Bethel Austin (the “Congregation”) purposes to be an expression of the Body of Christ (the church), submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ in all things, patterned after the elements of the New Testament church order that are reproducible in our context, and dedicated, through the power of the Holy Spirit:
What We Believe
Our Core Beliefs (Statement of Faith)
- There is only one true God who is the eternal King, Creator and Redeemer of all that is. He is perfectly holy, just, loving and truthful. He has revealed Himself to be eternally self-existent — one being in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- The Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative Word of God.
- Humankind was created in the image of God to know and enjoy Him, yet we willfully rejected the Lordship and glory of God for which we were intended. Because of this, sickness, death and judgment entered the world and now creation experiences the effects and consequences of sin.
- The Lord Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin, Mary, and is God’s Anointed One, empowered by the Holy Spirit to inaugurate God’s kingdom on earth. He was crucified for our sins, died, was buried, resurrected and ascended into heaven, and is now alive today in the presence of God the Father and in His people. He is “true God” and “true man.”
- We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Anyone can be restored to fellowship with God through repenting, believing and receiving Jesus as their Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit, convicts, regenerates, justifies, and adopts us as we enter the kingdom of God as His sons and daughters.
- In the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live holy and minister supernaturally. The baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 1:4-8 and 2:4 is poured out on believers that they might have power to be witnesses.
- The victorious redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides freedom from the power of the enemy — sin, lies, sickness and torment.
- The Church consists of all who put their faith in Jesus Christ. He gave His church the ordinances of baptism and communion. The Church exists to carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ and further advance His kingdom by undoing the works of the enemy, preaching and living the good news of God’s love, and discipling the nations — baptizing and teaching them to love and obey God.
- In the ever-increasing government of God and in the Blessed Hope, which is the glorious visible return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His overcoming bride — His church. Heaven and hell are real places. There will be a resurrection of the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting death.
Our Purpose (Statement of Purpose)
- To evangelize the unconverted to a saving faith in Jesus Christ; to apply the healing Gospel of Jesus Christ to all kinds of social and personal sins, diseases, and disorders (Matt. 28:19; Prov. 11:30; John 10:10);
- To reproduce the life and character of the risen Christ in a growing congregational expression of the Body of Christ; to disciple participants, producing in them wholeness and maturity; to develop spiritual leaders who can reproduce themselves and meet the needs of others (Phil. 2-5:11; Matt. 28:19; 2 Tim. 2:2);
- To adore and glorify God in the liberty of the Holy Spirit through public and private worship; and to administer the sacraments or ordinances (Rev. 19:10b; 1 Cor. 6:20; Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-24);
- To experience and express love as the intended relationship of God and person, and person to person (John 13:34-35; Matt. 22:37-40);
- To encourage and strengthen other expressions of the body of Christ, especially in Austin, and to promote unity and harmony in the body (1 Cor. 14:12; Rom. 14:19); and
- To discover, nurture, and commission people whom the Holy Spirit has called to minister beyond Austin (Matt. 28:19; Matt. 9:37).
Our Core Values
Focused on His Presence
Our first ministry is to God. As we behold Him, we are moved to worship with joyous passion. Psalm 27:4; Luke 10:39–42; James 4:8; Psalm 1:1–3; Psalm 23:6; Psalm 26:8; John 4:23; Psalm 22:3.
God delights in us and has always desired to be with us. We focus on His presence because we have discovered that He is focused on us. Ephesians 1:4–5; Zephaniah 3:17; Jeremiah 31:3; Psalm 65:4; 1 John 3:1; Revelation 3:20; 1 John 4:19.
Purposefully cultivating a hunger for God’s manifest presence and an openness to experiencing the Holy Spirit deepens our friendship with God and our awareness that we carry His presence for the sake of the world. Psalm 73:28; Psalm 107:9; John 1:16; Matthew 5:6; Isaiah 55:1–2; 1 Corinthians 3:16.
As a lifestyle, we practice recognizing God’s presence while we minister to others, attempting to say what He is saying and do what He is doing. John 5:19–20; John 5:30, John 12:49–50; John 14:10; 1 John 4:16–17.
Creating Healthy Families
We are adopted into God’s family, so we intentionally create family and community wherever we go. Ephesians 1:5; Ephesians 2:19; Matthew 12:48-50; Galatians 6:10; Romans 8:15-16; 1 Peter 2:17; Acts 2:41-47.
