Our Faith is Formed and Established by God's Word.
Who is God?
We believe that there is just one God. He is Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He creates, sustains, and finishes all things. He has always, is now, and will always be existent in a perfect unity of three equally divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He knows all and sees all. His power and his knowledge is without limitation. God has always had a purpose when it came to his people--to redeem us for himself and to make all things new, so that everything and everyone might bring glory to His name. The heritage of faith that has lead us this place, writes it this way:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. (Apostle's Creed)
Who is Jesus Christ?
We believe that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God. He has existed since before the creation of the world. He is fully God, and yet, because of his earthly birth, he is also fully man. He was given by God his father, to be born of a virgin woman named Mary. This miraculous birth was made possible only by the will of God the Father, working through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless life, perfect in every way, just as His Father intended him to be. He was horrifically tortured and ultimately sentenced by the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate, to die on a wooden cross. Three days later, he rose form the dead, victorious over sin, death and hell, and later ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of God, the Father. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus now serves as our Great High Priest, and as an Advocate for us before the Father, God. (1 John 2:1, Hebrews 4:14-15) The heritage of faith that has lead us to this place, writes it this way:
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of Very God, begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; was incarnate by the Holy Spirit; born of the virgin Mary, and was made man.. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge, both the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end. (Nicene Creed)
What is the condition of man?
Sin. We believe that God, the Father, Son and Spirit, created man, perfectly in his image. However, there was a moment in history when the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, fell prey to Satan's deceit in the perfect garden paradise that God had created for them. As a result of this sin, man's relationship with God has been fractured. What was once perfect, is now stained and broken.
Forgiveness: Just like every relationship, there is hope for reconciliation and restoration in our relationship with God. Things can be made right again, and, indeed, they have already been made right. Scripture tells us that God so loved the world (his creation), that he gave his one and only Son--Jesus--to die as the perfect and final sacrifice, on the wooden cross at Calvary.(John 3:16-17, Romans 3:25-26) In this selfless and sacrificial act, Jesus paid the debt incurred by sin. By the blood of Jesus Christ, sin was forgiven and the debt was paid. (Matthew 6:12, Matthew 18:25-32) After three days, Jesus ROSE UP, victorious from that grave, and in his resurrection, secured life for us all! Where our sin had bought us death, Jesus won us new life, eternal, with him! (Romans 4:25)
What work has Christ done for us?
We believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross as the final and perfect sacrifice for our sin. In the days of our forefathers, the ancient people of God, Israel, God established a system of sacrificial offerings which were to be laid on the altar of the temple in order to win god's favor and receive forgiveness. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ended this practice, for the only true and perfect lamb had now been laid on the altar for the final time. The debt was canceled. Sin has been atoned for, and we have been forgiven. You won't find an "altar" in our sanctuary. Instead you will see a table. Jesus took up our sin, laid his life on the altar, and invited us, instead, to the table. At the command and by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, we gather at the Lord's table to be reminded of his suffering, death, and resurrection by which we have been healed. We believe this is what the Psalmist intended when he wrote: "O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who take refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)
Who is the Holy Spirit?
We find ourselves in complete agreement with the Evangelical Free Church of America, when in its Statement of Faith, Article 6, it writes:
We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
The Holy Spirit of the Living God:
- illuminates for us the truth of God's Word (John 16:13-15)
- directs our movements, so that by our submission to Him we might be lead in the paths of Godly righteousness (John 16:13)
- emboldens our conviction to speak, serve, and love faithfully for the glory of God the Father (Acts 4:29-31)
- equips our lives with gifts from God, Our Father, to ready us for a lifetime of faithful service, love and devotion (Hebrews 13:20-21)
What is the Bible?
We believe the Holy Bible to be the verbally inspired and authoritative word of God. We believe that God spoke through the prophets of old to deliver the Word of the Old Testament. In more recent times, God spoke through his Son Jesus Christ, and by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to deliver the Word of the New Testament. We believe that both the Old and New Testaments are literally God's own words, recorded for us in through the words of human authors. We believe that the Bible is without error in its original writings . The Bible is complete, and is not to be "added to or subtracted from." (Revelation 22:18-19) We know the Bible to be the final authority for all things, and the rule by which all human knowledge and authority should be judged. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Again, we agree fully with the Evangelical Free Church of America in its Statement of Faith, Article 2:
[The Bible] is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
What about the Return of Jesus?
We believe in the premillennial, bodily return of Jesus Christ. This means that we know and trust the promise of the Savior Jesus: "I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (Revelation 3:11-13)
- Premillennial: The understanding that Jesus' return to earth ("second coming") will take place prior to his earthly reign of 1000 years of peace. (Revelation 3:10)
The Word of God tells us that at the "end of times" there will be warfare like never before. (Matthew 24:21) Jesus will defeat Satan, once and for all. In this time of war, commonly referred to as "tribulation" we believe that those who have put their hope and trust in Jesus, and who have declared with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, will be kept safe. After the war, Jesus will be given power from His Father to reign for a millennium, or one thousand years. Finally, Christ will establish a new heaven and new earth in which all believers will dwell for all eternity. (Revelation 20:4)