[bəˈlēfs] trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
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. 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 have a personal, eternal relationship with us. We believe that God loves us and wants what is best for us.
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. 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.
The third person of God is the Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit dwells in every Christ-follower. His indwelling presence gives spiritual life to believers and distinguishes them as children of God. 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. The Holy Spirit also equips Christ-followers with talents and abilities for the purpose of building up God’s kingdom.
God created mankind to live in a relationship with him. However, the first man and woman were deceived by Satan. They rebelled and chose to be wrongfully independent of 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, 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, there is nothing we can do on our own to re-establish our relationship with God.
God divinely inspired human authors to write the sixty-six books of the Bible. He communicated through these writers the values, principles, and ideals which please Him and are in our best interests. We believe the Bible is entirely accurate, complete, and reliable. We look to the Bible for the revelation of the character of God and the final authority on all matters of faith and conduct.
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 with God is re-established when we make a commitment to accept Jesus as God’s son and our savior and lord. Through faith in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life. Practically speaking, this acceptance is demonstrated through both private and public commitment. We demonstrate our commitment privately by faith (acting upon our belief that God has the power to save us) and repentance (turning back to God and depending on him to control our lives). We also publicly express our commitment by confessing our acceptance of God’s salvation and submitting ourselves in Christian baptism.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Once our relationship is re-established with God, we naturally want to spend time with him and know him better. The Holy Spirit enlightens us as we read God’s word, the Bible, as we communicate with him in prayer, and as we enter into loving relationships, Biblical community, with other Christ-followers. In this way, we begin to know God more intimately. As we become acquainted with God, we desire to be like him and please him. This process of spiritual development motivates us to seek ways to serve God and prepares us to spend eternity in fellowship with him.
We believe the church represents Jesus Christ to a needy world. The Bible speaks of the church as Christ’s body. It compares it to a living organism, where Jesus is the head. God arranges the parts of the body (Christ-followers) just as he wants them to be. He gives each Christ-follower special functions to perform for the good of the body. To remain healthy, the body’s members must work together. Each part contributes to the growth and maturity of the body. God works through the church to reconcile a lost world to himself through Jesus Christ. For this reason, it is important for Christ-followers to regularly gather together for the purpose of celebration. During the celebration, Christ-followers are equipped, built up, and encouraged through teaching, fellowship, prayer, and communion. Celebration in this way enables believers to serve one another and the unchurched people in their sphere of influence.