What We Believe
The Bible was written by men and inspired by God. It is the revelation of God to people and by it we understand God’s purpose for us. The Bible has God as its author, salvation for its end, and is truth without any mixture of error. It is the standard by which all human conduct and religious opinions should be measured. (2 Timothy 3:16)
God is all-powerful, all loving, and all wise. He is the one true God and creator of all that exists. God is forever existent in three persons, yet being one God; God the Father, God the son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. God is Father in truth to those who become part of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God as a human being, born to the virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus completely revealed and accomplished the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with humankind, yet without sin, or any prideful separation from God. He honored God’s teachings by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of humans from alienation from God. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted with God where He is mediator for people. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate his redemptive mission.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God in His abiding, personal presence. He leads those separated from God to salvation through Christ. He lives in all believers, allowing them to walk with God forever from the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit cultivates God’s character in his followers. He leads believers to understand biblical truth, empowers them for godly living, gives them spiritual gifts and equips them to accomplish God’s purposes, the good of others and their own fulfillment. (John 14:15-21, 26; 16:5-16)
People were created by God in his image and are the crowning work of God’s creation. Part of being created in God’s image means each person has been endowed with freedom of choice. By that free choice each person has chosen self determination over God’s will and suffers alienation from God because of that self will. Being created in God’s image also means we human beings have built into our being the ability to respond to God. This potential to commune with God offers us hope for a better life here and eternal life hereafter. (Genesis 1:26-31)
Sin is any attitude or act that reorients one’s life away from God. Sin may best be seen as a direction of life into self and away from God. Therefore, the attitudes of human pride and self-sufficiency move us away from God and are sinful. Prideful acts are a symptom of that self-centered, or self-sufficient direction. The life of sin is the life lived without regard for the Creator’s desire for relationship and purposes for our life. (Romans 1:21-25) This life always leads to eternal separation (called, hell) unless the person responds to God’s invitation to a new and dependent relationship in Christ.
Salvation refers to being reconciled, or set into right relationship with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice to pay the consequences of our broken relationship. God’s gift of salvation involves the redemption of the whole being, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus’ action on our behalf. Salvation is a process that includes spiritual birth (or, theologically speaking, regeneration) e.g., John 3:16, spiritual maturity (or, sanctification), e.g., 2 Corinthians 3:18, and final blessed eternal state of the redeemed (or, glorification), e.g., Revelation 21:1-22:5.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water as a symbol of the believer’s faith in a risen Savior. The symbolic act represents the new believer dying to self (being immersed) and being raised to new life with the resurrected Jesus to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. Baptism also reflects the reality of the disciple now being ‘immersed’ in the resurrected life of Jesus and in the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:3-7)
A Church is a local body of believers who are joined in following Christ and expressing our faith. Believers who are joined together in a local church express their faith in Christ by practicing two specific expressions of our faith; baptism and The Lord’s Supper. A local church is committed to the teachings of Jesus, worshiping in Spirit and truth, supporting each other in every way, and helping all people grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. (Acts 2 42-47)
Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more like Jesus in our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Through this process the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and leads them to a greater sense of surrender to God and dependence on God. The growing disciple will experience changes in thought and action. (Colossians 3:1-17) The indwelling Holy Spirit leads the believer toward spiritual completeness, a process that is called ‘sanctification’. Sanctification pictures a person being transformed by the ever-increasing expression of God’s character in the disciple’s life. (Galatians 5:22-26) This process makes one holy, or a saint.