OUR ESSENTIAL BELIEFS
AS A CHURCH WE VALUE
God is the Creator of all. He is one God and has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal, having the same attributes and perfections and are one God. (Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Deut. 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2: II Corinthians 13:14).
THE BIBLE (THE SCRIPTURES)
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be verbally inspired and the final authority for faith and life. The Bible is God’s Word to us. It is inerrant in the original writings and is truth, without error. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. (II Timothy 3:16, 1:13; II Peter 1:20, 21; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who became man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He lived a sinless life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people, accomplishing our redemption through his death. Our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. Jesus ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, he fulfills the ministry as Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. He will, again, return to earth to reign as King. (John 1:1,2, 14; Luke 1:35; Acts 1:9,10; Romans 3:24, 8:34; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; I Peter 1:3-5, 2:24; I John 2:1,2)
The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every believer from the moment of salvation and provides him with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in living rightly. He gives every believer spiritual gifts at salvation. As Christians, we seek to live under His control at all times. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a post-salvation experience that gives a believer power to be an effective witness and signifies a complete surrendering to God. Spiritual gifts are placed in the individual members of the church for the purpose of strengthening the body. The fruit of the Spirit is the natural outgrowth of God’s grace in the life of a believer. The Holy Spirit has not ceased functioning. He is active in the lives of believers and in our world (John 16:8-11; II Corinthians 3:6; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18).
SIN AND HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God in order to be like Him in character. Humans are the object of God’s creation and affection. Every person has a wonderful potential for good but, since disobedience entered the human race (through Adam), we are flawed by an attitude of disobedience toward God, called ‘sin.’ Sin separates us from God and keeps us from our full potential as humans and as friends of God. Sin displeases God and will destroy our relationship with Him. Jesus sacrificed His life to free us from the guilt and penalty of sin and to restore our broken relationship with God (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6, 59:1-2; Romans 3:23).
Salvation is a gift. We can’t earn it. We can’t buy it. God has given Salvation to us because He loves us and desires relationship with us. His grace has made it available and it may be received by faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot pay for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Trusting in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved from the penalty of sin. When we turn from our life of self-trust and self-rule, and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life (John 1:2, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 6:23, 10:9,10; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5, Galatians 3:26).
The church is not a building. The church consists of all people who have trusted in Jesus Christ, who have received salvation through faith in Jesus, and who now have a relationship with God. The church is the ‘body of Christ’ and is the representative of Christ in the world. There are many ‘local’ churches but only one universal church (Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22,23).
We are created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence (John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; I Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15).
The importance of God’s Word, the Bible.
Before Jesus went back to heaven, He instructed His followers to “Go and make disciples of all nations”, baptizing them and teaching them to observe His ‘life instructions.’ We find those instructions in the Bible.
Being relevant, while living in a society that pressures us to be something less. As the world changes around us, we must keep learning to approach others in a way that they can understand, yet, without compromising the faith. In other words, methods may change over time, but the awesome message of Christ remains the same!
Life is lived in relationship and we are committed to fostering healthy and vibrant relationships… in the family of God and with those outside. How can we share the joy we have in Christ if we don’t have ‘outside’ friends with which to share?
Serving God by serving people.
Jesus told us that greatness comes through serving and loving others. God has fashioned each of us and has given us special gifts and opportunities to serve that strengthen His Kingdom. Through service, we honor God, we enjoy greater closeness in our friendships, we grow in our faith, and we make our world a better place, all at the same time!
A life seasoned with prayer.
Prayer is a major communication link with our Creator. Prayer allows us to share our deepest thoughts and desires with God and to hear His voice in an intimate way. Through prayer, we receive guidance, reassurance, and closer fellowship. When we pray together, our personal relationships even take on a new dimension. Prayer produces good things.
A Spirit-led life.
Although some believe the Holy Spirit is far from our reach, we understand that God, the Holy Spirit, is vital to our daily experience.
Our lives are to be influenced strongly by God’s Spirit to the point that we can say that we ‘walk in the Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit is the source of our strength that gives us the ability to ‘be a witness’ and to share God’s love.
We believe worshiping God is an everyday thing. A living faith in Jesus is a 24/7 journey. Consistency in our daily experience reveals to others that our faith is real. We try to live with passion. Our passion for life reveals our passion for God. When we live in a way that pleases Him, our life is worship.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be effective witnesses for Christ. Sharing the love of Jesus is really important to us. When Jesus told us to go and make disciples, He was telling us to share His story with the world so they, too, will believe and have true fulfillment in life.
In all our values and beliefs, it is of utmost importance to show the love of God. Love is supreme. Without love, our work is in vain, our professions become profane, and our beliefs are meaningless.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:2)
When people come together from various backgrounds and cultures, there is certain to be differences in thought and faith. We choose to emphasize the basics of Christian faith to find our common ground.
In essentials, we choose unity (Ephesians 4:4-6). In non-essentials, we choose liberty (Romans 14:1,4,12,22). In all our beliefs, we choose charity (I Corinthians 13:2)