We are glad you are looking at the details of what we believe! We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to churches– and making the choice based on how the Bible is taught is a very good idea. Below is a summary of what we believe and teach. We are humble enough to accept that not everyone in our church family is going to be exactly in agreement in all of these beliefs, but we have enough clarity in these areas that we will consistently teach them and look for leaders who do.
Perhaps best summarized by the Apostles Creed:
- We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
- We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Perhaps best summarized by by the three Latin solas: sola scriptura, sola fide, and sola gratia:
- The Latin “Sola scriptura” means scripture alone. It was the declaration that the Bible was the authority, not church traditions. The Bible is inspired by God, without error and is the source of truth. It is properly understood in a plain normal “literal” sense, keeping in mind the grammar, original language, and culture it was written within.
- The Latin “Sola fide” means faith alone. It was the declaration that faith was the one and only means of receiving the free gift of eternal life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How we define faith is important: Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that Jesus Christ delivers us from condemnation and guarantees our eternal life.
- The Latin “Sola gratia” means grace alone. It was the declaration that grace was all that was needed– we do not contribute to our justification by our good works. Either beforehand to earn it, nor afterwards to keep it. The Grace of God in justification is an unconditional free gift. The Gospel of Grace should always be presented with such clarity and simplicity that no impression is left that justification requires any step, response, or action in addition to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was not until the restoration of national Israel in the mid-twentieth century that many would believe completely what the prophets spoke of in detail. In addition God has been actively stirring the church to remember its original calling and mandate: to make disciples of the world.
- While the reformers saw election as referring to justification, a great privilege to be thankful for, the Bible presents election differently. God does not elect us to privilege per se, but to a task, and that task generally has to do with vocation and His mission to bless the whole world. Believers are elect “in Him” (Ephesians 1:4), we share in Christ’s election corporately. We were chosen “in Christ” to accomplish good works” (Ephesians 2:10) and to be God’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our election is vocational. We are called to love our neighbors and do good to them.
- The church did not replace Israel, rather God put the prophetic timeline on hold during this age of Grace. (Romans 11:25-28) The Bible and its prophets teach a coming Tribulation for the whole world and Israel. The church has the blessed hope of escaping that time of wrath which is commonly referred to as “the Rapture. After which there are seven years of Tribulation culminated by the Second Coming of Christ followed by His Millennial (1000 year) Reign, and then the final Judgment.
Postmodernism, questioning sexual identity, gender, and the meaning of marriage are all recent issues that the Bible speaks to:
- Jesus makes a radical claim in John 14:6– “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”. The postmodern world says there are many ways to God; but there is only one way: Jesus. The postmodern world says that truth is relative; but it is definite and found in the Word, written and made flesh. The postmodern world says life is all about “me”, but life is really all about loving God and others. (c.f. Matthew 22:35–40).
- God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27.) Marriage has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18-25.) God intends sexual intimacy to occur within marriage. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4.)