What We Believe
Our beliefs are founded on Jesus Christ (God came among us) and the Bible (God gave us words to explain Him and the life He has provided for us). Both Jesus, by his visible example, and the Bible, with its explanations, have made God knowable in an intimate and personal way.
We believe all 66 books of the Bible originated from God. He revealed His words to mankind through human authors, using their unique personalities to express exactly what He desired to tell mankind. As a result, the Bible is God's absolute, timeless truth about who God is and how we ought to view and live life. There are no other words or writings inspired by God in this way.
We believe there is only one living and true God, who has always existed as the just and loving Creator, Sustainer and Ruler over all that exists. He has the power and authority to accomplish His purposes and will. He is one God who exists as three distinctive persons, Father, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit, functioning relationally in absolute oneness, humility and harmony.
As the just and loving Creator, one of God's designs was to have a personal relationship with the people He created. Unfortunately, at the beginning of human history, mankind chose to rebel against God and His design for a personal relationship. This "sin" has caused all mankind to experience the "fall"...the natural consequences of living life independently and separated from God.
God knew that because of mankind's rebellion, mankind on his own could never earn the right or rescue himself from the certain judgment of being separated from a relationship with Him forever. But God, because of His great love for mankind, made it possible for a personal relationship to be restored while at the same time meeting the just penalty each person owed for their rebellion.
Jesus Christ and Salvation
Jesus Christ as God came to live among mankind. He was miraculously born through the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully human. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father. Jesus voluntarily died on the cross to pay the penalty all men owe for their sin...death, even though He had no personal sin to die for Himself. Jesus was mankind's sacrificial substitute, paying the penalty for our sin. Therefore, God can and has offered complete forgiveness to any "believer" who would trust Jesus as God's loving provision for the penalty of their sin.
After Jesus' death, He physically rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven to rule with God the Father. As a result of what He accomplished and who He is, Jesus is the only One through whom mankind has direct access to God. All creation eagerly anticipates Jesus' promised return to earth where He will rule with justice and compassion and restore peace to all His creation.
The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life
The Holy Spirit as God works to limit the power of evil in the world and to help all people realize inwardly their need for the forgiveness and new life that Jesus has made possible. The Holy Spirit comes to personally reside within every believer at the moment they put their trust in Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives each believer supernatural abilities (gifts) to help them accomplish His purpose through them in the church and in the world. The Holy Spirit makes the Bible more understandable and applicable in the life of the believer. As a believer progressively learns to trust God with more and more of their life, under the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit, their perspectives, character and choices will increasingly be like those of Jesus. God uses many varied means, including suffering, to accomplish this progressive life-change in a believer's life.
All humans begin life at conception but will live from that point onward eternally. Believers, at death, will be received into the presence of God to live out that perfect relationship with God they were designed to enjoy. All who have rejected God, by rejecting His provision for their sin through Jesus, will suffer eternal separation from God and the life He designed for them originally.
By putting their trust in Jesus, all Christians become members of His earthly family, the Church. The Bible tells all believers, as part of His church, to come together in local groups (congregations)...
- to focus on and honor God (worship),
- to call upon God directly, by faith, to make a difference in and through them (prayer),
- to spend time together helping and encouraging each other in their faith (fellowship),
- to be taught in a way that helps them understand what God has said in the Bible (teaching).
- to make a public declaration of their faith in Jesus by being Baptized,
- to remember what Jesus has done for them on the cross through Communion,
- to serve other believers in the church by using their gifts
- to be sacrificially generous to accomplish God's work in and through the church, and
- to reach out with words and actions of love to all who have not yet put their trust in Jesus.
Members of each local congregation are led by those who meet the qualifications of church leadership explained in the Bible (elders),who are recognized as qualified by the congregation, and who are then appointed by the present leaders (elders).
Faith and Practice
We believe the Bible is the source of ultimate truth and the final authority in all matters that pertain to what Christians should believe and how they should live. In matters where the Bible is silent or not specific, Christians should seek timeless principles found in the Bible for their guidance, resisting the temptation to make the Bible say what they want it to say.