We believe…

God, Creation, and Kingdom
  • We believe the God of the Bible is a Living God who speaks and acts today in ways that are consistent with how he spoke and acted in the story of the Bible.

  • We believe this God is the Creator of the universe and a good Father whose nature and essence is love, and whose ultimate desire is for his creation to experience that love through relationship with him.

  • We believe God’s plan from the beginning was to raise up a people—a family, actually—that has relationship with God and can accurately represent him to the rest of creation.

  • We believe God in his wisdom created the natural realm to point people to spiritual realities, so that human beings would begin to understand certain truths intuitively—like how seeds being sown in the ground point to Christ’s death and resurrection, or how marriage being between one man and one woman points to Christ, the Bridegroom, being united to his Bride, the Church.
  • We believe that the relational intimacy the first human beings experienced with God and with one another in the beginning was fractured when they chose independence and disobedience, rather than trust and obedience.
  • We believe that this original rebellion against God has resulted in a condition that has affected all of humanity from the first human beings on, making it impossible for humans to reflect the true nature of God accurately, apart from being rescued from themselves—a plan which God would bring to pass through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  • We believe that there is an ongoing battle between two kingdoms—the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan—but these two kingdoms are in no way equal. The Kingdom of God is greater than the Kingdom of Satan, just as light is greater than darkness.

  • We believe that since the initial rebellion of human beings, Satan has sought to twist, distort, pervert, and counterfeit the truth of God and the order of God’s creation, making darkness appear as light and light appear as darkness, but the Light of the world has come in the person of Jesus Christ, and darkness cannot overpower him!

Jesus Christ and the Redemption of Creation
  • We believe that God’s Father-heart has always longed for reconciliation with his estranged children, and so he sent his Son Jesus into the world, born of a virgin in human flesh to carry out his plan of redemption and reconciliation.

  • We believe Jesus’ mission was to show the world what the Father is really like, and to usher in the kingdom of God, destroying the works of the devil in the process, and making a way for broken relationships to be restored.

  • We believe this mission of Jesus was carried out through his teachings, miracles, deliverance, healings, forgiveness, and ultimately through his own death on the cross—the quintessential expression of self-sacrificing love—an act which simultaneously revealed the heart of the Father for his creation and disarmed the powers of darkness.

  • We believe this Jesus did not remain dead but rose again in a new resurrection body on the third day, and that he ascended to heaven where he lives always to intercede for us.

  • We believe this Jesus is fully divine and fully human and that everything he accomplished through his life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension was accomplished not through the use of his own divine power but through the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus entrusted himself to the Father.

The Church and the Mission of God
  • We believe that everyone who believes in Jesus and receives him undergoes a spiritual re-birth where they are born of the Spirit into the family of God, the Church.

  • We believe that the baptism of the confessing believer and participation in the Lord’s Supper are practices that Jesus instructed his Church to engage in as expressions of our participation in the death and life of Christ, as our proclamation of the work of Christ until he returns, and as a public declaration of our incorporation into the fellowship of the family of God.

  • We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ, and each individual believer is a member of the Body, of which Christ himself is the Head.

  • We believe that just like an arm or ear or foot has no life, purpose, or function if severed from a body, so also individual believers are unable to fully experience the life God has for them and the purpose for their existence if they are independent and intentionally unattached to a local church Body.

  • We believe the Church is called—as Jesus was—to reflect the Father accurately and to establish his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

  • We believe that the Church is called to be in the world as a light shining in a dark place, not taking its cues from the world, but taking its cues from the Word and Spirit of God—loving God, one another, and others, in order that the world would believe that God has sent Jesus, and that they, too, would surrender to him and be transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of his glorious light.

  • We believe that Jesus’ utter rejection of self-reliance and his utter dependence on his Father is the way God originally intended human beings to live and is therefore the model all believers are called to live by. This is the essence of a life of faith.

  • We believe that following Jesus’ example and life is impossible apart from relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, whom God has made available to live in all those who are now regenerated by the blood of the new covenant through Jesus’ death on the cross.

  • We believe the ongoing mandate of the Church is to make disciples and multiply churches, that the glory of God would cover the earth.

The Word and Spirit of God
  • We believe that the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Spirit of God, and the standard by which we measure all revelation of truth.

  • We believe God still speaks today and that this is referred to in Scripture as the proceeding word or the prophetic word; all proceeding and prophetic words are weighed and discerned by the preceding, written word of God.

  • We believe Jesus is the Incarnate Word—the clearest communication of the love of God in the form of human flesh; if we want to see what God is really like, we look at Jesus.

