What We Believe
In all things, we strive to be:
- Biblically based
- Holy Spirit led
- Purpose driven
Practically speaking, this means we believe that God’s Word (the Bible) is the foundation for all things (Proverbs 30:5). We believe that God has given His Holy Spirit (the Advocate) to lead us into all Truth (John 16:7-15), helping us to understand God’s Word AND to put it into practice (Luke 11:28). We believe that God has created each person with purpose, for a purpose, and that each person’s “real life” is revealed through a true relationship with Jesus (Exodus 9:16 & Colossians 3:3-11).
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; 1 Timothy 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, corrections, and encouragement for every aspect of our lives.
Psalms 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25
The Purpose of Man
God needs nothing and no one. But because He is an ever giving, ever loving God, He created a beautiful world and unique beings capable of caring for the creation for His glory. We are those beings made in God’s likeness, and given the freedom to choose to know and to enjoy His presence and His love forever. God made the world and He made us for His own good pleasure and eternal glory.
General 1:26; Psalm 100:3, 119:73; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 43:7, Malachi 2:10
Satan, the devil, was once an archangel called Lucifer. But Lucifer chose to rebel against God, and he convinced one-third of the angels to join him in this hopeless rebellion. Satan and his demons are the Christian’s greatest enemies, and they continue to oppose God and His plans for humanity. God has chosen to allow the devil to remain on the earth until an appointed hour when he will finally be cast into everlasting punishment in hell. God has also given us power to resist the devil, and to destroy his works.
Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 25:41; Luke 10:28; John 8:44; Acts 26:18; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2-4; Revelation 12:9-11. 20:1; Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17-18
The Fall of Humanity
Adam and Eve were created good and holy, for God made them in his image and likeness. But when tempted by the devil to disobey God, they chose to believe the devil rather than their creator – and became sinners instead. Through their disobedience, sin entered the entire race – and we are all born sinners and enemies of God. The only hope we now have of restored fellowship with God is in Jesus Christ the Son of God, our savior and redeemer.
Genesis 1:27, 3:1-19; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus Christ, the God-man
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. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
Matthew 1:18-25, 3:17; John 1:1-14, 18, 33-34, 3:16-18, 15-13: Acts 26:33; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Philliplians 2:5-11; 1 John 1:7, 2:2, 3:8; 1 Timothy 1:15
The Salvation of Mankind
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 everchanging) 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; 2 Corinthians 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 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.
ohn 14:16-17, 26; John 16:7-15; Romans 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:7
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
This experience is the promise of the Father, an in filling and overflowing of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is an experience of empowerment, endowment, and impartation, in which the Spirit of God gives and releases supernatural gifts in our lives. It is sometimes accompanied by the gift of tongues or prophetic utterance. The baptism in the Holy Spirit produces boldness and releases power for life and service to the Body of Christ and to the world around us. This was a gift for all of us - both then and now.
Joel 2:28-29; Mark 16:17; Luke 24:49; john 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8, 2:1-4, 10:44-46, 19:1-6; 1 Corinthians 12-14
Baptism In Water
Believers are commanded to follow Jesus our Lord by being baptized in water. Baptism by immersion is the privilege and witness of those who have turned away from their sins and have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. In baptism, we declare that we have died with Jesus, that our old life is buried, and that we have been raised with Jesus to walk in newness of life.
Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 8:36-38, 10:47-48, 16:14-15; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12
Becoming Like Christ
The scriptures teach a life of holiness and right-living. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey the Word of God and not be dominated by sin. It is God's will and plan to conform us to the image of his son Jesus. As we grow in our relationship with God, our thinking changes, our hearts are purified, our character is transformed - and we start to look more and more like our heavenly Father and His beloved Son.
Love - The Law of Christ
Love is the bottom line of our bottom line. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will 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 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; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:10-18, 4:11-12
The Church of Jesus Christ
The word "church" means "called-out ones". Jesus came to save sinners and to call us into fellowship with Him as children of His kingdom. Wherever Christians gather to worship God, to work together for Jesus, to encourage and love each other - that is "the church." It is not a building, but a body - the Body of Christ. God joins individual believers together in smaller local bodies (also known as churches) where pastors and teachers and other leaders can help us to grow as disciples of Christ.
Matthew 18:20; John 17:17-23; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-28; Ephesians 4:4-6, 11-16; Hebrews 10:23-25
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 pot-luck dinner or pledging ourselves to a common creed - it is 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; 1 John 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 all 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; 1 Peter 3:15
The Lord's Supper
The symbolic meal we call "holy communion” was started by Jesus Himself, and we are called to share in it together until He comes again. The bread and the grape juice (or wine) are symbols of the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus Christ - memorials of His suffering and death on our behalf. All believers are encouraged to partake of this "supper" with reverence, thanksgiving and understanding, as we remember all that Jesus has done for us.
Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; John 6:48-58; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
God alone has the power to heal. Jesus said, "You shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." The practice of laying on of hands for healing is an active witness of the Lord's power and desire to heal. While no person can force God's hand, it is the privilege of all believers to love and pray for one another, knowing that we pray to a compassionate and healing God.
Matthew 8:16-17, 9:29; Mark 16:15-20; Romans 5:12, 8:2; Galatians 3:13; James 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24
We believe and preach 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; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 6:24-33, 23:23; Luke 11:42; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 7:6-8
The Second Coming of Christ
The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming back to earth again. Just as His disciples saw Him rise into the clouds toward heaven, so will He return at the hour appointed by the Father.
We believe in the resurrection of the dead in Christ and their transport together with those who are alive when Jesus comes again. This is the :blessed hope: of the church - and we look expectantly for that day. In the meantime, we are praying and working faithfully as we "wait" on the promised coming of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. For when He comes again, He will call us to Himself. We will see Him face to face, and He will change us and make us forever like Him.
Heaven and Hell
Heaven is a real place that God the Father has prepared for all those who love and follow His Son Jesus Christ. It is an eternal dwelling place for the adopted family of God - and there we will live forever with Him. In heaven there is no sin, no sorrow, no death. It is a place and an existence filled with purpose, power, righteousness, peace, joy and everlasting life in the presence of the Creator of all things.
But hell is also real. It was created as a final and everlasting place of punishment and imprisonment for the devil and his demons. It will also be the eternal home of those who choose to live their earthly lives apart from the grace, the revelation, and the love and lordship of God. It is described as a place of torturous sorrow, a lake that burns with fire and brimstone, an existence of darkness and weeping and wailing. God doesn't want anyone to go there, but He won't stop them if they insist on going. Jesus made a way out of hell - in fact, He is the way out. He alone is the door to Heaven. God leaves it in our hands to walk through that door - or not.
Mark 16:16; John 14:2-3, 6; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 19:20, 20:10-15, 21:1-3