A Statement of Faith is a written declaration of the church's position on matters that pertain to the essentials of historical Christianity. The following statements comprise Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley's Statement of Faith:
We believe that there is one living and true GOD, eternally existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all things.
(Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:8 and 48:16; Matthew 28:19-20; John 10:30; Hebrews 1:3)
We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired without error and the infallible rule of faith and practice. The Word of God is the foundation upon which this church operates and is the basis for which this church is governed. We believe that the Word of God supersedes any earthly law that is contrary to the Holy Scriptures. We believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the most accurate translation from the original ancient text. It is from this translation that we establish our doctrine and Statement of Faith.
(Isaiah 28:13; Nehemiah 8:8; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:3-4 and 1:21)
We believe in the person of God the Father, an infinite, eternal, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
(Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 90:2; Psalms 102:27; John 3:16 and 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; Titus 1:3)
We believe in the person of Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings, his substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people and personal, visible return to earth.
(Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23; Mark 16:19; Luke 1:34-35; John 1:1-2, 8:58 and 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 1:2; Revelation 1:8)
We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit, Who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower for ministry all who believe in Christ;
(Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 16:8-11; Romans 8:26 and 15:13,16; Hebrews 9:14)
We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.
(John 6:13, 14:16-17 and 16:8-11; Romans 8:26)
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all Biblical gifts of the Spirit according to the instructions given to us in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
(1 Corinthians 14)
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and, therefore, are under condemnation; that God saves and regenerates based upon faith by the Holy Spirit, those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
(Acts 8:15-17; Ephesians 2:1-3 and 8-9; Romans 3:23 and 5:8; Titus 3:5)
We believe in the universal church, the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head and all who are born again are a part of the Body of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 4:15-16)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church: (a) full immersion water baptism of believers, and (b) the Lord's Supper.
(Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
We also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ validated the ordinance of marriage.
(Matthew 19:4-5 and John 2:1-11)
We believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ which is His personal, visible return to earth and the establishment of His millennial kingdom, in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment and eternal blessing of the righteous and endless separation of the wicked.
(Matthew 16:27; Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:11-15)
We believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell and that all those who place their faith, hope and trust in Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord, while those who reject Jesus’ free gift of salvation will spend eternity separated from the Lord.
(Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:3, 5:22, 18:9 and 25:31-34; Mark 9:42-49; Luke 12:5; John 3:18; Hebrews 12:23; 1 Peter 1:4; Revelation 14:10-11 and 20:11-15)
We believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church where all believers will meet the Lord in the air and be taken out of this world prior to the Tribulation that will come upon the earth.
(Isaiah 26:20; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 21:36; Romans 1:18, 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-16 and 5:9; 2 Peter 2:7-9; Revelation 3:10, 5:7-10 and 7:13-14)
We believe that marriage is exclusively the legal union of one genetic male and one genetic female as outlined in scripture and sanctioned by the state and evidenced by a marriage ceremony. We also believe that legitimate biblical sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, sexual activities such as, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, transgender-ism, bisexuality, cross-dressing, pedophilia, and bestiality are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Further, lascivious behavior, the creation, viewing and/or distribution of pornography and efforts to alter one’s physical gender or gender related appearance are incompatible with a true biblical witness.
(Genesis 2:24; I Corinthians 5:11; 6:9; 6:18-20; 7:1-3; 7:8-9; Romans 1:18-32)
We believe in Creation and God as the Creator. We believe that God created man and that He created them male and female. As such, He created them different so-as-to complement and to complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between a male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason homosexuality and all other “sexual preferences” or “orientations” are unnatural, sinful, and unacceptable to God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; I Timothy 1:9-11). Accordingly, this ministry will not perform any marriage ceremonies between two individuals of the same sex. It will not condone or recognize such same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships even if the state passes laws that provide for recognition of such unions.
To walk with God and grow spiritually, it's an absolute necessity to be involved in a church. The Bible instructs us to "consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together..." (Hebrews 10:24-25)
WHAT IS THE CHURCH?
