What We Believe
This Statement of Faith describes our core beliefs as a church. There is nothing new or revolutionary about them. As you read through them, youíll see that they are right in line with historical evangelical Christian theology. The word evangelical shows that the primary, authoritative source of our beliefs is the Holy Bible. With the Bible as their source, these essential or core beliefs are non-negotiable, unwavering commitments. For many years, Christians have disagreed over issues for which the Bible does not give specific direction. We leave non-essential beliefs up to the freedom of the individual. As a church, we focus on the essential beliefsóthose with clear, biblical support.
The foundation for our faith is the Bible, which we believe contains everything a person needs to know to be in relationship with God. The Bible, comprised of 66 Old and New Testament books, describes Godís initiative in drawing us back into relationship. Inspired by God, the books of the Bible were written by human authors, and contain their own individual styles, backgrounds, and cultural inflections. However, we believe that the Scriptures are the unique authoritative source for matters of faith and practice. No other writings are so inspired by God.
We believe in the triune God who exists in three separate persons; God the Father as Creator, Godís only Son, Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior of the world, and the Holy Spirit as the Counselor and Sustainer of life. All three are distinct, but inseparable, forming a perfect and eternal relationship of love. This relationship models love and community for us as followers of Jesus. God showed power, wisdom, and creativity when God made everything that is seen and unseen. God shows sovereign might today by sustaining everything and continuing to fulfill the divine plan of redeeming all of creation through His love and grace.
Jesus is the eternal second member of the Trinity. He was both fully God and fully human and lived a perfect life, always loving perfectly. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary. Through his voluntary death on the cross Jesus paid in full the debt of our sin, and bridges the gap between God and people for everyone who believes in him. After three days, He rose from the dead and now serves as the mediator between God and people, continually interceding for those who belong to Him. It is through faith in Jesus and choosing to follow Him that we receive salvation. The Bible promises He will return one day to fulfill Godís plan of complete restoration of Godís perfect design for all of creation including the general resurrection of the dead.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, is in the world reminding us of our need for God, nudging us to relationship with God through Jesus, and empowering us to live Godís way. The Holy Spirit is constantly present to us providing comfort, strength, and encouragement. The Holy Spirit also enables the understanding and application of the Bible and gives unique, individual spiritual gifts to build up the church and facilitate ministry in the world. As we choose to yield to the Holy Spiritís leading and shaping influence, the result is authentic fruitócharacter and behavior aligned with Godís design.
The Good News of the Bible is Godís unmistakable pursuit of all people, urging them to enter into a new-life relationship made possible through Jesus Christ. Originally created to live in perfect harmony with God, we choose to go our own way and became separated from God. All of us have suffered the same fate of turning from God, experiencing separation, and being unable to restore that relationship by ourselves. Therefore, salvation is an act wholly initiated by God that is not added to or improved by any act of human goodness or kindness. We are saved by Godís grace through faith in Godís Son, Jesus.
Godís desire is to be in a permanent love relationship with every person. Because God gives us a free will, it is possible for us to reject having a relationship with God and be forever separated from Godís light and love, a reality the Bible names hell. We believe that when Jesus returns a general resurrection of the dead will occur where those who accept Godís offer of never-ending life will live with God on earth with creation restored to Godís original intention.
Once we begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, we become members of Christís bodyóthe Church. The Church universal is comprised of all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Bible paints vivid pictures of what believers are to do when we gather: worship, pray, encourage, teach the Bible, serve and love each other through our creative giftedness, share communion and baptism (the two sacraments of the church), and reach out to the world. When this happens the church functions as a healthy organism. The Church is called to be not a fortress, where people hide away from the world, but a powerful, Spirit-driven force God can use to change the world. As such, all are welcome.
Baptism and Holy Communion
In the sacrament of baptism, we are initiated in the universal body of Christ, forgiven of our sins, and given new birth through water and the Spirit. When we receive Holy Communion, bread and juice symbolizing the body and blood of Jesus, it is a means of Godís grace, and represents our desire to live together in community. The sacrament of Holy Communion is open to any person who seeks to turn toward Jesus and experience His grace.