This doctrinal statement is a core set of beliefs. I understand these beliefs to be clearly taught in the Bible and widely held by Evangelical Christians across time and culture. While I affirm the historic creeds of the church I also recognize the fact that the way doctrinal issues are addressed may differ as time passes.
Agreeing with the doctrinal statement does not make one a Christian, and disagreeing with some aspect of the statement does not mean that a person is not a Christian.
I recognize that correct doctrine is not the source of life and cannot guarantee a faithful witness in the future. God’s Spirit is the source of Christian vitality and health.
Our identity as Christians is established not only by our confession of faith and affirmation of doctrines. It is also founded upon our personal encounter with the living Christ and our willingness to live lives of obedience to His Word. It is my intention that the following doctrinal statement clarify the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith.
I believe the Biblical story reveals life’s ultimate reality. The story comes to us in the Christian scriptures of the Old and New Testaments which I recognize as an authoritative revelation from God. This God reveals himself as one, loving, holy, eternal being in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God created the universe and fashioned all human life in His own image. Because all humans have failed to live up to the image of God within them, He sent his Son, Jesus as the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins taking the place of humanity, rose bodily from the grave, was exalted as Lord of the universe, and will return as Judge and Ruler. His salvation is offered to all by grace and is received through faith giving believers full forgiveness and a new heart empowering and motivating them through the Holy Spirit to love and serve God and all people. Looking forward to Jesus’ second coming as a blessed hope, we prepare to meet him by building communities of faith and faithfulness.
I. God’s Word
We believe that God worked through human authors and culture to uniquely inspire the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and that they alone are authoritative and without error as they speak to all matters of faith and life.
We believe that the Bible is the living and powerful Word of God in human language and its proper interpretation requires sensitivity to the indwelling Holy Spirit, the common usage of human language, and the historical perspective of the church.
I Pet.1:25; II Pet.1:21; Ps.119:11, 130; Matt.4:4; Rom.15:4; Eph.6:17; II Tim.3:15-17; Heb.4:12
II. God’s Nature
We believe that God exists as one, loving, holy, eternal being in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As Creator, Redeemer, and Lord, God is to be the sole object of people’s worship. God is the righteous judge before whom the whole world will give an account.
Jn.4:24; Ex.3:14; Heb.1:10-12; Jer.23:24; Matt.10:29-30; Mk.10:27; I Pet.1:15; I Jn.4:8; Matt.28:19; II Cor.13:14; Acts 17:30-31
III. God’s Creation
We believe that God through Christ, created the universe and that all human life is made in God’s image. We also believe that all humans have failed to live up to God’s holy standard and are sinners who do not deserve eternal fellowship with God but rather incur His just wrath.
As stewards of the planet and of life we are all accountable to God and bear significant responsibility for our relationship with the creation, each other, and God.
Gen.1-3; Ps.33:6; Jn.1:3; Col.1:16; Heb.1:2; 11:3; Rom.3:23; 5:12,18-19: 6:23; 7:14-15; I Jn.1:8;
IV. God’s Son
We believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, the only Savior, and the Son of God who is equal in essence with God the Father. He is truly divine and truly human.
Jesus Christ has existed eternally and is the creator of all things. He lived a sinless life, worked miracles, shed His blood on the cross for our sins taking the place of humanity, rose bodily from the grave, was exalted as Lord of the universe, intercedes as High Priest for His people, and will return bodily as Judge and King. He will resurrect the believer to eternal union with God and the nonbeliever to eternal separation from God.
Jn.1:1,18; II Cor.5:19; Matt.16:16; Jn.5:21-23; 14:7-9; Phil.2:7-8; Heb.2:14,17; Matt.1:21; 26:28; Mk.2:17; 10:45; Lk.19:10; Isa.53:5-6; II Cor.5:21; I Pet.3:18; I Jn.2:2; Rev.5:9; Acts 5:30-31; Eph.1:20-21; Heb.1:3; Mk.8:38; Acts 1:11; I Thess.4:16-17
V. God’s Spirit
We believe that the Spirit of Jesus calls us to faith in Jesus, indwells every believer at the point of “new birth” (conversion) and that the Spirit comforts, teaches, and empowers, every believer for faithfulness and fruitfulness as a part of “the body of Christ” the church.
The manifestation of the Spirit will always glorify Jesus but in different ways through different gifts and ministries. There is need to respect the full variety of gifts and ministries that exist in the church by the one Spirit. The manifestation of gifts and ministries are to be used to edify (build up) the body of Christ (the church) under the oversight of its elders.
Jn.14:16-18; 15:5; Rom.8:2, 9,15-16; Jn.3:5-6; 16:8, 13; Gal.4:6; 5:22-23; I Jn.2:27; Acts 1:8
VI. God’s Grace
We believe that all people have a sinful nature, are spiritually separated from God by sin, and are unable to merit through good work their salvation. Salvation from sin is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone.
Salvation by grace gives believers a new heart and is evidenced by good works. Salvation by grace provides - forgiveness of sin, deliverance from condemnation, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, entrance into God’s family, a righteous standing in the sight of God, and eternal life.
Isa.53:6; Jas.4:17; Rom.6:23; Jn.10:28; I Jn.1:9; Eph.2:8-10, 13; Rom.8:1; 10:9-10; II Cor.5:17; Jn.1:12; Mk.8:34-35; I Jn.3:18; I Pet.1:7-8
VII. God’s Church
The universal church is made up of all Christian believers in the world. The local church is intended to function as a dynamic expression of the universal church, and is to maintain a spirit of unity and cooperation with other Christian organizations.
The local church is designed to be a community of Christians and is to be characterized by worship, fellowship, teaching, and ministry to those in need. Individuals are to exercise spiritual gifts in the church, and the body should strive for unity and spiritual growth. The church’s witness in word and deed is to extend to both the local community and the world.
I Cor.12:12-13; Heb.10:24-25; Rom.12:4-5; Eph.2:14-20; 4:15-16; 5:23
VIII. God’s Ultimate Purpose
We believe that the final purpose of God will be realized in the physical return of Jesus to the earth followed by a resurrection of the dead and a judgment that will determine the final state of the living and the dead.
We believe that we are to look forward to Jesus’ coming as a blessed hope and be prepared to meet Jesus.
I Cor.3:12-15; 15:54-57; II Cor.5:6-8; Matt.24-25; II Pet.3:3-4, 8-10