WHAT WE BELIEVE IN 10 WORDS (OUR ESSENCE):
JESUS IS GOOD NEWS
THE CHURCH SHOULD LOOK LIKE JESUS
WHAT WE BELIEVE IN 10 POINTS (WHAT WE'RE ALL ABOUT):
1. Jesus Is Lord. Jesus is both fully God and fully human; he is our doorway to knowing, understanding, and experiencing both God as well as our true humanity. Jesus is the model and means for our reunion with God. Jesus is the authoritative living God to us, and we submit to him as his lifelong apprentices, commissioned ambassadors, and beloved friends. Through Jesus, we come to know the Father and the Spirit.
2. God Is Love. The essence of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is unconditional, selfless love. Because God is triune, three-in-one, God has existed as a perfect loving community, Father – Son – Holy Spirit, for all eternity. Everything God does is an expression of who God is, which is eternal infinite love.
3. The Spirit Empowers. The Holy Spirit guides us toward Jesus, grows the fruit of love in our hearts, empowers us for ministry, and distributes spiritual gifts and talents among the Church to help build up the Body of Christ. Through the Spirit, we have the mind of Christ, and continue to experience the presence of God at all times for conviction, confirmation, and comfort.
4. We Are Valuable. Humans are made by God for loving relationship with their Creator and with one another, and to responsibly steward creation. The first word that the Scriptures say about us is that we are created in the image of God, sons and daughters of the Divine. As Jesus’ parables of the lost coin, lost sheep, and lost son affirm, we have lost our way through our own sin and are unable to save ourselves. Jesus shows us a God who values us enough to become one of us, pursue us, and restore us to who we were made to be.
5. Something Is Wrong. Jesus teaches, history demonstrates, and experience affirms that something is deeply wrong. This world is filled with both beauty and horror, and humans amplify experiences of both. Jesus calls the corrosive force that separates us from God, from each other, and from our better selves, “sin.” Jesus came to heal our hearts, save us from sin, and show us a better way.
6. Saved By Grace. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God inaugurated the New Covenant (a new way of being in relationship with God and one another), and offers us eternal and abundant life now, all as a gift. In Jesus, God became human and did for us what we could not do on our own. God eternally became human so that humans could eternally enjoy life with God. In this New Covenant God gives all believers a new heart, a new spirit, and God’s own Spirit to change us from the inside out. This is pure grace, which we receive by simple faith, expressed in following the way of Jesus.
7. Faith Is Following. Christians choose to trust Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Teacher in life, through death, and into new life. In doing so, they repent (turn towards God) and away from sin in every area of their lives. We are not just believers, but disciples (learners) of Jesus, learning together how to obey everything he commands. A disciple spends time with Jesus, learning from Jesus, how to be like Jesus.
8. Scripture Is Inspired. The Bible points people to Jesus. The Bible, Old and New Testaments, is our God-given window to see Jesus most clearly, and is useful to equip us for living as his disciples. We believe in the divine inspiration and human writing of all Scripture, and we read and interpret the Bible together. The Bible can be interpreted many ways, and we believe that Scripture tells us to interpret it with Jesus as the point and with Jesus at the center. The Bible helps us know Jesus, and Jesus helps us interpret, understand, and apply the Bible.
9. Peace Is Pursued. Because we see Jesus’ life and teaching as God’s authoritative Word to us, we take his teachings about all things – including peacemaking, reconciliation, and forgiveness – very seriously. We seek to live peaceful, reconciled lives, to encourage other believers to do the same, and to actively extend the peace of Jesus to the world.
10. Citizens And Ambassadors. Jesus came to establish God’s Kingdom and he invites us to live in it now. This is a Kingdom that transcends land, laws, and languages; a Kingdom of our hearts based on loving relationships. Christ-followers are ambassadors on behalf of the Kingdom of God to all people, with church communities functioning as embassies to experience a small taste of what it means to live with Jesus as King. Our purpose every day is to accept God’s invitation to partner with Jesus and the Spirit to experience, express, and extend the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
WHAT WE BELIEVE MORE SPECIFICALLY (FOR THEOLOGY NERDS):
We believe that God is the creator of the universe. God exists eternally as one being in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are each fully and equally God, yet the three are always one in being, action, will, and character. This is the Trinity, a communion of perfect love, for God is love. Love requires a community of persons to give and receive love - to pour out their lives for each other even as they are filled by each other. A solitary God may be capable of loving those that are created, but only the Trinity can be love itself.
Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 4:8; Philippians 2:1-11
We believe that we are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like God in character. Male and female are equally created in the image of God, for God transcends human gender and is the source of male and female both. Although humanity has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by a nature and attitude of disobedience toward God called sin. Sin separates us from God, enslaves us, and leads to death.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2
About Jesus Christ:
Jesus is the special and ultimate revelation of God to us, and his teaching is the authority on who God is, how we should live, and how we interpret Scripture.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus temporarily gave up divine privileges to become human and live among us. As both God and human, he is the only person who can reconcile us to God. Jesus lived a sinless life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate his power over sin and death and release us from its bondage. He ascended to heaven's glory and will return again to forever end sin and death and to reign as Lord.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5 & 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Philippians 2:6-11, Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15-20
About The Holy Spirit:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ and empower people to live in love. He also lives in every Jesus-follower from the moment they accept Christ’s free gift of eternal life. The Spirit provides the Jesus-follower with power for transformed living, understanding of spiritual truth, use of spiritual gifts, and guidance in doing what is right. We seek to live by the Spirit’s leading.
II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13 & 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12 & 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
About The Bible:
We believe that the Bible is God's Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for a Jesus follower’s beliefs and living. The Bible is not a flat encyclopedia, behavior manual, history book, scientific treatise, or religious text. The context, genre, intended audience, theological issues, and author intention of each book matter. We do not seek to master Scripture, but to let it master us. We believe that the point of the Bible is Jesus Christ for us and revealed to us. Jesus is the infallible Word of God, and the Bible is the true, authoritative, and faithful witness to this Word. We therefore interpret the Bible through the lens of Jesus Christ.
John 5:39; Luke 24:27; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160 & 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
We believe that salvation (being rescued from sin and death) is a free gift from God to humanity. We can not escape sin by self-improvement or good works. By trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of release through Christ’s victory on the cross over sin and death, we are rescued from sin. Eternal life begins the moment someone receives Jesus Christ into his/her life by faith. We believe that the resurrection of Jesus is the first fruits of the new creation. We therefore believe in the bodily resurrection, the renewal of creation, and the marriage of a new heaven with a renewed earth.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6 & 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, Revelation 21-22
About The Church:
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ. The body should assemble together for worship, connect with one another over fellowship and prayer, and listen to God’s teaching to become conformed to the image of Jesus through the leading of the Spirit. The world will know we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.
John 13:35; Ephesians 4:4; 5:25-32; Matt. 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12,13: Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 2:41-47; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
We believe evil is a consequence of agents choosing against God and against love. We believe that Satan is the enemy of God, the accuser of humanity’s conscience, and the chief power behind the sin and disaster in the world. Jesus teaches that Satan is the ruler of this age and has influence in every worldly kingdom and system. However, he and his followers are destined for final defeat at the hands of Jesus Christ and will face everlasting destruction.
Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 4:5-8; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:14; Ephesians 2:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 20:10