We think like healthy family members and do what’s best for the whole environment, mutually submitting to one another in love and not being selfish. Philippians 2:3; Romans 12:9-21; Ephesians 5:21; Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 13; Ruth 1:16-17.
In covenant relationships, we purposely grow our capacity to trust and be trusted as we empower and confront one another in order to live out who we truly are. Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:15-16; 1 Corinthians 4:14-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 Samuel 20.
We are loyal, which is demonstrated most radically when people fail. We do not punish and abandon those who fail to save face or show we hate sin, but instead we are committed to helping them be restored. Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15; John 8:1-11; Psalm 141:5; John 21.
God's Word Transforms
The goal of Scripture is to bring us into a relationship with the Author and transform us into His likeness. John 5:39-40; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Matthew 4:4; 2 Corinthians 3:15-18; James 1:22-25; Ephesians 5:25-27; Psalm 119:11; Luke 24:13-35.
As God encounters us in His Word, faith is released into our lives. Studying God’s truth empowers us to believe in who He is, who we are, and how He wants us to live. Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; John 17:17; Matthew 7:24-28; Colossians 3:15-17; John 8:31-32; Psalm 119:105; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Acts 8:26-40.
The primary lens through which we interpret the Bible is the person, life, and redemptive work of Jesus, because He is the most complete revelation of who God is and what God cares about. John 5:37-47; Luke 24:25-32; John 1:14; John 14:9-11; Colossians 1:15-20; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3; 2 Peter 1:16-21.
The Bible is the source of infallible truth and authority by which we judge all insight and prophetic revelation. 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Matthew 22:29; John 8:31-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Proverbs 30:5-6; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 4:1-11.
God Is Still Speaking
God wants to communicate with His family. It is important for us to actively listen for His voice and experience the variety of ways that He communicates. John 10:26-28; John 16:13; Matthew 4:4; Isaiah 50:4-5; 1 John 2:27; Acts 2:17; Numbers 11:29; 1 Kings 19: 9-13.
Scripture calls us to earnestly desire the gift of prophecy, which is to speak on God’s behalf to strengthen, encourage, and comfort people. We desire to say what the Father is saying to help people grow in their identity and discover their God-given purpose and value. 1 Corinthians 14:1-4; John 12:49; 1 Timothy 4:14-16; Acts 2:17; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25; Acts 13:1-3.
Prophecy is not one-way communication. It involves two people hearing from God: the one who gives the prophetic word and the one who receives it. With the Holy Spirit, Scripture, and our community, we judge the spirit and accuracy of the words we give and receive. Holding on to what is good, we let go of what is not. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 1 Corinthians 14:29; Luke 9:55; Acts 21:10-22:24; Acts 27: 10, 22-24.
The Bible is the ultimate, authoritative revelation unlike any other; nothing will be added to it. Therefore, prophecy should never contradict properly interpreted Scripture. Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15; Matthew 7:15-20; John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:16-21.
Salvation Creates a Joyful Identity
Jesus has won absolute victory! We are forgiven and freed from the enemy’s power of sin, sickness, lies, and torment. Now we live in the power of righteousness, healing, truth, and joy! Romans 8:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 2:14-15; Galatians 5:22-24; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57; Revelation 1:12-18.
We are adopted as royalty into God’s family and commanded to help others be reconciled with Father and come home.” Romans 8:14-17; John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 3:1; Luke 15:11-32.
We are simultaneously joyful servants, trusted friends, and beloved children of our Lord. John 15:12-15; Psalm 16:11; Hebrews 1:9; Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 25:23; Psalm 100:2; Galatians 1:10; Matthew 23:11-12; John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; Matthew 25:14-30.
We are new creations, not merely sinners saved by grace but saints who have been given His righteousness so we can partner with our Father God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 3:21-26; Romans 8:1, 30; Galatians 2:19-20; Acts 26.
Jesus promised that signs would follow believers and they would do even greater works than He. John 14:12-14; Acts 2:17-18; Luke 9:1-2; Mark 16:15-18; Acts 5:12-16.
We owe the world an opportunity to experience the power of God and an invitation to salvation because Jesus sent us into the world, just as the Father sent Him, in the power of the Holy Spirit. John 20:21-23; 1 Corinthians 2:4-5; John 17:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Matthew 28:18-19; Matthew 5:14-16; Luke 10:1-9.
Nothing is impossible with God. Therefore, no person or situation is beyond His ability to bring complete restoration. Matthew 17:20; Mark 10:25-27; John 15:7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Psalms 103:1-7; Luke 1:34-37.
We believe all can be healed because Jesus demonstrated the Father’s will in healing all the sick and demonized He encountered. Matthew 4:23; Matthew 12:15; Matthew 14:14; Luke 9:11; Acts 10:38; Psalm 103:3-4; Matthew 14:24-33; Acts 3:1-10; James 2:14-18; Mark 10:46-52; Matthew 9:27-38.
Responsive to Grace
We joyfully experience the astounding, undeserved love of God and His ongoing power to transform us. His transforming love and power are inseparable from one another. John 3:16-17; Ephesians 1:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 5:6-11; Mark 5:1-20.
God scandalously loves His lost creation and extends grace to us, empowering believers to love Him and others at a higher standard than the law. Romans 5:7-8; 2 Corinthians 5:14-18; Romans 6:11-14; Matthew 5:21-28; Romans 8:2-4; Acts 9:1-22; Acts 26:1-23.
Deeply experiencing grace teaches us about righteousness, which empowers us to overcome sin and failure. The Father’s love keeps us from focusing on sin or hiding in shame if we fail. Ephesians 3:14-21; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Titus 2:11-13; Colossians 3:1-5; Acts 2:14-41.
God’s grace breaks the mentality that says “I am a powerless victim of circumstances” and creates a new identity that declares, “In Christ, I am a victorious overcomer, no matter the situation.” John 16:33; 1 John 4:4; Romans 8:31-32, 35-39; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Deuteronomy 28:13; Jeremiah 29:11.
God is Good
God describes Himself as gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. God is good and, by nature, in a good mood. Psalm 103:8-13; Acts 14:16-17; James 1:17-18; 2 Peter 3:9; Matthew 7:11; Galatians 5:22-23; Psalm 119:68; Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 104; Exodus 34:5 – 7; Acts 17:22-31.
The message, ministry, and sacrifice of Jesus perfectly reveal the nature of God as a good Father. John 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3; John 14:6-7; Isaiah 9:6; Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9; John 1:1; John 1:18; John 8:1 – 11; John 8:19.
God is a good Father; we can trust Him regardless of our circumstances. Romans 8:28-32; James 1:12-18; Hebrews 11:6; Nahum 1:7; Matthew 10:29-31; Acts 16:23 -26.
Enemies come to steal and kill, but Jesus came to destroy demonic works and give us abundant life. John 10:10-11; 1 John 3:8; Acts 10:38; 1 Peter 5:8-10; Ephesians 6:12; Mark 5: 1-19.
God’s goodness is extravagant. As we remember and retell what He has done through our testimonies, faith is created that He is able and eager to do it again. Romans 10:15-17; Hebrews 13:7-8; Acts 10:34-48; Revelation 19:10; Psalm 44:1-5; Psalm 119:11; Mark 5:18-21; Deuteronomy 6:17-24; 1 Chronicles 16:23-36; Joshua 4:1-9.
Generous Like My Father
God is extravagantly generous and our generosity is a response and reflection of Him. He is a good Father who gives good gifts to His children.
The thread of God’s generosity weaves through His creation, covenants, Israel’s economics, the gospel, and the kingdom as He consistently models that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Psalms 65:9-13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Deuteronomy 7:9; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:3, 7-8; James 1:5; Acts 20:35; Mark 12:41-43.
God has blessed us in every way so that we can be generous in every way to advance the gospel. Joyfully giving our time, affection, talents, and money attracts God’s attention, draws heaven’s blessings, produces transformation and enables Him to trust us with the true riches of the kingdom. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Acts 10:3-6; Malachi 3:10-12; Deuteronomy 8:18; Acts 2:43-47; Matthew 10:7-8; Luke 16:10-13; Acts 4:32-37.
Generosity confronts our poverty mentality, changing the way we interact with the world. No longer anxious because we mistakenly believe provision is scarce, we are confident that God multiplies resources and is eager to rescue and prosper people. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:20-21; 1 King 17:10-16; 2 Kings 4:1-7; 3 John 2; Matthew 6:25 -34; Jeremiah 29:11; Deuteronomy 28:11-13; Exodus 3:8; Matthew 14:13-21.
Generosity releases joy, blessing, and favor into our lives. As we give, it will be given to us pressed down shaken together and running over! Luke 6:38; Isaiah 58:6-12; Proverbs 11:25; Acts 2:43-47; Philippians 4:17-19; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Luke 18:29-30; Luke 19:1-10.
