WHAT WE BELIEVE
Part 1. Revelation, Scripture, and Authority
We believe that God reveals himself in creation, in the Holy Scriptures, and most of all in Jesus Christ (Ps. 19:1-6; Heb. 1:1-2; John 17:17). We believe that Scripture originates with God. This means the Holy Spirit superintended the writing process so that the very thoughts God intended were accurately expressed through the human author’s personalities and writing styles (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). We believe the Scripture is truthful and trustworthy, and should be interpreted in context to ascertain each author’s intended meaning. Our present 66 book Bibles continue to be the authoritative instruction of God for the church and the world (John 10:35b; Ps. 19:7-11; Matt. 5:17-18).
Part 2. The Divine Trinity
We believe in Yahweh God, the three-in-one, infinite, personal spirit who created all things and who is the sole object of our worship. This one God exists in eternal relationship as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each identical in nature and equal in divine power. God is committed to loving relationships within the Trinity, with humanity, and creation. Towards people He is compassionate, patient, gracious, faithful, and forgiving, yet punishes rebellion against him (Ex. 34:6-7). He is also unlimited in time, space, knowledge, and power. Although distinct from his creation, he is actively at work in it, overseeing all things (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 139:1-16; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24; 2 Cor. 13:14).
Part 3. God the Father
We believe that God the Father is distinguishable from the Son as his head, yet sharing the same purpose (John 5:17; 10:30,37-38 ; 1 Cor. 8:6; 11:3).
Part 4. God the Son
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He became fully human, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order to redeem sinful humanity as God’s chosen Servant-Messiah (Isa. 52:13-53:12). He satisfied God’s standards by living sinlessly and dying on a cross as our substitute (2 Cor. 5:21). His Spirit-filled life shows us how we should live. He assured our redemption by his resurrection from the dead in his same, though glorified, body in which He was crucified (John 1:1-2; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Pet. 1:3-5). We believe Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is presently exalted at the right hand of the Father. He continues to serve his people as our head, intercessor, and advocate (Rom. 8:34; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2).
Part 5. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the transforming agent who makes possible Christ’s new life to all who trust in God. He baptizes them into the body of Christ, dwells within all believers, seals them for the day of redemption, and empowers them for everything needed to experience a brand new life and live out in community the good news of Jesus and his kingdom (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Gal. 5:22-25; Eph. 1:13-14).
Part 6. The Creation and Fall of Humanity
We believe that all human beings are uniquely created in the image of God. Since the first act of rebellious independence from God by Adam and Eve, we by nature became alienated from God, acquiring this same destructive disposition to seek to live autonomously from him, culminating in permanent estrangement, i.e. death (Gen. 1:25-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12-21; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
Part 7. Salvation
We believe that salvation is the gift of God offered to all humanity by grace and received through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation involves the forgiveness of sins, a qualitatively new life of following Jesus, and experiencing the blessings and empowerment of God’s kingdom both now and in the future. This life of trust is demonstrated in works pleasing to God (Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 2:11-14).
Part 8. The Church
We believe the Church is the spiritual community of all believers. Local gatherings of believers represent Christ’s presence on earth as they exhibit mutual interdependence through love for one another and embody Christ’s love to the world (1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27), thereby demonstrating the present reality of God’s kingdom.
Part 9. The World
We believe that God created the entire cosmos. We believe that the community of believers bears responsibility towards earth itself as stewards and caretakers, towards society at large through pursuing justice and serving the needy, and towards those not in relationship with God through both declaration and demonstration of the gospel and kingdom living (Gen. 1:28-30; Am. 5:14-15; Mat. 5:13-16; Acts 14:15; Jam. 1:27).
Part 10. Future Destiny
We believe in the physical resurrection of all humans: those who have already entered into trusting relationship with Yahweh will enjoy fellowship with God forever, while those who reject his gracious offer of life lived in trusting relationship with him now will continue in their separation (Mark 9:43-48; Rev. 20:15, 22:3-5, 11). We believe in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the hope of a glorious, new heaven and earth where redeemed humanity will dwell forever with God (Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:6).
Part 11. Implications
We believe that these statements of “What We Believe” are not just truth assertions for us to understand and affirm, but that they call for us to live them out faithfully. We do this by committing ourselves to regular study of the Bible, to prayer, and to worship. We further commit ourselves to prioritizing faithful, interdependent living in Christlike community with one another, seeking to encourage and to strengthen each other in love. We also dedicate ourselves to lifestyles which commend the truth and grace of the gospel to the world, reaching out with compassion to the needy both locally and globally. And we will seek to practice wise living as stewards of our time, gifts, resources, relationships, and the earth.