New Hope believes that the various churches throughout the world form one catholic, or universal, church. This unity is created through the Holy Spirit and not through church structures, although church structures can and should express that unity as much as possible. This means that New Hope is a Protestant congregation, tracing its roots back to the 16th century movement called the Protestant Reformation.
The new churches which emerged at that time – Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist – did not remain within the structures of the Roman Catholic Church, because they believed that those structures had become compromised through both human error and human sin. Instead, they parted company with Rome in order to worship freely and to call the mother church to greater faith and love.
Protestant churches embrace the core teachings of Christian orthodoxy, just like the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches. The distinctive beliefs of the Protestant churches can be summed up in five statements:
Scripture Alone: God speaks clearly, authoritatively and infallibly only in the Scriptures (the Bible, containing the books of the Old and New Testaments).
Faith Alone: God forgives humans for their sins because they believe the Biblical message about Jesus Christ, not because of any good deeds which they perform.
Grace Alone: This faith that saves us is itself a gift from God, and is given without regard to anything we have done, will do, or might possibly do. Faith comes, grows, and bears fruit through God’s grace – His pure, unmerited love and favor.
Christ Alone: In the person of Jesus Christ, God came down from heaven and dwelt on earth in bodily form. As Immanuel (meaning God-With-Us), Jesus alone reveals the fullness of God’s glory. As a human being, Jesus alone reveals the kind of life that we are called to lead. As both God and a human being, Jesus alone acts as a mediator between God and sinners like ourselves, securing forgiveness for us through his death and resurrection.
God’s Glory Alone: All that God does – including His work to save us – has one ultimate goal: to show forth His glory. We, in turn, are to make this goal our own, and to pursue it in all that we think, say, and do. Far from negating our freedom or pleasure, this goal establishes both. Because of who He is, there is no greater good than God. Therefore, we exist in order to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”