what we believe4

OUR MISSION
"For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb.  I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14
You are no accident regardless of what you have been told or what you have believed. You are here because God Himself wanted you here. The Psalmist said "For you created my inmost being..." "Inmost" being heart, mind, spirit of a man or woman as a core of the inner person. God designed you to His specs. In life, though, we too often lose ourselves and try to become someone we are not in order to be accepted or to feel good about ourselves. Sometimes we wear masks so long that we become the mask. God desires us to be the person He designed us to be and to be that person as redeemed by Christ and shaped by the Holy Spirit to be the best version of you.


“The Heights exists to bring glory to God by helping people become God’s best version of themselves through God-centered worship, God Modeled and enabled community, God Gifted and enabled service and God Empowered multiplication. This begins when you trust Christ for forgiveness and life -- when you enter an intimate love relationship with Him. Regardless of your past or spiritual background, we welcome you to join us on this journey at The Heights.

We want to help you begin to understand and use your uniqueness in the Spirit and get you connected to the body through service and on mission beyond by using your gifts and abilities that make you you. At the end of the day the questions of importance will be: what will I have done with the one life that has been given to me? How did I leverage my time, gifts, resources, and relationships? Most importantly, as a follower of Jesus, how will I now use my life to be an influence in the lives of others?


OUR DOCTRINE

1. 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.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

2. JESUS CHRIST. Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is co-equal with the Father.  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.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13

3. 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 men 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 of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.  He give every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved.  As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18

4. 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 any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16;  2 Peter 1:20,21;  2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6;  Proverbs 30:5

5. 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.  Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”.   This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

6. SALVATION. Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it.  We can never make up for our sin 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 turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:17

7. ETERNAL SECURITY. Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity.  If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it.  Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.  It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

8. 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.  Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9


OUR CORE VALUES
1. GOD-CENTERED WORSHIP
Life is worship and to be God’s best version of you, our thoughts, words, desires and our actions should glorify God alone. God is the one and the only one worthy of our worship and we should worship Him in Spirit and truth. John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
 
We encourage two aspects of worship here at the Heights:
 
We encourage worship as a part of every believers life outside of the The Heights. (1 Corinthians 10:31 (HCSB) 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.)  Whether at the dinner table, a sporting event, or vacation we should delight in the blessings of The Lord in our daily lives and give glory to Him.
 
We also encourage worship through the gathering of Believers in a corporate service – primarily Sunday worship services, Wednesday Bible Studies and times of prayer and in our Theological Reading Groups that meet on Sunday evenings. Within these venues, we worship God through preaching, teaching, singing, praying and celebrating the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. This corporate time of worship affords us an opportunity to celebrate Our great and Awesome God as well as to interact and respond to the relevant truth of God's Word and experience the transforming power of his Presence.
Psalm 145:1-7 
 
2. GOD-MODELED AND -ENABLED COMMUNITY
1. God is three persons.
2. Each person is fully God.
3. There is one God. 

God in himself has both unity and diversity, so it is not surprising that unity and diversity are also reflected in the human relationships he has established. In the church we have “many members” yet “one body” (1 Cor. 12:12).
 
Our personal relationship with God, is not a relationship that is merely individual or private. We are made for community both with God and with each other. The local church is not merely a place that we attend but a people to whom we belong. A place to love and be loved to serve and be served.  The Bible calls us members of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) with the expectation that we contribute to the body for the glory of God and the good of His people.
 
God modeled and enabled community is primarily expressed through our Heights Groups ministry. These Groups are not perfect and those who participate in them will find them messy at times. However, our hope is that group members will be passionately committed to reform from within. This requires time, prayer, effort, patience, love, trust and hope. (Acts 2:42, 44-47)
 
3. GOD-GIFTED AND -ENABLED SERVICE
In John 13:1-20, we read the account of Jesus washing His disciples' feet. Here was the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the blessed Lord and Savior, doing what was unheard of. Jesus then says this: So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.
 
You see, we were saved that we might now serve. The Holy Spirit expresses himself through us in a gift or gifts for the purpose of extending God's grace and mercy to others for His glory and not our own. Service can and should be a part of every believer’s life in many and various ways. Here at the Heights opportunities for service are many: serving others by greeting at the doors of the church, volunteering in one of our existing ministries, teaching, facilitating a Heights group, singing, giving financially to the needs of others, etc.
 
4. GOD-EMPOWERED MULTIPLICATION
Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus issues the Great Commission for the Church, which involves evangelism-reaching others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and disciple making--becoming God’s best version of ourselves through (Matthew 22) loving God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and by loving others by equipping and empowering them to do the same. We are called to growth as we share the life giving gospel of to a world dead in sin.
Acts 17:26-27
 
We experience God empowered multiplication when we live out of our purpose to glorify God and find our delight in Him. There are plenty of opportunities to be an active part of God's empowered multiplication from living the Word before others and sharing with our neighbors and coworkers and fellow students, to local outreaches we are involved in at the Heights and short or long-term mission trips (Alabama, Cherokee, Ukraine, Nicaragua, etc).
2 Corinthians 5:11: Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade people.  

OUR PRACTICES

Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions.
Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:

BIBLE AS OUR SOLE AUTHORITY 
2 Timothy 3:16 (HCSB) “16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,”
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?”  We encourage the practice of daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization.  The Bible is the basis for all we believe.

AUTONOMY OF EACH LOCAL CHURCH
Colossians 1:18 (TEV) “18  He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body's life.”
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization.  While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.  

PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER
Revelation 1:5-6 (TEV) 5  “He loves us, and by his sacrificial death he has freed us from our sins 6  and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father…”
1 Peter 2:9 (TEV) 9  "But you are the chosen race, the King's priests, the holy nation, God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light."
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation.  We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry.  Every believer has direct access to God through prayer Bible reading.

TITHING
Lev. 27:30 “A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” 
At The Heights we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s body, the church, as God commands.  We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.

IMMERSION
Col. 2:12 (GN) “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ...”  
We practice baptism by immersion under water — the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.

SPIRIT-LED LIVING
John 15:5 (Jesus said), “I am the Vine, you are the branches.  If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing.”  
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us.  So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right.  (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 5:18)

TELLING OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST
1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact.  We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.

 

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