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Click to hear a more informal version of this doctrine statement.
Beliefs Clip (10.8 mb-MP3)
Nature of God ·
Man, Sin, and Salvation ·
God's Sovereignty ·
The following is a statement of essential beliefs that
underlay the teaching at Manna church.
- We believe in one God who alone is to be worshipped, who rules the universe and created everything. He has revealed himself as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is a trinity: one in three; three in one.
- We believe in the Father: Holy, Almighty, Just, and loving, the source of all goodness, truth, and life.
- We believe in the Son, one with the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ who was sent into the world by the Fatherís love, conceived by the Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He was crucified for our sins and raised from the dead by the power of God. He now sits at the Fatherís right hand praying and advocating for His Church and will return to judge everyone on earth. Then every knee will bow before Him in honor and every person will agree that Jesus always has been, is now, and always will be Lord.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, one with the Father and Son, who inspired the Scriptures, who by His grace brings to new spiritual birth all who believe in Jesus through repentance, who lives in them as a guarantee of eternal life, empowers them for holy living and loving relationships, and distributes to them gifts of power for service and ministry.
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- We believe that human beings were created in Godís image, but were alienated from God because of sin and now live in a sin-damaged world. Moreover, manís nature was irreparably changed, so that our nature became sinful. This sinful nature effects our actions, relationships, motivations, decisions, and thoughts. We, therefore, are unable to restore the broken relationships and our nature by ourselves. God in his love and mercy, through Jesusí sacrifice on the cross, restores those who believe and repent, giving them a new birth, new identity, and new nature.
- We believe that God brings all His new-born children into His family, the Church. This eternal body is revealed in the local church wherever His people gather for worship, relationship, teaching, and service around His Word. As Lord of His Church, Jesus directs us to tell everyone everywhere about Him so that they too might follow Him and be saved from the possibility of eternal judgment and separation from God. One day He will come and gather all His Church to be with him in heavenís glory forever.
- We believe a local church must act in obedience to God through Jesus Christ. Worship must be in Spirit and Truth. The ordinances of baptism and the Lordís Supper or Communion must be regularly observed in obedience to Jesusí directives. A church must regularly gather to worship God through Jesus.
- We believe Jesus came to save. Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who believe and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He redeemed us by the shedding of his blood upon the cross and demonstrated both the power, effectiveness, and will of God for salvation when God resurrected Jesus from the grave. Salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. Regeneration is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior. This faith is evidenced by action. Justification is Godís gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to Godís purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
- We believe election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which he generates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of Godís sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the State of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may commit sins through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
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- We believe the Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and Godís will be done on earth, although we heed Jesusís words that His Kingdom is not of this world. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
- We believe that God in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. No man knows the time or the scenario or agencies that God may or may not use to bring the world to its end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raise; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting separation from Godóthe greatest punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified, physical bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
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- We believe it is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of manís spirit by Godís Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary efforts on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ.
- We believe God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemerís cause on earth.
- We believe every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society. However, the Kingdom is not of this world and Jesus rejected earthly means to accomplish Godís will. The will of Christ will never be accomplished through the political process but through the ministrations of the Holy Spirit to the human heart. We are admonished in Scripture that we do not struggle with flesh and blood but with unseen powers and principalities of the Evil One. However, our obligation is to be faithful by being obedient to the words of Christ. The Scriptures admonish us to not deal with the realm of the supernatural, which is under the power of God. Thus, although all cultures are sinfulópast, present and future, we are not called to war with our culture, but to love people within our culture. This must be done by engaging all people within our culture lovingly, not by explicit political or social battles. Christian people by obedient and loving lives will challenge society and change happens by a process of leavening. Therefore, Manna will not participate in the Culture Wars, which people with ungodly agendas have used to manipulate Christian people.
- We believe the Christian should oppose, in the spirit of Christ, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice. He should work to provide for those who are crushed in this society: the orphaned, the needy, the aged, the helpless, the sick, the alien, and the helpless. Justice is essential to the character of God and the mission of Christís body on earth, the Church. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, society, and government under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. This can not be done by imitating the means and methods of the sinful society within which we live but by imitating the ways of Christ. In order to promote these ends, Christians should be willing to work with all men of good will in any good cause but never adopt corrupt values, means, or methods. We must always be careful to cooperate and act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
- We believe that God alone is the Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group, denomination, or separate church should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto, including paying taxes, in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes or support by taxes any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all people, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
- We believe that love is the measure of the Christian and the Church. We are to love our neighbor as ourself. This includes the alien, (Lev. 19: 33-34) the poor (Dt. 15), and our enemies (Mt. 5: 43-48). Love for those forgotten, abused, and ignored by society is an element of the final judgment and our present obligation. (Mt. 25: 31-46). Manna sees love as an all-embracing mission and principle.
- We believe that all Christians throughout the world in space and time are unified in our loyalty in obedience to our Lord, Jesus Christ, our salvation by grace, our burden of love for God, each other, and all our neighbors. We believe that we jointly share a mission to bring the gospel to all people not bound by grace. This unity of Christians must not be shattered by accidents of history, culture, and divisions over obscure spiritual questions that do not threaten oneís ability to embrace Jesus as Lord. The unity must overcome our diversity, while not denying our valid Christian heritages, because God speaks many languages in order that we can speak the one language of love.
- We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record
of God's revelation of Himself to men and women. It is a perfect treasure of divine
instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any
mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and
therefore is, and will remain until the end of the world, the true center of Christian
union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious
opinion should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is
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