14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
We believe there is one divine being who has existed eternally. He exists and reveals Himself to man in three distinct, equally divine persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While we cannot fully comprehend His divine nature, it is possible for people to know Him – through the figure of the Father. At the beginning of time, God created the entire universe and all its creatures. He continues to exercise His supreme power to sustain His creation. Throughout history He has expressed His desire to be our God and to have a personal, eternal relationship with us. We believe that God loves us and wants what is best for us.
Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 38:1-41, John 3:16; Romans 1:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:6
We believe that Jesus is the eternal divine Son of God. He chose voluntarily to be made in human likeness and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus gave up his position of authority and power to re-establish himself with us on earth, in order to completely pay our penalty for sin. Although He lived a sinless life He allowed Himself to be executed by crucifixion. His death paid the penalty for the offenses of mankind against God. However, as prophesied, He rose from the dead three days after His execution. After appearing to witnesses on a number of occasions for forty days, He ascended into heaven where He now serves as the Mediator between God and man. We believe that at the end of time He will again visibly return to earth to complete His eternal plan.
Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1,14,18; Acts 10:37-43; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 2:4-8; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-21; Hebrews 1:1-3
ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as the third person of the Trinity, is to apply to people the saving work of Christ. He does this by bringing conviction of a person’s need for the forgiveness of Christ. He regenerates their heart and then indwells them when they believe and are baptized. The Holy Spirit is what sets us apart from the World and makes us HOLY – Not our works. The Holy Spirit guides Christ followers in understanding and applying God’s principles and values. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Christ followers are empowered to live Christ-like lives. His ongoing work is to guide, lead, and empower the believer for godly living and service for the purpose of building up God’s kingdom. He protects us from the outside forces and allows us to know God more and more as we gain spiritual maturity.
John 14:16-17; John 16:7-13; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 3:16-20; Ephesians 5:18
God created mankind to live in relationship with Him. However, the first man and woman were deceived by Satan. They rebelled and chose to be wrongfully independent from God. Their decision alienated them from God. Every human being since that time has suffered the consequences of that rebellion. We all fail to please God and are open to Satan’s deception. Our failure to please God and follow God’s Word, unless a relationship is re-established with Him, results in condemnation under God’s judgment and would cause us to spend eternity in hell. Furthermore, our works can not reestablish our relationship with God nor can we be “good enough” to re-connect with God – it’s only by God’s grace that we are saved.
ABOUT THE BIBLE
We believe the 66 books of the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, are given by God’s inspiration and that in the original writings they are without error. We believe the Scriptures originated with God but were written using humans as the means and thus speak with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, cultures, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. They are the unique, reliable, and the final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.
Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:105; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21
ABOUT SALVATION & OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Our inability to reestablish our relationship with God leaves us dependent on God’s mercy. God graciously provided the means to reconcile this relationship through faith in Jesus Christ. Our relationship is re-established when we make a commitment to accept Jesus as God’s son and our Savior and Lord. Salvation is a free gift, bestowed by God’s grace and received by faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Everyone sins. Sin separates us from God because God is perfect and sin is not. It is impossible to cover up sin by being a good person, doing good things, or by going to church. When Jesus died on the cross, His blood was the price for our sin. When He rose again, He conquered death for us too.
Practically speaking, this acceptance is demonstrated through a number of ways. We demonstrate our personal commitment of faith: by repentance (belief that God has the power to save us and turning back to God and depending on Him to control our lives). At the same time, we confess our commitment by confessing our acceptance of God’s salvation and submitting ourselves in Christian Baptism. Immersion in water of a professed believer is the biblical example for baptism (Acts 8:36-39) and such baptism is symbolic of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:1-4). A believer’s salvation is secured by Christ alone (John 10:27, 28). All the commitments are important to a believer who wants to re-establish his relationship with God. To desire one without the others is to only desire part of God’s goodness.
Isaiah 59:2; John 3:16; John 14:6; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 3:10-23; Romans 6:3-4; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-8
ABOUT COMMUNION/THE LORD'S SUPPER
We take communion every week, following the example of the early church, because it provides us a reminder of the foundational teachings of our faith related to the death, resurrection, ascension, and promised heavenly hope of communing one future day with Jesus in Heaven. It is a distinction of our churches that we take communion every week, but we do not believe that one must take communion every week – it is our choice. We choose to partake of the Lord’s Supper on a weekly basis to constantly remind us of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sin of mankind.
ABOUT OUR NEW LIFE IN CHRIST
Once our relationship is re-established with God, we naturally want to spend time with Him and know Him better. The Holy Spirit guides us as we read God’s Word – the Bible, as we take time to connect with God in prayer, and as we seek out God-given relationships through participating in a Biblical community with other Christ followers focused on serving the “least of these.” In this way we begin to know God more personally. As we become acquainted with God we desire to be like Him and please Him and do the good things that he has planned for us. This process of spiritual development motivates us to seek ways to serve God and prepares us to spend eternity in fellowship with Him.
ABOUT THE CHURCH/THE BODY OF CHRIST
We believe the church represents Jesus Christ to a needy world. The Bible speaks of the church as Christ’s body. The Bible compares the church to a living organism, where Jesus is the head. God arranges the parts of the body, Christians//Christ Followers, just as He wants them to be and gives each Christian special functions to perform for the good of the body through the Holy Spirit. The church is centered on five key principles: Discipleship, Fellowship, Worship, Evangelism and Service. We believe as a church – we are to embody these five principles as we live out our faith in Jesus Christ.
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