We believe the Scriptures are true, authoritative and sufficient, inspired of God, and the final authority for faith and practice. The Old and New Testaments are the special revelation of God to Man, and inerrant and infallible in their original writing (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Isaiah 40:8; Luke 16:7).
We believe that there is only one true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 1:1; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:19).
We believe the Father is eternal, all knowing, present everywhere, and all-powerful. God is holy, righteous, and just (Psalm 147:5; Psalm 33:6; Jeremiah 23:24; 139:7-10).
We believe in the absolute deity of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the absolute humanity of our Lord through his virgin birth (Phil 2:1-8; Luke 1:26-28). We believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, though he was tempted at all points in his humanity. We believed that he suffered in our place and died to satisfy God’s justice for our sin (1 Timothy 2:5). We believe in his bodily, physical resurrection, his ascension into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father, and that Jesus will one day physically return in glory and power (John 17:5; 2 Timothy 2:10; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6-7; Acts 10:24).
We believe the Holy Spirit is the Lord, one in being with both the Father and the Son, who convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit regenerates the lost. He is the gift of the Father and of Christ to the church, indwelling all believers, sealing them in the body of Christ unto the day of redemption. He is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truth. We, as believers, should display the fruit of the Spirit that comes with abiding in the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; John 16:7-11; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see exercised in the Scriptures have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the closing of the New Testament canon. They are available today, imparted by the Spirit, and are to be eagerly desired and practiced in submission to the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Romans 8:11).
We believe that Satan is the author of sin. But he has been defeated by the finished work of Jesus Christ – Satan and his angels shall be punished eternally at the coming of Christ
(Ezekiel 28:12–17; Revelation 20:2, 4-9).
We believe that sin is every lack of conformity to the will of God or transgression of the law of God. Sin is manifest in the selfishness, rebellion, and total depravity of man’s heart, conscience and conduct before God and man (Galatians 5:19-21).
We believe all humanity, except for Jesus Christ, is sinful by both birth and action. Mankind cannot escape the just punishment for sin (physical and spiritual death). The only way to escape this punishment is through the redemption of Jesus Christ, the eternal son of God, who died as sacrificial substitute to pay the penalty for sin, and physically rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and rules over the universe as Lord of all. It is only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and repentance from sin can one be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy. We believe there will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Only those who turn from sin and to Jesus in faith and repentance will be raised to eternal reward. Those who do not turn from sin and to Jesus will suffer eternal punishment
(Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 3:23).
We believe that all things exist for the glory of God. God is sovereign over all things such that there is no aspect of reality outside of His ultimate control. God’s rule extends to all things – but his gift of salvation is of utmost importance. We believe in the absolute necessity of salvation through the Holy Spirit because of the exceeding sinfulness of our human nature. We are justified by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, and that only by God’s grace and through faith alone are we saved (Galatians 2:16).
Salvation is not dependent on the desires and deeds of man, but is grounded instead in God’s eternal decree of election. Though man is responsible for his sin, God is ultimately and entirely responsible for drawing those He would save unto Himself and overcoming their natural resistance to the gospel
(Ephesians 1:4-5; Romans 8:28-30).
We believe that those who put their faith in Christ grow and are sanctified by recognizing their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith that depends every day upon the fact of that union, and offering every part of their lives over to the dominion of God and the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13) .
KINGDOM OF GOD/UNITY OF BELIEVERS
We believe that God is the Eternal King, and this his kingdom is everlasting. God’s rule has always been, is now, and will last forever. It was first identified in the law and the prophets, and came to fulfillment in Jesus Christ. We believe that God is working towards the consummation of the kingdom at the end of the age, which will come about when Jesus Christ comes visibly and physically in glory and triumph
(Hebrews 1: 1-4; Matthew 4:17).
We believe that there is one holy and universal church consisting of those possessing the same faith as Abraham. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ
(John 17:23; Galatians 3:26-28).
We share our faith in Christ with each other, and those around us; we focus on serving our families, communities, and particularly the less fortunate. We believe this is as important, if not more important, than our theology.
One way we share our faith with each other is through the interpersonal relationships we have with each other. Under the guidance and oversight of SOGF’s leadership team, we organize smaller groups of people to share the Christian experience in a closer, more intimate environment than a regular worship service. This can range from an individual seeking ministry, counsel, or a mentor to larger groups of people meeting together to seek a deeper, more fulfilling experience with God. It can be a formal, organized meeting, or just a group of believers gathering together -- but the objective is the same: We seek to relate to each other as a family of believers and help each other understand and grow in the Christian walk. Our objective is expressed in Colossians 1:28, “to present every [person] complete in Christ.” These gatherings are overseen by experienced Christians who will help facilitate the meeting to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and protection, where people can risk being open and transparent without fear of being ostracized or judged. The only real prerequisites are a desire to go deeper with God, a commitment to be open, and a heart to assist others in their growth.
Another important aspect of sharing our faith is through service to others – particularly the poor and needy. An important way we reach out to the community and the less fortunate is through the ministry of an organization that was founded by Spirit of God Fellowship -- Restoration Ministries, whose mission is based on Matthew 25:35-36 – “For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you invited mein, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.” Restoration Ministries is a separate not for profit organization which provides two residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs (one for men, one for women), after-school and youth programs (including a boxing club, arts programs, meals, chess club, and literacy programs), a food pantry, and thrift stores (which provide work for the residents and funds for the ministry).
Other ministries that Spirit of God Fellowship is involved in include:
is a weekly shelter for the homeless, where members of the church provide a place for homeless women and their children a meal, the chance to bathe/clean up, and a bed for the night in a secure setting. Good fellowship and entertainment is also offered to those seeking shelter.
Twice a month, on Monday evenings, Spirit of God Fellowship sends a contingent to help lead a bible study/worship service for participants in a State-sponsored drug rehabilitation program for recovering addicts at Brandon House, in Manteno, Illinois.
a children’s theater ministry that produces an original, live musical/theatrical production twice a month designed to minister to children. This has been an integral part of our Sunday School ministry for nearly 30 years. Because of Spirit of God’s changing demographics, the focus of Kids Church has shifted a bit, and we are now inviting in the children who participate in Restoration Ministries’ after school and youth programs. These additional children are not from families that are members of our church, but are transported by bus to join our church members and take part in the service.
Spirit of God Fellowship firmly believes that we need to give back to the communities our members come from. Our members are intimately involved with local and municipal programs, volunteering to serve, and supporting other church and government groups that serve the community.
We believe that everyone is called to function in the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit – every member of the church is empowered by God for ministry! Christianity is more than a label to wear or a place to go on Sunday; it is a way of life – living for Jesus Christ in close fellowship with one another. We strive for a strong family base from which we can live Christ’s command to each of us: “Go into all the world with the Gospel message and make disciples!” Our church structure is less formal, and we encourage everyone to participate. We have few paid staff members – indeed, all of the church’s leaders, including the pastor, are unpaid volunteers. Our vision is for each member to truly live in the transformational power of the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. This way, the church is not an auditorium full of spectators being entertained by the pastor and musicians – we try to help each person find their role, their place in God’s Kingdom, and where they can effectively minister to others.