Beliefs and Practices

We believe the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired by God, and is the product of Spirit-moved men, and therefore, is truth without error. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. The Bible should be read and understood taking into account the following: a literal, historical, grammatical interpretation; comparing Scripture with Scripture; seeking to know the author’s original intent; and seeking to understand how the New Testament views and interprets the Old Testament. The Bible should not only be read, heard, and understood, but also applied to daily life as we walk with God.

Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; James 1:22-25; Psalm 119:160

We believe there is one and only one living and true God, infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct, but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

Scripture: Exodus 20:2-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11

We believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin-born Son of God, Who lived a sinless life, died a vicarious death, rose in bodily form, ascended into heaven where He now ministers as our High Priest, and we eagerly anticipate His coming back to this earth, as He is our hope and eternal delight.        

Scripture: Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:4; Matthew 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; John 1:3, 14:8-11, 20:27; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Acts 1:2-11; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 8:6; Revelation 22:20-21, Colossians 3:1-4, Titus 2:13, 2 Corinthians 4:17

We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son, and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one who would thwart God’s purposes; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He is the agent in the new birth; and baptizes, sanctifies and helps the believer. The Holy Spirit indwells and gives to each believer spiritual gifts to be used for the building up of the body. Some of the gifts served as signs of the Apostles and have ceased. 

Scripture: John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 1:13-14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Romans 8:14, 16, 26-27

We believe that Satan is a created being, fallen and cast down to earth where he is the unholy god of this age and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. 

Scripture: Matthew 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:2, 10, 12:9; Matthew 25:41

We accept the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct work of God, and not from previously existing forms of life, and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. We reject both theistic and naturalistic evolution.

Scripture: Genesis 1-2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3

We believe that man was created in innocence in the image of God, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless state, marring that image. As a result, all mankind are now sinners by birth and by choice; all are depraved in thought and action (even though by common grace individuals still bear remnants of the image of God). Nevertheless all of mankind are under the just condemnation of God without defense or excuse.

Scripture: Genesis 3:1-6; Genesis 3:24; Romans 1:18, 32, 3:9-20, 5:10-19

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through faith, based upon the perfect and sufficient work of Jesus, Who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself unfallen human nature, without sin, honored and fulfilled the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins. Christ’s atoning work consisted not in setting for us an example by His death as a martyr, but through a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust; Christ the Lord bore our sin in His body on the cross. Having risen from the dead, Jesus is now enthroned in heaven, uniting in His wonderful person sympathy for sinners with divine perfection. Jesus is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior and High Priest.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; John 3:16; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; Romans 3:25; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Luke 24:44; John 15:25; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 4:15, 7:25; 1 Timothy 2:5 

We believe that in order to be saved, a sinner must be born again (regenerated). This new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; it is instantaneous and not a process. In the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift from God. This life-giving work is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; it involves more than mere assent but is the personal reception of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Evidence of this new birth will appear in the on-going fruits of repentance and faith.

We believe that justification is the single act of God whereby the believer is declared righteous upon the basis of Christ’s imputed righteousness, which occurs by and through faith at regeneration.

We believe that being regenerated produces newly formed desires to please God. As time and providence bring remaining sin to our awareness, God provides grace to continue in a posture of repentance and growing faith. Whereas the initial moment of regeneration is a one-time event (definitive sanctification), the continuing need for repentance and faith is an ongoing, life-long process (progressive sanctification).  

Scripture: John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:6-7, 5:1; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8; Romans 3:21-31; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16; Romans 2:15; Hebrews 8:10; 2 Peter 3:18

We believe in the security of the saints; that all who are truly born again are kept by the Godhead: Father, Jesus Christ the son, and the Holy Spirit. Believers are delivered from the punishment of their sins in judgment, receive the gift of eternal life, and have the promise of future glory in the presence of God.

