These are the core beliefs that guide the founders of Soul Shepherding, Bill and Kristi Gaultiere. We’ve tried to use plain and practical language to spell out our statement of Christian faith and doctrine.
We believe in one God, Creator, and Lord of the Universe, the co-eternal Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, everywhere present, totally holy and loving, shining in glory, and supremely happy. God is the perfect and complete community in which each divine Person loves and honors the others above self and welcomes all people to join their community: God wants to be our Abba, Jesus wants to be our Friend, and the Holy Spirit wants to make our bodies His temple.
We believe that Jesus Christ, God’s unique Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life of perfect love for God and neighbor, died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross, rose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, and reigns in the Kingdom of the Heavens now. He is fully God and fully man and is the one mediator between God and humankind and he looks upon each person with a smile and open arms.
We believe that the Bible in its original manuscripts is God’s authoritative and inspired Word, without error in all its teachings. Followers of Christ joyfully submit to its divine authority, both individually and corporately, in all matters of belief and conduct and demonstrate this by righteous living (e.g., the fruit of the Spirit). It’s important to interpret individual verses and passages in their context, genre, the Bible as a whole, and, most especially, the person of Jesus Christ who reveals God to us.
Creation and Salvation
We believe that all people are created by God in the divine image with incredible worth and the power of free choice. He created us to enjoy intimacy with Him and to serve Him by working and contributing to the welfare of other people and managing the resources of the earth and all that He created. All people are lost in sin by inheritance (through Adam and Eve) and choice and cannot enter the Kingdom of God now, nor heaven for eternity, except through being born from above. Justification is God’s gift of grace through faith (trust) in Christ alone (not good works, religious affiliation, or ethnicity) and it leads to sanctification or becoming more loving like Jesus.
We believe in the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit for the individual’s new birth and growth to maturity, and for the Church’s constant renewal in truth, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power, and mission. Water baptism is an important public affirmation of turning from a life of sin and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for life. Holy Spirit baptism is part of salvation and its effect in and through our lives expands as we consecrate ourselves more fully to God’s service. Each individual is responsible to train in godliness through utilizing the ministries of the Church (e.g., Bible teaching, being discipled to Jesus by a mentor or friend, the sacraments, counseling, and the gifts of the Spirit like healing prayer) and time-tested disciplines (e.g., worship of God, Bible study and meditation, prayer, solitude and silence, fasting, confession of sin, soul friendships, and service).
We believe in one holy, universal, and apostolic Church. It calls us to worship and witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the Gospel (e.g., Matthew 4:17) among all ethnic people groups. The Church is to be a spiritual community where people love God and one another and to demonstrate its love for Christ by compassionate service to the needs of human beings and promoting justice everywhere. It’s important for Christ-followers regularly to gather together in local assemblies to worship God and encourage one another to follow and serve the Lord.
We believe that Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return in glory to raise the dead and bring fair and loving judgment to all people. God will fully manifest His kingdom when He establishes a new heaven and new earth, in which He will be glorified forever and exclude all evil, suffering, and death.