Our Beliefs

Learn more about the Chattanooga House of Prayer

Summary

While variance exists within different Christian traditions and denominations, our theology and practice align with the core historic, orthodox, global beliefs the Church has always held.  We hold the Nicene Creed to be an excellent and unifying summary for most of Christianity’s essentials as it includes the importance of the Scriptures, the triune nature of God, the humanity and divinity of Christ, salvation, judgment, and God’s eternal kingdom.


“Let us hold fast to that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.”

  1. We believe the universally acknowledged Scriptures, in their original languages, to be the inspired, infallible, word of God.

  2. We believe in God’s Biblical and created order for men and women and monogamous marriage.

  3. We believe in the beauty, dignity, and sanctity of all human life from conception to death.

  4. Believers are saved by grace, and empowered by the Holy Spirit for repentance, holiness, and fruit bearing for Christ.

  5. We believe salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone, and that it is His Church’s calling to share His message with others.

Read our full statement of beliefs below.

 

God

We believe in one uncreated God1 in three equal but distinct persons, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Each have existed eternally and are in perfect relationship with one another.2

1 - Mark 12:29 Mark 12:32 Ephesians 4:6 Genesis 1:1 Psalm 41:13 Psalm 90:2 Isaiah 43:10 Isaiah 48:16 Colossians 1:16
2 - Colossians 1:15, 1:17 John 1:1-2 John 1:14 1 John 5:20

 

Father

God the Father is Omnipotent, Maker and Lord of Heaven and Earth.3 He is sovereign over all of His creation, and so deeply loved the world He created that He did not spare His Son, but sent Him to die for the sins of humankind.4 In so doing, He maintained His righteousness and justice when pardoning sins.5 He has seated Christ at His right hand and subjected everything under His Son until all His enemies, the last of these being death, are destroyed.6

3 - 2 Corinthians 6:18 Genesis 1:1 Revelation 4:11
4 - John 3:16-17 Romans 8:32
5 - Romans 3:26 Psalm 89:14 Isaiah 61:1-11
6 - 1 Corinthians 15:26 Matthew 28:18 Colossians 3:1 Ephesians 1:20-23

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ Was a real historic Figure who walked the earth, this being well attested by sources both secular and religious from antiquity.7 He is fully man and fully God, born of the Virgin Mary and was tempted in every way yet without sin, living a perfect life.8 Through the Scriptures and historical record it is clear Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind, died, was buried, then resurrected and finally ascended to the Throne of Heaven where He currently resides.9 In Heaven, Christ makes intercession for believers.10

The Incarnation of Christ is a difference-maker in demonstrating the revealed truth of God to the world, as Christ and the revelations He gave were not of a private (and therefore unverifiable) nature , but were in fact, very public and therefore verifiable as the spoken words of a God-Man who claimed to be God while having outstanding attesting miracles accompanying His life and death.

7 - Josephus (Roman/Jewish historian preserved through Christian and Muslim traditions) and Eusebius (Christian), to name two examples. See also John 3:13, 6:38.
8 - Luke 1:34-35 Hebrews 2:14 Hebrews 4:15
9 - 1 Peter 2:24 Mark 15:15 Matthew 27:50 Matthew 27:59-60 Mark 9:31 Acts 1:9 Acts 10:40 Mark 16:9, 19 Luke 22:69 Revelation 3:21
10 - Hebrews 7:25 Romans 8:34

 

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, or Helper, comes to teach and convict the world about sin, righteousness and judgment.11 He leads God’s people into all of the Truth, equips them with gifts from God that are irrevocable and seals believers for the Day of Redemption.12 The Holy Spirit empowers believers, causes them to bear His good fruit, and intercedes for them with groans too deep for words.13

11 - Acts 1:8 John 16:8
12 - John 16:13 Romans 11:29 Ephesians 1:13
13 - Galatians 5:22-23 Romans 8:26 John 15:26

 

