What We Believe
We believe that Jesus has eternally existed as the Son of God. As a part of the narrative story of God's redemption, Jesus became human. In other words, God became one of us. The church describes this as the Incarnation. The redemption narrative, which we call the Bible, continues as Jesus not only becomes human, but is born to a virgin and lives a sinless, perfect life on earth, allowing him to make right everything that had been done wrong in Adam. Jesus chose to die on a cross as a sacrifice for the penalty that should have been ours and his resurrection three days later made new life possible for us in this life and the next. What Jesus did during his time on earth and the character of his being provides a consistent reminder of what we should be about with the rest of our lives.
How do I begin a relationship with Jesus and receive this new life?
By simply placing your trust in Jesus and what His death and resurrection made possible for you. We believe that when we begin that relationship, the Spirit of God enters our being - the Bible calls Him the Holy Spirit - and He not only becomes our guide, but He continues the process that began at our point of belief - moving us from a life of sin to a life where we resemble the person of Jesus Christ.
We believe that God has eternally existed. God himself shows us his desire for relationship by being relational in Himself. The Godhead consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each part of what we know as the Trinity has distinct personal attributes, but these do not divide the nature or essence of God's being. Being created in God's image means that God is in himself relational and that He created man to be in relationship with Himself
In our worship celebrations or gatherings, as some people call them, there are two recurring symbols: baptism and the Lord's Supper. In Scripture, baptism followed the decision of a person to surrender one's self to God for salvation in Jesus Christ. Through public immersion, we announce our commitment to the church and our desire to live a life following the example of Jesus Christ. In the Lord's Supper, we celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, through which we have the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that this meal is a memorial to that sacrifice. We do not subscribe to the idea that Christ is present in the elements themselves, but we do believe in the presence of Christ with and in His church as they share this meal as His body. Both of these are important symbols that refocus us on the center of our lives: Jesus.
We believe that God created man in the image of God. Because of this, each and every human being possesses great dignity and is worthy of our respect and love. God confirms his love for each and every person when He sent His own son to die on the cross so that we might be able to be in relationship with Him through salvation in Jesus. In Genesis, God created man to rule over the earth; therefore we are stewards of the earth and the resources it contains. We believe that we will be held accountable for that stewardship, along with the stewardship of our gifts, talents, and the provision God makes in our lives on a regular basis.
About the Church:
The church has never been, nor will ever be perfect. However, its shortcomings cannot deter us from our purpose as God's primary instrument of change in the world. We know that we were designed for community with other people, and the place of greatest community in the world should be the church. The church is not a corporation or a massive company. It is a new humanity created by the resurrection of Jesus Christ that expresses itself as a community of faith in Christ. The Scriptures describes it as a body or a family. Our church takes seriously our role to serve our community, impact our world and exist as a place that offers people hope and purpose, even as we challenge people to discover and live a Christ-centered life.
Below is a more in-depth Doctrinal Statement:
Section A: The Word of God: We believe that the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, 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 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
Section B: The Trinity: We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection; and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 1:10-12; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2).
Section C: God, the Father: We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe 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 (John 3:16-17, 4:23-24; Revelation 4:8-11).
Section D: 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, premillennial, and imminent return for His church (Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:35; John 1:14, 8:58; Acts 1:9-11; 10:37-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 1:7; 2:1-2; Revelation 3:10, 19:11-20b).
Section E: 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 all believers in Christ and that He is their abiding helper, guide, teacher, seal, and interpreter of the Word (John 14:26, 16:8-11, 13-15; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:14-17; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; Ephesians 1:13-14).
Section F: Humanity: We believe humanity, male and female, was created in the image of God. By Adam's willful sin, the human race incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. Consequently, all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are therefore under condemnation (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 3:10-23, 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:1-3).
Section G: Regeneration: We believe that all who repent of their sins and by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God eternally (John 1:12-13, 3:3, 16-17; Acts 20:21; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:4-10; Titus 3:5-7).
Section H: The Church: We believe in the universal church, a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and all regenerated people are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible confession 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 5:22-32; Matthew 16:16-18, 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-47; James 1:27, 2:14-17).
Section I: 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 (Romans 14:1-15; Colossians 3:17; Philippians 2:14-16; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16).
Section J: Ordinances: We believe the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the triune God, symbolic of our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. We believe the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for believers in commemoration of His death on their behalf. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until Christ's return (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32).
Section K: Religious Liberty: We believe that every individual has direct access to God and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith and that each church is independent and autonomous and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. Therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other (Acts 4:19; 5:29; Romans 13:1-7, 14:5-12; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
Section L: Church Cooperation: We believe one way that local churches can promote the cause of Jesus Christ is by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization. Such an organization exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation by each church is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. Churches may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary basis (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 8:18-19, 23).
Section M: The Last Things: We believe in the personal, premillennial, 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 everlasting joy of the saved, and the endless suffering of the lost (John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10; Revelation 1:7, 20:1