what we prioritize

Our Distinctives

Centered on Gospel

We love the gospel. It is the only message of salvation, the key to spiritual transformation, the foundation of Christian unity, and the source of our true identity. Furthermore, the gospel is the main point of the Bible. For all of these reasons, we are committed to being a community where the gospel is preached and applied regularly, and where Christians learn how to share the gospel with their neighbors.

(Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 13:1-3; 20:24 Rom. 10:14-15; 1 Cor. 9:19-23; Eph. 4:11, 15-16; 1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Cor. 2:2; 15:3; Gal. 1:8-9; 2:20; Phil. 1:27; Col. 1:5-6)

Anchored in Truth

God has given us an incredible gift in the Bible. It is inspired, inerrant, sufficient, clear, and authoritative. This is why we strive to interpret every passage within its proper grammatical and historical context and train others to do the same, making the point of the text, the basis of all instruction in the church. This is also why we practice expositional preaching on Sunday morning, preaching verse- by-verse through whole books of the Bible.

(Deut. 12:32; Ps. 19:7-11; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 20:20, 27; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-4:2)

Delighted in Worship

We believe that humanity exists to worship and enjoy God forever. When people are focused on worshipping God, they experience true and lasting joy and purpose.  As a church, we seek to worship God in Spirit and Truth. This means letting the truth of God's Word lead us towards a lifestyle of prayer, dependence, praise, confession, adoration, and devotion to God so that we seek His pleasure in everything we do.

(Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 10:31; Psa. 73:24-28)

Missional in Lifestyle

We believe that every Christian is called to be part of God’s mission in the local church of making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ who make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ. This means glorifying God in everything we do, proclaiming the Gospel to everyone we can, and intentionally caring for one another in a loving community where Christians pray for one another, speak the truth in love to one another, serve one another, and encourage one another in Christ. 

(Mark 12:31; Gal. 5:13-14; 6:1-3; James 5:19-20; 1 Pet. 4:10 1 Jn. 3:16-19)

basic beliefs for membership

Our Doctrine

The Word of God

We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32

The Trinity

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three person; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Ephesians 4:5, 6

God the Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, 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. Luke 10:21, 22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1, 2 & 2:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6

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. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5, 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8 & 6:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16

The Holy Spirit

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 all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. John 14:16, 17, 26 & 15:26, 27; John 16:9–14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; Galatians 5:22–26

Regeneration

We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life. Genesis 1:26, 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17, 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; John 3:14, 5:24; John 5:30, 7:13, 8:12, 10:26; Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 19:3, 20, 20:10, 14 & 15, 21:18; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19, 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16, John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1

The Ordinances

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18–20; Romans 6:3–5; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26

The Church

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. Ephesians 2:19–22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19–21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23–25

Christian Conduct

We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1–3; Hebrews 12:1–2; John 14:15, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6–9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9–10

The Last Things

We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked. Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10; Revelation 20:4–6, 11–15

What our leadership teaches on

Other Topics

Church Planting

The church exists to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission, and in the spirit of the Great Commandment -- Matthew 28:19-20, Matthew 22:37-38. The commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. God is glorified as we manifest His presence as we do His work -- 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

In seeking to act upon the church's purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support and admonish.

Sufficiency of Scripture

We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of that Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings -- Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16, and are infallible in their instruction -- Proverbs 6:32; 2 Peter 1:19, eternal in duration -- Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25; the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that the very words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore, we believe that the Bible versions which translate God's Word most literally into modern English should be preferred.

Creation and Evolution

We believe God created the universe in six 24-hour days and that, before He created the universe, nothing except God existed -- Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3;Colossians 1:16.

God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom and supreme authority -- Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20;Revelation 4:11.

We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings -- Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9. The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God's gift of eternal life -- Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.

God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people -- Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Acts 25:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6.

Marriage and Sexuality

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.)

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:187:2-5Heb 13:4.)

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-201 Cor 6:9-10.)

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21Rom 10:9-101 Cor 6:9-11.)

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity as all people are made in the image of God. (Mark 12:28-31Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Harvest Plains Church.

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Harvest Plains Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Harvest Plains Church's members and to the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Harvest Plains Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16Phil 2:14-161 Thess 5:22.)

Process of Sanctification and Maturity

Mature disciples walk with Christ, worship Christ and work for Christ. A person committed to a relationship with Christ focuses on personal walk with Him, worship of Him and work for Him. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become "complete in Christ" (Colossians 1:28). We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders' lives into others -- 2 Timothy 2:2. This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church -- Ephesians 4:11-12.

Church Government

Two Offices.
We believe the Bible promotes two church offices which are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. The office of elder and deacon. 
 
Plurality of Elders
The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23Acts 20:28Titus 1:5Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual gifts, squares with the Scripture’s teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors (Proverbs 11:4Proverbs 12:15Proverbs 15:22Proverbs 19:20Proverbs 24:6). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board.
 
Responsibilites of Elders
  1. Doctrine: Ensuring that the doctrine of the church is biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders;
  2. Direction: Ensuring that the direction of the church is consistent with the HPC statement of purpose and the four distinctives;
  3. Discipline: Administering in love and humility the process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20Galatians 6:1-4Titus 3:102 Thessalonians 3:14-151 Timothy 5:17-251 Corinthians 52 Corinthians 2:5-11 and Romans 16:17.
Deacons

The Bible teaches that Deacons “lead by serving” (Acts 6). The qualifications for Elders and Deacons are the same regarding an individual’s character, but they differ in aptitude. The elders are to be “able to teach” while the deacons are to be “able and proved as servants.”

Women in Ministry

Harvest Plains Church affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture, which would include serving in the office of Elder (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We believe that women can be recognized as deacons.

Election

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30Ephesians 1:4-112 Thessalonians 2:132 Timothy 2:101 Peter 1:1-2).
 
We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:233233:11John 3:18-19365:40Romans 9:22-232 Thessalonians 2:10-12Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-4044Acts 13:48James 4:8).
 
We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally polluted sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7Titus 3:4-71 Peter 1:2).

Regeneration

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21Philippians 2:12bColossians 3:162 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Eternal Security of the Believer

It is God's divine decision to save a person and it is God's kindness, forbearance and patience that lead that person to repentance -- Romans 2:4. All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone -- Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25. We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God's decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer's salvation, but indicate the reality of the person's love of Christ and profession of faith -- Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18.

Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord's guarantee of each believer's adoption as His son or daughter -- Galatians 4:4-7, and His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit -- 2 Corinthians 1:21-22;Ephesians 1:13-14, and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven -- 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession -- Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16: 30-34, and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands -- John 10:27-29. Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ's crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ's possession -- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God's unlimited power -- 1 Peter 1:4-5.