WHY WE EXIST
We exist to love God, love others, and make disciples.
Everything we do here at Bay Life Church revolves around our purpose.
If it doesn’t fulfill our purpose, we don’t do it. We are driven by our purpose.
We believe that two statements by Jesus summarize the purpose of the church:
The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. (Matt. 22:37-40)
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matt. 28:19-20)
These two statements summarize everything we do at Bay Life Church. Our Purpose Statement was created to reflect that. We maintain that a church driven by Jesus’ commands fulfills all five purposes that Christ ordained for His church: Worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship.
What To Expect
Each week, we host a worship gathering on Sundays at 11am. Here you will find authentic people glorifying God because the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed their lives. There is no dress code here, and most of our people dress very casually. Our worship experience features preaching and music that is both relevant and engaging. Each gathering lasts about an hour.
During the worship experience, we want your family to feel welcome and to be comfortable, so we invite you to worship together. However, you are welcome to take advantage of one of our many services for your family. These are the services we offer:
KidZone Ministry (Nursery-5th Grade)
We also offer numerous opportunities for involvement during the week:
Severna Park Youth Collective meets every Wednesday at 6:30 pm.
Life Groups meet throughout the week; you can find a listing of groups at our Welcome Center.
So please stop by any of our events and find out why we are the church that “loves God, loves others, and makes disciples.”
What We Believe
In essential beliefs — we have unity.
“For there is one body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NLT).
In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty.
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters...Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall... So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God” (Romans 14:1,4,12,22 NIV).
In all our beliefs — we show charity.
“...If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains — but have no love, I amount to nothing at all” (1 Corinthians 13:2 Phillips).
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE:
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. (Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13)
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18)
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:17)
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security. (John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. (John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-9)
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.
Bay Life Church holds to the traditional biblical definition of marriage. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage.
OUR LIFESTYLE STATEMENT
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices.
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 TLB).
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
“Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all …” (Colossians 1:18 NLT).
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God…” (Revelations 1:5-6 NIV).
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him…” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV).
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer Bible reading.
“When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ and you were raised up with Christ…” (Colossians 2:12 ICB).
We practice baptism by immersion under water — the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
(Jesus said), “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything.” (John 15:5 CEB).
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So, we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Philippians 2:13, Ephesians 5:18)
“Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do” (1 Peter 3:15 NLV).
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ.