For centuries, Christians have been dividing over gray-area beliefs. Certainly there are some issues that are non-negotiable if we’re going to walk in unity (like the nature of who Jesus is and what His death and resurrection mean today), but we also understand that there are other issues that are worth dialoguing about at a relational level as we all grow in our understanding of God, His Word, and His mission. We care more about love, unity, and mission than we care about perfect agreement on unimportant issues.
With that said, we also know a certain level of agreement will help streamline ministry together since we will spend more time loving each other and ministering to those who don’t know Jesus, and we’ll spend less time debating or arguing over the Bible.
The following statement of faith is written with this in mind. We’re not saying, “Agree with us or leave.” But we are saying, “These are the positions you can expect to hear supported, taught, promoted, and defended throughout every house church and ministry at Roots Church.”
As an Assembly of God church, we agree to teach the A/G’s “Statement of Fundamental Truths,”which can be read at https://ag.org/Beliefs/Statement-of-Fundamental-Truths. But for the sake of local unity, we allow some wiggle-room for those who might disagree on disputable matters, like what order “End Time” events will take place or how.
The following Statement of Faith is our own simplified position, which we do ask all Mission-Partners to agree on as we work together with the same message and vision. Where terms have been left vague, this is purposeful so as not to force participants to conform against their conscience to doctrinally-disputable matters that are not essential to the mission or purpose of Roots Church. However, where terms are specific, this too is purposeful and is intended to help everyone understand the core message proclaimed by our church.
The following 12 points comprise the Statement of Faith emphasized at Roots Church:
The Scriptures are Inspired by God
The 66 books of the Christian Bible were written by men who were yielded vessels of the Holy Spirit. God inspired every word and protected the Scriptures from the pollution of human wills and earthly agendas. It is God’s perfect written revelation of Himself to mankind. The Holy Bible is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training believers to live righteous lives.
There is Only One True God
This singular God exists eternally as three distinct persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. He is our Creator, our Provider, our Protector, our Helper, our Master, our King, and our Friend. He is the only eternal Judge of mankind and is therefore the one and only authority on morality and life.
Jesus Christ is God
Eternally existent as a functional member of the triune God, the Son—Jesus Christ—became a human being. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life (while still befriending sinful people), worked mighty miracles, was killed via crucifixion, laid dead in a tomb for three days, physically rose to life, appeared to some 500 people, and physically ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of Father God. Today, He continues to intercede for those who believe in Him, and He works alongside the Church—confirming His word by the signs that accompany it.
Mankind Willfully Chose to Sin Against God
While mankind was originally created innately innocent and good in the image of God, the decisions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden forfeited mankind’s authority in the earth, privilege of eternal life, and personal relationship with God. Thus sin, death, and evil entered the world; and hell—originally established as a destination for rebelling angels—became the default destination of a fallen mankind.
Jesus has Provided the Only Way to Reverse the Effects of Sin
The same way sin, death, and evil entered the world through one man (Adam), the solution was brought through the work of one Man (Jesus Christ). In love, God the Father sent God the Son to conquer sin and restore mankind to fellowship with Himself. The benefits of Christ’s work are available to all by grace and are acquired through faith. Through the death of Jesus on the cross, every living person has the open invitation to consider his or her old life to have died with Christ. The sinful nature can be considered dead in Christ. This positions the person to also partner with Christ in His resurrection—being made a new creation, perfect and innocent in the eyes of God. Furthermore, this opens to the believer the spiritual position of being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Through conquering sin and death, Jesus has received all authority in heaven and on earth, which He shares with those who abide in Him. Believers now have access to eternal life in heaven, spiritual authority, and a personal relationship with God.
Water Baptism is the First Step of Obedience to Jesus
When Jesus told His followers to make disciples of all nations, He specifically instructed them to baptize these new disciples—immersing them in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus set the example of being baptized in water before first entering His public ministry. The Apostle Paul describes the beautiful symbolism of going down into the water as one who has died with Christ and rising up to new life just like Jesus did. Baptism is an appeal to God from a clean conscience that confirms a person’s decision to follow Jesus and proclaims to the kingdom of darkness that we have been born into a new family. We believe any disciple of Jesus can administer baptism according to the biblical model, and we are happy to perform these baptisms wherever water is available—pools, bathtubs, rivers, lakes, etc.
Preaching and Demonstrating the Full Gospel of Christ's Atonement
When Jesus' blood was shed, He initiated a New Covenant between God and humanity. Sinners everywhere now have a path to become saints. No longer would we be responsible to do the right thing in our own effort. Now those who place their trust in Jesus can receive new hearts in which the Holy Spirit can dwell, enabling Jesus to express His righteousness through us. We are now “new creations” who represent Jesus in this world as the Holy Spirit helps us become more and more like Him each day. In this way, Jesus can express His love and power through us to administer physical healing and spiritual deliverance, which are available to all (whether or not they know God) as signs of God’s love that confirm this message of God's glorious power to save—body, soul, and spirit.
The Empowerment of the Holy Spirit
While it is true that the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of every Christian at conversion, the Book of Acts proclaims a secondary experience of empowerment from the Holy Spirit that every believer should desire and seek. This empowerment is not necessary for salvation, but it is necessary to effectively and regularly do the works of Jesus and demonstrate the supernatural power of God. The purpose of this empowerment is to give Christians enhanced boldness, supernatural ability for ministry, and a form of fellowship with God that cannot be otherwise experienced. The supernatural sign of “speaking in tongues”—vocalizing in a language unknown to the speaker as he or she yields to the Spirit's prompting—accompanies this empowerment and serves as an ongoing reminder that we carry a Gospel for all nations and are called to do the impossible through partnership with God. This empowerment is available to all believers and should be diligently sought, but we neither promote nor allow a culture of elitism as though this empowerment were an achievement or an indication of special spiritual status.
The Practice of Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are listed in various places throughout the New Testament and include such ministries as physical healing, administration, prophecy, discerning spirits, hospitality, tongues, interpretation of tongues, generosity, and others. In short, they occur when the Holy Spirit enables a Christian to carry out some form of ministry in the power of God, thereby revealing an aspect of Jesus. These spiritual gifts are available to every follower of Jesus and are distributed according to the will of the Spirit. Every believer should eagerly desire spiritual gifts and be open to the Lord ministering through them in any way(s) He sees fit.
Sanctification is Part of the Christian Life
While it is true that Christians instantly become righteous (or “perfect”) in the eyes of God at the moment of conversion, this does not mean that Christians are perfect representatives of God in practice. Each person must experience a lifelong process of being made holy, which—in essence—is to be made more and more like Jesus through the inner working of the Holy Spirit. We believe this process is most effectively experienced in the context of healthy and deep relationships with other Christians who desire the same goal.
The Return of Jesus Christ
While Jesus presently sits at the right hand of God the Father, He has promised that He will return for His pure and spotless Bride, the Church. Jesus will come on an unknown day at an unknown hour—a time least expected. Therefore we must be diligent and alert—awaiting His return, pursuing personal and Church-wide holiness, and doing all we can to reach everyone we can with the Good News of His salvation. A final judgment is coming, and all those who have rejected Jesus or lived in opposition to Him already stand condemned and will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Only those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and persevered in faith can be certain of their salvation.
A Victorious Eternity
We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, as described in the Bible. There will be no more death, no more disease, and no more suffering. Satan and all his cohorts will be irrevocably gone. And we who were faithful to Jesus in this life will experience, along with all the saints, the joy of living in eternal relationship with God and each other on the new earth, having new physical bodies and fully expressing who we were always designed to be. The good things God has planned for this eternal world are beyond our wildest imagination, but we know they will be perfect expressions of our good and loving God.