What we believe about God
We believe in one God, who is the Originator, Creator, Source, and Sustainer of all things. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present. He is perfect in love, justice, mercy, and holiness.
We believe in one God, existing perfectly in the union of three distinct persons (We call this union Trinity: 3 in 1). The three persons of God are distinct in their personhood yet united equally as God. We deny any ideas of three separate gods or any form of Modalism (the idea that God exists as one person who acts in different modes: God merely acts as the The Father, Son, and Spirit.) The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct in personhood yet united in perfect Trinity as one God.
We believe in God the Father. Relationally, He is head over the Son and the Spirit, yet equal to them as God. He is the Supreme Authority over all the Universe. He is Sovereign over all things. He is the ultimate provider, the source and destination of all, the author of our salvation, and perfect in justice, in love, and holiness.
Gen 1:1; Psalm 68:5; 103:13; Prov 2:12; Luke 11:24; John 3:16; 1 Cor 8:5-6; 15:24-28; Eph 1:2-6; 4:6; James 1:17; 1 John 4:7-21; Heb 12:4-12; Rev 1:8; 4:11; 19-20; 22:13
We believe in the pre-existent Son of God who took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The Son is eternal and equal to the Father as God. In relation to the Father, the Son subjects Himself, being obedient to the will of the Father, even to the point of death as created man. As God, the Son is equally worthy of worship and praise.
The Son of God subjected Himself to human flesh in the incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth. He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and died a sinner's death on the Cross. He rose again from the grave and is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for the saints. In the last days He will return to conquer His enemies and reign over all of Creation.
The incarnation of Jesus resulted in a perfect union of God and human flesh: 100% God - 100% Human. We deny any belief that Jesus was more one than the other. We deny any belief or a mixture of the two natures. Jesus was both God and man, Two natures - One man. We also deny the idea that Jesus is the same person as the Father exhibiting Himself as the Son.
John 1:1-5, 14, 18; Colossians 1:15-20; Heb 1:3; 4:15; Phil 2:5-8; 2 Cor 5:21
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit of God. As God, the Spirit is equally due our worship and praise. Relationally, the Spirit carries out the will of both the Father and the Son. He is the active force of God and the power over creation, supernatural events, the life of the man Jesus, and the life of the believer.
The role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is to seal, sanctify, perfect, illuminate, and empower for acts of service. He gives gifts to believers and produces fruit to those who yield to His perfecting presence.
The Holy Spirit indwells the Christian upon salvation. We deny any kind of second indwelling or manifestation of the Spirit. He dwells in the believer whose purpose is to set the Christian apart to be like Jesus. Our role is to submit to His power, though He will not force His will. We can grieve the work of the Spirit, suppress His influence, and quench his purifying fire.
Matt 12:28; Rom 8:9-11, 26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, 12:4-11, 2 Cor 1:21-22; 13:14; Eph 4:30; Gal 5:19-21; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Thess 5:19
What is the point?
We believe that mankind is not god. We are not an accident or something that evolved randomly. We are more than just a collection of cells. Humanity was purposely created by the God of the Bible on the 6th day of Creation when God breathed the breath of life into humanity. God created both male and female in His image to reflect His glory and to demonstrate His likeness to the world. As image-bearers, we were entrusted with the responsibility to care for and steward God's creation.
Though the present human condition is fallen, we are still created in God's image. As image-bearers, we believe all humanity has dignity, worth, and value. We see all people as creations of God, no matter how young, old, or different.
We believe God created male and female equally in His image yet distinct to one another in both biological identities and relational roles. Though we care and love all people, we reject that God would allow a person to be born as anything other than their intended gender.
Genesis 1-2; Psalm 8:3-8; Ps 39:4; 139:13-16
At some point after Creation, sin entered into the world. God did not create sin. Mankind introduced sin by disobeying God's command to not eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When humanity ate the fruit, they broke God's law. Sin is breaking God's law. And the penalty for sin is death. The Bible speaks of both physical and spiritual death. Death is separation from life. The penalty for sin is separation from God, both physically and spiritually in Hell. We believe in a literal Hell which was created as the eternal destination for Satan, fallen angels, and all who sin.
When the first humans sinned, they cursed all humanity with the effects of sin. We are born in sin. We inherit the sin nature of our ancestors and also the guilt of their sin. We are sinners by nature and do what comes naturally. We sin. We lie to one anther. We steal. We defraud our neighbors. And worse, we worship the Creation rather than the Creator. As sinners, we are due the payment of sin, death in the Lake of Fire.
Gen 1-3; Ps 51:5; Rom 1-7; Eph 2:3; 4:18; 1 John 3:4; Rev 20:14-15
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which He loved us, and we being dead in trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved)" (Eph 2:4-5, LEB). God is fully just. Sin must be accounted for. But God is also fully loving. In His love, He provided a way for sin to be paid for and forgiven. God, in His great love, sent the Son to be born as a man, yet without sin. He was fully man so He might suffer as man. He is fully God so He might forgive sin. Jesus died on the cross as a payment for the sin of all who would believe in His name. By faith in Jesus, His death is applied to our sin account. We are therefore forgiven for sin, justified, purified, and made righteous in the eyes of God, no longer guilty.
Salvation is not earned. We can do nothing to attain it. It is only by the grace of God in response to our faith that we are saved. Upon our salvation, we are indwelt by the Spirit, adopted as son or daughter of God, declared saints, given a new name, and made new. Our response to this transformation is water baptism, the act by which we publicly identify with Jesus.
John 1:12-13; 3:16-18; Rom 5-10; Col 1:13-14; 2:12-13, 21-22; Eph 2:4-6; Gal 3:26; 1 Pet 1:3-5
How do we know this is true?
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, given through the Holy Spirit as He moved men to write what He intended to be written. It is a collection of 66 books by dozens of different authors over approximately 1,500 years. It is inerrant in the original manuscripts and is reliable as God's word to all of humanity. The Bible is profitable for teaching, rebuke, and training in righteousness.
The Bible is the written Word of God. It informs us about who God is, how He has revealed Himself, and what He desires from His creation. It tells us who we are as His creation and our responsibility to Him as created beings. The Bible reveals our sin condition and our need for a Savior. It tells us about the work of Jesus on the cross and the responsibility of those who follow Him. Lastly, the Bible tells us of things yet to come and the eternal hope we have in Jesus.
We believe the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. We are blessed to have many great English translations, but at Hillside we prefer to use the New American Standard Bible (NASB) for study and teaching.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21; 1 Cor 2:12-13; Matt 5; John 17:17
Where does this end?
We believe in a literal return of Christ, a literal reign of Christ, a literal place of blessing, and a literal place of punishment.
We believe in the Rapture of the Church followed by seven years of tribulation. At the end of the Great Tribulation, Christ will return and set up His Millennial Kingdom. At the end of 1000 years, Satan will be loosed to deceive many. A final battle led by Satan will result in Satan, demons, rebellious humans, and death itself being cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Those who have received God's gift of life will spend eternity with God in the Eternal Kingdom.
Zechariah 14:1-9; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6