Our Beliefs

In addition to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement (which can be found here) Ascent leadership holds to the following beliefs in unity:

The Gospel

We believe the glory of God is seen most beautifully in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is the good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, namely our forgiveness from sin and complete justification before God; this gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom and the consummation of His purpose for all creation in the new heavens and new earth.

This Gospel is centered in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church, and is our only hope for eternal life; this Gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message. This Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to do what is pleasing to God genuinely and joyfully and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.

The salvation offered in this gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved.  The Gospel invites us to partake in and be transformed by the Kingdom of God as adopted children of God both now and in the future to come.  (Mark 1:1; Luke 24:46–47; John 3:16–18; Romans 1:16–17; Romans 1:18–25; 1 Corinthians 1:18–25; 2:2; 15:1–4; 2 Corinthians 4:1–6; 9:13; Galatians 1:6–9; Ephesians 1:7–10; Colossians 1:19–20; 2 Timothy 1:8–14; 2 Peter 3:11–13; Jude 1:3–4)

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The spirit-filled  life

We recognize and rest upon the necessity of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all life and ministry.

The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth). The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so they might live in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures.

The model for our reliance upon the Spirit and our experience of His indwelling and empowering presence is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who was filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent upon His power for the performance of miracles, the preaching of the kingdom of God, and all other dimensions of His earthly ministry.

The Holy Spirit, who indwelt and empowered Christ in like manner, indwells and empowers all who belong to Christ through spiritual gifts. He has bestowed spiritual gifts for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. Although there are different understandings of the nature and function of these gifts, we recognize they are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry and are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.

(Matthew 3:11; 12:28; Luke 4:1,14; 5:17; 10:21; John 1:12–13; 3:1–15, 34; 14:12; 15:26–27; 16:7–15; Acts 2:14–21; 4:29–30; 10:38; Romans 8:9; 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12:7–13; 12:28–31; 14:1–33; 2 Corinthians 1:21–22; Galatians 3:1–5; Ephesians 1:13–14; 5:18)

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Gospel  power

We believe we have been saved from the penalty of sin...

We believe we were an enemy of God because of our sin and rebellion against him, deserving his wrath (Lk. 3:21-22; Rom. 1:18-32; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3).

We believe Jesus is the Son of God who is fully God and fully man and that he lived his life fully submitted to God the Father (Jn. 1:1-18; 5:19, 30; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19).

We believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins according to the Scriptures justifying us before God and reconciling us to God (Rom. 5:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:17-21).

We believe Jesus rose again on the third day and appeared to many people (1 Cor. 15:4-8).

We believe Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and sent his Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness & judgment (Jn. 16:7-11; Acts 2:32-34).

We believe the Holy Spirit has made us alive in Christ and we are now no longer condemned, but children who are loved by God as Father, submitted to Jesus as Lord and sent and empowered by the Spirit for his mission of making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:1, 14-17; Eph. 1:1-2:10)

We believe we are being saved from the power of sin...

We believe that the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us and we have access to the power of God to overcome sin and Satan today (Jn. 14:12-14, 20:21-22; Rom. 8:2-11).

We believe it is God’s will that we be sanctified – set apart to do his will (Rom. 6:19, 22; 1 Peter 1:13-25; 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19-20; 1 Thess. 4:3).

We desire to obey God and continue to grow in becoming more like Jesus and accomplishing his mission (Jn. 8:42, 14:15; Eph. 4:11-16).

We believe we have all we need to make this a reality - his Spirit, his word & his church, and we intend to steward all of this for his glory (Eph. 1:2-22; Col. 1:27-29; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11).

We believe we will be saved rom the presence of sin...

We believe Jesus will one day return and will make an end to sin, suffering, evil and brokenness (Matt. 16:27; 24:27, 44; Acts 1:11; 2 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 19:1-20:14; 22:7, 12, 20).

We believe there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Is. 65:17, 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-22:5).

We believe he will judge the living and the dead and all those who put their trust in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection on their behalf will enjoy being in God’s presence forever in the new heaven and new earth (Acts 10:42-43; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet. 4:5; Rev. 20:11-21:8).

We believe all those who trust in something or someone other than Jesus for their life and justification before God will be separated from God forever (Matt 7:21-23, 25:41-46; Jn. 3:16-18, 14:6; Acts 4:12) .

We believe it is our job as the Church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls and to display through our lives the foretaste of the future so that people will hunger for it and put their faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; Rom. 10:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:9-12, 3:15).

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Our  salvation

We enthusiastically celebrate God’s grace in saving sinners.

We affirm God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will. We believe through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw sinners to faith in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the Gospel so they will believe most assuredly and willingly.

We also believe that these, the children of God whom he gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith. We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ, nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the means by which God accomplishes his ends.

We believe that the Gospel should be proclaimed to all and that all should be given the opportunity to follow Jesus and receive His grace. (John 1:12–13; 6:37–44; 10:25–30; Acts 13:48; 16:30–31; Romans 3:1–4:25; 8:1–17, 31–39; 9:1–23; 10:8–10; Ephesians 1:4–5; 2:8–10; Philippians 2:12–13; Titus 3:3–7; 1 John 1:7,9)

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Men and women

We are deeply committed to the fundamental spiritual and moral equality and complementarity of men and women.

We believe that we are made in the image of God, both male and female. Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond.

Therefore both men and women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God. We believe that God ordained marriage as a life-long union between one man and one woman and that sexual intimacy is to be experienced and enjoyed only within the covenant of marriage.

Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant-leadership and sacrificial love characterized by Jesus Christ. This principle of male headship should not be confused with, nor give any hint of, domineering control. Rather it is to be the loving, tender, and nurturing care of a godly man who is himself under the kind and gentle authority of Jesus Christ.

The elders of our church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight of the church. The office of elder is restricted to men. This should not serve to ignore the leadership gifts and insights of women within the body, but rather give them an environment for their gifts to thrive while remaining within the biblical prescriptions for Church leadership. Men serve as leaders in the church not due to superior talents, but because it is a physical representation and illustration of the spiritual reality of Jesus as the head of the church.  (Genesis 1:26–27; 2:18; Matthew 19:4-9; Acts 18:24–26; Romans 1:21-32; 1 Corinthians 11:2–16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22–33; Colossians 3:18–19; 1 Timothy 2:11–15; 3:1–7; Titus 2:3–5; 1 Peter 3:1–7)

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Missional  church

Ascent embraces a missionary understanding of the local church and its role as the primary means by which God chooses to establish his kingdom and family on earth.

The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church. We are called to make Christ known through the Gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring His lordship to bear on every dimension of life.

The primary way we fulfill this mission is through the equipping of the saints for ministry in our local church and seeking to make Jesus known in our local communities. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of Ascent and that God would empower us to share the good news of Jesus Christ in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and families.

We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the gospel, to engage it boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ. (Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5–25; 28:18–20; Luke 4:18–19; 24:46–47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14–15; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10; 4:11–16; 2 Timothy 4:1–5; Hebrews 10:23–25; 1 Peter 2:4–5, 9–10)

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