Beliefs

ESSENTIAL BELIEFS:

The truths of our faith on which Scripture is indisputably clear (black and white). In these nonnegotiable beliefs, SWAN LAKE is firm and united.

“There is one body and one spirit … one hope … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all… ” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

Our essential beliefs are explained in the Swan Lake Evangelical Free Church “Statement of Christian Faith” (see below and also attached to our Bylaws).

NON-ESSENTIAL BELIEFS:

The issues of life and faith on which Scripture is either silent or inconclusive (“grey” areas). In these beliefs, Swan Lake is flexible, urging those who have come to different conclusions to “agree to disagree agreeably” – i.e. to refrain from promoting any nonessential belief in such a way that causes disputes, dissension, or lacks Christian love.

“Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don ‘I see things the way you do … each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience … So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. Decide instead to live in such a way that will not put an obstacle in another Christian ‘s path … So whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God” (Romans 14:1, 5, 10,13,22).

STATEMENT OF CHRISTIAN FAITH

1. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

2. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

4. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, fill, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.

5. We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

6. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and that only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become the children of God.

7. We believe that the Lord’s Supper and Water Baptism are ordinances to be observed by the church during this present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation.

8. We believe that the true church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united in the body of Christ of which He is the Head.

9. We believe that only those who are thus Members of the true Church shall be eligible for Membership in the local Church.

10. We believe that Jesus Christ ‘is the Lord and the Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs.

11. We believe in the personal and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “blessed hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.

12. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, and of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment