Statement of Faith
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Its human authors "spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21) in its original manuscripts. The Bible was without error, and God has preserved the integrity of His word to us. The Bible is God's standard and supreme authority in all matters pertaining to faith and Christian conduct.
References: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, John 17:17
We believe in one living and true God. (Deuteronomy 6:4) God is Spirit. (John 4:24) He is without beginning and without end. (Psalm 90:2) He eternally exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14)These divine Persons are equal in holiness (John 17:11, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Romans 1:4)and every divine perfection. The Persons of the Godhead execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, Psalm 104:30), providence and redemption (Ephesians 2:4-5, John 10:10, Ezekiel 37:14).
God the Father
We believe in God the Father, who is eternal, infinite and personal spirit. (Genesis 1:1, John 4:24) He is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. (Matthew 6:8, Psalm 135:5-7, Philippians 4:7) He is mercifully concerned with the affairs of humans. (Acts 17:24-28)He hears and answers prayer. (Matthew 6:9-10) He saves from sin and death, and He gives new life to all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:22-24, John 14:6)
Jesus Christ - God the Son
We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God. (John 1:14) He was supernaturally born of the virgin Mary. (Matthew 1:18-21) He lived a sinless life, perfectly fulfilling the law of God. (1 Peter 2:21) He is truly God and truly man. In His teachings and miracles He demonstrated His divine nature. While here on earth He suffered and was tempted like all men, (Hebrews 2:18) but He did not sin.
We believe that in His death on the cross He died in our place, taking upon himself the punishment of our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). In that act He demonstrated the overwhelming love of God for all sinners, making it possible that all sinners be reconciled to God. (1 Peter 3:18) He arose bodily from the dead on the third day, in that way demonstrating that He had defeated death as well. (1 Corinthians 15:22) He subsequently ascended bodily into heaven (Acts 1:19) where He is making intercession for those who have placed their trust in Him as Savior. (Hebrews 7:25) He will return personally and visibly to this earth in His divine glory and power, as He promised. (John 14:1-3)
God the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, (John 14:16-17; 18:7-16) He is truly God. He imparts eternal life to all who trust in Christ. (John 3:5) He guides, empowers (Acts 1:8), indwells (Romans 8:11), sanctifies (Romans 15:16), equips (1 Corinthians 12:4-7) and enlightens every true believer in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:16). He is the abiding helper, comforter and teacher (John 14:26) of every Christian.
We believe that man was created in the image of God, holy and without sin. (Genesis 1:21)However, he willfully transgressed the commandment of God and became a sinner (Romans 5:12). Because of this, the Scriptures teach that all men are sinners in Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22), and are thus under the righteous condemnation of God (John 3:36). Man is not only a sinner by nature, but also by choice (Romans 3:9-12). Because of his sinful and corrupt nature, man has no power or ability to save himself from the wrath of God (Matthew 16:25-26).
We believe that a sinner can be saved only because of and through the mercy, grace and love of God who provided the Savior for the world - His divine Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 1:15, 2 Timothy 1:9-10). In order to be saved, a sinner must repent of his sin and believe and trust in Christ as his personal Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-9). A sinner who has exercised such faith is counted by God as righteous in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and is regenerated by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We believe in the Church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22-23), and of which all regenerated persons in every place and in all ages are members. We believe that local churches are visible representations and agencies of the Body of Christ.
The local church is a company of baptized believers in Christ who have united together in fulfillment of commands of Christ for worship, fellowship and the preaching of the Gospel (Acts 2:41-47). To the local churches have been given the responsibility of reaching the lost for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), the nurturing of believers in their Christian life and faith and the administration of the ordinances (Ephesians 4:11-13).
The Scriptures provide for two principal offices in the local church: the pastors (also called bishops, elders, or presbyters), and the deacons (Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:1-10). Other kinds of elders are also listed (Ephesians 4:11).
