WHAT WE BELIEVE
The One True God
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent, self-revealing “I AM”, and has further revealed Himself as three persons in one (the Trinity) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
[Exodus 3:13-15; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 40:10-31, 43:10; Matthew 28:19; John 14:9-10; 1Timothy 6:14-16]
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, revealing the will of God. It is totally and absolutely trustworthy in all that it says. Its pages are filled with wisdom, counsel, correction, and encouragement for every aspect of our lives.
[Psalms 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 2Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1Peter 1:23-25]
We believe that Jesus, the “second person of the Trinity”, is God and was with the Father eternally. He came from Heaven to Earth to save sinners and destroy the works of the devil. While He lived among us, He showed us the love, the will, and the character of God the Father. He became human, being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Born like us, He lived a life just like ours (but without ever sinning), and willingly gave up His life on the cross as the supreme sacrifice for our sins. His blood was the payment for our sin-debt, opening the way to eternal life. He died, was buried, and rose from the grave on the third day.
[Matthew 1:18-25, 3:17; John 1:1-14,18,33-34, 3:16-18, 15:13; Acts 26:23; 1Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Philippians 2:5-11; 1John 1:1, 2:2, 3:8; 1Timothy 1:15]
Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost – and we are all lost in our sins without him. Apart from Jesus, we are condemned to an eternity without God. It is in Christ alone that we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, and adoption into the eternal family of God. Salvation was provided by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but it is entirely up to us to accept and receive this salvation “by grace through faith”. We do not deserve and cannot earn salvation – it is a free gift of God. To receive this gift, we must turn from our sins and surrender our lives to the will and word of God. We must trust and obey Jesus. The inner proof of our salvation is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit to our spirit that God is now our Father and we are his beloved children. The outward proof is a changed (and ever-changing) life, lived in glad obedience to the will of God by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
[John 3:16-17, 10:9-10, 14:6; Luke 19:10; Acts 4:12; Romans 8:16,29; 2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 4:5, 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8; Hebrews 2:11]
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the “third person of the Trinity”, is God with us and in us, an ever-present help in all we do. It is the Holy Spirit who first speaks to our hearts and convinces us of our sinfulness and our need for salvation. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us new life when we call on God to save us. He leads us. He teaches us. He gives us power to love and obey God. He opens our eyes to spiritual reality and eternal truth. Just as Jesus came to do the Father’s will, now the Spirit is here to work in and through us to accomplish the will and purposes of Jesus on the earth.
[John 14:16-17,26; John 16:7-15; Romans 5:5; 2Timothy 1:7]
Love is the bottom line of our bottom line. Jesus said that if we love him, we would obey his commandments. And his number one commandment is that we love one another. Love is the calling card of the Christian; our hallmark, our heritage, our badge, the proof of our sonship with God, and our strongest weapon against Satan and sin. Without love, all our words and works are worthless. But when we love (and we are commanded to love even our enemies!) Jesus promises that the world will sit up and take notice. He said that our love for each other will actually cause unbelievers to know that the Father sent his Son to save us all.
[Matthew 5:43-48, 19:19, 22:37-39; John 13:34-35, 14:15, 15:12-17; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:22; 1Corinthians 13:1-13; 1Peter 1:22; 1John 3:10-18, 4:11-12]
The Fellowship of Believers
Each local church is a spiritual family where the followers of Jesus can be established and grow in practical, accountable, and loving relationships. Fellowship, at its heart, is much more than a potluck dinner or pledging ourselves to a common creed – it is a family. Shared goals, shared cares, shared vision, shared faith – a shared life. Jesus didn’t come to establish a religion, but to start a family- and the fellowship we have with one another is a blessing, a gift, and an absolute necessity for spiritual life and health. And this fellowship is a living bond that unites believers everywhere, no matter what our denominational or spiritual heritage. God’s kids are God’s kids. Period.
[Ephesians 3:14-21, 4:17-32, 5:1-21; Colossians 3:12-17; Hebrews 13:1; 1John 1:7, 5:1-2]
The Great Commission
The last commandment that Jesus gave his followers before ascending into heaven was this: “Go everywhere in the whole world, and tell everybody the good news of salvation. Challenge people of every nation to follow me. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And teach them everything I’ve taught you. Miracles will happen as you go, and I will be with you always, even to the very end.” We are called to be witnesses of the good news. We are all called to be ready to tell others about the hope that is in our hearts. Together, we must continually reach out to the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
[Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-18; John 17:18; 1Peter 3:15]
We believe and teach the giving of ten percent of one’s gross income to the local church for the continued work of the kingdom of God. Abraham paid tithes before the Old Testament law was given, and Jesus affirmed this practice in the New Testament. He said it is more blessed to give than to receive. God knows how tightly our hearts are tied to our pocketbooks, and He has given us this test of our faith for our own soul’s good. Faithful and glad tithing demonstrates God’s ownership in our lives and helps to shatter the idols of materialism in our lives. God’s promises of prosperity and blessing are linked very closely to our obedience in the tithe, and he honors our obedience with a remarkable outpouring of provision from heaven.
[Genesis 14:20, 28:22; Leviticus 27:30; 2Chronicles 31:5; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 6:24-33, 23:23; Luke 11:42; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 7:6-8]