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what we believe
The following seven items summarize the essential beliefs of Charter Oak Church.
- Regarding God. God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three "personalities" - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
- Regarding Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
- Regarding the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
- Regarding the Bible. The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without error.
- Regarding Human Beings. People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. All of us are born with a "sin nature" that manifests itself as an attitude of disobedience toward God. Disobedience to God is called "sin." Our sin nature separates us from God, and our sin causes many problems in life.
- Regarding Salvation. Salvation is God's free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never overcome our sin nature by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we return from our self-ruled and sinful life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our lives by faith.
- Regarding Eternity. People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.