Every church is an independent body and is responsible only to its Head, Jesus Christ. Local churches conduct their administrative affairs and the election of needed leaders in a democratic manner, the majority prevailing. (See: Acts 15)
We believe that every Christian should live for the glory of God. The Christian begins at the moment that a person receives Christ as Savior. As the Christian studies God's word, as he prays and as he allows the Holy Spirit to guide and empower him, his Christian life is strengthened in holiness and in the knowledge of God's will (2 Peter 3:18).
We believe that the life of a believer ought to be blameless before God and the world (1 Corinthians 10:32-33). The Christian should avoid every appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), and exemplify the purity and beauty of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). He should be a faithful steward of his material possessions and of his God-given talents (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Timothy1:15). A Christian should unite with a local church where the Gospel is preached in order to have fellowship with God's people, and to support the work of the Gospel with his participation in giving.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the churches, namely, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
We believe that Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ, symbolizing the death of the believer to sin, his burial with Christ and his resurrection with Christ to a new life (Romans 6:3-4), and visibly identifying him as a believer.
We believe that the Lord commanded His people to commemorate His sacrificial death until He returns by regular celebrations of the Lord's Supper in the churches (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
These two ordinances are symbolic in their meaning, and have no power in themselves to confer grace or eternal life.
Last Things - Future Events
We believe in the bodily and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He promised (John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The time of His return has not been revealed, (Matthew 24:36, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2) it is the responsibility of every believer to live in a state of expectancy and readiness for His coming (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
We believe that all judgment is committed to the Son of God who shall judge the living and the dead after His return (John 5:22, Romans 2:16). We believe in the resurrection of the body (John 5:28-29). All who have not accepted the salvation of God in Christ shall be condemned to eternal separation from God in Hell together with Satan and his angels. Believers shall be judged and rewarded according to their works. All true believers shall enjoy personal fellowship with God Himself throughout all eternity (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:46).
We believe in the existence of Satan. He is a created angel. He sinned by opposing himself to God before the creation of man and was cast out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15). The Scriptures call him the "evil one" (Matthew 6:13), the "tempter" (Matthew 4:3) and the "accuser" (Revelation 12:10). He tempted our first parents to sin, and continues until now, by God's permission, as the "god" of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4, 1 Peter 5:8). He is the leader of all eternity and heavenly opposition to God (Ephesians 2:2). God has already condemned him and his angels to Hell (Revelation 20:10). The victory of Christ over sin and death is our sure evidence of the coming final defeat of Satan.
We believe that all constituted authority is from God, given for the purpose of promoting orderliness and the common good of mankind (Romans 13:1-7). These authorities are to be respected and obeyed (Titus 3:1-2, 1 Peter 2:13-14), except in matters which are clearly contrary to the will of God (Acts 5:29). The Bible instructs Christians to pray for those in places of authority (1 Timothy 2:1-3). We believe that the Christian citizen must be an example in society, showing forth all times true Christian life and values (1 Peter 4:7-11).
We believe that every human being is ultimately personally responsible only to God in all matters of faith and conscience (1 Peter 2:9). Therefore, each church, as an independent and autonomous body composed of believers in Christ, must be free from all outside rule or interference, whether of men, organizations or authorities of any kind. The churches and the States must respect one another, but remain separate, each exercising their own functions and each fulfilling their unique responsibilities without interference with the other (Matthew 22:21)
(Role of the church -- Matthew 28:19-20, Ephesians 4:12-16)
(Role of the state -- Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17)
We believe that local churches of like faith and practice can best promote the spread of the Gospel by mutual cooperation in an association of churches. Such associations exist and function by the will of the churches, and participation in such associations by any church is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. The church may likewise cooperate with inter-denominational fellowships on a voluntary and independent basis when no compromise of faith or practice is involved (Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:11-13).
Converge North Central (formerly the Minnesota Iowa Baptist Conference) is a dynamic network of 252 churches. Our immigrant Swedish roots give us a foundation of 155 years of ministry in the Midwest. Yet our evangelical passion, biblical theology and contemporary worship styles have made our churches an attractive option for families looking for something solid, yet something exciting.
A movement of churches working together to start and strengthen transformational churches worldwide.
89% church plant success rate