Calvary Chapel has been formed as a fellowship of believers in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Our supreme desire is to know Christ and be conformed to His image by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not a denominational church, nor are we opposed to denominations as such, only to their overemphasis of the doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the body of Christ.
We believe in what is termed "The Apostles' Creed" as embodying all the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity.
We believe there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all.
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings; His substitutionary atoning death; bodily resurrection; ascension into heaven; perpetual intercession for His people; and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that He is one and the same as God. He was fully human and fully God.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower in ministry all who believe in Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe that Jesus Christ baptizes the seeking believer with the Holy Spirit and power for service, either at the time of or subsequent to regeneration, which is a separate work from the indwelling Spirit for salvation. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all biblical gifts of the Spirit as reflected through the fruit of that same Spirit.
We believe that all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, and that they are the infallible rule of faith and practice.
We believe all people are by nature separated from God and responsible for their own sin, but that salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all of his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined to spend eternity with the Lord.
We await the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, and we believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ with His saints to rule the earth, which will be personal and visible. This motivates us to holy living, heartfelt worship, committed service, diligent study of God's Word, regular fellowship, participation in adult baptism by immersion and Holy Communion.
We are neither Five-Point Calvinists, nor are we Arminians. We adhere firmly to the biblical teaching of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. We avoid any theological systems of belief that go beyond the written Word and thereby divide the body of Christ.
We do not believe in "positive confession" (the faith movement belief that God can be commanded to heal or work miracles according to man's will); human prophecy that supersedes the Scriptures; the incorporation of humanistic and secular psychology into biblical teaching; the overemphasis of spiritual gifts and experiential signs and wonders to the exclusion of biblical teaching; or that true Christians can be demon-possessed.
We believe in the universal Church, in the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members.
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: 1) baptism, and 2) the Lord's Supper. We believe in baptism by immersion and communion, both of which are open to all believers in Jesus Christ.
We believe in the laying on of hands for the sending out of pastors and missionaries, and in conjunction with the anointing of oil by the elders for the healing of the sick.
We believe the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ's (agape) love, which is greater than differences we possess, and without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.
We believe worship of God should be spiritual; therefore, we remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship.
We believe worship of God should be inspirational; therefore, we give great place to music in our worship.
We believe worship of God should be intelligent; therefore, our services are designed with great emphasis upon the teaching of the Word of God that He might instruct us on how He should be worshiped. We seek to teach the Word of God in such a way that its message can be applied to the individual's life, leading that person to a greater maturity in Christ. We teach both expositionally and topically.
We believe worship of God should be fruitful; therefore, we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have been truly worshiping Him.
We believe that the church government should be simplistic rather than a complex bureaucracy, and we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead, rather than on fleshly promotion.
We believe that the Bible clearly delineates that spiritual gifts are for the edification of the body and that they are to be exercised in love. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without love, all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless. In our services, we focus on a personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. We do not practice speaking in tongues during worship or while a Bible study is in progress because we do not believe that the Holy Spirit would interrupt Himself. God is not the author of confusion. These gifts are encouraged in more intimate settings, e.g. afterglow services and small groups where their benefit can accomplish the purpose for which they have been given - the edification of the body of Christ.
By clarifying some of what we believe at Calvary Chapel, our purpose has been simply to help others less familiar with the movement gain insight into who we are. It has not been our intention to say that we are right and everyone else is wrong, nor has it been our intention to argue our position with any Christian believer. We are content to agree to disagree, and we desire to have nothing but love and fellowship with anyone who calls on the name of our Lord in truth and sincerity.
While there are many additional areas of polity and doctrine we could discuss, and while we could write volumes in an effort to defend all our positions against other positions, this is not our desire. Our desire is to simply adore Jesus, and we invite all God's people to join us as we do so.
We seek the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace and love and believe that God has called us to a unique ministry that fulfills His special purpose in this generation. May God bless you as you seek to draw near to Him in love.