What We Believe

What We Believe

The good news of God’s Grace is the hope that stands in contrast to the darkness of the world. The demonstration of this benefit is known as “The Gospel” and help us make sense of the metanarrative (big story) of history- Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Eternal Reconciliation. At the core of this stands Jesus Christ. His Life serves as an example for us, but it doesn’t culminate there. His Death offers forgiveness, His Resurrection declares His Authority, and His Ascension provides our hope for today and forever.

His Life, Death, and Resurrection are enough to satisfy the Holy Justice and Wrath of God. We look at this as substitutionary – He takes our place. We seek to keep the gospel as our center and our anchor. Our goal is to be committed followers of Jesus Christ, reflecting His Light into today’s world. Our statement of faith provides the foundation for our work.

STATEMENT OF FAITH

  1. THE WORD OF GOD

We believe that the 66 books of the Old and New Testament are God’s inspired Word (a).  The very words of the Bible will not fail.  It is without error in the original writings of the prophets and apostles (b).  It is God’s complete, written revelation to humanity.  It is sufficient and trustworthy for life, faith, conduct, and practice.  It is the supreme and final authority in all matters to which it speaks (c).  (a) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (b) 2 Peter 1:19-21 (c) John 17:17

  1. BIBLE INTERPRETATION

We believe there is but one true Scripture (a).  There may be several applications.  The true meaning lies in the text as God, through human authors, meant it to be.  It is understood through careful study of the context, words and grammar under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (b) and the community of born again believers in Christ (c).  (a) 2 Timothy 2:15 (b) 1 Corinthians. 2:12 (c) John 16:12-15

  1. GOD THE TRINITY

We believe in one God (a), Creator (b) and Sustainer (c) of all things.  He eternally exists in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (d), who are equal in all divine attributes and infinite perfection.  They work together harmoniously but distinctly, in creation, carrying out God’s plan unto redemption (e).  (a) 1 Corinthians 8:4; Deuteronomy 6:4 (b) Genesis 1-2; Job 38-39; 1 Corinthians 8:6 (c) Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:27 (d) Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2 (e) Ephesians 4:4-6

  1. GOD THE FATHER

We believe in God the Father: an eternal (a), personal Spirit (b).  He is infinitely perfect (c) in all His attributes (d).  We believe that He involves Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity (e).  He hears and answers prayer.  He saves from sin and death (f) all (g) who come to Him through Jesus Christ (h).  We believe He knows everything including the past, present, and future, independent of human decisions and actions (i).  The Father does everything in accordance with His perfect will.  Though He is in control (j), His sovereignty does not eliminate nor minimize the personal responsibility of Christ’s followers.  (a) Psalm 147:5 (b) John 4:24 (c) Matthew 5:48 (d) Psalm 139:4,8; Isaiah 5:16; Romans 1:20; 1 Corinthians 1:25; Matthew 19:26; 1 John 4:8 (e) Psalm 103:8-18 (f) John 5:24 (g) John 1:12 (h) John 14:6 (i) Daniel 2:20-22 (j) Psalm 135:5,6

  1. GOD THE SON

We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son come in the flesh (a).  He has precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection (b) as God the Father and the Holy Spirit (c).  He is fully God and fully man (d).  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  He led a sinless life.  He died in our place for our sins.  He was raised bodily from the dead (e).  He ascended into heaven where He intercedes for His people.  All believers, dead or alive, will be raptured prior to the tribulation.  We believe He will return from heaven, personally and visibly (f), before the millennium. 

