We believe that the preponderance of biblical evidence favors believers baptism and not infant baptism - that is, baptism that follows one’s conversion, a personal decision. At the same time, we are aware that so many Bible-believing Christians see it differently. We respect their view and see this issue as one that Christians can disagree with each other on and not part ways. Our practice as a church is believer’s baptism. However, if believers in our church choose not to be baptized this way because of biblical conviction (not just convenience or tradition), then we respect their views and we enthusiastically welcome them as members. Also, we practice baptism by immersion, not sprinkling or pouring. We do not see the mode of baptism as a major issue. Even though we realize that Christians can and do disagree on many aspects of baptism, we still recognize that baptism is an important step of obedience to Jesus Christ, to symbolize that he has saved us and we are his. We also believe that baptism is not a necessary work for salvation; for it is by grace alone through faith we are saved.
I would like more information or to be baptized.
Baptism of The Holy Spirit
We believe that every Christian receives the Holy Spirit when they trust Christ as their Savior- being given the Spirit of God to teach, lead, guide, direct, and empower- and is baptized, grafted into the body of Christ at the time of conversion.
There can also be a different, non-technical use of the word “baptize.” We believe God invites followers of Christ to ask him to renew us with his Spirit. One might pray “Lord, baptize me afresh with Your Spirit” and simply be asking that the Spirit fill and empower him afresh. Some segments of faith believe that the spiritual gift of tongues is evidence of and necessary for salvation. We believe in all of the spiritual gifts, including the spiritual gift of tongues, but believe one receives the Spirit of God with or without the manifestation of that gift. (See 1 Corinthians 12:13)
We believe that Jesus Christ is coming again. We do not specify, in our core beliefs, the nature of the timing of such an event, or the specifics of it- i.e. the millennium or rapture. Our teaching will be premillennial but this is not considered one of our core beliefs (See Matthew 24; Revelation 6-20; 1 Thessalonians 4).
We believe in eternal security. Any person who, in simple faith, places their trust in Jesus Christ receives the gift of eternal life. Eternal life never ends. All of their sins are forgiven. They are given right standing with God. Every child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit and safe and secure for all eternity. A Christian can lose their fellowship, joy, power and rewards but their relationship with God is eternal. (See John 5:24,6:47, 10:27-30, Romans 3:21-31, 8:28-39, Ephesians 2:1-10)
Generational sin teaches that you suffer from some kind of judgment or curse because of the sin of your parents or some other ancestor, and that you need to renounce this sin to get freedom from it so you can walk with God.
This is not a biblical teaching. It completely misunderstands the cross, that Jesus has set us free from sin, death, condemnation and the curse. When we trust Christ as Savior we are set free. We are a new creation. We are under no condemnation. We have forgiveness for all our sins. This is our identity in Christ.
We are not under some curse of sin because of our ancestors. There are consequences of sin that hurt us. For example, if your parents were alcoholics or if they got divorced, that affects you. There are consequences. These consequences will usually affect several generations, but there is no judgment or curse that God imposes upon us that we need to renounce or repent of.
This teaching is derived from several passages in the Old Testament that are completely misunderstood. The seminal passage in Exodus 20 clarifies that God visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children of those who hate him. Ezekiel 18 clarifies that no one is punished for the sins of others. Most importantly, generational sin is completely absent from the New Testament. If this is an important part of the spiritual life, where is it found in the Book of Romans? Where is it found in any of Paul’s letters? Where is it found in any of the New Testament? Not one single mention. This teaching is completely contrary to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to set us free from sin.
Marriage, Gender, & Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological gender is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (I Corinthians 6:18, 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; I Corinthians 6:9-10).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of WoodsEdge as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to WoodsEdge members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by WoodsEdge in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers in a leadership capacity, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender and Sexuality (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; I Thessalonians 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking his mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 10:9-10).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of WoodsEdge.
The Bible teaches predestination and the unconditional election of God. God is sovereign in salvation. The Bible also tells us to trust in Jesus, assuming free will.
We hold to both predestination and free will. We do not logically reconcile them but accept them both as true and wait on understanding more in heaven.
We challenge people to believe in Jesus. But we pray to God to open their eyes and give them faith, and we give him all the credit if they do turn to Jesus. (See Romans 8:28-29, 9-11, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 6:44.)
We believe in all the gifts. God's Word reveals the Lord’s heart for the body of Christ to practice the gifts with an upright heart to preserve and protect the body of Christ from those who would lead people astray. (Jeremiah 23:24-32, James 3:13-18)
Salvation By Grace
We do not believe in salvation through works or morality or baptism or promises to obey. We believe in salvation by grace and through trust in Jesus. We become Christians by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior. We believe in Jesus to give us life and a relationship with God that begins now and lasts for eternity. The way to God is by grace, through faith or trust. The Bible teaches this continually, especially in books such as John, Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians.
We do not become Christians by committing our lives to Christ, i.e. by promising to obey him. We should do that. Every Christian should fully commit their entire lives and all that they are to Jesus. But we are saved by trusting a Savior who died for our sin and rose again. We transfer our trust from self (being good enough) to Jesus. Simply believe in Jesus. (See John 1:12, 3:15-16, 5:24, Romans 3:21-31, Ephesians 2:8-9)
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that the primary message of Christians to those who support abortion must not be one of condemnation and judgment, but the love and grace of Jesus Christ and the freedom he brings us. The Bible teaches that human life begins at conception and therefore abortion is an interruption of God’s plan and is sin. We realize that many people, both inside and outside the church, have been scarred by the guilt and shame of abortion and we offer the liberating, healing grace and complete forgiveness of Jesus. (See Psalm 139; Psalm 51; Luke 1-2.)
The Bible teaches that all human life is sacred and created by God in his image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimension, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect and value all human life (Psalms 139).
Roles of Women In Ministry
We hold a moderate position on this issue, avoiding an extreme traditional view and an extreme egalitarian view. There are difficult passages for each position and there is a need for great humility and sensitivity.
Women at WoodsEdge are free to serve in any capacity except elder, senior pastor and weekend service speaker.
If we simply rely on our reasoning, then women would, of course, be allowed to do anything a man could do. Women are equally capable, equally gifted. However, for the Jesus follower the Bible is our authority and we wrestle with the passages that address the issue. (See 1 Timothy 2:8-15, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:34-35, Acts 2:17-21; 21:9, Romans 16:1-2, Galatians 3:28, Judges 4)
We believe all the spiritual gifts are valid for today. (See 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4; Romans 12.) All gifts should be exercised within biblical guidelines, with order, and under the leadership of the church and ministry involved.