What We Believe
LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE; WIN THE LOST AND MAKE DISCIPLES.
Everything about Cornerstone Church is based on this vision statement.
First and foremost, we are to love God (Matt. 22:36-38).
Second, we are to love all people (Matt. 22:39).
Our mission is to make disciples. The first step is evangelism - win the lost. We are then to teach and disciple the new believer to spiritual maturity (Matt. 18:19-20)
The Holy Bible was written by divinely inspired men, and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God as its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, as its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us. It is the true center of Christian union, the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried and will remain to the end of the world and throughout all eternity. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2; II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 19:7-10)
There is one and only one, living, true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal Being. God is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. He is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. We owe the highest love, reverence and obedience to God. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes. He is without division of nature, essence or being.
God the Father reigns with providential care of His universe, His creatures, and the flow of human history according to the purpose of His Grace. He is all-powerful, all loving and all wise. God is the Father of truth to those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ. (Jeremiah 10:10; Romans 8:14-15; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 11:6)
Christ is the eternal Son of God. His incarnation as Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and accomplished the will of God. He took upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature, and identified Himself completely with mankind without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience and His death on the cross. He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples. He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God. He is our mediator, effecting the reconciliation, between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to fulfill His redemptive mission. (Matthew 1:18-23; Philippians 2:5-11; I Peter 2:21-25)
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men-of-old to write the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit enables men to understand truth through divine revelation. The Holy Spirit exalts Christ and convicts of sin. The Holy Spirit calls men to the Savior and brings forth newness of life. The Holy Spirit cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit seals the believer unto the day of final redemption and now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. The Holy Spirit enlightens and empowers the believer and the church for worship, evangelism, and service. (Ephesians 1:12-14; I Corinthians 12: 4-11; John 14: 16-18)
Man was created by God in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. Man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice in the beginning. Man sinned against God by his free choice and brought sin into the human race. Man transgressed the command of God, being tempted of Satan, and fell from his original innocence; at which time, his descendants inherited a nature inclined toward sin. Mankind became transgressors under condemnation. Only the grace of God, through
Jesus Christ, can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable him to fulfill the creative purpose of God. Christ died for man; therefore, every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 1:19-32)
Salvation and Grace
Salvation is offered freely to all that receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Salvation is the result of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and is not the result of any human effort or work. Salvation is obtained through God’s grace and our faith. Salvation creates a changed life, a new person in Christ, and old things pass away. Salvation is evidenced by a continued life of discipleship and obedience. True believers will never fall away from the state of grace. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation and grieve the Holy Spirit. Those who are truly saved shall receive chastisement and scourging from the Lord. The Lord’s scourging may be so severe that it results in death to the unrepentant believer. No chastisement from the Lord indicates the person was never truly saved. (John 1:12; Romans 10:13; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; II Corinthians 5:17; John 8:31; Romans 2:7; I John 2:3-6; Luke 9:23; Matthew 24:13; Hebrews 12:5-7; I Corinthians 11:30; I Corinthians 5:5; I John 2:19; Hebrews 12:8; Proverbs 3:11-12)
The New Testament Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers. They are called in faith and fellowship by the gospel, observing baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and committed to His teachings. They exercise the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word. The church also seeks to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. The church is a self-governing body operating through democratic process under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Members are equally responsible in such a congregation. Elders and Deacons are its scriptural servant leaders. The Bible also speaks of the church as the body and bride of Christ, which includes the redeemed of all the ages. (Matthew 16:11-14; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Revelation 21:2-3)
Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It also symbolizes the believers’ death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Baptism is a prerequisite to becoming a Member. (Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12)
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby the members of the church partake of the bread and of the fruit of the vine. This memorializes the death of the Redeemer and anticipates His Second Coming. (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 10:16-17; Matthew 26:26-30; I Corinthians 11:23-29)
The Lord’s Day
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the dead and should be filled with worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. It is a day of rest from secular employment when possible. (Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; Mark 2:27-28; John 4:21-21; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10)
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over those who willfully acknowledge Him as Lord. Particularly, the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by childlike faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The fulfillment of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the age. (Daniel 7:27; Matthew 3:2; 6:9-10; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:43; John 3:3)
God, in His own time and way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will personally return in all His glory to the earth. The dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, which is the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in heaven with the Lord. (Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38; Luke 12:40; Romans 14:10; Acts 1:11; I Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 3:4; James 5:8; Hebrews 9:27-28)
It is the duty of each Member to work in evangelism to reach the lost for Christ. The section on “Vision” states that one of Cornerstone’s visions is to evangelize the lost. This means to “instruct in the Gospel”, “to preach the Gospel to and convert”. We have a direct command to go and preach the Gospel to every person.