In The New Testament, temple and synagogue are the only words that describe a building as a place of worship. Today's church is not a building, but an assembly of people who make up the body of Christ (Colossians 1:24; Romans 16:5). The universal church consists of genuine Christian believers of all ages, both on earth and in heaven. There won't be any denominations in heaven – only believers!
IS IT NECESSARY TO JOIN A LOCAL CHURCH?
Although we are all members of the universal church, the body of Christ, it's very important for a Christian to identify with a body of believers in a local church. We need each other in order to develop fully as Christians (1 Corinthians 12:4-27). We are also disciples who are commanded to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). But to do so, we must spend time around other believers.
WHAT MAKES A CHURCH EFFECTIVE?
What makes the church effective today is no different from what made the early church effective. It's the Spirit of God working through the Work of God in the hearts of His people. Jesus told His disciples, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Only a Spirit-filled church can be an effective church. We simply need to ask God to empower us.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH?
The purpose of the church is threefold. First, the church is to exalt God. He called us to live "to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:12).
Second, the church is to edify the saints. Paul exhorts us to "present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Colossians 1:28).
Third, the church is to evangelize the world. Jesus told His disciples, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We believe in adhering to these purposes, while keeping them in proper balance.
WHAT IS THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH?
The practice of the church is fourfold. It is to be a worshipping church, a learning church, a loving and united church and a praying church. We find the trademarks of a healthy church in the book of Acts: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (2:42).
WHAT ARE THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH?
Ordinances of the church are outward rites or symbolic observances commanded by Jesus, which set forth essential Christian truths. We observe the ordinances of water baptism and communion.
WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH?
Jesus told His disciples, "On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The Bible says that the head of the church is Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23).
God created humanity with a capacity to know, love and worship Him. Worship is that place where the heart of God and the heart of His child meet.
WHAT IS WORSHIP
Oswald Chambers said, "Worship is giving to God the best He has given you." Worship carries the idea of showing reverence to God. It's an active, adoring response whereby we declare His worth. To worship means to bow down and pay homage to God: "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psalm 95:6).
WHO DO WE WORSHIP?
Jesus said, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Matthew 4:10). Man is not worthy of worship, and neither are the idols that people make. God alone is deserving of our worship.
WHY DO WE WORSHIP?
We worship the Lord as a response to His attributes and His wonderful works. The Lord has loved us, saved us and continually cares for us. The worship of God is broad in its scope. It manifests itself through appropriate motivation or activity, that seeks to present a heart of gratitude and humility before our Almighty King. (For these reasons, we will seek to express our love for God, so that He is magnified and His purposes are fulfilled).
HOW DO WE WORSHIP?
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Worshiping in spirit means giving God the homage of an enlightened mind and an affectionate heart. Worshipping in truth, is to worship God according to the truth He has revealed in His word, the Bible.
FORMS OF WORSHIP
Worship should not resemble a spectator sport where we sit and watch others play. Worship requires participation. We worship the Lord through our words of praise and exaltation of God, by giving thanks to God in all things, by sharing His love with others.
Worship is a sacrifice. The Apostle Paul instructed believers, "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1 NIV).
We can make every day a worship experience, when we yield ourselves to the Lord. God has created each of us with a mind, heart, and spirit and wants us to use them for His glory. True worship is not lip service, but life service. It is to be as much a part of our lives as breathing and eating. Worship should be demonstrated in every area of our lives, every day of our lives.
EXPRESSIONS OF WORSHIP
We express our worship as we read the Bible (Psalm 119), pray, give tithes and offerings and offer praise through music. But the greatest demonstration of worship is through the lives that we live.
RESULT OF WORSHIP
True worship always magnifies God and our outlook toward Him. As God is magnified, everything else becomes insignificant. We begin to see beyond our circumstances and limitations, our fears diminish, and our spirits become refreshed.
Baptism is not a personal choice, but a command for believers. Jesus established water baptism as an ordinance when He gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).
WHAT IS WATER BAPTISM?
Water baptism is a public, outward testimony that indicates a personal, inward faith. It gives evidence of the inner change that has already occurred in the believer's life, when he or she was "born again" through faith in Jesus Christ.
