What we believe

We stand in a strong tradition of Christian belief which is simply expressed in The Apostle's Creed; one of the earliest and most widely held statements of doctrine in the church. 

To go a bit deeper - we are a Gospel-centered family who believe that God has revealed himself through his written Word, the Scriptures, and his incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. The best way to discover how these beliefs shape the life of our church is to come get to know us!


THE GOSPEL

The main theme of the entire Bible is the Gospel. Gospel means “good-news”. The Good-news is that God rescues and restores his people from sin and death through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in our place. In Christ he welcomes us home. Jesus died to pay, a life for a life, for our rebellion against God, He rose three days later conquering sin and death, and He works in us through his Holy Spirit to adopt us and give us the fullness of life that God intended. One day God will restore and renew all of creation once and for all and “everything sad will become untrue”.  The Gospel teaches that though there is nothing we can do to work our way to God, he has worked his way to us. Because of the Gospel we are invited into his family to glorify and enjoy him forever!


THE TRIUNE GOD

We believe in one God; who has existed from eternity past in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is infinitely perfect both in his love and his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration from everyone.  He sustains and sovereignly rules over all things and brings about his good eternal purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.  (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 145:3; John 1:3; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 10:31; Ephesians 1:1-11; Colossians 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 1:17)

GOD, THE FATHER

We believe in The Father; who is fully God and who, by his word, created the world out of nothing.  He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass.  His nature and character is the ultimate standard of goodness, beauty, and truth. He concerns himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity; hears and answers their prayers; and by His unfathomable grace, authored salvation and gave his Son, Jesus Christ, for humanity’s redemption. (Matthew 23:9; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:16; 6.27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1-2; 2:5-6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6)

GOD, THE SON

We believe in The Son; who is fully God. He is the divine Word who is co-eternal and co-equal in divinity to the Father. He came to earth in great condescension, born of the virgin Mary, to pursue people like us. He is know henceforth as Jesus the Christ (Redeeming One). Jesus is fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect life on earth in fulfillment of God’s law and covenant. He accomplished salvation by shedding his blood in death upon the cross as a substitution for sinners. By his life and death in our place, he revealed divine love and upheld divine justice, removed our guilt and reconciled us to God. He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over satan, sin and death. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He mediates for His people and awaits his visible return to earth to fully and finally make all things new. Jesus is Lord.  (Isaiah 53:10-12; Matthew 1:18-25; 20.28; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1, 14; 20:28, 30-31; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 3.13; Ephesians 1.4; Hebrews 1.1-3; 1 Timothy 2.5; 3.16; 1 Peter 2.21-23)

GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the Holy Spirit; who is fully God and co-eternal and co-equal in divinity to the Father and Son. He is sent by the Father and the Son to dwell in and with God’s people.  Through the proclamation of the Gospel, he persuades people to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ and to one-another, gives them transformed hearts, empowers them for righteous living, and gifts them for powerful and effective ministry. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word as revealed in the Scriptures. (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9, 14-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 1:13-14)

REVELATION & THE SCRIPTURES

We believe God has graciously disclosed his existence and character in creation, in his inspired and inscripturated Word, and in the the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. His natural revelation in creation is seen and known by everyone, everywhere, in every time.

We believe that the written Word of God, the Scriptures, are the grounds for a full knowledge of him.  He inspired the men who wrote and preserved the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. These writings alone constitute the inspired Word of God, which is authoritative for all of life, is without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of God’s will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in it's authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing God’s truth exhaustively, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s truth truly. (Psalm 19:7; Mark 13:31; John 20:31; Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21) 

IMAGO DEI

We believe that every human being is created in the image of God, and therefore carries the inherent value and dignity of God’s design. We believe that the variety of human cultures on earth is a beautiful expression of God's character. Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected not only to offer humanity the gift of eternal life, but also to shatter every division—social, political, economic, or racial—which would separate us as people.  We affirm that God’s consummated Kingdom will be a place of rich diversity and cultural expression. The church is called to be a community that reflects that present and future Kingdom in the way we love and value one another. (Gen. 1:26, Gen. 9:6, Ps. 8, 1 Cor. 15:49, Eph. 2)

FALL AND SIN OF HUMANITY

We believe that God made man and woman in His own image, as the crown of creation, that they might have fellowship with Him. However, they willfully sinned against God leading to physical, spiritual, and eternal death; becoming subject to divine wrath; and are under the dominion of sin and Satan.  As a result, all human beings are born with a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and are sinners by choice. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:1-7, 19; 6:5, 12; 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; John 5:24; Romans 3:9- 20; 9:22; Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:14-15; 1 John 3:14; Revelation 21:8)

PLAN OF REDEMPTION

We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty people from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and pursued them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe the Gospel.