Scripture

All Scripture is written revelation from God, inerrant and testifying to Jesus Christ who is Himself the Truth Incarnate and Moral Standard Whom we are called to follow.14 It has been well-vetted throughout the centuries by the Church so as to include no spurious books or portions, and was transmitted by copyists throughout the centuries in an organic, dispersed way that prevented it from being changed by human agendas. It is an accurate historical record of events occurring in the past, is well attested to and corroborated by a large body of archeological and textual evidence. Many tools are useful for its necessary study, but as a primary source document, it is unparalleled and is the test by which all creeds, confessions, theologies, moral codes, experiences, and beliefs are to be judged.15

14 - Galatians 1:11-12 2 Tim 3:16 2 Peter 1:19-21 John 5:39 John 14:6 Psalm 119:60
15 - Matthew 4:3-10 1 Timothy 6:3-5 2 Timothy 2:14
For purposes of the Chattanooga House of Prayer’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Directors is the final responsible authority as to how to best keep our organization in line with the Church’s historic application and understanding of the sacred Scriptures.

 

Humanity

All people bear the Image of God and should therefore be accorded dignity, protection, and love; life itself is sacred from conception through death.16 God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female, and these two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God; some people are eunuchs, even from birth, but history and Scripture attest this does not mean they are without gender, incapable of Christian marriage, or cut off from the specific blessings of God.17 Regardless of origin or gender, everyone is born into a state of sin but capable of being fully redeemed from slavery to sin, (even adopted as sons and daughters) through reception of Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice, thus granting them freedom and a restoration to right relationship with God.18

16 - Genesis 1:26 John 3:16
17 - Matt 19:12 Genesis 39:1 (The LXX translates the Hebrew word meaning “official or eunuch” as “eunuch.” As an interpretive aid and de facto ancient commentary on Scripture, it indicates—in addition to other ancient sources—that eunuchs could still live as their biological gender married to the opposite sex.) Acts 8:27-28 (the eunuch is identified as a “he”), Isaiah 56:3-5, Esther 2:15 (the name “Hegai” is a masculine Hebrew name).
18 - Romans 3:24-25 Romans 5:12-21 Hebrews 7:25

 

Marriage and Family

Family predates all creation, as the Father and the Son were found within the Holy Trinity for all of eternity past. The institution of marriage predates that of government and is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. We believe God’s created order and revealed will defines this institution as the lifelong union of one man and one woman.19 Therefore we support and wish to sustain the health of traditional, Christian marriages. Divorce is not inherently sinful, but nevertheless hated by God, and should be avoided if at all possible due to its harmful effects on all involved.20

Rather than argue against other relationships and family types we simply advocate for our belief in traditional Christian marriage as the best path toward an abundant life with Christ for the individual as well as the Creator’s design for overall human flourishing.

19 - Genesis 1:27-28 Genesis 2:21-25 Matthew 19:4-8 1 Corinthians 7:2 Hebrews 13:4
20 - Jeremiah 3:8 Malachi 2:16 Matthew 19:8

 

Relationship with God

We have abundant entrance to God’s Kingdom and Presence granted to us by Christ’s enduring sacrifice.21 Though physically on Earth, we are now simultaneously seated with Christ in the Heavenly Places, blessed with all that He is blessed with there.22 Experiential, relational knowledge of Christ is foundational to salvation,23 and God’s goal for our relationship with Him is Christlikeness, complete fellowship, and His own glory.

21 - 1 Timothy 2:4-5 Hebrews 4:16 Hebrews 7:25 Ephesians 3:12
22 - Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:6 1 Peter 2:11
23 - John 17:3

 

The Church

There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism for the entire Church which is the Pillar of Truth and the Body and Bride of Christ, His Dearly Beloved.24 Though She appears splintered into many groups, we believe that the Church is made up of saints who have come to know God through belief in Jesus Christ.25 This Community is located both on Earth and in Heaven, with a great cloud of triumphant witnesses having gone before those saints currently on Earth.26 Christ prayed for His Church to build Herself up in love, for in loving one another and being unified She bears witness to Him; it is therefore important for believers to work toward and promote the unity of Christ’s Church.27

From a Biblical perspective we know that small, local bodies of believers are churches.28 Simultaneously, we know God sees all congregations of believers within a single geographical area as one overall “city church” with its own unique flavor and expression.29 Both are legitimate entities that together, along with every other church in every other locality make up Christ’s global Church.30