WHY SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED?
We are to be baptized because Jesus Christ commanded it (Matthew 28:19), and because we love the Lord. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Throughout the book of Acts, we read how the early church gave importance to water baptism (2:41; 8:12,38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 19:3-5).
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
All born-again believers in Jesus Christ and only believers should be baptized. (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 16:31-33; 18:8)
SHOULD INFANTS AND CHILDREN BE BAPTIZED?
After Peter spoke at Pentecost, "those who gladly received his word [in its entirety] were baptized" (Acts 2:41, emphasis added). In the New Testament, every instance in which a person was baptized and his or her identity was given, that person was an adult. In light of Scripture, infant baptism must be ruled out, because infants cannot receive the Word of God and understand it. However, infants are to be dedicated to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:26-28). Children may be baptized if they receive and understand God's Word.
IN WHOSE NAME SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED?
As part of the Great Commission, Jesus instructed the disciples to baptize "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
IS WATER BAPTISM NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and according to God's mercy (Titus 3:5). The thief on the cross next to Jesus had no time to be baptized; yet Jesus promised that he would be with Him in Paradise that day (Luke 23:43). The Bible contains no record of Jesus baptizing anyone - a strange omission if baptism was essential for salvation. The Apostle Paul declared, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel..." ( 1 Corinthians 1:17). This clearly indicated that salvation is a response of faith to the gospel ? not the act of baptism. Therefore, water baptism is not an act of salvation, but an act of obedience.
The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:11; 44:6; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; Timothy 2:5). At the same time, the Bible plainly indicates a plurality within God's nature, consisting of three eternal and coequal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each the same in basic nature, but distinct in existence.
Although the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity is a factual conclusion, reached by comparing and combining relevant scriptural truths. "We are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Holy Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]" (1 Corinthians 2:13 AMPLIFIED).
ONE OF THE BIBLE'S GREAT MYSTERIES
The Trinity is one of the great mysteries of the Bible that cannot be fathomed by the finite mind. Yet, if God were small enough to figure out, He wouldn't be big enough to worship. The Bible tells us that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Though we will never fully understand the doctrine of the Trinity, there is no reasonable doubt that it is clearly taught in the Bible.
THE FATHER IS GOD
The Bible teaches that God is all-knowing (Job 37:16; Romans 11:33), all-powerful (Genesis 1:1-3; Job 42:2), all-present (Psalm 139:7-12), eternal (Exodus 3:4; Revelation 1:8), unchangeable (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), holy (Isaiah 57:15; 1 Peter 1:15-16), righteous and just (Psalm 116:5), merciful and gracious (Psalm 103:8), and able to forgive sin (Exodus 34:6-7; Mark 2:7). The Bible ascribes these characteristics to God alone.
THE SON, JESUS CHRIST, IS GOD
The Bible ascribes the same attributes of God to His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:21-23; 28:18; Luke 5:20-24; John 1:1,14; 8:58; 16:30, 17:5; Hebrews 13:8). Jesus Christ is worshiped (Matthew 14:31-33; 28:8; Hebrews 1:6); He is called God (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:21-23; John 1:1,14; 20:28), and He can forgive sins (Luke 5:20-24; John 10:30-33). These attributes are ascribed to God alone.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD
The activities and characteristics of God are attributed to the Holy Spirit (Psalm 139:7-10; Luke 1:35; 11:13; John 14:26; Hebrews 9:14). The Holy Spirit is a person (John 16:13-15; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 12:11), He is Creator (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4), and He is called God (Acts 5:1-11).
A RATIONAL, BIBLICAL CONCLUSION
For the above reasons and more, we are left with no other rational, biblical conclusion than to believe that God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit exist as a Holy Trinity: the one God of the Bible. There is no question of the existence of the Trinity, the only question is one of belief. We should want to know God, not as we think He should be, but simply as the Bible reveals Him to be.
