West Hills is a church with multiple campuses founded upon a number of ‘core beliefs’ based on the clear teaching of the Bible. ‘Core beliefs’ are beliefs which are foundational to who we are and inform what we do as a church. Core beliefs are sometimes referred to as ‘essential beliefs’ because they are the foundation of the Christian faith. Further, they are essential because unless a person affirms these truths wholeheartedly they cannot become a member of the West Hills Community, cannot teach and cannot hold leadership on any of our campuses.
We realize however, that as individuals seek to unite with the West Hills family they do so at different levels of spiritual maturity. Part of our membership process is therefore designed to make sure that these truths are understood by anyone seeking to unite with West Hills so that all who trust Jesus Christ alone for life and salvation may freely participate in our fellowship regardless of their level of maturity in the faith.
We believe in one Supreme God, who exists as three persons, the Father, the Son or Word, and the Holy Spirit. All three are co-equal and co-essential (of the same essence) and yet the three are one. This doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of our entire communion with God and our dependence on Him. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding, and is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. This same God created the heavens and the earth and surrounding universe, by the eternal Word through the eternal Spirit, and all things in it (in the space of six days), for the manifestation of His eternal power and glory. This creation was very good.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead, the eternal Word of God who became flesh and as such is fully God and fully man. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death on the cross, bodily resurrection, ascension, His intercessory work for believers and His bodily return with power and great glory.
We believe the eternal Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, who reveals Christ, convicts the world of sin, regenerates for salvation and seals those who place faith in Christ into the body of Christ until the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit enables Jesus’ followers to understand the Scriptures, sanctifies them, guides them to maturity in Christ, gives guidance for life, comforts them, empowers them for service, and bears witness in the hearts of true believers that they are children of God.
We believe the Bible, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are God’s complete special revelation to mankind, were given by inspiration of God, are entirely inerrant in the original autographs, and are authoritative and sufficient, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
We believe man, both male and female were created in the image and likeness of God, are equal in dignity, worth and value before God, were given different roles and were originally righteous. Tempted by Satan, however, both Eve and Adam rebelled against God, fell from their state of righteousness and as a result plunged both themselves and the whole human race into ruin, sin and death. As a result of sins entrance, man retains God’s image and likeness, although it is marred by sin and death, since all people are sinners from birth and also by choice. All people are therefore under the judgment of God and thus have no ability to save themselves from their sins.
We believe salvation from sin, death and judgment is a free gift from God, through the gospel of Christ, and is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection, apart from works. This salvation restores fellowship with God. Further, all who have been born again by God’s Spirit, with the result that they have trusted Christ for salvation, will persevere in faith in Christ until they die or Jesus returns, whichever comes first.
We believe the universal body of Christ is the called out multitude of believers from every tribe, language group, kindred group and nation who have been, are or shall be saved in and by Christ. The earthly expression of the Body of Christ is seen in the local church, which is a community of people who confess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and who, in obedience to Scripture, are organized under qualified leadership, gather for preaching and worship, observe the Biblical sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, love God and others, are unified by the Holy Spirit, are disciplined for holiness and who scatter to serve others in the name of Christ. This service consists of their bearing witness to the salvation of Christ in their own local community, in word and deed, for God’s glory and their joy.
We believe baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ to be observed by His church until Jesus returns.
We believe that Marriage was ordained by God at creation, to be between one biological man and one biological woman, until they are parted by death (Gen. 1:26-28; 2: 18-25; Matt. 19: 4-6). Further, because marriage provides a picture of Christ’s relationship with His church (Eph. 5:31-32), we believe that it is contrary to God’s will and Word for a man to have more than one wife or a woman to have more than one husband at the same time, or for a person to wed someone of the same sex. Because the union of one man and one woman is the only legitimate marriage recognized in scripture, the marriage of one biological man to one biological woman is the only type wedding the pastors and elders of West Hills will perform. (see also Dt. 17:17; Mal. 2:15; Eph. 5:22-33; Heb. 13:4)
We believe that after death, people’s bodies return to dust and see corruption and their souls, which neither die nor sleep, continue on consciously forever. The souls of the righteous are received into Christ’s presence in paradise, while the souls of the unrighteous are cast into Hades until the final judgment.
We believe that Jesus Christ will return bodily, with power and great glory as He promised, to bring vengeance on His enemies and to establish His eternal kingdom. Further, at Jesus’ return, both the righteous and the unrighteous dead will be raised physically from the dead, the righteous to be with Christ forever and the unrighteous to be separated from Him forever. No one knows the time when these events will take place.
We believe that all people will stand before Jesus Christ for a final judgment, after which they will be rewarded according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
Those who are righteous through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will go into everlasting life in the presence of the Lord, with everlasting joy and reward;
The unrighteous will be cast into everlasting fire, where they will be tormented forever as punishment for their sins and their rebellion against God, as will the apostate angels and Satan himself.
This statement explains the core beliefs of the West Hills Community. For a more detailed statement of belief, we stand in agreement with the foundational documents of The Gospel Coalition. For more information about our belief on apostolic gifts read here.