FAITH | What we Believe
We adhere to The Apostle’s Creed as expressing the basic beliefs of our faith. The Apostle’s Creed and other ancient Christian creeds have given form to the faith of Christians for thousands of years. We join with other followers of Jesus past, present, and future to put our faith in what God has done through Jesus. The following statements reflect our understanding of the basic realities expressed in the Bible and the Christian creeds.
1. About God
God is the Creator and Ruler of everything. There is only one true God who is revealed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. God is the Creator of everything that exists and nothing exists apart from and outside of that creation. God is a personal being – not some vague force or a subjective “truth.” God is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. God concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity. God hears and answers prayer. God saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
- Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
2. About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the distinctive nature of God described as “Son.” Jesus came to earth as a human but retained His deity, being fully human and fully God. By coming to live among humanity, he inaugurated God’s Kingdom on earth. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all humanity by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead as a demonstration of His power over sin and death. He will return again to earth to reign as Lord of everything.
- Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
3. About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. The Holy Spirit is present in the world to make humanity aware of its need for Jesus. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian. The Holy Spirit provides Christians with power for living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Holy Spirit equips people with spiritual gifts that make ministry effective.
4. About Humanity
Humanity is made in the image of God, to be like Him in character. Humanity is created out of love and for the glory of God. Humanity is the supreme object of God’s creation. God created humankind to live forever and enjoy creation with Him. Humanity has tremendous potential for good though marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called sin. This attitude and the choices made that reflect it separate humanity from God. God’s grace enables us to connect with Him, not our efforts alone.
- Genesis 1:26-31; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2
5. About Salvation
Salvation is a gift from God to humanity. When people trust in Jesus as God’s offer of forgiveness they are saved from sin’s penalty. No degree of good living earns one’s relationship with God. Salvation provides life with God here on earth and in Heaven.
- Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1-2
6. About the Bible
The Bible is God’s word to all people. Human authors, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible. It serves as the primary source of Christian beliefs and living. Because God inspired it, it can be completely relied upon to reveal God’s ideas about Himself, humanity, sin, and ultimate truth. In the many types of literature contained in the books of the Old and New Testaments, God’s love for, and redemption of, humanity is a consistent theme.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1: 13; Psalm 119: 105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
7. About the Church
The Church is the dynamic, spiritual body of which Jesus is the head. All those who put their trust in Jesus are a part of the Church. Local churches are expressions of the universal Church. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances or sacraments that the church practices. The Church ordains its leaders, prays for people to be empowered in ministry, and works cooperatively for the restoration of creation.
- Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40
8. About the End
At the end, Jesus will return to earth to restore it to its original state. The Kingdom that was inaugurated when he came to earth as a human will be perfected. He will bring dead believers back to life with new immortal bodies, and transform the bodies of the believers still alive. He will judge the dead and living. Humans will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. Heaven is where followers of Jesus will spend eternity with God. The worst thing about hell is eternal separation from God. We long to know the order of these events and the time of their occurrence but believe they are debatable and should not be divisive or distracting from our mission.
- John 3:16; John 2:25; John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 1:8; Matthew 2:44,46; Revelation 1:7; Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15; Acts 24:15; Hebrews 9:27