THINGS WE BELIEVE
"In the essentials we need unity, in the non-essentials we need freedom; but in all things we need love." -Rupertus Meldenius
Our core BELIEFS are intended to be a basis of FELLOWSHIP. There will always be peripheral doctrines that committed christians disagree upon, but the core beliefs of Christianity are non-negotiable.
THE BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD
The Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God, the only written revelation from God to human beings. The Bible is infallible and the authoritative rule of faith and conduct for mankind (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 & 2 Peter 1:21).
THERE IS ONE TRUE GOD.
God is called by many different names because of the different dimensions of His personality, but God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is super-dimensional and eternally self-existent (John 8:54-59). God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1 & 2). While God is one, He has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.
Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God. The Scripture declares his virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23), His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26 & 1 Peter 2:22 & 1 John 3:4,5), His miracles (Acts 2:22 & 10:37-38), His substitutionary death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21 & 1 Peter 2:24 & 1 Corinthians 15:4), His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:1-6 & 1 Corinthians 15:4), and His exaltation to the right hand of God, the Father (Acts 1:9,11 & Phil. 2:9-11)
THE FALL OF HUMANKIND.
Mankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 2:26). However, by a voluntary act of the will, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). That first sin had several repercussions. Adam and Eve were excommunicated from the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23), a curse was pronounced (Genesis 3:14-19), the process of physical death began (Genesis 2:17), and men and women died spiritually (Romans 5:12-19). Sin separated humankind from God (Ephesians 2:11-18) and left people in a fallen (sinful) condition(Romans 3:23).
THE SALVATION OF HUMANKIND.
The only means of salvation is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12 & John 14:6). He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins (1 Peter 2:24). He offers each of us a pardon for our sins (Hebrews 9:26) and wants us to become children of God (John 1:12). When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. We become the dwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). Our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 3:5). We become citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20-21). We are given eternal life (John 3:16). We are adopted and become children of God (Gal. 4:4-7). Our sins are forgiven and forgotten (Heb. 8:12). We are credited with the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:4-5). We are born-again (John 3:3). God takes ownership of us (1 Cor. 6:20). We receive an eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14 & 1 Peter 1:3-5).
The evidence of salvation is two-fold. The internal evidence is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The external evidence is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). We become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and are transformed into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH.
Baptism in Water - The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized by immersion (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. It is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It is a declaration to the world that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
Being Baptized Means You’ve Decided To Accept And Follow Jesus, And Are Ready To Declare That Decision Publicly. Water Baptism Is Kind Of Like A Wedding Ring: It’s An Outward Symbol Of An Inward Commitment To Something Bigger Than Yourself. It Shows We Identify With Christ’s Death And Resurrection Into New Life.
Your Decision To Be Baptized Is One Of The Most Important Decisions Of Your Life, Second Only To Your Decision To Follow Christ. It Is The Very First Thing The Bible Instructs Us To Do After Committing Our Life To Christ. Obeying In This First Step Of Following Jesus, Opens The Door For His Favor And Direction In Our Lives.
Communion - The Lord's table consists of two elements: the bread and cup. Those elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ's sufferings on the cross and a celebration of our salvation. It is an opportunity for a believer to examine themselves and remember the forgiveness available in Jesus. (Luke 22:19-20).
THE CHURCH AND ITS MISSION.
The Church has a Mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe that "the Church" is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God's offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-33; Ephesians 2:22; Hebrews 12:23). The church has a three-fold purpose: To evangelize the world (Acts 1:8 & Mark 16:15-16), to worship God (1 Cor. 12:13), and to equip believers for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16 & 1 Cor. 12:28, 14:12).
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The nine fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity. The gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body (1 Cor. 12:1-11). We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1), but they must be exercised in an orderly way (1 Cor. 14:26-33) in the context of love (1 Cor. 13:1-13). The baptism in the Spirit is a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service just as it did in the New Testament times. This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of salvation.
FUTURE HOPE AND JUDGEMENT.
(THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE THINK IT)
At some point, all believers and those who have died will rise from their graves and meet the Lord in the air (the rapture). Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever. Presently, Christ will return with his saints to the earth and rule over the earth for 1,000 years, establishing world-wide peace. There will be a final judgment for all, both those who have rejected Christ and those who have followed him. Each will be rewarded according to their works. Those who rejected Christ will be separated from him for eternity.
Scripture speaks of a perfect new heavens and new earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following his millennial reign on earth. See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Romans 8:23, Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (rapture); Zechariah 14:5, Matthew 24:27, Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7, Revelation 20:1-6, Isaiah 11:6-9; Psalms 72:3-8; Micah 4:3-4 (millennial reign of Christ); Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:11-15 (judgment); 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21, 22 (new heavens and a new earth).