What We Believe
A summary of what we believe about some of the most important issues.
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God is an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful being who really exists. God created everything in the universe; and nothing exists other than God and what he has made. He keeps everything in existence, and if it weren’t for his grace and direct involvement in the world, everything would stop existing. God has always existed – his existence has no beginning and will have no end. God has revealed himself to us as existing in three persons. These three persons are one and the same God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
God has used the Bible to reveal himself and his plans to human beings. While there are many books and documents in human culture that are seen as sacred or divine, only the Bible is God’s revelation of himself to us; and God has not spoken to human beings through any other religious book or text. Human authors wrote the books of the Bible, but they did this under the special inspiration of God, so that the words and message of the Bible are God’s words and message to us. The Bible is completely true and trustworthy, and isn’t wrong about anything.
Each individual human person is made in the image of God; and therefore every person is worthy of love, appreciation, protection, and honor – above all other things that God has made. No matter where a person was born, no matter what a person has done, whether rich or poor, young or old … God loves each human person and expects us to treat each other with dignity and respect. Despite the fact that all human beings have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, the image of God remains in each of us.
God made human beings to be in a perfect relationship with him. The first human beings rebelled against God, disobeyed his commands for their lives, and decided to go their own way. As a result, their relationship with God was broken, and the entire world was broken too. Because of the sin of the first human beings, we are born into a broken world in which all of us continue to rebel against God. This brokenness is what causes all kinds of evil things to happen – both natural disasters, and evil things that come directly from the actions of other people. From the moment each of us is born, we rebel against God without even thinking about it. Each of us is broken – physically, emotionally, spiritually – and we are all in desperate need of God’s work in our lives, to repair what is broken and restore our relationship with him. Those who turn away from their sin and rebellion, and turn toward God to receive his gift of salvation through Jesus are destined to spend an eternity in a right relationship with him. Those who remain as they are, and continue in their rebellion against God, are destined to spend eternity apart from him.
Salvation through Jesus Christ
From the very first moment of human rebellion against God, he began acting out his plan to save us from our sinful, broken world and restore us to a right relationship with him. God wants as many people as possible to experience his love, so he waited until just the right time to send Jesus – his only son – to live and die for us, to be victorious over sin and death, and to provide a way for us to live with him forever, being restored to the perfect life he originally intended. In order to accept God’s offer of salvation, each person must individually receive Jesus, putting complete trust in his life, death, and resurrection for salvation, rejecting the former life of rebellion against God, and promising to live a life committed to God’s priorities. Those who do this are adopted into God’s family; and while the pain and suffering of this world does not end for those who receive new life in Christ, life in Christ is the most fulfilling kind of life we can have while we wait for God to complete his plan of salvation.
Those who place their faith in Jesus are adopted into God’s family. This family can be seen in local churches – and God expects each person to live out their lives in the context of a local church. God’s design for the church is that it should be like a family … followers of Jesus who live together, a life of worship toward him and love toward one another. God has also commissioned his church to carry the message of salvation to other people – people in their communities, and all over the world. God expects the church to be a visible demonstration of his love and goodness in the world.