Who We Are
We are dedicated as a local body of believers in Christ to the great principles of the Reformation as they were developed by Luther, Calvin, Knox, and other gifted leaders. These men committed themselves to lead God’s people toward a more biblically-centered life of faith, often at great personal risk to their incomes, their reputations, their families and even their lives. While Hope is decidedly a future-minded, twenty-first century church, we also stand proudly with our forefathers in the faith, who championed the motto: “by faith alone, by grace alone,” based upon “Scripture alone”. At Hope, we describe ourselves as:
- Saved Sinners — We are sinners saved by faith through grace.
- Christ Centered — We offer Christ centered worship, preaching, teaching, and discipling.
- Bible Driven — We hold to the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture, our final authority.
- Growing in Grace — We strive to grow in the Truth.
- Kingdom Living — We seek to apply faith to all of life.
- Faith Fellowship — We are united in fellowship through Christ.
- Welcoming — We rejoice in those men, women, and children Jesus brings to us.
- Christ Sharing — We long to share the Love of Christ with the lost.
- Developing Disciples — We are imperfect, yet devoted followers of Jesus our Savior.
- Covenant Recipients — We are Covenant Family, adopted sons and daughters of God our Father.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of our body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Christ Centered — All of the ministries we offer at Hope are grounded in the centrality of Jesus Christ as the Savior and the Source of all that we are and are doing. This Christ-centeredness is most readily seen in our Lord’s Day worship as we gather as His redeemed family. Christ is exalted at Hope through the preaching and teaching ministries and portrayed for us visually in His sacraments. We also recognize that Christ’s work and the presence of His Holy Spirit enable us to disciple one another, so that we may become over time more and more like Him. We derive our understanding of the central significance of Christ for all things from the Bible. Colossians 1:15-20 summarizes this key principle:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.Bible Driven — We live in a time when popular thought views the Bible as merely another work of literature written by men in the ancient world. At Hope, we believe the Bible clearly defines itself as the only recorded communication of God to mankind. It is therefore unique and is to be handled with reverence and respect. The Scriptures are also most powerful, when applied by God’s Holy Spirit, to change the lives of men, women, and children the Lord brings to faith in Him. For these and other reasons, we rely upon the Word of God to shape the content of our worship, preaching, teaching, discipling, and the manner in which we live our everyday lives. A key passage in the Bible describing itself is found in 2 Timothy 3:16:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.We also find this statement concerning the power of God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Growing in Grace — At Hope, we see our lives as believers going somewhere. By that we mean that by God’s rich grace we are being brought closer and closer to Jesus Christ in the ways in which we make decisions, relate to other people, and reflect Christ’s wonderful character. As long as this life’s journey continues, God moves us by His Spirit, washes us by His Word, and shapes us to image His Son. This growing in grace is never completed during our earthly lives. We also believe that while our growth is enabled by God’s grace, it is also necessary for us to seek to grow, always desiring to be more like our Savior. God’s Word in various places teaches us this important truth. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we find:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.And in Romans 8:29, Paul writes:
For those whom he (God) foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.Kingdom Living — We believe that our Christian faith should impact not only the time we spend together in ministries and activities at Hope Church, but should also saturate all that we do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Kingdom Living is our way of saying that all the world belongs to Christ. He was involved in its creation and He has been given all authority over it by His Father. At the present time Christ is busy expanding His kingdom through His chosen instrument the Church. Each of us who belong to Christ serve in His Kingdom as parts of His Body, the Church on earth. The book of Revelation describes for us in chapter 5 how Christ was slain, like a sacrificial lamb, in order to purchase for Himself a people who would be His ‘vice regents’ to expand and manage His kingdom on earth. Verses 9-10 of this chapter say:
Worthy are you (Christ) to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Faith Fellowship — At Hope we place great emphasis on the fellowship we enjoy together as an extended family of men, women, and children redeemed by Jesus Christ and adopted into our Father’s family as His sons and daughters. As the Apostle John wrote: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. We treasure sweet times of shared worship, table fellowship, and other events and celebrations with one another. While we live in an age in which more and more miles separate members of physical families, at Hope we embrace the diverse family members God has drawn into our fellowship. For many of us who live a great distance from our relatives, Hope Church is a real home, providing love, warmth, encouragement, and support through all the seasons of life. Here we have the richness of a family in faith. Just as the apostle Paul described the fellowship among the faithful in Colossians 3:11, so we believe that Christ unites us:
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free, but Christ is all, and in all.Welcoming — We believe it is important to recognize that God brings new visitors into our church. Even more so, Hope Presbyterian belongs to the Lord and is indeed His home. We are His stewards and His hosts as men, women, and children come to worship and fellowship in Hope’s facility. Regardless of race, cultural identity, or economic means, you are welcome to join with us at Hope. It is the good and perfect will of Jesus our loving Savior that we love one another just as He loves us. In 1 John 4:7-12, we read:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.Christ Sharing — The understanding we have of the sinfulness of mankind, coupled with our thankfulness for God’s salvation in Christ, which has redeemed us from eternal destruction and purchased for us everlasting life, drives us to compassion for the lost – those who remain separated from Christ. At Hope we believe that we have been called by God to share the saving love of Jesus Christ with the lost. While we believe that God sovereignly chooses and enables those who are lost to receive Him, we also believe He desires to use us as instruments for the transmission of His Good News. This sharing of the love of Christ includes hospitality to those in need, personal testimony to our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers, and the teaching ministries of our church. The most visible means by which we share the love of Christ with the lost is through the faithfully preached Word of God, by which the Holy Spirit applies the Gospel to the hearts and minds of those He desires to save. We read in Romans 10:13-15 and 17:
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.Developing Disciples — While believers are forever changed by God’s grace and by His Spirit renewed more and more each day, we are nevertheless still imperfect in this life and continue to sin. Therefore, we recognize at Hope that our calling from the Lord is not only to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the lost, but to disciple those who receive the Savior as well. No matter how mature our faith may grow to become, all of us need continually to be discipled and encouraged by other brothers and sisters in the faith. When our Lord Jesus gave His final instructions to His followers, He clearly directed that believers in Him be makers of disciples, as well as evangelists. In Matthew 28:19-20, we find this Great Commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.Covenant Recipients — An important element of our preaching, teaching, and congregational living at Hope Presbyterian Church is our understanding of God as the Lord of the covenants. What that means is that God has revealed Himself many times in His dealings with people throughout history by means of covenants. He chooses to enter into relationship with us through an agreement He chooses to initiate. In Old Testament times, the Lord formed relationship with His people by giving them His Law and providing for them a substitutionary, sacrificial system to cleanse them from sin and permit them to have fellowship with His holy presence. When Jesus came into the world, He sealed God’s covenant with His people perfectly by a one-time sacrifice of Himself on behalf of sinners. Through God’s redemptive covenant with His Son, and thus His covenant with all those who believe in the Son, believers are made part of God’s adopted family and have access intimately to the Lord. We take this covenantal relationship to heart at Hope and draw great joy from the proven faithful character of our covenantal Sovereign – the Almighty God. Through His covenant with us in Christ, we are knit together and receive great benefit and blessing. As the benediction found at the end of the book of Hebrew tells us:
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.