Rupertus Meldenius, seventeenth-century Lutheran theologian, wrote, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” There will always be peripheral doctrines upon which Biblically rooted and committed Christ followers disagree, and we welcome dialogue on many issues related to Christian doctrine. However, we recognize the importance of having a framework around which we grow in maturity and relate to one another as a community of believers, and we hold the following essentials to be at the core of who we are as a community of believers.
We define these beliefs as the main and the plain truths taught in the Bible.
We believe in one God who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is infinite which does not always make sense to our finite understanding. He is not limited by time or space. He is a creator, eternal, all knowing, ever present, and all powerful. His character is multidimensional, but no facet of His character diminishes another. In other words, His grace and wrath, mercy and justice, love and jealousy all work together for the good.
Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, worked miracles, and gave us an example to follow. Fully God and fully man, He died on a cross to pay the penalty for sin that separated us from God and rose from the dead to reconcile us to our Creator and to free us from sin in order to have a new life in Him. Now he sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us.
About the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is given to every follower of Jesus to guide, comfort, convict, and adopt us into the family of God. He enables us to grow into Christ-likeness by producing the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. He also gives us spiritual gifts to empower us to meet the needs of God’s people and to be witnesses to a hurting world.
About the Bible:
Comprised of 66 books authored over thousands of years by dozens of authors, the Bible tells one seamless story: a passionate God on a relentless pursuit to redeem His creation. It is the authoritative and inspired Word of God and is trustworthy and reliable source on what to believe and how to live.
We were created in the image of God to have community with Him and represent Him on earth. However, through a willful act of disobedience [of Adam and Eve], we were separated from Him. The Father sent Jesus to redeem us through an act of atonement which culminated with Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. This gave us the opportunity to trade our sins for His righteousness through faith. Jesus’ sacrifice is the only means for our salvation and reconciliation with the Father.
About Following Jesus:
When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, it ignites a spiritual chain reaction that produces evidence of our salvation. Our sins are forgiven, we are declared right before God, and we are given eternal life with Him. The Holy Spirit is given to us as an assurance of our salvation as we are adopted into God’s family and empowered to follow Jesus. This results in the evidence or fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It also results in us being empowered with the gifts of the Spirit to accomplish His will on earth.
The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized by being immersed in water. Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. It is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and it is a declaration to the world that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life.
The Lord’s Table consists of two elements: the bread and cup. Those elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings on the cross and a celebration of our salvation. It is an opportunity for a believer to examine oneself and repent in order to experience the forgiveness granted to us in the cross.
About the Church:
The Church is not a building or an event, but a community of individuals who have put their trust in Jesus Christ and are on a mission to accomplish His purposes on the earth. Those purposes include glorifying God, making Jesus known, making disciples of Jesus, and meeting the needs of those in our communities around the world. The Church is the Body of Christ, His representatives, and Jesus in the head of the Body.
About the Future:
At the end of all things, Jesus will reign eternally in the kingdom of God. He will judge His creation according to the character that has been revealed to us through His word with justice and mercy. Those who have found salvation through Jesus Christ will enjoy his presence forever; those who have not, will be separated from God for all eternity.