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What We Believe

{ The Foundation of Our Community }

In Essentials,
Unity

The Bible

We believe all Scripture is self-attesting
and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The authoritative Word of God (the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments) is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Being uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, God’s Word is the infallible and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.

God The Father

We believe God is the eternally existing, infinitely perfect Creator and Sustainer of the universe. We believe He exists as one God, expressed in the perfect community of what we know as the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in Scripture’s declaration that “God is love,” and that the glory of His loving character necessarily includes (but is not limited to) His selflessness, holiness, purity, wrath, righteousness, grace, mercy, justice, goodness, etc.

God The Son

We believe Jesus was and is the one true Son of God, and the exact representation of the Father’s being. We believe He was – and is – both fully God and fully man. We believe He came to earth, was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary and lived a sinless life. We believe He died and was resurrected to reconcile all people to God and to free them from the power of sin and the devil. And we believe He will return someday to fully consummate His Kingdom.

God The Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is the gift of Jesus’ presence living in us, continually drawing us closer to God, transforming us into the image of Jesus, empowering us for ministry, convicting us of sin, encouraging us with what is true, and distributing spiritual gifts to His people as He sees fit. And we believe all followers of Jesus are to always seek to be filled with – and empowered by – Him.

The Fall of Man

We believe all people are guilty 0f sin, and are under its influence, in ways both seen and unseen. We believe our sin separates us from God, and we are all in desperate need of a saving relationship that reconciles us with Him.

Salvation

We believe our salvation is fully dependent on the work of God’s free grace, but also entails our responsibility to respond to His offer of forgiveness and reconciliation with Him, without allowing us to take any of the credit for that salvation. We believe all those who respond to this gift – offered only through the life, sacrificial and substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus – are made children of God, are adopted into His Kingdom family, and become heirs to the gift of eternal life in His Kingdom.

The Church

We believe that in its multitude and diverse expressions, there is one true universal Church of Jesus, consisting of all who have a relationship with Him. We believe its primary mission is to advance God’s Kingdom of light, love and life against Satan’s forces of darkness in this lost, hurting and broken world.

Baptism & Communion

We believe baptism and communion are the two specific ordinances given to us as part of Jesus’ new extended family, the Church. We primarily practice the form of believer’s baptism by immersion, and engage in a weekly celebration of communion for those who mark themselves as followers of Jesus.

The Great Commission

We believe our primary charge from Jesus is to make disciples who can make disciples, baptizing them into the reality of the Trinity, and teaching them to do everything He commanded.

The Second Coming

We believe Jesus will return – at a time of His Father’s choosing – to judge the living and the dead, and to set right all that has been damaged by the destructive power of sin, both in the lives of people and in the whole of creation itself.

Eternity

We believe all children in Jesus’ Kingdom family will be welcomed into an eternal existence of unimaginable depth, beauty and purpose in the life-giving and sustaining presence of the Trinity. And we believe all those who have chosen not to be a part His family will have their freely chosen decision honored, as God allows them to experience the pain, anguish and suffering of eternal separation from His presence.

In Non-Essentials, Liberty

A Word From Our Pastor

by Deacon Godsey

An oft-used phrase in Christian circles says, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” To the left, you see the list of historically recognized “essentials” of the Christian faith. To the right, you see our heart on how our perspectives on these things should be handled & lived out. Here, I want to take a moment to address some specific “non-essentials” I’m often asked about…

On a fairly regular basis I get asked for my views on a variety of “hot topic” issues which, though not historically considered “essentials” to the Christian faith, are still important to consider and discuss. And while I’m always happy to talk further, I’ve included a non-exhaustive list of these “non-essentials” here, addressing my thoughts in the following areas:

  • God’s creation
  • God’s sovereignty
  • God’s omniscience
  • God’s wisdom & compassion
    amidst suffering
  • Our free will
  • Our election & predestination
  • Our atonement
  • Our spiritual gifts
  • Our participation in spiritual warfare
  • Our participation in pursuing
    Kingdom justice
  • Our sexuality
  • Our marriage relationships

INTERNAL_TALL_Ephesians2

 

In All Things, Charity

Regardless of one’s views on these “essentials” or “non-essentials,” and regardless of one’s views on the finer points of doctrine surrounding them, we are absolutely committed to emulating Jesus’ ability to be full of grace and truth, and to practicing the Bible’s admonition to speak the truth in love.

We highly value our freedom to “agree-to-disagree” on the “non-essentials,” but equally champion the responsibility to “disagree agreeably,” and the need to reflect the heart and mind of Jesus, not only in terms of what we believe, but also in how we hold, communicate and live out those beliefs in everyday life.

INTERNAL_TALL_Cross

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son
he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.  We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic (universal) Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.