What We Believe
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Statement of Faith
- God is more powerful, more loving, & much closer than we can imagine.
- The Bible is God’s perfect communication to humanity.
- Jesus is God expressing Himself to us.
- Through His Holy Spirit, God can dwell in & work through us here & now.
- Nothing in the natural world “just happened.” God made it all.
- Experiencing God’s grace by faith is the only way to have a relationship with Him.
- Evil exists because of sin. God can bring good, even out of evil events.
- God promises victory over sin & death to those who choose to trust in Jesus.
- Heaven & hell are real & eternal places.
- The Church is to serve & love people like Jesus served & loved people.
- Jesus is coming again to rule & reign.
In other words…
We believe in the eternal God, maker of heaven and earth. We believe He is expressed in the distinct personages of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe that God the Son lived a sinless life, willingly offered Himself as a sinless sacrifice and was supernaturally resurrected from the dead eternally. We believe in present and active work of God the Holy Spirit in both the regeneration of the soul and the operation of the gifts. We believe in accuracy and infallibility of the written Scriptures in regards to life, godliness and the knowledge of God, and we believe in the bodily resurrection from the dead as well as the eternal state of existence for all humanity (past and present), some to eternal life and others to eternal destruction.
* While there are many doctrinal issues that could be addressed in this document, we have chosen to address those issues which we believe are central to the message of the Gospel and central to the teachings of the historical Church and our local church.
Expanded Doctrinal Statement
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe and all created things. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are distinct in personage yet co-equal in power, authority and eternal existence and yet are one God. - Gen 1:1,26, 27; 3:22; Ps 90:2; Mat 28:19; 1 Pet 1:2; II Cor 13:14
ABOUT THE FATHER
God the Father is eternal, transcendent and spirit. Many of His distinct characteristics are visible in the New Testament description of His relationship to God the Son, Jesus. While co-equal in their eternal relationship, Jesus in His earthly ministry and humanity lived in perfect submission to the will of the Father. God the Father’s attributes are described in some of the following ways; eternal, giver of every good and perfect gift, consistent, unchanging, compassionate and tender, willing to chasten those He loves. - Jn 8:28; 10:30-38; Rom 6:5; II Cor 1:3; Heb 12:9; Jas 1:17; I Jn 3:1;
ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is God the Son and is eternally begotten of God the Father, born of a virgin and is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all humanity by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. - Mat 1:22, 23; Isa 9:6; Jn 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Heb 4:14, 15; 1 Cor 15:3, 4; Rom 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Tim 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13
ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make humanity aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also resides in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under the Holy Spirits control daily. - 2 Cor 3:17; Jn 14:16-17; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 2:12; 3:16; Eph 1:13; Gal 5:25
ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS
The operation of the gifts of the Spirit as enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12-14, as manifested in the early Church, are intended to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The Scriptural lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters. - Heb 2:4; Rom 1:11,12:4-8; Eph 4:16; II Tim 1:5-16; I Cor 12:1-31, 14:1-40; I Pet 4:10
Mankind is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God's creation. Although humanity has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called sinful desire. Sin separates humanity from God.
- Gen 1:27; Ps 8:3-6; Isa 53:6a; Rom 3:23; Isa 59:1, 2
Humanity was created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through salvation. To be eternally separated from God is to be in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. - Jn 3:16; 2:25; I Jn 5:11-13; Rom 6:23; Rev 20:11-15
Salvation is a gift from God to humanity. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin's penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into their life by faith. - Rom 5:1, 6:23; Eph 2:8, 9; Jn 1:12; 14:6; Titus 3:5; Gal 3:26
Water: water baptism is an ordinance (signs/observances) through which the believer publicly confesses their faith in Jesus Christ by obedience to this command. - Mat 3:11; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:26; Mat 28:20
Holy Spirit: “filled with the Holy Spirit” often referred to as “baptism in the Holy Spirit”, is an ongoing empowerment by the Holy Spirit, made available to all believers who ask for it. - Acts 2:1-13; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9; Eph 5:18
Communion, along with baptism, is one of two ordinances (signs/observances) given directly by Christ. (Matt 28:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26) When we join together for the “Lord’s Supper” we celebrate the sacrifice of Christ and anticipate the return of Christ. We believe that communion is a symbolic act that by faith commemorates real events and embraces the presence of Christ in a unique way. Communion is to be taken by the believer and in a “manner worthy” of Christ. - Mat 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25
ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God's Word to all humanity, written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of our understanding of God, truth for life, purpose and eternity. Inspired by God, the Bible is truth without any mixture of error in its intention or message. - 2 Tim 1:13; 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20, 21; Ps 12:6; 119:105,160; Prov 30:5
ABOUT THE CHURCH
The Bible tells us that the Church collectively is the physical representation of “the body of Christ” in the world today. The New Testament tells us the local church is comprised of “born again” followers Christ who regularly gather together. The head of the Church is Jesus Christ. The biblical purposes of the Church include things such as; worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and compassionate care for others. Support for the ministries of local church is to be accomplished through the joyful, sacrificial, generosity of its local members. Part of God’s design is that these funds be distributed by the local church for the work of the ministry and distribution to places of need.
- Mat 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41, 42, 47; 5:11-14; Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2; 3:16; Eph 1:22, 23; 4:11-16; Phil 1:1; Col 1:18; 1 Tim 3:1-15; 4:14; 1 Pet 5:1-4; Mat 23:23