(Duet 7:7; Isa. 44:1; John 6:44, 15:16; Rom. 8:28-30;  Eph. 1:1-11; Col. 3:12, 1 Pet. 1:1-9)

REPENTANCE AND FAITH

We believe that salvation is conditioned upon genuine repentance and faith, which follow upon God’s drawing through the Gospel. Repentance occurs when, by the Holy Spirit, a person is made sensible of the evil of his sin, detests and forsakes it, humbles himself and endeavors to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ and accepting and resting upon Him and his grace alone for justification and eternal life. It is accompanied by all other saving graces and leads to a life of holiness. (Proverbs 28.13; Matthew 3.8-10; Mark 1.15; John 3.16, 36; 5.24; 6.40, 44, 65; Acts 2.37-38; 11.18; 13.38-39; 17.30; 20.21; Romans 2.4-5; 3.21-28; 4.1-5; 4.17-25; 10.3-4; 2 Corinthians 5.21; Philippians 1.29; Ephesians 2.8-10)

JUSTIFICATION

We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of the guilty. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification. (Rom. 3:28, 4:3-5, 5:1, 11:6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:16, Eph. 2:8, Phil. 3:9)

SANCTIFICATION

We believe that Sanctification is the both a permanent act whereby God declares his people to be holy by way of their union with Christ, and a process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness throughout our lives.  In this, we believe sanctification is is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means,- especially, the Word of God, self-examination, spiritual disciplines, confession, worship, and prayer. (John 17:17, 19; Romans 12:1-2; 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 1:4; Philippians 1:9-11; 2:12-13; 3:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23; Hebrews 2:11; 6:1; 7:1; 10:10; 12:10; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:29)

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

We believe that those whom God has accepted in Christ and sanctified by His Spirit will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace but shall certainly persevere to the end and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (Jeremiah 32:40; Matthew 13:20-21; John 8:31; 6:66-69; Romans 8:28-39; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:12, 18)

THE CHURCH

We believe in the universal Church, the living spiritual body of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. This universal church is manifested through local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The autonomous local Church consists of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, who have given a credible profession of faith and have covenanted together for worship, edification, discipline, fellowship, and spreading of the Gospel.  The Church can only be healthy if it is committed to the mission of God which has been entrusted to her.  (John 10.16; Acts 1.8; 2.42; Ephesians 1.22; 2.19-22; 4.11-16; 5.19-21, 23; Colossians 1.18; 3.16; Hebrews 3.13; 10.24-25)

SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local Church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are both a sign and a seal of the believers inclusion into the New Covenant in Christ. Baptism is obligatory upon every believer, wherein a person is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of their fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a pledge and renewal of their communion with Him and with each other. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.(Matthew 26.26-29; 28.18-20; Acts 2.38; Romans 6.3-5; 1 Corinthians 10.16-17; 11.23- 31; 12.13)

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to do good to the world, for the glory of God who is King over the nations. Recognizing whose created order this is, and because we are citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God.  The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates the world through lives changed by the Gospel. (Ps. 45:6, 89:19-37, 2 Sam. 7:16, Isa. 32:1, Matt. 4:17, 5-6, 16:19; John 18:36; Rom. 14:17, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 3:27-29)

THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS

We believe in the personal, visible and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the consummation of his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal delight of those in Christ and the eternal death of those who reject him.  On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the triumph of Christ, with all sin done away with and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be with his people and they will be enthralled by the immediacy of his beauty.  All of the new heavens and new earth will be to the enjoyment of the new humanity and to the praise of God's glorious grace.  (Matthew 16.27; 25.31-46; Mark 14.62; John 5.28-29; 14.3; Acts 1.11; 17.31; Romans 2.6-11; Philippians 3.20; 1 Thessalonians 4.15; 2 Timothy 4.1 8; Titus 2.13; 1 Corinthians 4.5; 15.12-28; 2 Corinthians 5.1-10; 2 Thessalonians 1.7-10; Revelation 20.4-6,11-15)

 

* Our Confessional Statement is an adapted articulation drawn from The Gospel Coalition.