The Essential Truths We Believe
“For what I received, I passed on to you as of first importance.” I Corinthians 15:3
In order that we may wisely preserve and pass on the heritage of sound doctrine and principles of Christian living entrusted to us;
To ensure order in the church by sound principles and government;
To prepare the way for presenting Christ to the world;
To cooperate with other branches of the church in the advancement of God’s Kingdom, we join the consensus of the Christian church through time by holding to these truths:
We believe the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God. It is completely truthful in all it affirms and has authority over all of life. It culminates in the revelation of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.
God the Father
There is only one living and true God, the maker and preserver of all things. In the unity of this Godhead there are three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - all of whom are one in eternity, deity, and purpose; everlasting, of infinite love, power, wisdom, and goodness.
The tri-unity of God reflects his saving plan through history: God, the Father for us, in the fullness of time, sent God, the Son, into the world to be with us (i.e. Immanuel). Jesus Christ, the Son, through His death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father, and in cooperation with the Father sent God the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and restore us to His likeness.
God the Son
Jesus Christ is God, who came to earth in human form - conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life of love and obedience to the Father, yet voluntarily suffered rejection, was sentenced to death by Roman crucifixion, was dead, and buried. He was declared with power to be Lord and Christ through His physical resurrection from the dead and His ascension to heaven. He lives today to intercede for His church and prepare for His return to earth. He will appear in bodily form to bring an end to human history, to bring judgment to the world, and establish his Kingdom of righteousness and peace for all eternity. All of humanity will someday bow and declare that Jesus is Lord. He is the Savior of the world, whose death alone has served as a full and perfect sacrifice in our place to purchase favor, mercy, and forgiveness for our sins and to bring us back to God.
God the Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the administrator of God’s saving grace and power through Jesus Christ. He sustains us and lovingly works to bear witness to Jesus. He convicts us of our sin and our need for God. He comes to dwell in the heart of every believer, bringing comfort and assurance of salvation and unity to the church, the Body of Christ. He breathes power and wisdom into the church to bring us all to maturity, righteousness. and fruitfulness in bearing witness to Christ to the world. By His power those who believe will be raised with Christ and will live forever in glory.
God created us in His own image as morally free beings. He made us in His likeness, with all the capacity to know Him and enjoy Him forever, yet also with the capacity to reject Him. Through the rebellion of the first humans, Adam and Eve, the human race suffered separation from God and enslavement to sin. We remain as fallen beings, yet we also remain as the objects of God’s mercy and grace. God so loved the world that He sent His only Son into the world to take on our human nature in order that those who believe in Him could be restored to His likeness, to His perfect holiness, and to His eternal purpose.
We believe that God, in His great love for all people, provided the ultimate sacrifice for sin in His Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation can come through Christ alone. No other satisfaction for sin is possible. No other sacrifice for sin is necessary. God’s saving work is all encompassing. God’s saving grace is extended to all. In Christ, and through the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit, we are saved not only from the guilt of past sin, but from the power of present sin, as well as the presence of future sin. To be saved is to be reconciled to God, to be perfected in holiness as He is holy, and to enjoy Him forever.
We can know we are saved by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. The growing believer experiences a change of appetite, an increased hunger for the things of God, a deepened sensitivity to sin, a confidence in God’s love, and a greater freedom to love God and others.
The Church is the Body of Christ in the world, the visible representation of God’s coming Kingdom of righteousness, justice, and peace. Our local church is one visible outpost of this greater worldwide movement of God. We are a covenant community of worshipers who share a common mission - to proclaim to the world that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who has come into the world. We observe the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism as commanded and practiced by our Lord.
How the Story Will End
Human history will end at the physical return of Jesus Christ, who will come to bring judgment on the world, defeat sin and death, and establish His righteous and peaceable Kingdom forever. At the final judgment, those who have rejected Christ and who follow evil will be separated from God into eternal condemnation. Those who receive Christ as Lord and Savior will spend eternity in the joyful presence of the Lord. Our eternal destiny is determined by our willful response in this life.