In the pursuit of contending “for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3) it becomes a church to define the essential beliefs that a person must understand, believe and hold to obtain salvation in Jesus Christ, avoid the wrath to come, and enjoy eternal life in heaven. To that end, these essential, core, and foundational beliefs have been gleaned from the Scriptures, carefully considered, and then listed in The Harbor Church Constitution & Bylaws. Those who hold to the gospel found in the Articles of Faith of that document, regardless of church membership or Christian denomination, are forever assured of obtaining salvation and may rightly call themselves Christians.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force or abstract power but rather the third God-person of the eternal (Heb 9:14), omniscient (1 Cor 2:10-11) and holy Trinity alongside God the Father and God the Son (Mt 28:19). Like the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit also has intellect (1 Cor 2:11), emotion (Rom 15:30), and will (Acts 15:28; 1 Cor 12:11). Being one with and of the same nature as the Father and Son, it is right to give honor, reverence, and worship to the Holy Spirit.
Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers on the day of Pentecost (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:1-4), the Holy Spirit was active at creation (Gen 1:1-2; Jb 26:13; Ps 104:30), moved men to write the Scriptures (Zec 7:12; 2 Pt 1:20-21), came upon men and women to lead the nation of Israel (Jgs 3:10, 6:34; 11:29, 13:25; 1 Sm 10:6), gave his chosen servants power to perform mighty acts (Nm 27:18-20; Jgs 14:6, 19, 15:14; 1 Sm 11:6) and moved men to prophesy (Nm 11:25-29; 1 Sm 10:10; 2 Sm 23:2; 2 Chr 15:1, 20:14, 24:20; Neh 9:30).
In relation to salvation, we believe that the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit it is to convict men of their sins and move them towards repentance (Jn 16:8-11), awaken and refresh their hearts to believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Ez 36:26; Jn 16:14; Ti 3:5) and, upon this belief, indwell and seal them to the awaited day of redemption (Rm 8:11; Eph 1:13-14, 4:30; 2 Tm 1:14) granting them the privilege of their adoption into the family of God and a conviction and assurance of their eternal salvation (Rm 8:16; Gal 4:4-7).
In relation to sanctification, we believe that upon salvation, the Holy Spirit works towards setting believers apart and making them holy before God and man (Rm 15:16) all the while blessing them with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). In addition, the Holy Spirit teaches believers (Jn 14:2), guides them into the truth (Jn 16:13), brings things to their remembrance (Jn 14:26), and shows them that which is to come (Jn 16:13; Acts 20:23, 21:11).
Further, we believe that the Holy Spirit desires to declare and glorify Jesus Christ (Jn 16:14) so he continues to set apart, sustain, and direct certain believers into ministry (Acts 13:2; Acts 16:6) as well as empowers all believers to share their faith (Acts 1:8) even at times granting them the very words to share in trying circumstances (Mt 10:18-20; Lk 12:11-12; Acts 4:8). The Spirit also gives spiritual gifts (see SPIRITUAL GIFTS) to all believers to build up the church (Rm 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12-14: Eph 4:11-16: 1 Pt 4:10-11).
Finally, we believe that believers should not lie to (Acts 5:3), grieve (Isa 63:10; Eph 4:30), or quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19) but instead set their minds and hearts on the Spirit (Rm 8:5-6) seeking to always walk and be in step with the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25) as they rely on him to help and guide their prayers and daily life (Jude 1:20; Eph 6:18; Rm 8:26-27), all the while enjoying the benefits of comfort, peace, hope and joy that can only be found in and through the Holy Spirit of God (Acts 9:31; Rm 14:17, 15:13).
We believe that God is the maker of both the rich and the poor (Prv 22:2). Since all men are created in the image of God (Gn 1:27) and since Jesus loved and gave his life for the sins of all men (Jn 3:16, Rm 5:18; 1 Tm 2:4-6), we are without judgment to show all men, regardless of their financial position, both in word and deed, the compassion, mercy, kindness, and love of God (Mt 22:37-40).
While Jesus tells us that we will always have the poor with us, he also tells us that we can do good to them whenever we want (Mk 14:7). We believe that we should do good by not only remembering the poor (Gal 2:10), but also by sharing generously with them (Dt 15:11, Prv 14:21, 31, 19:17, 22:9, 26:8, 28:27), treating them fairly (Prv 29:14), maintaining and defending their rights (Job 5:16, 29:12; Psa 82:3-4; Prv 29:7, 31:8-9), and as to all men, sharing the gospel with them (Lk 4:18, 7:22). Further, we are to take heed that we do not deny them justice (Prv 13:23), oppress them (Prv 14:31, 22:16, 28:3), mock them (Prv 17:5), dishonor them (Js 2:1-7), rob or devour them (Prv 22:22-23, 28:15, 30:14), close our ears to their call or our eyes to their plight (Prv 21:13, 28:27), nor abandon them in their time of need (Prv 19:4, 7). Truly, blessed are those who are poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Lk 6:20).
We believe that upon a true conversion experience (see SALVATION) a believer is once for all time:
Come, Lord Jesus! (Rv 22:20)