The Holy Scriptures
The Bible is God’s completely true and inspired Story about who He is, what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do. It was given by God to human writers and so reflects their backgrounds, styles, and use of language. The Bible is the final authority on all matters to which it speaks.
There is one God, who exists as three co-equal persons living in perfect community—Father, Son and Spirit. God created everything and sustains everything by His life. He is eternal, holy, always present, all-powerful, all-knowing, unchanging and full of mercy and grace.
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, became fully human when He was born to the Virgin Mary. He was fully human and fully God. He lived a perfect life in place of our imperfection. He voluntarily died on a cross to pay the price for our sins and then rose again thereby allowing us the possibility of a renewed relationship with God. He offers us full life by the promise of his own resurrection. He then ascended into heaven and today is our representative, intercessor, and advocate with God the Father.
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God. Yet, through Adam’s disobedience the race fell, inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God; man is born into sin and incapable of restoring the relationship through human means. Our one and only hope is Christ alone and his forgiveness.
Salvation | True Life
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Eph. 1:7, 2:8–10 | John 1:12 | 1 Peter 1:18–19
We are connected to God in only one way—by choosing to accept the offer of forgiveness and reconciliation God offers to us by Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. If we ask Him to, God treats us as if we were Christ, because of what Christ sacrificed for us. God’s gift of grace makes us His adopted sons and daughters. There is nothing we can do to deserve this life—it is all a gift of God, and our job is simply to receive it. When we do, God begins the process of changing our hearts and minds from the inside out and making our characters more and more like Jesus’. As we have been reconciled to God, we also have hope for being more fully reconciled to other people.
The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsibility to attempt to develop their sovereignly given spiritual gift(s). The indwelling of the of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We believe that Spirit Baptism is a second definite work of God in the life of the believer (Acts 9:1-7). We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are not essential to salvation, nor do they prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are an indication of deep spiritual experience (1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 13; Eph. 4:7–8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14, 15). We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him.
We believe that the Church, which is the body of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all persons who have received Christ’s gift of forgiveness. If we are in relationship with Christ, we are part of the Church. It is not somewhere you go, rather something that you are. The church is universal, but it is always expressed locally. The church is the visible and local demonstration of the new community Christ came to create. The Spirit leads our community life as we are devoted to worshiping God, understanding and applying the Bible to our lives, offering connection to others, living life together, serving our community, and using our Spirit-given gifts to serve Christ and others. The church celebrates the Sacraments (Baptism and Communion), which are gifts given by Christ and are experiences of his promise and his presence with us. The church is made up of imperfect people who are responding day by day in all their relationships to God’s stunning grace.
Water Baptism | An Ordinance of the Church
Water baptism does not impart salvation, but signifies an important spiritual transformation that has already taken place in the heart of the believer. Water baptism by immersion in water is commanded in the Scriptures (Mark 16:16). This act of baptism symbolically declares to everyone that the old sinful life and lifestyle of the baptized believer died with Christ at salvation and a new spiritual being (a new creature) has been raised with Christ to live a new life. We do not believe in the baptism of infants since there is no way an infant can make a conscious decision to follow Christ. Children and adults who understand the spiritual significance of their commitment to Christ are welcomed and encouraged to share this important spiritual rite.
Holy Communion | An Ordinance of the Church
The Lord’s Supper or Communion is a memorial of Christ’s suffering and death. This special rite consisting of bread and wine (the fruit of the vine/grape juice). In eating and drinking the symbols of Christ’s suffering and death, the believer expresses his awareness that through salvation he (1) has been made right with God and (2) shares the divine nature of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. The ordinance also looks forward to Christ’s Second Coming for it is a reminder to proclaim the Lord’s death “until He comes!”