Our Faith

   Our hope and desire is for all people to love God and have a great relationship with Him!  Is it possible to see a vision of God as He truly is?  How Glorious, Holy, Gracious and Loving is Our God!  When we begin to see God as He is, we start to live as we are meant to live in Him.  Then we begin to experience both the blessings and the challenges of a life of faith in Christ.

   God wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him. God gives us this relationship through the grace and forgiveness brought to us through Jesus Christ.  God's free gift of His goodness to us and for us changes us from deep within by the power of the Holy Spirit.  God's Word is the infallible written form through which we learn of Him.  God's Holy Spirit convicts us, inspires us, changes us, and lives in us when we believe in Jesus.  As Jesus' disciples we are called to a life of love in God to love and serve those around us.
 
   Our lives in God are filled with God's presence, as we seek Him.  We are promised the comfort of a heavenly life with God when we die, and an New Heaven and Earth to live in throughout eternity.
 
   We believe in God's Word, and believe that we should be guided by it, but realize there are differences in understanding of that Word.  We hold to evangelical basics, but we believe there is room for a variety of experiences and a range of belief in our relationship with God where those basics are held.
 
   An evangelical Statement of Faith with Scripture references which represents the beliefs of most of our congregation follows:
 
 1. GOD: There is one God (Deut. 6:4) and He is Spirit (Jn. 4:24). God is the Creator of all things (Gen. 1-2). God is free from all limitations except those imposed by His own nature and character. God is supreme. He does not change (Mal. 3:6; Psalm 33:11). He is self-existent (Jn. 5:25) and eternal (Proverbs 8:23). God is also personal (John 3:16; Eph. 3:12). God is beyond our understanding -- beyond our mental grasp. All that we can grasp (imperfectly) is what God has chosen to reveal to us about His nature and character.  God is a relational God. God is the Ruler of all His creation and has a plan which has existed since before the beginning of time (Is. 40:10-18; Ps. 99:1-5). He is holy love (Lev. 11:44; 1 Jn. 4:8).
   God is good and righteous (Ps 89:14-15; 97:2). Because of his righteousness, God is a true judge for everyone who lives on the earth (Heb. 12:22-24; Ps. 75:1-7). God is a loving and compassionate God and longs for all to come and worship Him (1 John 5:7-8; Deut. 5:6-10). In light of His great love, God offers forgiveness to all who want to join with Him (Ex. 34-6-7; Col. 2:13; 1 John 1:9). When people obey his commands and seek to live under His direction, He blesses them (Gen. 12:2-3). God is a great and mighty God who is worthy of praise (Ps. 96:4-6). He is a God of mercy and peace (Rom. 11:28-32; 1 Thess. 5:23).

2. GOD THE FATHER. God is the Father of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31; Eph 1:3; Col 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3). In one sense, Jesus is God's only Son (John 3:16). However, God is also the Father of those who believe (Eph. 1:2; Php. 1:2; 4:20; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:3; 3:12-13). In a broader sense, God is the Father of all persons in creation and in providence (sustenance). (Acts 17:26-29; Matthew 5:43-48; James 1:17).

3. JESUS CHRIST, GOD THE SON. We believe that Jesus Christ is God's eternal Son. He is true God and true man; in Jesus, the fullness of God is fully revealed. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We also believe in His sinless life, His death to forgive all our sin, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, His priestly intercession on behalf of his people and His second coming. (Mt 1:18,23; Lk 24:1-8; Jn 1:1,14; Acts 1:11; II Cor 5:19-21; Heb 4:14-16; 7:24-25).

4. THE HOLY SPIRIT. We believe the Holy Spirit is a person and is fully God. The Spirit regenerates, baptizes into the body of Christ, indwells every believer, guides and empowers believers, and gives gifts to all believers to be used in ministry so that the church functions in line with the will of God. (Mt 28:19; Jn 3:5; 16:13; Acts 1:8; 5:3-4; I Cor 6:11, 19; Eph 3:16; 4:11-16).

5. THE TRINITY. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three personal manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity is fully God, sharing the same nature and attributes. (Gen 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Mt 3:16-17; 28:29).

6. THE WORD OF GOD. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The effect of this inspiration is that their writings, which make up the canon of the Old and New Testaments, are a record of a progressive, divine revelation. The Bible is the sole and sufficient rule for faith and practice.  No higher authority is needed nor should any be appealed to. However, those who seek to understand the Bible must rely upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 119:18; John 14:26) within the context of both the historic and contemporary Church.

7. HUMANITY. We believe God created humanity, male and female, in the image of God, with much that is good from God. But we also believe that human beings, as in the fall in Adam, have become sinners by nature and therefore in need of salvation. God loves us and will redeem all who call on Him (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7-3, 19; Rom 3:23; 5:12-21; 6:23).

8. SALVATION. Jesus came to earth to begin His Kingdom on earth (Luke 4:43). People are saved as they enter the Kingdom of God where all personal, social, economic, and political relationships come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (see Mt. 6:10). Salvation can be seen as having a past, present, and future reality. The past reality is the conversion in which an individual passes from spiritual death to life (John 20:31; Romans 6:4; Eph. 2:5). The present reality of salvation is sanctification, being made holy by God (Phil. 2:12-13; 2 Cor. 3:18). The future reality of salvation refers to the day when the promise of God's salvation will be revealed in all its wondrous glory. Our place and sons and daughters of God will be revealed (see Rom. 8:18-25), and we shall "obtain to the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21). In that day, there will be a new Heaven and a new earth in which there will no longer be evil, but only good (Rev. 21:1-4; 2 Peter 3:13).

Salvation carries with it profound social implications. Nothing is beyond the bounds of God's supreme authority and rule. God is Lord of individuals, of societies, of social institutions and structures, of human values and achievements (Matthew 5:1-12; 25:31-46).

9. THE CHURCH. We believe that the Church is the spiritual body of which Christ is the head. The true Church is composed of all people who have saving faith in Jesus Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit. This body expresses itself in local assemblies whose members have gathered themselves together to glorify God through worship and praise, Bible study, prayer, evangelism, personal witness, Christian education, discipleship, missions, and the pursuit of peace and justice. The ordinances of the Church are believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper. (Mt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:41-47; Eph 5:21; Col 1:18).

10. CHRISTIAN CONDUCT. We believe that the supreme task of every believer is to glorify God in his/her life. Believers should live blamelessly before God and be faithful stewards of their time, talents, monies and resources. They must seek to realize for themselves the full stature of maturity in Christ (1 Col. 10:31; Col. 1:28; I Tim. 6:6-9; I Pet. 1:14-15).