What We Believe
STATEMENT OF BELIEF:
THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Bible 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. (Mark 13:31; John 8:31; 20:31–32; Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21).
We believe that there is one living and true God eternally existing in three persons who are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. (Genesis 1:1, 26; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1,3; 4:24; Romans 1:19–20).
GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit who is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, 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. (Matthew 23:9; Luke 10:21–22; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1–2; 2:5–6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6).
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son who was 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 visible return to earth. (Matthew 1:18–25; 20:28; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1,20–28,30–31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8; 6:9–10; 8:1–4; 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 7:25; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21–23).
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 every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; 16:9–14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22–26).
We believe that man was created by God in His own image, that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death which is separation from God, and that as a consequence all human beings are born with a sinful nature, are sinners by choice, and are therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit will repent, forsake sin, trust Jesus Christ as Savior, become new creatures, are delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life. (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 3:19; 5:2; Psalm 51:7; Proverbs 28:13; Ecclesiastes 2:11; John 1:13; 3:14,16; 5:24,30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Romans 3:19; 5:19; 8:1; 9:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:14; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 19:3,20; 20:10,14–15; 21:18).
We believe in the universal Church, a living and spiritual body of which Christ is the head, and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession 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. (Acts 1:8; 2:42; Ephesians 2:19–22; 5:19–21; Hebrews 10:23–25).
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men, that his conduct should be blameless before the world, that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. (John 14:15,23–24; Romans 12:1–3; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:6–9; Colossians 1:9–10; Hebrews 12:1–2; 1 John 2:3–6).
THE LAST THINGS
We believe in the personal 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 eternal joy of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; Revelation 20:4–6,11–15).
We believe marriage is a divinely designed biblical covenant between one man and one woman for a lifetime. This relationship is intended to represent the relationship of Christ and the Church (Genesis 1:27; 2:23, 24; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13–16; Song of Solomon 2:7; 6:1; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:4–6; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11; 7:1–16; Ephesians 5:22–33; 1 Timothy 1:9–10; Hebrews 13:4).
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Christian baptism is by immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior as well as the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
The Lord’s Supper (communion) is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming (Matthew 3:13–17; 26:26–30; 28:19–20; Mark 1:9–11; 14:22–26; Luke 3:21–22; 22:29–30; John 3:23; Acts 2:41–42; 8:35–39; 16:30–33; 20:7; Romans 6:3–5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23–29; Colossians 2:12).
By Gospel we mean the good news made available to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What makes this good news is that God accomplished on the cross everything necessary to rescue us from what we deserve. This reality makes change possible for us, but it also makes relationship available to us. We believe the Gospel is how we are converted as well as the means by which we continue in the faith. As flawed yet forgiven people, our desire is to subject everything in our lives to the truths of the Gospel. We believe this produces winsome, liberated, satisfied worshippers who love Christ and culture. Our desire is that in all things Christ would be preeminent, and we believe that the Gospel is the means by which this is accomplished.
We are all created in the image of God who, in his nature, is community. The biblical expression of God is the Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Spirit. The fact that God is a community of persons who live to love and give to one another speaks to the undying need for us to connect not only with God but also with others. Jesus knew this and even prayed for this on the last night of his life (John 17:20–23). Therefore, community is not just something that we “do” as a tack-on at the end of the day or at lunch (although that’s part of it). Instead, community is something that we intentionally pursue as something that is of the utmost importance.
Being missional is to be intentional. To act and react to those around us with purpose is at the heart of mission. Because our worldview is shaped by the lens of Scripture, we understand the mission field to be our backyard, the soccer field where our kids play and our neighbors driveway just as much as it is Haiti, Costa Rica and Romania. At the core of our mission is Jesus' charge to make disciples of all nations. Therefore, we engage the culture with redemption, not just relief, in mind. Participation in what God is doing in the world is something each of us has been empowered and equipped to do. Whether we pray, send or go, each of us plays a part in God’s story of mission.
When God set his affection on his people, he rooted this relationship in blessing. His words to Abraham were, “I will bless you, and you will be a blessing. Through you all the nations of the world will be blessed.” Because God has faithfully demonstrated this reality in our lives, we are now empowered with the privilege of being to others what God has been to us. Whether through our efforts to alleviate poverty, practice Spirit-led generosity or engage in international assistance, we take seriously the biblical mandate to be who the Bible says we are. All of these efforts are fueled by our desire to help others see God for who He really is and themselves for who they can be.