The Bible is a book of history, science, poetry, and human behavior. Most importantly, it is a love story that reveals the heart of God through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
THE BIBLE IS UNIQUE
The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by more than 40 authors in three languages, on three continents. Rather than contradicting one another, the writers maintained 100 percent historical, moral, prophetical, and theological accuracy, writing with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation.
THE BIBLE WAS INSPIRED BY GOD
The Bible was written by men (2 Peter 1:20-21) under the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). God exerted His supernatural influence on the writers of the Bible. In other words, God was the author and men were His writing instruments.
THE BIBLE IS TO BE READ AND STUDIED
Studying the Bible is an absolute must for Christians. The Bible instructs, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God..." (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). The systematic preaching of the Bible is impossible without the systematic study of the Bible. We are not to skim a few verses in our daily Bible reading, nor are we to study a passage only when we're about to share it. We need to immerse ourselves daily in God's Word, like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).
THE BIBLE TEACHES US
To build a model airplane, we need to follow a set of instructions. Only then will the final product look like its counterpart on the box. In the same way, we need to follow God's instruction manual for life, the Bible. Only then, will our lives reflect Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
THE BIBLE GIVES US HOPE
The Bible was "written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). We find hope through learning about God, His ways, and His plans for our lives. When we discover the promises of God, we recognize there is more to life than merely existing. We discover there is life beyond this life. Through the Bible, we obtain hope, encouragement, comfort, strength, wisdom, and much more. Best of all, we gain understanding of how to know God personally and how to live for Him righteously.
THE BIBLE GIVES DISCRETION
To find our way through the dark, we need a flashlight. Only then can we see clearly and avoid stumbling. The psalmist described God's Word as "a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). As we allow the Bible to direct our lives, we'll keep from stumbling and falling.
If you want to be wise, read the Bible. If you want to be safe, believe the Bible. If you want to be right, obey the Bible.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus asked the question, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" (Matthew 22:42). A person's answer to that question can determine his or her eternal destiny.
The Apostle John declares Jesus' preexistence in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus says He is "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 1:8). Jesus reigns eternally (Hebrews 1:8), and He exists before all things (Colossians 1:17).
Jesus did not become God-He always has been God, and is the second member of the Trinity. Referring to His deity, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). The preexistence of Jesus Christ and the deity of Jesus Christ are inseparable. You cannot accept one and deny the other.
The word incarnation means "in flesh." It denoted the act in which the Son of God took to Himself the nature of humanity through the Virgin Birth (Matthew 1:23). John writes, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).
For Jesus to represent fallen humanity, He had to become a man. His Virgin Birth, which was essential for Him to be sinless, was prophesied long before it occurred (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18, 23; Luke 1:34-35; and Galatians 4:4). Jesus experienced everything in life that we do: pain, suffering, thirst, hunger, sorrow, anger, and so on; yet, He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
The penalty for our sin is death (Romans 6:23). Jesus died in our place and paid our penalty (Matthew 20:28; John 10:17-18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18). The death of Jesus on the cross laid the foundation on which a righteous God could pardon guilty and sinful people without compromising His righteousness in any way.
Jesus' resurrection assures us of our future resurrection. Because of His victory over death, we have victory as well. Without the resurrection, there would be no gospel message. His resurrection has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt (Matthew 28:5-8; Luke 24:39; John 20:27-28). The empty tomb, the shape of His linen wrappings, and His appearances to many after His crucifixion were just a few of the credible evidences of His resurrection.
JESUS' ASCENSION AND EXHALTATION
After His resurrection, Jesus visibly departed from His disciples into heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9). His ascension and exaltation were necessary to complete when He rose from the dead (Mark 16:19; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20-21; Hebrews 1:3).
JESUS' PERSONAL RETURN
Jesus Christ will return to this earth and receive His Church, the body of Christ, to Himself (John 14:1-4; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7).
The Bible has a lot to say about Christians and their money. In fact, the Bible contains more than 2,000 Bible verses on the subject. Time and again, the Bible associates our money with our commitment and relationship to the Lord.
WHAT IS GIVING?
