OUR CORE VALUES:
Here is the short version: Faith Elevated Love Extended.
We believe that you must have faith in Jesus Christ and because of that faith in Jesus you will lead a life of LOVE.
We believe the Bible is the perfect word of the living God and it provides us with a guide for all we do, all we believe and all we say. The Bible is perfect for it is inspired by God Himself and it is the final authority in every issue it communicates. The Bible is complete truth, and we can trust it for all matters in this life and eternity no matter what we are facing. Although the Bible was written by many different human authors, every word of the Bible was chosen by God Himself. God chose each human author as He communicated through the various individual styles and personalities of the writers themselves. Each human author was supernaturally guided by the Holy Spirit so as to prevent them from error. We believe that the Bible is our primary tool in leading people to understand who God is and to bring about personal life change. We desire every person who is involved in any aspect of our church’s ministry to verify whether our church’s leadership is teaching in accordance to the Bible. Our ultimate aim is to be faithful to the word of God and we will endeavor to faithfully preach and teach the eternal, life transformational truths of God’s word through our worship services, Sunday School, and small groups. We will use the Bible to constantly affirm God’s direction for our lives and our church. Using the Bible we will navigate through all of life’s challenges, and all of the cultural changes which we will face.
IN ESSENTIAL BELIEFS: WE HAVE UNITY
Our church’s aim is not to discover how little we can believe but rather to embrace and teach “the whole counsel of God.” Our aim is to encourage an enthusiastic loyalty to Biblical theology. We believe that Biblical doctrine stabilizes believers in Christ in a day when cultural confusion causes much havoc upon the church. Doctrinal stability also strengthens the church in her mission to meet the great systems of false religion along with the ever-growing Western adherence to material secularism. “There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV) “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17 (ESV) “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5 (ESV)
IN NON-ESSENTIAL BELIEFS: WE HAVE LIBERTY
We do not believe that all things in the following affirmation of faith are of equal weight as some beliefs are more essential than others. Neither must all of the following beliefs be believed in order for one to be saved. “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions….So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” Romans 14:1; 19-21 (ESV)
IN ALL BELIEFS: WE SHOW CHARITY
Lastly, we believe that the cause of church unity is best served, not by finding the lowest common denominator of doctrine around which we all can gather, but by elevating the value of truth, stating the doctrinal parameters of our church, seeking the unity that comes from truth, and then demonstrating to the world how Christians can love one another. “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2 (ESV)
God is the Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity). These three are co-equal and are one God. He is absolutely in total control of all things as He knows all things (past, present, and future) perfectly. God is altogether holy and glorious in all of His perfections. God is also loving and is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and has existed from eternity. Jesus lived a sinless human life and was conceived of the Holy Spirit to be born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly lived His life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of people by dying on a cross. Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God as these two distinct natures are inseparably joined together in Him without confusion or mixture. Jesus Christ endured the common problems that each person faces but preached and taught with truth and authority unparalleled in human history. He worked miracles, demonstrating His divine rights and power over all of creation: dispatching demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, stilling storms, walking on water, multiplying loaves and fish, and knowing what was going to happen before it happened including the betrayal by Judas (one of the twelve disciples) and the denial, restoration and eventual martyrdom of Peter (another of the twelve disciples). Jesus Christ suffered voluntarily and was crucified under the rule of Pontius Pilate (governor over Judea). He actually died, was buried, and on the third day rose from the grave. Christ arose from the grave both to bring worship to God but also to demonstrate His compassion toward sinners. During the next forty days after His resurrection, Christ demonstrated His resurrection in a compelling manner to as many as 500 witnesses. He then ascended into heaven where is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. Christ currently prays for His people and will one day place everything, including His enemies, under His feet. Because of Christ’s perfect obedience to God, His suffering and death secured forgiveness of sins and perfect righteousness for all who trust in God. This is true for those who lived both before and after the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died in our place, the just for the unjust. His death absorbed the punishment we should have received and removed any blame we had in connection to God’s law. Consequently, once we have trusted in Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins, God’s wrath is no longer a concern for us. Christ’s death is so wonderful that all people everywhere need to hear what God has done for sinners.
ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He has always been at work in the world: sharing in the work of creation, performing signs and wonders, empowering the communication of God’s spokesmen (prophets and apostles), and inspiring the writing of Scripture. He is currently present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ by pointing out their sin (conviction) and pointing them to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for evangelism, understanding of spiritual truth, revealing the beauty of Jesus Christ in the Word of God, and guidance for doing what is right. The Spirit of God transforms the believer through a process of growth which is often called discipleship or sanctification. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they come to trust in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. Without the work of the Holy Spirit no person would come to faith in Christ because each person is blinded to the reality of their own hearts and the beauty of Christ and His Word. The Holy Spirit aims to shine the spotlight of all He does on Jesus Christ.
ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God’s perfect Word to us as it is verbally inspired and totally without error in the original manuscripts. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It contains a total of sixty-six books of both the Old and New Testaments. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living as it is the final authority in testing claims for what is true and right in all matters. We should undergo a careful and deliberate process in determining God’s intentions in the Bible. Our limited abilities, traditional biases, personal sin, and cultural assumptions often obscure Biblical texts. We desperately need the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the right understanding of the Bible. We must also pray for God’s assistance to humbly apply God’s word once we have understood God’s intentions. All Scripture points to Jesus Christ Who is the focus of divine revelation. We do not believe that the King James Version is the only perfect record of God’s Word. The King James Version is a beautiful translation but we do not usually teach or preach from it because of its antiquated language and awkward syntax for the biblically-illiterate twenty-first century world. Our church employs the use of many different translations but labors diligently to use literal translations during the teaching times of our church. These would include but are not limited to the following: King James Version, New King James Version, New American Standard Version, and the English Standard Version.
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like God in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation as God created male and female. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” God created Adam and Eve morally upright and with responsibility of choice at the beginning of humanity’s existence but through the temptation of Satan, these first people disobeyed God and consequently fell from God’s perfect environment. The Bible calls this sin, and it is humanity’s open declaration of independence from God. This attitude separates people from God and causes infinite problems in life. When Adam fell, the posterity of all of humanity fell along with him. Humanity’s fall included the corruption, guilt, death and condemnation that accompany sin. Therefore all people are corrupt by nature, enslaved to sin, and morally unable to find life’s true purpose: the worship of God. Sin makes it impossible to overcome our self-importance as we prefer the fleeting pleasures of self-rule. God has subjected all of His creation to futility. The entire human family is made justly liable to untold miseries of sickness, decay, calamity, and loss. All the adversity and suffering in our world is but an echo and a witness of the exceedingly great evil of our human heart’s moral corruption. Each new day is a God-given merciful reprieve from God’s imminent judgment which points all of us to a moral turnaround (repentance).
We believe that by Jesus Christ’s perfect obedience to God and by His suffering and death as the Son of God, Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness of sins and the gift of perfect righteousness for all who trusted in God. Through living a perfect life and dying in our place Christ absorbed our punishment, appeased the wrath of God against us, and vindicated the righteousness of God in our justification. We believe that the atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons, so that to every person it may be truly said, “God gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.” We believe that in a free act of righteous grace God justifies the ungodly by faith alone apart from works, pardoning their sins, and reckoning them as righteous and acceptable in His presence. Faith is thus the sole instrument by which we, as sinners, are united to Christ, whose perfect righteousness and satisfaction for sins is alone the ground of our acceptance with God. This acceptance happens fully and permanently at the first instant of justification. Thus the righteousness by which we come into right standing with God is not anything worked in us by God, neither imparted to us at baptism nor over time, but rather is accomplished for us, outside ourselves, and is imputed to us. We believe, nevertheless, that the faith, which alone receives the gift of justification, does not remain alone in the person so justified, but produces, by the Holy Spirit, the fruit of love and leads necessarily to sanctification. This necessary relation between justifying faith and the fruit of good works gives rise to some Biblical expressions which seem to make works the ground or means of justification, but in fact simply expresses the crucial truth that faith that does not yield the fruit of good works is dead, being no true faith.
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.