What We Believe

Core Beliefs

“Look among the nations and watch, be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days; which  you would not believe though it

were told you.”
Habakkuk 1:5

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 over-emphasis of the doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the Body of Christ:

We believe the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ’s Agape love, which is greater than any 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 an important 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 how He should be worshiped.

We believe worship of God should be fruitful. Therefore, we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have truly been worshiping Him.

We believe in all the basic doctrines of historic Christianity.

We believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, that the Bible, Old and New Testaments are the inspired, infallible Word of God.

We believe that God is eternally existent in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe that God is the personal, transcendent, and sovereign Creator of all things.

We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, provided for the atonement of our sins by His substitutionary death on the cross, was bodily raised from the dead, ascended back to the right hand of the Father, and ever lives to make intercession for us.

We believe in the personal, visible, and pre-millennial second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. He will return with His saints and set up a kingdom of which there will be no end. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He poured out His Holy Spirit on the believers in Jerusalem, enabling them to fulfill His command to preach the Gospel to the entire world, an obligation shared by all believers today.

We believe that 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 personal Savior and Lord, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined to spend eternity with the Lord.

We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Scriptures, and that they are valid for today if they are exercised within the scriptural guidelines. We as believers are to covet the best gifts, seeking to exercise them in love that the whole Body of Christ might be edified.

We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without this love all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless.

baby dedications

We encourage you to read this comparison. This may help you understand this biblical practice and explain it to your friends and family who may be unfamiliar with this practice.

1 Samuel 1:24-28 “Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought them to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.”

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Luke 2:21-40 “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord:) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [was] Simeon; and the same man [was] just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served {God] with fasting and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

In the story of Hannah and Samuel above, we see the practice of dedicating the lives of children to serve the Lord. Further, as we see in the other Scriptures above, Jewish custom required the presentation of a male infant at the age of eight days before the priest, if possible in the temple in Jerusalem, for the purpose of circumcision and dedication to the Lord. Christians have adopted the dedication part of that custom, and often like to have their children dedicated publicly to the Lord before the congregation. That is what we do at Calvary Chapel of Kearny.

Baby dedication services should not be confused with infant baptism, which a number of churches practice infant baptism feeling it is comparable to the Old Testament covenant of circumcision, and some churches treat as necessary for salvation. Dedication, however, is a blessing for parents to publicly bring their child before the congregation of God’s people to commit themselves to raising their child in accordance with God’s will. At the same time, it affords the congregation the opportunity to under-gird the new parents with prayer and Biblical support in the ensuing years.

At Calvary Chapel, a baby dedication is usually done in a simple way during one of the  Sunday morning services. We simply have the parents bring the baby up onto the platform, then we go before God in prayer, asking His blessings on the child and the parents.

We believe that it is a great honor to present God’s precious little ones to Him in prayer.

Water Baptism

We encourage you to read this comparison. This may help you explain water baptism to your friends and family who may be unfamiliar with this practice.

Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 10:48 “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”

Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Romans 6:3 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Water baptism is one of the two ordinances of the church instituted, as we see in the Scripture above, by Jesus Christ (the other being communion.) While neither one can save you, we are commanded by the Lord to do both. Therefore, water baptism is a regular and important part of CC of Kearny where the body of believers is afforded the opportunity to be obedient to the Lord by following Him in baptism.

While we are not legalistic at Calvary Chapel concerning baptism, we believe that baptism is for believers only. For an unregenerate person baptism is a meaningless ritual. A person should be born again, trusting Jesus Christ for their salvation before they are baptized.

Baptism is for any person who has accepted Christ, regardless of age. Some fairly young children have accepted Christ and understand enough of water baptism to make it meaningful for them. Some families like to be baptized together.

We practice baptism by full-immersion in water unless circumstances do not allow. While the word baptism comes from a Greek root that means to immerse, to dunk under the water, God looks at the heart, and certainly accepts the cup of water poured over the invalid’s head as baptism. We believe that baptism is a symbol that the old man is dead and buried with Christ, and then raised again in newness of life.

communion

What is Communion?

Communion, often called “The Lord’s Supper,” is a memorial in which Christians identify with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:20).  It’s a time for believers to remember the Lord’s broken body and His shed blood for all people (Luke 22:19–20).

Institution of Communion

Jesus Christ instituted Communion on the eve of His death when He ate the Passover meal with His disciples (Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:14–20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–25). Paul tells us that celebrating communion we are proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes back. (1 Corinthians 11:26)

Meaning and Symbolism of Communion

Bread and wine were once served for the Lord’s Supper.  Today, many churches, including ours, use crackers and grape juice.  The bread symbolizes or represents Christ’s body, which was beaten and broken for us as He died for the sins of humanity.  The cup of wine symbolizes His blood, which was shed for us as He paid for our sins (John 10:17–18; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:8–9).

Essentials for Observing Communion

Anyone who participates in the Lord’s Supper must first be a believer.  Jesus commanded His disciples to observe Communion (Matthew 26:26); therefore, a person must have placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation before taking part in Communion.

In addition to being believers, we must prepare our hearts to participate in the Lord’s Supper.  Paul instructed believers not to “eat this bread or drink this cup in an unworthy manner . . . ” (1 Corinthians 11:27).

Last, we must examine our lives for any unconfessed sin.  Paul reminds us, “Let a man examine himself” (1 Corinthians 11:28) to avoid bringing judgment upon ourselves.  As we become right with God through confessing our sins (1 John 1:9), we may then participate in the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner.

Past Significance of Communion

Communion is a time to look back, remembering the Lord’s death on the cross.  His death was more than just an atoning death—it was a substitutional death.  Christ died in our place so that we might live.  He took our sins upon Himself so that we could receive His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Present Significance of Communion

Communion is a time to look within, considering our lives in light of our profession of faith.  As we enter into Communion, we are to thank Him for our salvation and the privilege of being His child.

Future Significance of Communion

Communion is a time to look ahead toward the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Paul said we’re to “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).  The Lord’s Supper foreshadows the great marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19).
Today, we stand between the two most important events in human history: the first and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  When we observe The Lord’s Supper as Christians, we become connected to both.