The word give has been defined as "to make a present of." One of the many ways we can help others is to give financially. Through giving, the early church helped one another and invested in what God was doing. Sadly, the concept of giving has become distorted today. Yet our giving is vitally connected to who we are.
GIVING IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP
Giving is a spiritual sacrifice and an expression of love and gratitude, because everything we have comes from God (1 Chronicles 29:14). Some people say, "I can't afford to give!" In reality, we can't afford not to give. David said that he would not give to the Lord that which cost him nothing (2 Samuel 24:24). No matter what we give to God, what is left will always sustain us better than if we hadn't given at all.
GIVING IS A TEST OF OUR FAITHFULNESS
The way we give indicates a great deal about our spirituality. Our giving reveals our value system. Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). God does not ask us to give because He needs our resources. Rather, He challenges us to make Him the focus of our lives instead of our money and possessions.
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR GIVING
Although the Apostle Paul never overemphasized the subject of giving, he never neglected the importance of it, either. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-12, we find specific guidelines for giving: it is also to be a universal practice for believers (v. 1); it is to be done weekly (v.2); it is a personal act (v.2); and it is something we should be prepared to do (v. 2). As we give, God will meet our needs and prosper us (2 Corinthians 9:6-10).
MOTIVES FOR GIVING
God promises to bless us if we have the right attitude toward giving (Luke 6:38; Proverbs 3:9-10). However, some people give with the wrong motives. They may give in an attempt to manipulate God, to relieve guilt, to increase self-worth, to achieve recognition, to obtain power, or to gain tax advantages.
However, the Bible instructs us to "let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). The motives that God desires for our giving are to: express our love to Him, please Him, lay up treasures in heaven, and help reach the world for Jesus Christ.
THE PRINCIPLE OF STEWARDSHIP
A steward oversees the affairs and property of another person. Stewardship implies that everything we have belongs to God. Being a good steward means to manage our resources well and use them to glorify God.
THE PRINCIPLE OF TITHING
Old Testament law required God's people to give 10 percent of their income, which could include flocks, herds, or crops. This 10 percent was known as a tithe. In addition to the tithe, God's people were required to give offerings to the Lord for the care of the temple and the salaries of the priests. In the days of Israel, tithing was not voluntary giving. It was demanded as a form of taxation.
Is tithing for today? Dr. J. B. Gabrell made this observation: "It is unthinkable from the standpoint of the cross that anyone would give less under grace than the Jews gave under law." God makes an incredible promise to those who give to His work. He will "open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10-11).
Communion, often called "The Lord's Supper," is a memorial in which Christians identify with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:20). It's a time for believers to remember the Lord's broken body and His shed blood for all people (Luke 22:19-20).
INSTITUTION OF COMMUNION
Jesus Christ instituted communion on the eve of His death when He ate the Passover meal with His disciples (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).
MEANING AND SYMBOLISM OF COMMUNION
Bread and wine were once served for the Lord's Supper. (Today many churches, including ours, use crackers and grape juice.) The bread symbolizes Christ's body, which was beaten and broken for us as He died for the sins of humanity. The cup of wine symbolizes His blood, which was shed for us as He paid for our sins (John 10:17-18; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:8-9).
ESSENTIALS FOR OBSERVING COMMUION
Anyone who participates in the Lord's Supper must first be a believer. Jesus commanded His disciples to observe communion (Matthew 26:26); therefore, a person must have placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation before taking part in communion.
In addition to being believers, we must prepare our hearts to participate in the Lord's Supper. Paul instructed believers not to "eat this bread or drink this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner..." (1 Corinthians 11:27).
Last, we must examine our lives for any unconfessed sin. Paul reminds us, "Let a man examine himself" (1 Corinthians 11:28) to avoid bringing judgment upon ourselves. As we become right with God through confessing our sins (1 John 1:9), we may then participate in the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner.
PAST SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNION
Communion is a time to look back, remembering the Lord's death on the cross. His death was more than just an atoning death – it was a substitutional death. He died in our place so that we might live. He took our sins upon Himself so that we could receive His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
PRESENT SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNION
Communion is a time to look within, considering our lives in light of our profession of faith. As we enter into a time of communion with the Lord, we are to thank Him for our salvation and the privilege of being His children.