Honor Affirms Value
Honor recognizes and affirms that every person is valuable and powerful. We are made in God’s image; He died to restore us to relationship with Him, therefore we are significant. Genesis 1:26-28; Ephesians 4:23-24; Psalm 139:13-16; Romans 12:10; 1 Corinthians 12:14-26; 1 Peter 2:17; Matthew 26:6-13.
Honor recognizes and celebrates the best in people, in spite of our differences. We respond to people based on their God-given identity and the honor in our hearts, not their behavior or self-definition. 1 Corinthians 12:14-26; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17; James 2:1-5; Philippians 2:3; 1 Samuel 24:1-10.
Honor is demonstrated through consistent respect in word and action toward those we lead, follow, love and disagree with. While honor avoids controlling others, it also lovingly confronts, limits, and disciplines when necessary. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; Leviticus 19:15-18; Galatians 6:1- 2; Ephesians 4:14-15; Romans 2:4; Matthew 18:15; Hebrews 12:11-14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Luke 3:10-14.
The level of honor we have for a person directly affects our ability to receive from them. Matthew 10:40-42; Philippians 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 4:14-20; 2 Kings 4:8-37.
Free & Responsible
Christ died to set us free from sin, death, fear, and shame in order to establish us in freedom so that we can live and love as God’s glorious children. Romans 8:1-2; Romans 8:15-21; Galatians 5:1; Romans 6:4; Romans 6:14-22; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 4:17-18; Luke 19:1-10.
Freedom is very personal, but it is not self-centered. We have been given freedom so we may present ourselves to the Lord as a willing sacrifice, surrendered and ready to serve. Galatians 5:13-14; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 14:7-9; Romans 15:1-7; Matthew 4:1-11.
Freedom and responsibility are inseparable. We experience true freedom as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of self-control and use our freedom to bless others. Galatians 5:13-25; 1 Corinthians 9:19; 2 Peter 1:5-9; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13; 1 Peter 1:13-16; John 13:12-17.
We are responsible for partnering with the Holy Spirit to continually develop the foundation of our character so our character can support our growing influence and anointing. 2 Peter 1:5-9; Titus 2:11-12; Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Luke 9:54-56.
His Kingdom is Advancing
God is big and victorious. The devil is small and defeated. We are in a battle, but the outcome is not in doubt! 1 John 4:4; Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 5:4-5; Romans 8:31-39; John 12:31; Acts 4:23-31; 1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15; John 16:33; Mark 5:1-13.
We believe and live the prayer, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Therefore, we partner with the King in natural and supernatural ways to establish mercy, justice, and righteousness until He comes. Matthew 6:9-10; Matthew 10:7-8; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 33:5-6; Micah 6:8; Matthew 10:42; Matthew 25:40; John 14:12; James 1:27; Matthew 12:22-29.
As believers, we are all in full-time ministry as God advances His Kingdom into every area of society. Our work and efforts both inside and outside the church are sacred and valuable acts of worship to God. 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 12:1; Matthew 5:13-16; Colossians 3:23-24; Daniel 6:3; Proverbs 22:29; Ephesians 6:5-9; Matthew 25:31-46.
Although we will experience resistance and conflict as the Kingdom advances, we expect the culture to be changed as people come to salvation and take their places in God’s purpose for the world. John 15:19-21; John 16:33; Colossians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 4:8-11; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Nehemiah 2:1-10; Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 19:11-41.
Hope in a Glorious Bride
The Church is the bride of Christ and she will successfully fulfill His great commission to make disciples of all nations, which means the nations will experience transformation.
We work to leave a legacy and inheritance for future generations, just as previous generations have done for us. While anticipating Christ’s glorious return, we simply do not know when He will come, which should inspire us to have a long-term earthly vision. Proverbs 13:22; Acts 2:39; 2 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 2:11-14; James 5:7-8; Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 25:1-29; Hebrews 11:4-30.
We are not looking to escape the world but to see Christ’s victory manifested in individuals and nations, even in the face of resistance and conflict. John 17:15-18; Luke 10:2-3; Matthew 28:18-19; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 16:33; Revelation 11:15; Acts 13:13-52.
The Church is called to overcome in all circumstances; in times of suffering and persecution, but also in times of prosperity and great influence. John 16:33; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 3:21; Philippians 4:11-13; Isaiah 41:10; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4; Romans 8:37-39; 1 Chronicles 28:6-10; 1 Kings 5:3-5; Acts 4:13-37.