(a) Galatians 4:4-5; John 1:14 (b) Philippians 2:6-7 (c) John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:15-19 (d) 1 Timothy 3:16 (e) 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; Romans 1:4 (f) Titus 2:13

  1. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the Holy Spirit who has the same nature, attributes, and perfection as God the Father and the Son (a).  He is a personal being (b).  He glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.  He applies Christ’s salvation to the lost (c).  He empowers believers for godly living and service (d).  He distributes at least one spiritual gift to every believer (e), as He wills for the common good (f).  Believers are baptized, sealed, and filled by the Spirit at conversion (g).  No gift provides authoritative revelation or confirming outward signs beyond what has already been revealed in the Holy Scriptures.  No new doctrine will be revealed to man other than what the Holy Spirit has already revealed in the Scriptures.  Life in the Spirit (h) includes trials and does not guarantee physical health or material wealth.  (a) 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 12:11 (b) John 16:13-14 (c) John 16:8; Titus 3:5  (d) Romans 8:9-11 (e) 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4,7,11; Romans 12:3, 6-8 (f) 1 Corinthians 12:7 (g) Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:13 (h) Revelation 22:18-19 (i) Galatians 5:16-25

  1. MANKIND

We believe God originally created persons, male and female, in the image of God and free from sin (a).  We believe all people are sinners (b) by nature (c) and choice and are therefore spiritually dead (d).  We also believe that those who repent of sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are totally forgiven (e) and made alive by the Holy Spirit (f).  We believe God established marriage to be a lifelong covenant relationship between one man and one woman (g).  Marriage as given by God is the only permissible context for sexual intimacy.  It is the foundation for the human family.  We believe that human life is precious from the beginning, at fertilization, until death when our spirit returns to God Who gave it.  (a) Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2 (b) Romans 3:23 (c) Romans 5:12; 1 John 5:17; Ephesians 2:1, 3 (d) Romans 6:23 (e) Ephesians 4:32 (f) Romans 8:1-4; 1 Peter 3:18 (g) Genesis 2:24

  1. SALVATION

We believe in salvation by grace alone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (a).  We believe that this salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God and was purchased by Jesus Christ by shedding His Blood on the cross (b).  It is received by faith (c), apart from any human merit, works, or ritual.  We believe salvation results in Spirit-led righteous living, giving, good works, and social concern (d).  (a) Ephesians 2:8-9 (b) Romans 3:20-26 (c) Romans 5:1-11 (d) 2 Corinthians 5

  1. THE CHURCH

We believe the Church is the spiritual body (a) of which Christ is the head (b).  We believe that the true Church is composed of all persons whom the Holy Spirit has made alive (c).  Believers will participate in local churches for worship, for teaching, for witnessing (d), and for service to glorify God.  Sacred ordinances of the church are believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper.  We believe in the mutual cooperation of local churches and the mutual submission of believers to each other in love (e).  (a) 1 Peter 2:5 (b) Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:5; 1 Peter 1:18, 19 (c) Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (d) 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 (e) Ephesians 4:25; 1 Corinthians 12:12-28

  1. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

We believe the local church is self-governing and should be free from interference by any church or political authority (a).  Every human being is directly responsible to God in matters of faith and life (b).  Individuals are free to worship God (c) according to their own Biblical convictions.

(a) Acts 4:18-20; Mark 12:17. (b) Romans 13 (c) Philippians 3:3; Hebrews 10:25

  1. THE LAST THINGS

We believe in life after death (a).  Those who die apart from the saving faith in Jesus Christ will be separated from God in hell (b).  Those who die having faith in Christ will have direct fellowship with God in heaven (c).  We believe that Jesus will return visibly and bodily (d) to the earth to destroy evil (e), to establish God’s kingdom and to usher in the new heaven and new earth (f).  (a) 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (b) Revelation 19:11-21 (c) 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (d) Matthew 16:27; Acts 1:9-11 (e) Revelation 20:11-15 (f) Revelation 21

  1. SATAN

We believe Satan is a fallen angel who led other angels in a failed rebellion against God (a).  Though he is working to pull as many people as he can down with him (b), Jesus has defeated Satan (c) and he must submit to God (d).  His destiny, along with his evil forces, is punishment and destruction (e).  (a) Jude 6-9 (b) 1 Peter 5:8 (c) Colossians 1:13; 2:15 (d) Revelation 12:9-12 (e) Revelation 20:10