FUTURE SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNION
Communion is a time to look ahead toward the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Paul said we're to "Proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26). The Lord's Supper foreshadows the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19).
Today, we stand between the two most important events in human history: the First and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When we observe The Lord's Supper as Christians, we become connected to both.
Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me" (Mark 9:36-37).
At Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley, we realize the future will one day be in our children's hands. We want to do all we can to encourage and equip the children in our church to walk with God, both now and throughout their adulthood.
As a church that loves children, we place a high priority on providing a loving, relaxing and clean environment for your children. The goal of Calvary Kids is to attract children and help their families in laying a foundation of biblical truth and encourage them to surrender their lives to God. We pray that your child's experience with us is "the best hour" of their week.
Our well-rounded curriculum and activities are geared to minister to children's needs, to help them grow into a functional member of the body of Christ. In addition to Calvary Kids, we offer vacation bible school and a variety of other activities and learning opportunities for children of all ages.
NURSING MOTHER'S ROOM
We provided a soundproof, private room for nursing mothers who would like to hear and observe services in the Main Sanctuary. Located at the southwest corner of the sanctuary, you may enter the Nursing Mother's Room from the foyer. Husbands and siblings are not permitted in the Nursing Mother's Room and are encouraged to find the age-appropriate class in our Children's Ministries.
We provide nursery care for children, birth to two years old, with a ratio of one worker caring for every four children.
We offer Children's Ministry classes that include age-appropriate curriculum for children 3 years of age through 5th grade at all Sunday morning services and on Wednesday evenings.
JR HIGH & HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRIES
We invite all 6th - 10th grade students to join us as we meet at 9:30 and 11:45AM on Sundays.
Our Jr High and High School Youth groups meet Wednesday nights at 7PM.
GUIDELINES FOR THE MAIN SANCTUARY
Our Calvary Kids Ministry and Nursery care programs are designed to minister to the children at their age level. We encourage all parents to take advantage of these ministries that we created and specially prepared for your child. We wouldn't want to rob your child of the opportunity of hearing and seeing God's Word in action in their very own age-appropriate setting. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you place your children into their appropriate classes so they will benefit from the Children's Ministry program and not be a distraction or hindrance to God's Word being taught in the main sanctuary. Our desire is to provide a quiet and distraction-free environment to enable everyone present to worship the Lord, hear God's message clearly, and to respond if an invitation is given.
If your child(ren) must accompany you into service, we ask that you observe the following guidelines:
- If your child(ren) are 4th grade and younger, we ask that you please sit in the Overflow Room. An usher will be happy to direct you.
- If your child(ren) are 5th and older, we ask that you please have your children sit with you during the worship service and teaching.
To do God's work, we need God's power. Jesus told His disciples, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you..." (Acts 1:8).
IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR EVERYONE?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and who are children of God through Him (Acts 2:38-39).
WHAT IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Spirit of God comes upon a believer. The Holy Spirit fills the believer's mind with genuine understanding of truth, takes possession of the believer's abilities, and imparts gifts that qualify the believer for service in the body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit also speaks to the hearts of unbelievers, showing them their need for salvation (John 16:7-11). When a person accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit dwells inside him or her (John 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:13). But believers also need the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5-8).
WHY WE NEED THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers believers for service, witness, spiritual warfare, and boldness in their testimonies (Acts 1:8, 4:19-20, 29-31; 6:8-10; 1 Corinthians 2:4).
Jesus commanded the disciples not to begin the work to which He had called them until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48-49; Acts 1:4,8). When the apostles met believers in Christ, they at once asked whether the believers had received the Holy Spirit. If not, they made sure the believers received Him (Acts 8:14-16; 19:1-5). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in every Christian's life for the service to which God has called us.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13). God fulfills His promises in a variety of ways, and no two human beings are alike in how they receive spiritual things.
