God is the Author and creator of the church. He is the foundation upon which it is built. The authority He gives to us for our ministry comes from the Word of God. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to the study of Scripture, submit to its teaching, and commit to do what it says.
The conviction that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation leads us to proclaim that Jesus is the center and circumference of the Christian faith. The function of this centrality for believers is that Jesus points beyond Himself to God, whom He reflects and embodies. Thus, Jesus is the revealer of God.
Without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit we cannot understand Scripture, produce lasting spiritual change, or live to the glory of God. So we affirm a deep need to commune with God through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, contemplation, celebration, scripture study and service.
We believe that every generation has a responsibility to those coming behind them to teach, lead and demonstrate the love of Christ. We are committed to strengthening the spiritual lives of families as they seek to become salt and light in their neighborhood. To accomplish these two tasks we pursue small communities dedicated to discipleship, which we call Life Groups. In Life Groups, we (1) open our hearts in transparent trust to each other (2) around the truth of God’s word (3) in the spirit of life-change accountability.
We believe that as God's people we are called to proclaim the Gospel in meaningful and relevant ways. By Gospel we mean the good news attested to in the scriptures. This Good News is threefold. First our lives are turned inside out in that the death and resurrection of Jesus paid the price for our sin and calls us to personal renewal through confession of sin and acceptance of Christ. Second our lives are turned upside down in that Jesus defeated the powers of sin and evil in this world and creates a community of believers who live with kingdom (not worldly) values. Third our lives are lived future to present; understanding that Jesus will return to complete the renewal of the entire material creation, an end toward which he invites us to participate. This Gospel calls us to preach the good news of redemption from sin, to live as Christ's body and to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world.
We believe all 66 books of the Bible are God-breathed, meaning they originated from God. He revealed His words to mankind through human authors, using their unique personalities to reveal the truth about God and His activity in the world. As a result, the message of the Bible is God’s absolute, timeless truth about who God is and is useful for guidance and correction in all areas of life. It provides the principles upon which God judges us and recounts the steps our loving God has taken to redeem fallen humanity. 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. (Ex. 24:4;Deut. 4:1-2; Matt. 5:17-18; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
We believe there is one and only one true and living God, who created the heavens and the earth. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, Sustainer, Provider, and Ruler of the entire visible and invisible universe. He has the power and authority to accomplish His purposes and will. He is one God, and yet three distinctive Persons:Father, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit, functioning relationally in absolute oneness, humility and harmony. The Father reigns with providential care over His universe and the creatures within it. He loves and cares for all humanity with a fatherly attitude. We believe God the Son reveals Himself to creation through the person of Jesus Christ. He existed as the Divine Word before the incarnation. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life according to God’s law and was sacrificed as God’s perfect plan to redeem humanity. After Jesus’ death, He physically rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven to rule with God the Father for all eternity. As a result of what He accomplished and who He is as God’s only begotten Son, 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 is the Spirit of God and moves in those who believe in Him. He comes to personally reside within every believer at the moment one places trust in Jesus. The Holy Spirit inspired humans to write the Bible and makes the Bible more understandable and applicable in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit also comforts the afflicted. The Holy Spirit convicts humans of sin and is sent as the Helper to enlighten believers and churches in the areas of worship, evangelism, and service. The Holy Spirit gives each believer supernatural abilities (gifts) to help believers accomplish His purpose through them in the Church and in the world. (Gen. 1:1; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 19:1-3;Eph. 4:6; John 1:1-5, 1:14, 3:16, 4:24; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 John 5:7; Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Psalm 51:11; Matt. 1:18; Luke 3:22, Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
The Human Condition
We believe that human beings, both male and female, were created by a special act of God, in His own image, and are the crowning work of His creation. God specified roles for both male and female, each beautiful, equal, and unique in their reflection of attributes about our Creator. As the just and loving Creator, one of God’s designs was to have a personal relationship with the people He created. Humans were innocent in the beginning, but brought sin into the world by rebelling against God, thus fracturing our relationship with Him. 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. Every person is guilty of sin and in need of redemption. At the same time, God’s workmanship is written on the deep fabric of every being in His creation, and each human yearns to be redeemed from this present state by our Creator. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for every person; therefore every person possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. (Gen. 1:26-30; 3; 9:6; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:23)
Salvation & The Christian Life
We believe that salvation involves the redemption of the whole person, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. Sinners are justified only by God’s grace and are made new creations by Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and set apart for all eternity. Those who are redeemed by Christ also become a part of God’s redeemed community, both past and present. 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. The regeneration of the forgiven takes place upon placing trust in Jesus Christ as the only possible solution to accomplish a full remission of our sins. Conviction by the Holy Spirit brings a sinner to have a repentant heart, thus beginning the process of sanctification. Those who have found His grace are to serve as a witness to this free gift and not judge those who have not found this saving knowledge. The only judge of the universe is found in the being of God, and believers should show the same grace that was so freely given to them. As believers progressively learn to trust God with more and more of their lives 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. Believers, at death, will be received into the presence of God to live out that perfect relationship with God they were designed to enjoy. (Matt. 1:21, 16:21-28; John 5:24; Rom. 2:4,3:23-25, 5:8-10)
We believe the Church is the physical presence of God in the world. 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 worship corporately, pray, fellowship, study Scripture, participate in baptisms and public professions of faith, celebrate communion, confess sins to one another, serve others using their gifts and care for those in need, and to go and make disciples of others throughout our city and the world for the glory of God. 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). (Matt. 28:16-20; Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-35, 6:1-7; 1 Cor. 11:23-26, 12:27; 1Tim. 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 2:27, 5:16)