Scripture: Philippians 1:6; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39, Jude 1, Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30; John 5:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5

We believe that the local church is a congregation of believers, associated by the unity of the faith, and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are elders/pastors, and deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scripture. We believe that the true mission of the church, as faithful witnesses of Christ, is to make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them so that they are built up in the most holy faith. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. Scripture: Acts 2:41-42; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11, 13, 5:23; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Colossians 1:18; Acts 15:13-18; Matthew 28:19; Jude 1:20

The promotion of the Gospel is to be the main objective in any association with others, and if its expression were challenged, then HSC’s cooperation is to be denied. Yet it is possible to support and promote causes that might also be supported by religious denominations, churches, para-church organizations, and secular entities with which HSC does not entirely agree, as long as the nature of support is limited to those areas where we do agree, and that there would be no reproach brought to the Name of Christ, except as touching the offense of the cross.  

We believe that the extent of cooperation that HSC should have with religious and secular organizations (or is forbidden to have) depends on whether any spiritual or ethical compromise might occur in so doing, such as lending HSC’s name and reputation (hence Christ’s honor) to endorse a questionable cause or organization.  Care must be taken when deciding to cooperate. 

Scripture: Philippians 1:15-18; Galatians 5:11; Hebrews 11:24-26

We believe that, aside from Jesus Christ, there are only two classes of people. They are variously described in Scripture as: righteous / wicked (Matthew 13:49; 1 Peter 4:18); sheep / goats (Matthew 25:32-33); blessed / cursed (Matthew 25:34, 41); believers / unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:15); alive / dead (Ephesians 2:5). Many descriptions of each class help us understand the two primary differences. (John 3:36)

Changed heart 

Those whom God has and will rescue from their lost condition are given new hearts that choose to love and serve God. These become alive unto God, are then declared righteous, are described as the sheep, the blessed, and believers. Jesus Christ the righteous is the firstborn of many brethren. The redeemed person’s destiny is to be conformed to the image of God’s Son.  

Scripture: Ezekiel 36:25-27; Hebrews 8:10, 10:16; 1 John 2:1; Romans 8:29

This rescue and destiny are the sovereign work of God, who chooses and calls sinners to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ fully suffered on the cross the wrath of God in their place, making satisfaction for sin. The Spirit regenerates the heart so they will believe, and then continues to sanctify them. They are thereby justified and esteemed to be truly righteous. Their destiny is to be in the new heavens and new earth wherein dwells righteousness, with Christ forever.   

Scripture: Romans 8:30; Acts 20:21; 2 Peter 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Unchanged heart 

Apart from the regenerating work of God, people tragically remain in their original, fallen and rebellious state, and subject to the judgment of God. All these are obliged to repent and believe; and even the worst sinners would find forgiveness and acceptance and welcome into the family of God if only they would receive the free gift of salvation! God is not merely hoping that some might heed this offer, but in fact, God has commanded ‘all people everywhere to repent’. A day is coming where God will judge the world, separating the sheep from the goats, and has given authority to King Jesus to cast unrepentant sinners into everlasting fire (hell). The Spirit has been sent to ‘convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment’, and creation itself declares God’s eternal power and divine nature, leaving no excuse.  

Scripture: Acts 17:30-31; Matthew 25:32-33, 41, 46; Luke 12:5; John 16:12; Romans 1:20

Exhortations to the readers:   

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)  

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13) 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalms 111:10; Proverbs 9:10) 

From Jesus’ present position at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest, He will return in the same fashion as He departed, in order to take the saints to Himself, that where He is so may they be. 

Scripture: Hebrews 7:25; Acts 1:11; Matthew 26:64; John 14:3 

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior; that with its symbolism in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, it is a necessary step of obedience to enjoy the privileges of membership.

Scripture: Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:26-39; John 3:23; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-5

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination, and only to be partaken of by a believer who discerns the body and blood in the ordinance, lest he incur God’s judgment. 

Scripture: Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests of good order of human society. Its magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed (except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of this earth).