We believe that the Chattanooga House of Prayer is part of the geographical church “that is in the city of Chattanooga.” We are not a church unto ourselves but part of this geographical Body by serving the local church congregations. We have devoted ourselves to equipping, resourcing and modeling for the church of Chattanooga the ministry of prayer.31 We leave proclaiming the whole counsel of God, pastoral duties, caring for the poor, and all other Gospel ministries up to these churches and other parachurch ministries to fulfill.32

24 - 1 Timothy 3:15 Ephesians 4:5 Romans 7:4 Ephesians 5:25-32 Revelation 19:7 Revelation 21:2, 9-10
25 - John 17:3 Acts 4:12 1 Timothy 2:4-5
26 - Hebrews 12:1 Revelation 6:9-11
27 - John 17:21-23 Ephesians 4:15-16 Ephesians 5:25-32 John 13:35 Philippians 2:1-4 1 Corinthians 1:10
Ephesians 4:3 Ephesians 4:11-13 Colossians 3:13-14 Psalm 133
28 - Philippians 1:2 Romans 16:5 1 Corinthians 16:9 Colossians 4:15
29 - 1 Corinthians 1:2 2 Corinthians 1:1 Galatians 1:2 Ephesians 1:1 1 Thessalonians 1:1 2 Thessalonians 1:1 Revelation 2:1 Revelation 2:12
Revelation 2:18 Revelation 3:1 Revelation 3:7 Revelation 3:14
30 - Ephesians 1:22-23 Colossians 1:18 Matthew 5:14 Matthew 16:18 1 Corinthians 12:28 1 Corinthians 15:9
31 - Colossians 4:2 Romans 12:12 Luke 11:13 Luke 18:1-8
32 - For more information on this, please see the Chattanooga House of Prayer’s mission statement. See also Acts 20:27, Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 9:38.

 

Spiritual Warfare

As were Christ and the apostles, so too are Christians involved in true warfare of a spiritual (that is, non-physical) nature with a variety of conscious, malicious, and sentient spirits that wish the immediate and long-term harm of every human being everywhere; this warfare requires wise, prayerful and strategic conduct, deliberate resistance and personal holiness, as well as Divine protection.33

33 - Ephesians 6:10-18 James 4:7 1 Peter 5:8-9 Ezra 8:22-23 Matthew 4:1-11 Matthew 10:1 Matthew 10:8 Matthew 12:43 (demons get tired) Mark 9:29 John 10:10 Acts 8:7 Acts 16:18

 

Worship and Intercession

We believe God’s Kingdom is advanced through singing praises to God and intercession. These activities are useful for, but not limited to the following: being filled with the Holy Spirit, having the Word of God dwell richly in us, being set apart for and called into ministry, setting captives free, opening doors for effective ministry, helping believers in the work in which they are currently engaged.34

34 - 2 Chronicles chapters 30 and 31 Luke 10:2 2 Corinthians 1:11 Colossians 4:3 Ephesians 5:18-20 Colossians 3:16-17 Acts 13:1-4 Acts 16:25-34
The Psalms were Israel’s hymnal and set a strong precedent for worship that is both highly theological and deeply emotive.

 

Salvation, Life in Christ, and Judgment

Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.35 We follow Christ not merely as an escape from Hell, but because He alone is the Author of Abundant Life.36 Were it only for the sake of His abundant life, with no fear of judgment whatsoever, Christ would still be of infinite worth.37

We believe it is right, good, and God-honoring to earnestly hope for and desire all men to be saved; nevertheless Scripture indicates there will be people who suffer eternal loss due to their own hard heartedness.38 We affirm the historical position of the Church that Heaven and Hell are both literal, eternal places.39 All people will one day be raised to life to face God’s eternal judgment.40 This does not mean we know who is going to Heaven or Hell, and we trust God’s general disposition and actions to be both good and incredibly merciful even in His justice.41

The Church is also warned not to become hardened and pharisaical, for judgment starts with the House of God.42 From Scripture it is clear that there are various levels of punishment and reward.43 The Kingdom Come for which we pray, strive for and seek is not possible without God’s Day of Righteous Judgment.44

