So very simple. So content rich. But most importantly, so practical.
The Bible records story after story about lives that were religious, possessed, immoral, outcast, or intellectual, that all shared a common need – healing of a broken relationship with God through forgiveness from sin. And they all found that in Jesus Christ through his sinless sacrifice on a cross intended for criminals.
On that cross these lives found complete forgiveness because Jesus experienced full punishment on their behalf. No winking of the eye at wrong, no deals behind closed doors. Jesus was put on public display as absolute payment for sin and brokenness so that whoever places faith and trust in him finds both pardon and presence – the instant, life changing presence of God in their lives through His Holy Spirit.
So simple a kid can understand it. So powerful a criminal about to die can access it. So transformational a swindler spontaneously returns what he’s stolen. So effective, community is formed around it and by it. So appealing, it penetrates all cultures. So enduring, it’s potency still changes lives, many centuries later.
This is our central message; our reason for being.
As part of the greater context for faith in Christ, we believe the following big truths as they emerge out of historic Biblical scholarship and functional faith – substance that believers have lived and died for through the ages. These are not exhaustive, but rather a lean summary of truth in today’s world.
It’s the Bible – One Historic Testimony
The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
There’s One, Expressing Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
The Highest of God’s Creation – Greatly Gifted, Greatly Broken
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race.
Comes By Faith in Jesus Christ, a Gift of Grace
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.
The Body of Christ as a Community of Faith on a Mission
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing and teaching the commands of Christ, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Outward Symbols of Inner Realities
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Communion (The Lord’s Supper) is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking the bread and cup, memorialize the death of Christ and anticipate His second coming.
Time will End, God will Judge, Eternity Follows
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to a place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.