What We Believe

Doctrinal statements like this are limited in expressing the fullness of Christian beliefs.
The entire Bible really contains our doctrinal statement.  In reality, you could have dozens of pages about specific beliefs. This short statement is a good representation of our central beliefs.

Simply "knowing" doctrine is not what changes heart or actions—ours or anyone else’s.
Jesus criticized the religious leaders of his day for being hypocrites and legalists. They were very familiar with the Bible and knew a lot of doctrine, but they didn't let that doctrine seep into their hearts or affect their lives as the Scriptures intended.  We can know doctrine intellectually but if it doesn't change us on a deeper level the knowledge is almost useless.  What Jesus cares most about is whether or not our lives are being changed by the Spirit as we put saving faith in Him (Romans 10:9), and whether the doctrine we learn expands our love for God and for people (Matthew 22:36-40).  That kind of transformation produces in His church (people) the fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)

About the Bible
We believe that the entire Bible is fully inspired by God, that it is entirely trustworthy and is our guide for truth, faith and life. We hold dear and highly value Scripture, and its authority in our lives.
 (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13; Psalm 19:7-11, 119:105)

About God
 We believe that there is one God who is the loving Creator of all that exists, both seen and unseen.  God is eternal and completely good, knowing all things, having all power and majesty.  We believe God exists eternally in perfect co-equal community as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
 (Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:8, 2 Corinthians 13:14)

About Jesus 
We believe that eternal Jesus mysteriously and wonderfully became God in the flesh and walked among us.  He lived a sinless life and offered Himself as the only perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross.  Through faith in Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into a right relationship with God.  Jesus bodily rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven and one day will return to judge the world and bring an end to injustice as He restores all things to God's original intent.  He is the perfect reflection of God's heart, character, beauty and love for people. 
 (Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:14, 8:40,58, 11:33; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 5:8-10; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:8).

About the Holy Spirit
We believe that Holy Spirit was lovingly sent from God to live in all who put faith in Jesus.  Holy Spirit teaches, comforts, convicts and empowers us, giving each person diverse gifts for serving in the church and serving others in the world on the mission of God.  We believe that it is through Holy Spirit that we have the power to change and develop a holy life and Jesus-like character.  We believe Holy Spirit lovingly offers gifts to empower believers to minister to others and expand the Kingdom of God.
 (John 16:8-11; Acts 1:8-9, 3:6, 6:2,3, 8, 19:6, 28: ; 2 Corinthians 3:6; I Corinthians 12:1-14, 28-31; Romans 3:8, 8:9, 12:9; Ephesians 5:18 and more).

About Salvation
We believe that all people are created with dignity and great value in the image of God and that people were created to live in a thriving relationship with God.  However, through our sin (failing to live by God's guidelines and moral standards), we break our intended relationship with God and we experience the sad consequences of that broken relationship, both spiritually and socially.  However, because of God's love for us, He sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from those consequences.  Our broken relationship with God is fully restored through Jesus' death on the cross, a perfect act of redemption for each of us.  We receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn into the Kingdom of God through repenting (changing our mind and heart) of our sin and placing faith in Jesus alone.
 (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:22-26, 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-7; John 3:3, 5)

About the Church
We believe that the church is comprised of any person, anywhere in the world, who puts faith in Jesus. The church itself is people who are empowered by God's Spirit to be part of the mission of God here on earth.  The church is one global community, but has smaller, local expressions or faith communities, called churches.  Each local church expression has a unique personality and we see beauty in that diversity.  We believe that the church does not exist for itself, but exists as a community of worshipers who are here to serve others, as Jesus told us to be His light, love, compassion, kindness and hope to the world around us.
 (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 2:1-47; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:: 11-13; 5:25-30; 1 Corinthians 12:27)

About Government
We believe in the servant form of church government as set forth in the Bible.
(Ephesians 4:11-16; Titus 2:6-9; 1st Timothy 3:1-3)

About the Afterlife and End Times
We do believe that life continues after physical death and there is a heaven and a hell.  We do believe that Jesus will one day return and bring justice and judgment to all things.  We approach with great humility, wonder and faith the many metaphors and the apocalyptic language in the Scriptures about events, timing, etc.
 (Daniel 12: 2; Matthew 24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-25; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; Revelation 20-22)

"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."
We have determined what our core beliefs are so that we can hold onto unity and so that we can embrace liberty in issues that aren't as essential.  This means that across churches, and even among the people within a given church—including among staff and leadership—we welcome a variety of beliefs on what we hold as non-core beliefs and doctrines.     

(John 17: 20-23; 2nd Timothy 2:21-24; Romans 12:19, 14:19; Proverbs 3:30; James 3:17; 1st Corinthians 1:10; Mathew 18:19-20)

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