The Greek word for evangelism is “yoo-ang-ghel-id-zo” which means: “bring good news”. God will bless Cornerstone for evangelizing the lost by adding to the membership and refreshing the saints with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Cornerstone is commissioned to set a watch over Cleveland, the surrounding areas, and the world to proclaim the “Good News of the Gospel”. Let us strive to live the Gospel.
Missionaries must always be a part of our ministry in Christ. Cornerstone shall continue to support missionaries locally and abroad. We shall not be limited by denominational preferences as to the missionaries supported. We will pray for their well-being and assist them financially and physically. (Jonah 1:1-2; Acts 9:15, 13:1-3)
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual. All that we have and are we owe to Him. We are under obligation by God’s Word to serve Him with our time, talents and material possessions and cheerfully give tithes and offerings. We should recognize all these as entrusted to us to use for the glory of God. (Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4; Acts 2:44-47)
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
We encourage all believers to experience the Spirit-filled life. The “baptism of the Spirit”, or “being filled with the Spirit” are both acceptable terms. All believers receive the Holy Spirit into their lives at salvation. There is a baptism of the Holy Spirit separate from the salvation experience. There are four words to understanding and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit; promised, gift, received and faith. The Holy Spirit is promised to all believers, is a free gift and is to be received by faith. (Ephesians 5:18b; Romans 8:14-17; I Corinthians 6:19-20; Acts 8:9-17; Acts 19:1-6; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:38-39; Mark 16:15-17; Acts 1:4-5; Acts 10:44-45; Galatians 3:14b; Luke 11:9-13; I John 5:14-15) The fullness of the Holy Spirit is evidenced by tongues; however, the greatest evidence is love. (I Corinthians 13:1; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6)
Speaking in a tongue is clearly revealed in the Bible and is still applicable today. It was prophesied by Jesus, designed and created by the Father, enabled by the Holy Spirit and received by the church. Speaking in tongues should not be ignored or prevented, nor should it be required or coerced.
The gift of a tongue is available to those who the Holy Spirit wills. When used in a Regular Service, it is a supernatural message from God. Its purpose is to edify Cornerstone and as a sign to unbelievers at the point of salvation, and it requires an interpretation. We encourage Members with a message in tongues to seek approval from the person in authority of the Regular Service.
The private use of tongues is intended to edify the believer and is for his use in personal prayer and worship. By speaking in tongues you speak directly to God bypassing all human reasoning. This use of tongues should not draw attention to the believer and does not require an interpretation. Some members may believe the private use flows from a person having the gift of tongues and is available to those who the Holy Spirit wills. Other members may believe the private use of tongues is the grace of tongues and is available to all believers. Cornerstone acknowledges that both views have a basis in scripture. We encourage believers to seek the Word of God for Biblical understanding and usage of tongues.
We affirm that I Corinthians 13, the love chapter, is the basis for exercising tongues. A person can exercise self-control in order to avoid confusion. All things at Cornerstone shall be done decently and in order so unity will prevail. (Mark 16:15-17; Acts 2:1-18; I Corinthians 12:11-30; 14:2a; 14:4; 14:12; 14:27-28; 14:32 (Amp.); 14:39b; 14:40)
A spiritual gift is a special ability and empowerment given by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of ministry and edification within Cornerstone, as well as the community-at-large. The gifts are given to each believer as the Spirit wills. Every believer has at least one gift. The gifts are from the Holy Spirit; they are diverse and are all equally important.
The purpose of spiritual gifts in Cornerstone is as follows: to strengthen and edify the church, to glorify God, to accomplish the work of the ministry, to develop unity, to mature the body of believers and to grow the church. God does not want believers to be ignorant of spiritual gifts. He desires believers to seek out their gift(s) and use them.
Exercising your spiritual gift is not optional. The gifts are not a gauge of spirituality and should not create pride in a believer. Spiritual gifts exercised in love are profitable for Cornerstone Church and should not create division. (I Corinthians 12:1; I Corinthians 12:4-11; I Corinthians 12:25; I Corinthians 14:1a; I Timothy 4:14a; II Timothy 1:6; Romans 12:3-8; Romans 12:6)
If there are any questions please, ask. We can get a pastor in touch with you if needed.