WE BELIEVE IN GOD
We believe in One God, Creator and Lord of the universe, eternally existing in Three Persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that God has revealed himself to us through the Bible. He is Holy, Loving, and Righteous, and is to be honored, respected and obeyed. He is the Sovereign Lord over all of creation. He is worthy of our highest devotion, affection, and service, and is to be glorified in all of life. God is good, and can be trusted in life and in death. God is near the brokenhearted, and is Present with those who suffer. He provides grace, mercy, and comfort to those who look to Him for help. Humanity’s longing for love, purpose and meaning reveal the heart’s yearning for God; He alone satisfies and quenches the human soul. God alone is to be worshipped.
(Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Psalm 8, 19; John 1:1-3; Psalm 139; Isaiah 6:3; Matthew 22:37-38; Psalm 107: 4-9; 136:1; 145:9; Psalm 73:21-28; 46:1; Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:12-22; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Matthew 4:8-10)
WE BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died as our substitute to remove our guilt as sinners, and bodily rose from the dead. He then ascended to heaven, whereas truly God and truly Man, He is the only Mediator between God and humanity, and lives to intercede for us. He is both Savior and Lord. He is the Coming King and Ruler upon the Earth, and will one Day usher in the New Heaven and New Earth. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
(Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18; John 14:6-7; Colossians 1:15-23; Matthew 28:1-11; 1 Timothy 2:5; Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:5-11; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:15; 7:25; Revelation 11:15-18; Revelation 19-21; John 14:6)
WE BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit for each individual’s spiritual New Birth. We believe in the work of the Holy Spirit for the maturing process of a believer, as well as for the Church’s constant renewal in truth, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power, and mission. Every believer is called to live and walk in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit as a disciple of Christ, so that he will bear life-changing fruit to the glory of God and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. It is only through the Power of the Spirit that believers can live God-honoring lives and experience joy, peace, and victory in Christ.
(Titus 3:5; Acts 16:14; Romans 8; Galatians 5:16-26; John 14:15-27; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Romans 14:17)
WE BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE
The Bible is a collection of ancient manuscripts written over a period of about fifteen hundred years by over forty authors that tells one story. We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is God’s authoritative, inspired Word. It is without error in all its teachings, including what it affirms about creation, history, its own divine origin, humanity’s salvation, and eternity. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters of belief and conduct. It predicted accurately the First Coming of Messiah Jesus to die for all of humanity, and accurately predicts the Second Coming of Christ who will return as Reigning King. The Bible has as its Subject God, and the Kingdom of God for the Glory of God as its theme. It is a Book with four chapters: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and New Creation. Every believer is to read, meditate, memorize, study, and live according to the Bible. The Bible holds the message by which we can be saved and be made right with God through Jesus Christ, of the Church’s mission, and how to live a life of hope both for this world, and for the World to Come.
(Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Ps. 19:9-16; 119:105; Isaiah 53; Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-5; Daniel 9:24-26; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; Daniel 2:44-47; Revelation 19-20; Romans 8:18-25; Rev. 11:15; 20:3)
WE BELIEVE IN SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE
We believe that all people are sinners who are called to repent or to live God-focused lives. This new life, however, can only be experienced when an individual places their faith in Christ for eternal life and is born again. Justification or being made right with God is by grace through faith in Christ alone.
(Genesis 1:27; 2:4-25; 3:1-24; John 1:12; John 3:5, 16; 5:24; 6:47; 14:6; Acts 16:31; Acts 17:30-31; 20:21; Romans 3:21-26; 8:1; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8-9; Romans 5-8; Titus 3:4-7)
WE BELIEVE IN ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God justifies, or declares the sinner right before Him by grace through faith alone, the true believer is secure in that salvation. When one has been genuinely saved, they cannot lose or forfeit their salvation. The believer is secure in the Perfect Obedience of Christ on their behalf. Therefore, salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort or obedience of the follower of Christ. It is the promise, grace and keeping power of God that is the essence of our assurance and security.
(John 3:16; 5:24; 10:27-30; 11:25-27; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:9-13)
WE BELIEVE IN LIVING AS FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST
The Christian life should be characterized by holiness, the Fruit of the Spirit, and by service in God’s kingdom by means of the use of spiritual gifts. Christians are to glorify God privately, at home, at work, in leisure, and in all of life. They are to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love their neighbor or those in need, as themselves. By God’s grace they are to care for and serve the Christian community, forgive when offended, be merciful and gracious, minister to those in need, and support God’s kingdom work. They are to pray for, serve, and share Christ with the lost, both in word and in deed. God disciplines His children in order to lead them to greater holiness and usefulness. Those who are faithful and persevere in good works, until the end, will be rewarded and will serve faithfully in the coming Kingdom.
(Romans 6:11-14; 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7; 5:23; 1 Peter 1:15, 16; Matthew 28:19-20; Matthew 22:37; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18; 10:31; Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 12:1-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 2:26-29; 3:21-22)
WE BELIEVE IN THE FAMILY
A family is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. God created man and woman in His image, and united them in Holy Marriage. They were to bear children and fill the earth in order to spread God’s image throughout the world. Marriage has as its purpose the enjoyment and intimate companionship of the husband and wife, the pleasures of a healthy relationship, the depiction of the Faithful love of God for his children in Christ, and the bearing of children.
According to the Baptist Faith and Message (2000 revision):
A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
(Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
WE BELIEVE IN THE CHURCH
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, which is made up of all believers everywhere in the world, and that locally the church is a growing group of baptized believers who are organized to do God’s will, by God’s grace. Its calling is to worship God and to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, by living transformed lives, and by spreading the Good News of salvation to every man, woman and child, and among all the nations. The Church is called to make disciples, demonstrating love and commitment to God by living obediently to His Word, and by ministering compassionately to the needs of human beings, promoting righteousness, justice, and reconciliation in society. We believe that the Church should be governed by the plurality of spiritual leaders (elders or pastors) under the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that the two ordinances given to the Church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Venture Church is a non-denominational and non-charismatic community. We love the Lord and seek the unity of the body of Christ as we present the gospel to East Naples. Although we acknowledge that the Lord gives spiritual gifts as he chooses (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18), we also believe that the gathering of the body of Christ should be focused on worshipping God and in the teaching and preaching of the Word (Ephesians 5:19-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-2). We encourage believers from different evangelical backgrounds to worship with us, but to embrace our commitment to keep the unity of the faith centered on the themes of worship and biblical preaching in our Sunday gathering. Venture’s greatest desire is to share the gospel by pointing others to the cross without any distraction or confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33; Ephesians 4:1-5).
(Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 2:10-11; 4:14-21; Acts 2:41-27; Romans 1:16-17; Ephesians 3; Ephesians 4:1-13; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; 12:12-13; Eph. 2:11-22)
WE BELIEVE IN ETERNITY
We believe that Jesus will personally and visibly return in Glory to raise the dead in Christ, and to bring final salvation or glorification to the redeemed. God will come to judge the unbelieving world who rejected His gracious offer of love and salvation in Christ, and by means of an eternal separation from His presence, honor the free will of those who did not believe in His Son. God will fully manifest his Glorious Kingdom when He establishes the kingdom rule of Jesus upon Earth, and then usher in the New Heaven and New Earth, where He will eternally abolish all evil, suffering, injustice, and death, and throughout which He will be glorified, served, and enjoyed forever.
(2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 3:16-21; Romans 8:29-30; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 19-22)