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What We Believe

The Bible

The Bible is God’s written self-revelation to humanity. Inspired by the Holy Spirit and recorded by human scribes, the Bible has God as its author. As God’s word, it is living, active and powerful. It is the final authority on all matters on which it bears and the basis of our beliefs. It unveils the story of Creation, the Fall, God’s intervention in human history to bring fallen humanity back into relationship with himself, and future judgment and glory in the New Creation. Since the Bible is God-breathed, it is historically accurate, theologically complete and sufficient for us to know God, his purposes and his ways.

 

God

There is one true, living God, complete in all his perfections, lacking in nothing, unchanging in nature, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triune God is omni-competent, ever-present, and all-knowing (including future events and the hearts of men). The Father is Sovereign over the Universe, Creator, Ruler and Sustainer of all things. He is Father to all who believe and are rightly related to him through adoption by receiving his Son, Jesus Christ, and being reborn through the Spirit. God is good, and is the standard for all that is good in the universe. He is love. He is holy, holy, holy.

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the unique and only Son of God, eternally existing and equal with the Father and the Spirit, sharing all attributes and essence of Deity. He is the image of the invisible God. Through him, creation exists. He is the promised Messiah who fulfilled all that was promised of him by the Old Testament prophets. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless and perfect life, fully human and fully divine, died on a cross as our substitute to pay the penalty of sin for humanity, rose physically from the dead, ascended back to the Father and will return to Earth in a time of the Father’s choosing to consummate his Kingdom. Jesus Christ is the exclusive way to the Father.

 

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, eternally existing and sharing all attributes and essence of Deity with the Father and Son. He converts people to Eternal Life by convicting them of sin and convincing them of the truth of Christ, making it possible for them to repent and believe the gospel. The Holy Spirit regenerates and lives within every believer from the moment of new birth, gives them spiritual gifts to build his church and glorify God through service and mission, illuminates the Scriptures for our understanding, and empowers us to live as new creations according to the purpose and grace of God.

 

Creation and Humanity

The universe was created by the word of God. Adam and Eve were historical beings and the Fall was a historical event. Men and women are created in the image of God, thus they are unique in all creation as spiritual beings, made for special relationship to their Creator. Therefore, human life is sacred throughout all its stages and seasons. Due to the Fall, the entire human family is born in a condition of spiritual bondage and death called sin. Sin brought with it suffering, death and separation from God. Sin needs a remedy. Humanity is loved by God, who desires for people turn to him in faith and repentance and enjoy relationship with him. As image-bearers of the Creator and co-heirs with one another in Christ, men and women are of equal worth with complimentary roles and responsibilities within the family and church. Men are to lovingly and sacrificially shepherd their families as servant-leaders, and women are to enjoy the blessing of this gracious leadership through joyous submission and devoted love. Men and women are to honor, respect and love one-another as co-heirs of the blessings of eternal life, thus reflecting the glory of the relationship between Jesus and his Church in the gospel.

 

Eternal Life and Judgment

Jesus defined eternal life as knowing God, and it begins at new birth through the Holy Spirit. Eternal life is a free gift of grace provided by God though the finished work of Christ’s death and resurrection, apart from any good deeds done by us. It is received solely on the basis of faith: that is, repentance toward and belief in Christ as Lord. God chooses to save us on the basis of his grace, not any goodness on our part. From before the foundation of the world, God knows and loves all who are his in Christ, called his elect, and they are predestined to be transformed into the likeness of his Son. All people everywhere are commanded to repent and believe God, and are responsible and accountable to him, and all are without excuse. Our redemption is initiated and carried out entirely by God, and therefore our adoption is secure and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Those who receive eternal life will live eternally with God and enjoy him forever. Those who remain in their sins will remain separated from God forever in judgment. Heaven and hell are real places. There is no hope of eternal life outside of Jesus Christ.

 

The Church

The New Testament church is the Body of Christ and is not a building or religion. The universal Church (invisible Church) refers to all believers throughout the ages. The local church (visible church) refers to a localized group of baptized believers who worship together, serve together, study the Word of God, proclaim the Scriptures, observe the ordinances, discipline and nurture one another, and are united together through covenant and mission to engage the world with the gospel. The local New Testament church is autonomous and subject to Christ as Head of the church. The church is led by biblically-defined and qualified pastors (a.k.a elders or overseers) whom God has called and gifted to shepherd and equip the church for the work of ministry. We believe in the priesthood of all believers, meaning that every believer has direct access to God and his gifts. We also affirm biblical structure and authority as taught in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the Senior Pastor of the church.

 

Last Things

God, in a time and manner of his own choosing, will bring to an appropriate conclusion the end of this age. Jesus of Nazareth will return to Earth in majesty and power at a time of the Father’s choosing, will gather God’s children (both living and dead) to eternal reward, will judge the inhabitants of the Earth (both past and present), will establish justice and reign throughout eternity as King of kings and Lord of lords. We believe in the resurrection of the body and that Creation will be restored to the glory of God forever.