WHAT WE BELIEVE
What We Believe
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). When Scripture says Jesus “died for our sins,” it means that the penalty for our sin–God justice, wrath, and the wages of sin which is death–all fell upon Him, our penal substitute. Our sin was imputed to Christ so that His righteousness could be imputed to us: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
God gives the gift of faith to receive this forgiveness, the gift of grace by faith alone plus nothing. It’s this bedrock of faith that the believer can stand upon and live for God. When we believe the good news that Jesus lived and died for us, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk in the newness of life, forsaking sin, and growing in grace. As we walk in the light as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin. Nothing can separate from His love–not even death itself–and so the Christian life is one of humble joy even in suffering.
We believe man was created in the image of God, free of sin. Through Adam’s disobedience, sin and death came into the world, marring the image of God in man and corrupting his nature. We believe all have sinned, fallen short of the glory of God and are by nature objects of wrath. Sinners are completely unable to save themselves. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12 Ephesians 1-3,12)
We believe salvation is by grace through faith alone, all of it the gift of God, in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus. We love God because He first loved us. Saving faith is living, trusting, and abiding by the indwelling work of Holy Spirit who enables believers to work out the salvation that God worked in. (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18-20; James 2:14-26; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:23-24; Philippians 2:12)
We believe the Church is the bride of Christ, the mother of believers, the pillar and ground of the truth. We believe in the Church catholic, that is, universal and worldwide (not centralized at Rome or anywhere else), marked by word and sacrament (baptism and communion), and purified and protected by discipline. The Church is to be led by qualified elders and deacons and accomplish the great commission to disciple the nations. (Ephesians 5:29-32; Galatians 4:26; 1 Timothy 3:15; Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; I Timothy 3:1,3; Matthew 28:18-20)
RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe that Jesus is reigning at the right hand of the Father until all His enemies are beneath His feet, the last enemy being death. He will return again to judge the living and and the dead, raise the just and unjust, and swallow up death in victory. (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25-26, 50-55).