What we believe, Smyrna International Church

What we believe

Introduction

Smyrna International Church is a church unit within Smyrna Pentecostal Church that belongs to the Pentecostal movement in Sweden. Our mission is to walk alongside people and guide them towards a life together with Jesus. The church is a part of the worldwide family of Christianity and is involved in meeting people within different contexts, both local, regional, national and international. The following is short review of what we teach in our church. It is both an expression for who we are and what we desire and long to be.

God

God is one and meets us in three persons: The Father who is creator, the Son, Jesus who is Saviour and the Holy Spirit who is the Helper.

Bible verses:

Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

John 3:16:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The Bible

The Bible is Gods voice to humanity. In the Bible as a whole the will and thoughts of God are communicated. Jesus is the centre of the Bible and He is the key to being able to understand and follow the Bible irrespective of time and culture.

Bible verses:

2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Luke 24:27: And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

John 1:1-5: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Faith in Jesus

Relationship with God is opened through faith in Jesus as the Son of God and our Saviour. Jesus is the way to reconciliation between God and mankind. Faith is wanting to receive Jesus and trust in His grace. Our faith is described in the Apostolic Declaration of Faith and the Pentecostal European Fellowships statement of faith* (seen below).

Bible verses:

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2 Corinthians 5:19: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Ephesians 2:8: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Baptism

A life together with Jesus is confirmed in baptism. Baptism is a conscious act that means entering into a covenant with God. It is a visible sign of what God achieves in the unseen. We practice baptism by total immersion in water.

Bible verses:

Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Romans 6:3-5: Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Mark 16:16a: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.

Discipleship

A life together with Jesus is in the Bible called discipleship. This describes the deepening of a relationship with Jesus. Discipleship is a lifelong process wherein the goal is to become more like Jesus.

Bible verses: 

Mark 1:17: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

John 15:4: Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Philippians 3:10-12: I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

On becoming a Christian you receive the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit can be experienced in special ways, baptism in the Spirit/ filled with the Spirit. This is a promise that includes all Christians. The Holy Spirit helps and equips the believer with gifts that can be of use for other people.

Bible verses:

Acts 2:38-39: 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

1 Corinthians 12:4-11: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The Church

The Smyrna International Church is the christian fellowship where each and every one has something to contribute.

Together we have a mission to convey Gods love in words and action to our surroundings. Within the church we meet for Bible teaching, prayer, Holy Communion and fellowship. We can grow and be challenged and there is the possibility of receiving help and support, reconciliation and healing.

Bible verses:

1 Peter 2:9: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

John 17:21: that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

1 Corinthians 12:27: Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

View of humanity

All humans are loved by God and created in His image. All persons have a unique and equal value. No individual is without sin, all are dependent upon Gods grace and forgiveness.

Bible verses:

Genesis 1:26-27: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Romans 3:23-24: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Matthew 7:12: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Stewardship

God has given us life as a gift to be stewards of. We have the responsibility to be stewards of creation but also our personal belongings such as time, our abilities and our finances.

Bible verses:

Genesis 2:15: The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Deuteronomy 10:14: To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

Matthew 25:14-29: “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

Relationships and marriage

We are created for good relationships, to love our fellow man.

Sexuality is Gods gift for marriage that God has decided to be a lifelong relationship of faithfulness. The pastors of the church perform marriage ceremonies between man and woman.

Bible verses:

Genesis 2:24: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Matthew 19:4-6: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Matthew 22:37-39: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Hope

Life together with Jesus is not concluded when we die, it continues into a heavenly realm. At the end of time Jesus will return and conquer over evil and restore the whole of creation.

Bible verses:

John 11:25-26: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 14:1-3: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Acts 1:11: “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Revelation 21:3-5: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Pentecostal European Fellowships statement of faith

  • We believe the Bible to be inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ is absolutely essential.
  • We believe in believers’ baptism by immersion in water according to the Scriptures.
  • We believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance and in the operation of the spiritual gifts and ministries.
  • We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved to eternal life and they that are lost to the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the church of Jesus Christ and in the unity of believers.
  • We believe in the practical application of the Christian faith in everyday experience and the need to minister to people in every area of life.