contradiction is inconsistent with the proven principles of biblical interpretation.

Biblical Examples of Women in Ministry 

While the debate over the role of women in church ministry predominantly centers around the interpretation of two challenging New Testament passages (1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:12), a fair and thorough review of biblical records reveals explicit and overwhelming evidence to support Trinity's stated position affirming the role of women in ministry.

In the Old Testament, for instance, Miriam was used of God as a prophet during the time of the great exodus (Exodus 15:20). As both a prophet and a judge, Deborah was an instrumental leader in guiding God’s army (Judges 4–5). And Huldah, another prophet, was a vital contributor to the powerful religious reform under King Josiah (2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34).

The New Testament also reveals the essential role women shared in the ministry of the early church. Contrary to the cultural norm of that time regarding the status of women in society, the apostle Paul frequently refers to the contribution made by women. For instance, Paul speaks of women who “worked hard with him” in the work of the gospel (Romans 16:6, 12; Philippians 4:3). At Philippi, Euodias and Syntyche were described as “fellow-workers” alongside Paul. This description is the same wording used to also describe other young ministers who served with Paul such as Timothy, Epaphroditus, Titus, and Luke.

Furthermore, as a servant (diakonos) at the church in Cenchrea (Romans 16:1–2), Phoebe was obviously viewed as more than simply a helper. In fact, Paul uses the same word (diakonos) to refer to other ministers and leaders in a congregation, including himself. From these and many other writings, we discover that Paul was an advocate of women in ministry. And contrary to the social order of the day, he frequently recognized the Spirit-inspired work that many women shared as fellow laborers. We can conclude, therefore, that Scriptural evidence affirms the call of women to spiritual leadership and vital ministry roles in the early church. Such divine acknowledgment provides us with the irrefutable evidence we need to believe that God continues to call women to serve alongside men in the vital work of ministry today.

Conclusion 

We believe that this equality of men and women represents the heart of God and the revelation of Scripture. While recognizing that certain governmental roles in the church do have some gender distinctiveness within the community of faith as it is true within the biblical construct of the home, we do affirm the tremendous contribution women have made in the early days of the church and must continue to make as we move forward in the ministry of Trinity Church. The Spirit of God is being poured out on all flesh and we seek to walk in step with the Holy Spirit in power and practice until Christ returns.

Salvation

Introduction 

We believe Scripture declares that every person needs to surrender their life to God through Jesus Christ. Nicodemus was a man who faithfully attended church, prayed, memorized scriptures, tithed, fasted, believed in God, and acknowledged Jesus as someone sent from God, yet Jesus told him, “You must be born again”! In other words, being a good and religious person doesn’t meet the requirements for having a relationship with a holy and righteous God, which is what salvation is all about.

Not every encounter with God is a salvation encounter. Some have had a seed conceived in them, and they have called that salvation. When they responded to God’s prompting, a seed was planted; but later in their life, an encounter with God resulted in a response where some might say they “totally sold out,” “gave up” or “rededicated” their life. That is when a change in their thinking and behavior occurred. Jesus spoke of repentance as involving a change in behavior, and He associated that change with salvation.

We believe that new birth in Christ produces a change. Scripture is clear that we are not saved by what we do because salvation has been provided by Jesus Christ as a free gift, which we receive, by faith. However, when we receive Christ, it is evidenced by the fruit of change in our thinking and behavior in response to confessing our sin, acknowledging our need for a Savior, and accepting Jesus Christ as God’s provision for our lost condition.

The answer for those who want to know if they’ve been born again is found in their response to a simple question, “When you received Christ, was there a change evidenced in your life?” In other words, “When did you stop going your way and start going God’s way?” The answer may point to a specific date or to a specific event or to a general point in life where a change was noticed in response to a decision to surrender to God and to accept His provision of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is God’s stated desire that no one should spend eternity apart from Him but rather that all should obtain salvation. Scripture is also clear that nothing can separate us from His love.

It is our conviction that when a person has been truly born again to new life in Christ, that person’s relationship with God is eternally secure and His love for us is without question. As a loving Father, He disciplines disobedience and brings correction through a variety of means, but He never leaves us, rejects us, or withdraws His promise of eternity with Him.

Issues of Concern and Practice 

  1. Once a person has received Christ, evidenced by the fruit of changed behavior in their life, they maintain the intimacy of relationship with God through obedience, pursuit, and service to God. When intimacy is lost through sin or neglect, it does not require a person to be “saved” again, although it does involve repentance for restored intimacy with God.
  2. Because salvation is afforded through Christ’s work on the cross, water baptism isn’t necessary for a person to be saved. However, water baptism is associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It symbolizes the death of the old man and the resurrection of the new man in Christ. Baptism is a command for believers modeled by Jesus through His own baptism and is a necessary step of obedience for continued growth in Christ. It is not necessary for church membership, but we encourage all believers to be water baptized after salvation.
  3. Every person is born with a sinful nature and cannot produce the righteousness required by God no matter how diligent their efforts. This reality forms the basis of our need for Christ. As such, we do not believe in the inherent goodness of man but instead, acknowledge with Scripture our needy condition before God. It is this belief that compels us to share the “good news” of the gospel of Christ with everyone. The essence of the good news is revealed in the truth that it is not God’s desire that any should perish but that all should come to eternal life through Jesus Christ.
  4. We acknowledge that every person has been created by God with free will. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the testimony of those redeemed by Him, and enlightenment of scriptural truth, a person is presented with the opportunity to accept the gifts that God has provided through Christ. This begins with salvation and extends through every provision afforded by Christ’s atoning work and every revelation of His great love for mankind. All His work and gifts are appropriated by faith and the exercise of our free will in response to Him.
  5. We believe that children can be saved. A response to God through Jesus Christ requires an awareness of His promises and our sinful condition. Because maturation and thinking processes develop individually, we do not limit the salvation experience to a specific age, but rather believe it is a response based on understanding the truth of Scripture and God’s claim on our lives regardless of the age of the individual.

Scriptural References 

The following scriptures refer specifically to the experience of salvation and are the basis from which we draw our position stated herein.

  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 10:10
  • John 3:16–17
  • Ephesians 2:8–9
  • Titus 3:5
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5
  • Matthew 7:13–23
  • Hebrews 6:1–8
  • John 15:8

How Do You Receive Jesus Christ?

You receive Jesus Christ by believing in your heart that He is the Son of God and the Redeemer of mankind and by confessing with your mouth your love and commitment to Him as your personal Lord and Savior. These two responses constitute the act of receiving faith (Romans 10:10).

What Can You Expect to Happen?

There will be a peace that settles over your mind and heart. It may involve an emotional response, but that isn’t necessary for salvation to result. Salvation is not an emotional event; it is a response of acceptance to the truthful promises of God. Often the awareness of what God has provided becomes emotional to the individual, but if it doesn’t, the process is not negated. Jesus stated that it was to our advantage that He went away because then He could send the Holy Spirit to us (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit’s presence and work lead us to a deeper intimacy with God and a fulfillment of His will in our life.

Can I Lose My Salvation?

No believer can presume on God’s grace or His goodness by choosing to consistently live in “willful” violation and contrary to God’s holy commands with an unrepentant heart. After all, Christ did for us, we are encouraged and admonished to passionately pursue Him and to bear much fruit (John 15:8). For those who have received Christ and who evidence the Holy Spirit’s fruit in their life, we affirm that their salvation is eternally secure.

Conclusion

All men are born with a sinful nature and need the redemption available through Jesus Christ. By responding to God from their heart with words similar to those below, one can be saved. 

“Dear God in heaven I know I am a sinner in need of a Savior there is only one Savior His name is Jesus. I call upon you Lord Jesus and I ask you now to come into my heart and to come into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. I turn from sin to the true and living God. I receive His love, grace, and forgiveness. Dear God in heaven you are now my Father and I am your child. Fill me now with the Holy Spirit and give me strength to live for you and serve you all the days of my life beginning today. Amen! 

Romans 10:10 tells us that by believing in our heart and confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, we are saved. We encourage every believer to give open testimony of their love for God and their faith in Jesus Christ, His Son.

Lifestyle Moral Integrity Statement

The Holy Bible is the inspired and infallible written Word of God. It speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind. It is the sole and final source of all that we believe and is the standard from which we establish our Statement of Faith and by which we Govern.

For purposes of Trinity Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, and discipline, our Board of Elders is Trinity’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. For accuracy purposes, we determine to utilize the New King James Version of the Bible as the most accurate English translation. This Lifestyle Moral Integrity Statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs.

Trinity is a religious, nonprofit Church of Christian faith representing Jesus Christ. This statement sets forth Trinity’s Biblical conviction and expectation regarding marriage and moral lifestyle and establishes the standard for consistency within our church.

Trinity believes that biblical marriage is limited to a covenant relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6).

Trinity recognizes that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We invite all people to visit and attend Trinity Church services; and determine to give them the opportunity to repent and accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord (John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10).

Trinity requires its employees to be born-again Christians, living their lives as Christian role models (Romans 10:9-10, 1 Timothy 4:12, Luke 6:40). Their lifestyle should demonstrate a Biblical moral standard of integrity, appropriate personal and family relationships, and business conduct and behavior.

Trinity extends this same standard of being born-again Christians, Christian role models, and Biblical moral standards to all volunteers, contractors, and those visiting guests who request program/facility use of either Trinity Church or Trinity Christian School for their purposes or events.

Behavior or lifestyles that are not acceptable as a Biblical moral standard of conduct include Immoral sexual behavior including heterosexual sexual activity outside of marriage, premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex, homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, sexual harassment, or any violation of the unique roles of male and female (Romans 1:21-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).

Moral misconduct includes any use of or viewing of pornographic material or websites. Sexual assault or abuse; forcing oneself sexually upon another person.

Sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors are defined by Scripture and federal or state law.

We believe that God created the human race male and female, and all conduct with the intent to adopt a gender other than one’s birth is immoral and a rejection of the image of God within that person (Gen. 1:26-27; Deut. 22:5).