Scripture: Romans 13:1-7; 2 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19-20, 5:20, 23:5; Daniel 2:17-18

As there are many examples in Scripture of things on earth that are pictures and metaphors for spiritual realities (such as rain and snow causing the earth to bring forth and sprout, giving seed for the sower and bread to the eater) which is used as a metaphor for God’s thoughts being higher than ours, (the Word goes forth and returns not empty but accomplishes His purpose (Isaiah 55:8-11)), so is the earthly expression of marriage to be a picture of Christ’s sacrificial love and care for the church, though a mystery (Ephesians 5:22-33).  

We believe that God created mankind male and female, and established marriage. The term ”marriage” has only one earthly embodiment, and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union as delineated in Scripture. 

We believe that God’s Word allows for divorce and/or remarriage only in the event of unfaithfulness, death of a spouse, or when an unbeliever chooses to depart from a believing spouse. 

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other; 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, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, is sinful and, as with any sin, is offensive to God. When genetic anomalies exist (Exodus 4:11), they do not remove the Biblical requirement to remain celibate unless properly married. To be pure in body and mind requires that one brings all thoughts captive to obey Christ, whether celibate or married. 

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, and all members of HSC must abide by, and agree to, this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality, and conduct themselves accordingly. 

Although we firmly believe this statement of marriage, we also believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the Church. The power of the gospel gives hope to all; that change through repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can and does free a soul from the bondage of sin, bringing forgiveness and joy.  

Scripture: Genesis 1:27, 2:24; Malachi 2:16; Matthew 5:31-32, 19:3-9; Mark 10:7-8; Luke 16:18; 1Corinthians 7:12-16, 39; Ephesians 4:31-32; Exodus 4:11; Hebrews 13:4; Romans 6:13; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Matthew 19:12; Acts 20:21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 18; Colossians 1:13-14; Romans 15:13 

All Christians, and especially those who covenant together to form a Church, which is an embodiment of the pillar and ground of the Truth, are commanded to guard and advance that special Unity we share as the body of Christ. As a local body of believers, we desire to promote, maintain, and protect the unity that God has already established in His people. We recognize that true believers will always be united in Christ holding to the essentials of the faith, but may embrace differing convictions about certain secondary doctrines. 

We pray that these secondary doctrines will never divide us in fellowship or worship, but that we remain steadfast in our love and devotion to God, His Word, and to one another, as we strive to emphasize the core, fundamental, and essential doctrines of the faith. While truly honoring, respecting, and affirming the authoritative nature of God’s Word, brothers and sisters may arrive at different conclusions regarding certain doctrines which are not essential to saving faith, including certain aspects of spiritual gifts and End Times. Our fellowship welcomes believers who hold certain various positions on these particular secondary matters, knowing that it usually takes time and diligent study in God’s Word to arrive at firm positions on these doctrines. 

We intentionally decline to elevate these secondary doctrines to essential, major importance. No believer should be denied full membership privileges while he/she is unsure about these secondary doctrines or who has adopted certain alternative positions on these doctrines. Rather, we desire to worship and enjoy fellowship in Christ as He continues His great work in each of us and in His church corporately. We freely acknowledge that, throughout Church history, mature, faithful, sober-minded believers have come to different conclusions regarding the interpretation of certain prophetic passages and regarding End Times in general. 

The Apostle Peter acknowledged that there are some things recorded in Scripture that are “hard to understand”. For example, HSC has historically taught a Dispensational, Premillennial, Pretribulation Rapture view; a view which eagerly anticipates the rapture of the Church, the fulfillment of Christ’s earthly kingdom, and His thousand year reign. While many hold to this position, we encourage each and every believer to study diligently God’s Word, to walk continually in humility regarding these matters, and to demonstrate love and patience toward those who may ultimately adopt differing positions. It is our hope and prayer that, in this way, true love and unity will be evident among us.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:3; John 17:11, 20-21; 1 Corinthians 13:2; Ephesians 4:1, 4, 11, 15; 1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:16