The New Testament tells us that some believers received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the moment of their conversion, such as Cornelius and his family (Acts 10). Others, such as the believers in Ephesus, received it at a later time (Acts 19:1-5). We should never limit God by our own expectations. He is sovereign and will work in whatever way He chooses.
"...looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ..." (Titus 2:13)
WHAT IS THE SECOND COMING?
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will return to earth in bodily form as He promised. Known as the Second Coming, Jesus will return in righteousness and in judgment as He executes the will of God upon a Christ rejecting world.
This doctrine is found referenced in nearly all the books of the Bible. When Jesus returns to earth in the Second Coming, the Bible says that every eye will see Him coming in glory, accompanied by His holy angels and with the His church, known as the bride of Christ.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
It is at that time, that Jesus will put an end to the battle of Armageddon, mankind's most feared and dreaded war to come. After the Second Coming, Jesus Christ Himself will take His rightful seat upon the throne of David, which will be established in Jerusalem, that might explain why Jerusalem is the most important city in the world at this hour, perhaps because of its future significance in the world. The Second Coming is spoken of as an awesome event that we will be extremely fearful for those in the world at that time.
The Bible also says that "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD" (Joel 2:31). Unlike the Rapture of the church, the Second Coming will disrupt the celestial, cosmic heavens and the earth will begin to shake at His coming!
With amazing drama, His return will be globally witnessed by all peoples and it will be a day of God's vengeance. Once the Second Coming has occurred, Jesus will begin to personally judge all those who survived the terrifying events of the seven year tribulation period. Once enthroned, He will separate the survivors, like a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is His authoritative, kingly retaking of the earth as scriptures teaches.
It would be better my friend, to trust Christ today, as we together look for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, rather than be part of the terrifying events of the Second Coming!
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14).
CHILDREN ARE A HERITAGE
The Bible says that children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). God has given Christian parents the tremendous responsibility of raising their children in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). He entrusts parents with the responsibility of establishing a foundation built upon Jesus Christ early in the lives of their children.
WHY CHILDREN SHOULD BE DEDICATED
In view of this responsibility, baby dedications are actually "family dedications." The entire family needs to be lifted up in prayer so that family members will be empowered to keep their responsibilities.
The Bible gives us an example of dedicating a child to the Lord through the account of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:11, 26-28. Unable to have children, Hannah wept before the Lord because of her condition. As she was weeping, she made a vow to God and said, "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, THEN I WILL GIVE HIM TO THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE..." (1 Samuel 1:11, emphasis added).
God honored Hannah's request and gave her a son named Samuel. Hannah kept her vow and dedicated (which means "to set apart") Samuel to the Lord.
REQUIREMENTS FOR DEDICATION
To dedicate a child to the Lord is to make a vow to completely submit your child to the will of God and raise that child in the ways of the Lord.
Parents who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will be unable to submit their children to God's will and His ways, because they themselves do not know the ways of the Lord. As a result, we must decline any requests to involve an unbelieving parent in the dedication of a child. We view this as an act of protection rather than rejection, as we cannot encourage someone to make a vow to God that we know he or she cannot keep. The Bible says, "It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows" (Proverbs 20:25 NIV). The Bible records instances where God dealt severely with those who broke their vows to Him (for example, read Acts 5:1-11). A believing parent may dedicate a child independently of an unbelieving spouse. Single parents who dedicate their children may not have boyfriends or girlfriends with them on the platform.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CHRISTIAN PARENT
Christian parents are to do all they can do to "set apart" their child to God until that child can make his or her own choice regarding a relationship with Jesus Christ. By dedicating a child to the Lord, parents make a vow to raise their child in God's ways and not their own. They commit themselves to this promise and must do all they can do to keep it.
The responsibilities God has entrusted to Christian parents include continuously praying for their children (Job 1:5), instructing them in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6), setting a godly example (Proverbs 20:7), and disciplining them as the Lord would discipline us (Proverbs 29:15, 17; 13:24). These responsibilities can only be fulfilled in Christ's strength (Philippians 4:13).
As a parent, your devotion to God, or lack of it, will make a resounding impression on the next generation. May your legacy be a godly one.