Before you read What We Believe.
Belief is important for people. It helps determine how we try to act. And conversely when we take a look at the actions of our lives it helps to reveal what we truly believe. If you are coming from a background that is foreign to God or to church, then we hope that as you process our beliefs you'll also take the time to process our heart. In other words, it is difficult to understand what all of this means apart from seeing it lived out in community. So if you are considering the claims of Christ, we invite you to be a part of our family. We think that once you belong you'll have a much clearer picture of what (and why) we believe.
There is one God who exists as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He has existed in community in a relationship of mutual love and submission from eternity past. At his own time and in his own way, God created everything that exists. He also sustains everything that exists, that is to say, he is not distant, but is intimately involved in the affairs of life.
Jesus Christ, God’s son, became fully human when he was born to the virgin Mary. He was fully human and fully God, which is a great mystery. He lived a perfect life in place of our imperfect lives; died, as our substitute, the death we deserved to die because of our selfishness; and rose physically from the dead. He offers us full life by the promise of his resurrection. He ascended into heaven and today is our representative and advocate with God the Father.
We experience the full life and presence of God in our relationship with the Spirit, who convicts us of sin, points us to Christ, and applies Christ’s work to our lives. He gives gifts and power to the church and he is the one who creates biblical community in the church. He reveals truth and guides our lives, individually and together.
We are connected to God in only one way – by choosing to accept the offer of forgiveness and reconciliation God offers us by Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. This gift of new life is eternal – it never ends. If we ask him to, God treats us as if we were Christ, because he treated Christ as if he were us. God’s gift of grace makes us his adopted sons and daughters. There is nothing we can do to deserve this life – it is all a gift of God and our job is simply to receive it. When we do, God begins the process of changing our hearts and minds from the inside out and making our character more and more like Jesus’ character. And as we have been reconciled to God, we also have hope for being more fully reconciled to other people.
The Bible is God’s completely true Story about who he is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do. It was given by God to human writers and so reflects their backgrounds, style, and use of language. The Bible is the final authority on all matters to which it speaks.
In his own time and in his own way, God will bring the world as we know it to an end. According to his promise, Christ will return personally and visibly to judge the living and the dead, bring justice, and to begin the new era of God’s visible reign, which will last forever.
If we are in relationship with Christ, we are part of the church. The church is always expressed locally, and is the visible demonstration of the new community Christ came to create. The primary purpose of the church is to please God by worshiping him well in extending his offer of love and grace to all people, especially those who are not yet in relationship with him.
The church celebrates Baptism and Communion, which are gifts given by Christ and are experiences of his promise and presence with us. The church is made up of imperfect people who are responding day by day in our work and home lives, and in all our relationships, to God’s stunning grace.