35 - John 11:25 Acts 4:12 1 Timothy 2:5-6 John 3:14-21 John 3:36
36 - Psalm 16:11 John 10:10 John 6:68 1 John 4:18
37 - Colossians 1:15-20
38 - 1 Timothy 2:4 Matthew 3:7 Matthew 5:22 Matthew 23:33 Luke 3:7 Romans 9:17-18 Rom 11:22
39 - Matthew 5:22 Matthew 5:29-30 Matthew 10:28 Matthew 18:9 Matthew 22:29-33 Matthew 23:33 Mark 9:42-49 John 14:2-4
Ephesians 1:3 Colossians 3:1 Revelation 21:4-8 Revelation 22:3-7
40 - Revelation 20:12-15 Ezra 37:13 Acts 17:31 Revelation 22:12 Romans 2:5-6
41 - Matthew 9:13 Exodus 34:6 Psalm 103:8 Matthew 7:1-3
42 - 1 Peter 4:17 Ezra 9:6 Romans 2:9 Matthew 23:33
43 - Matthew 10:15 Matthew 11:22-24 Luke 10:14 Luke 18:11 Revelation 2:7,11, 26 Revelation 3:5,21 Matthew 25:14-30 Luke 19:11-27
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 Hebrews 11:35
44 - Proverbs 11:4 Zephaniah 1:15 Romans 2:5 Isaiah 13:9 Revelation 6:17 Psalms 110:5 Revelation chapters 6-22

 

Bearing Witness

By faith, believers are called to display the life and power of Christ in every area of their lives, making no distinction between the secular and the sacred in this case, for as long as they live without shrinking back even at the cost of their lives.45 Through this bearing witness to Him we are to demonstrate that God is alive and active in the world today, winning and making disciples of all nations and people groups (not just individuals), baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.46

45 - Colossians 3:23-24 Hebrews 10:39 Revelation 12:11
46 - Isaiah 43:10 Isaiah 58:6-12 Matthew 28:18-20 Acts 1:8 Hebrews 4:12

 

Return of Christ

We believe that Christ, fully man, fully God, still bearing the marks of His crucifixion, will return from Heaven to judge the living and the dead and establish His eternal rule on this Earth, recreating this world and uniting it with Heaven to create the New Heavens and the New Earth, just as He once made us new creations in Christ; it is this fact that makes stewardship of this world important and our lives and work here purposeful and not in vain.47 This hopeful and culminating moment will result in Christians being made like Christ in ways not yet known, even as our hoping for it purifies us now.48 This Day is both an End and the New Beginning.49

47 - Matt 16:27 Mark 13:26 John 14:3 John 20:27 2 Corinthians 5:10 2 Timothy 4:1 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 1 Peter 4:5 Revelation 21:1-27
48 - 1 John 3:2-3
49 - Isaiah 9:7 Daniel 7:14 Daniel 12:3 Luke 1:32-33 1 John 3:1-3 Revelation 22:1-5

 

Conclusion

Though we emphasize the whole50 of Scripture over any creeds or summations of the faith, we nevertheless believe they are helpful, Biblical51 and philosophically unavoidable.52 Therefore we hold not only to the beliefs aforementioned, but likewise hold to the truths laid down for us in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed and are in agreement with the Lausanne Covenant.

This statement of belief is not intended to be comprehensive, but gives an idea as to what we at the Chattanooga House of Prayer believe as we serve Chattanooga, her people and Christ’s Church within this city. Where we are vague in this Statement is not meant to be a firm doctrinal position, but open to various different interpretations of other Bible-believing Christians. Staff members and volunteers may hold to slightly different variations found within this document. It is our conviction to hold, as closely as possible, to the agreed upon center of the historical, universal faith of the Church, or as C.S. Lewis put it, “Mere Christianity.”

50 - Psalm 119:160 Acts 20:27
51 - 1 Timothy 3:16 is an example of an early Christian creed.
52 - For example, to say, “I have no creed but the Bible” is a creed in and of itself.