At HBF, our theology is rooted in four defining beliefs:
- We give primacy to the Bible, viewing it as authoritative, trustworthy, and sufficient. We are not scriptural literalists. Rather, we believe the Bible can be profitably read by anyone to derive principles for living holy lives that please God. Accordingly, we are a Bible-oriented church. Our sermons are exegetical, many of us participate in small groups focusing on scripture, and most (and perhaps all) of us engage in devotional reading daily.
- We have a biblical view of God and people. God alone is holy. We are not. To the contrary, we are born sinful. Indeed, sin, properly defined, is not just our falling short of God’s will occasionally through bad behaviors. Rather, sin is our very nature.
- Grace is at the center of our theology. At HBF we celebrate communion every week so that we are constantly reminded of Christ’s sacrifice—that he gave his life to save us from the consequences of our sin. The enormity of God’s grace—and the enormity of our need for it–is at the center of every sermon and every Bible study.
- We have a biblical view of the Holy Spirit. As described in the Bible (especially chapters 13-16 of John’s Gospel), the Holy Spirit is the very presence of Jesus Christ living within those who believe. The Spirit is always with us and will never leave us. It not some ethereal force that can be summoned by reciting a formula or inducing an emotional state. For believers, God works through the indwelling Spirit and the circumstances of our lives to make us more Christ-like. Put another way, the Spirit works to develop in us the characteristics of Christ, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
In sum, at HBF we give absolute authority to the Bible. For this reason, we have a biblical view of God, a biblical view of people, a biblical view of the work of Christ on earth, and a biblical view of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. We believe in both justification (the imputed righteousness of Christ accomplished at the cross) and sanctification (a gradual growth to spiritual maturity through the work of the Holy Spirit).
What about Denominations?
Hamilton Bible Fellowship is a non-denominational Protestant church. We understand that God uses different kinds of churches to reach different kinds of people. We do not fit comfortably within any conventional categories. We are not mainline Protestant. We are not fundamentalist. We are not Pentecostal or Charismatic. We do not quite fit the current conception of an evangelical church, although we probably fit better within that category than any of the others.
As such God eternally exists, one in essence, and in three persons:
-The Father: Matthew 5:9-13
-The Son, Jesus Christ: Full deity and perfect humanity united forever. John 1:1-5, 14; Col. 1:13-23, 2:9
-The Holy Spirit: Personal, divine representative indwelling every believer. John 14:16-18
Humanity: We believe that human beings were created by God in his image for the purpose of enjoying dominion over God’s created order, in perfect relationship with God and each other. Genesis 1:26-28
-We believe that man and woman fell from their estate by disobeying God, thus incurring death, both spiritual (separation from God) and physical. Genesis 3:1-19
-We believe that the result of this is sin, the effect being that no one by nature or by effort has any merit before God. Romans 3:9-20
Salvation: We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was raised from the dead three days later, ascended bodily into the presence of the Father, and now lives as such to intercede on our behalf.
Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-14; Romans 8:31-34
-We believe that this took place that human beings might be reconciled to God and ultimately restored to the place of dominion. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Revelation 21:1-6
-We believe that anyone who trusts Jesus Christ as savior receives a right standing before God and eternal life, and that person will be kept in his salvation by God forever. Romans 3:21-28; 8:28-39
The Church: We believe that the church consists of all believers with Christ as the head, and in the autonomy of each local manifestation called out to meet together regularly for worship, instruction fellowship and ministry. Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 10:19-25
-We believe the purpose of the church is to glorify God by drawing together, through proclamation of the Word of God, all who will believe in Jesus Christ as savior, and by encouraging believers to become progressively Christ-like through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:11-16; Col. 3:12-17
Ordinances: We believe that Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances: baptism by immersion following conversion, and the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 22:14-20
The Future: We believe in the imminent, personal return of Jesus Christ. Matt 24:29–44; Rev. 19:11- 20:6
-We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and the unsaved, the former to eternal blessed fellowship with the Lord, and the latter to eternal punishment and separation from him. 1 Thess. 4:13-19; John 5:24-29; Rev. 20:7-15