  • We believe the only way to read and truly understand the Scriptures is by having a relationship with the Author, and we believe that the only way to have true fellowship and unhindered communion with the Author is by submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord and King, being born again, yielding to the Holy Spirit, and walking in obedience to the word.

  • We believe the same Holy Spirit who inspired human authors to write the Scriptures sheds light on the Scriptures for those who are seeking the Truth, as the Bible promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us in all truth and reveal God’s heart through his written word.

  • We believe that everything God does he does by his Word and by his Spirit—from the creation of the universe to the re-creation of the human heart, to the re-creating of the heavens and earth, where everything that was broken and darkened by human rebellion will be made right.

New Creation and Kingdom
  • We believe that God’s plan for a new creation begins in each heart that receives Jesus and undergoes a spiritual rebirth where the corrupt nature dies and we receive a brand new spirit that is then filled and made one with the Holy Spirit.

  • We believe that as we yield to the Holy Spirit, he transforms us so that we look more and more like Jesus, and are thereby empowered to represent God with increasing accuracy, as God intended from the beginning.

  • We believe that God’s loving rule and reign that was ushered in when Jesus Christ came in the flesh will eventually be established fully when he returns and unites all things in himself—things in heaven and things on the earth, at which time he will finish setting all things right that went wrong when the first human beings rebelled.

  • We believe that all this is very good news that the world needs to hear, and that the Church is called to proclaim this good news through words, actions, and lives lived in the world, resourced by the Kingdom of God through his Holy Spirit.
The Nature of Truth, Revelation, and the Development of Doctrine
  • We believe that no statement of faith can be comprehensive because we are finite beings and God is eternal.

  • We believe that Truth is ultimately revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, and that while this statement of beliefs is made up of propositions, these propositions have arisen out of relationship with Jesus Christ—not only our personal relationship with him, but the Church’s relationship with Christ over the centuries.

  • We believe that while Truth is absolute (in the sense of Jesus being real and faithful, and the nature of God being unchanging), it is also always unfolding as our relationship with Jesus grows—as is the case with every relationship where the closer you grow in intimacy, the more you get to know about the person.

  • We believe that God’s revelation of truth has always been progressive (Paul had a clearer revelation of God than Moses did, and Moses had a clearer revelation than Abraham did) and this progressive revelation of truth will continue throughout eternity, since God is an eternal, infinite God.

  • We believe that the development of doctrine is not an individual exercise but a corporate process whereby the Church, in submission to Christ, in the pursuit of truth, and led by his Holy Spirit over time, comes to an increasingly clear understanding of God’s revelation of his nature and will, as seen in the Scriptures.

  • We believe that the development of all doctrine is a historical process that takes into consideration the whole revelation of the Scriptures as well as the theological contributions of godly men and women in the Church throughout the ages, and is not developed simply by individuals taking particular verses and putting them together to construct a theological position.

  • We believe that all future revelation of the nature and character of God and the truth that is in Jesus Christ will always cohere with the written word of God, since God is not the author of confusion.

  • We believe that the same Holy Spirit who inspired human authors to write down the Scriptures for the Church has also preserved the Scriptures and guided the people of God in the development of doctrine.

  • We believe that just as Israel often strayed from God in the Old Testament, there are also times in history when the Church has followed the influences of pervasive cultural trends and worldly philosophies and has strayed from God. However, just as God faithfully stirred up hearts to rebuild the temple in the Old Testament, God’s Spirit also brings seasons of revival and reformation for the rebuilding of the Church according to a biblical blueprint. These times of refreshing and rebuilding are always marked by a return to the written word as the standard for “orthodox” doctrine and practice, by an infusing of the Church with the new life of the Spirit, and by a renewed zeal for mission in the world, where the Church’s representation of Jesus Christ is more accurate.

Why did we put it this way?

We are not trying to re-invent the wheel. Historically, the Christian Church went to great pains to preserve the central doctrines of the faith in creeds that were passed down through the centuries. We stand in agreement with these creeds. However, studying the history of the early centuries of the Church reveals that the primary focus of the councils had to do with establishing the truth about the nature of Christ (being fully human and fully divine) and the doctrine of the Trinity. While these are central to our understanding of the nature of God as he has revealed himself, and we are grateful for the work that the Church Fathers did to clarify these important doctrines, we also understand that Jesus’ primary message about the Kingdom of God breaking in was virtually unmentioned in these creeds. Because we see the message of the Kingdom as central to the mission of Jesus and the Church, we have woven it into our statement of beliefs.