God is the one and only all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful Being, who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. The Godhead exists eternally in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God has always existed, with no beginning or end, and is wholly self-sustaining.
Humanity was created by God in His image. Sin (rebellion against the will of God) has entered the world and marred the image of God in us and our ability to recognize Him in the world around us. We believe in the depravity of mankind and our need for a savior. The grace of God comes through faith in Christ, and salvation comes in being reconciled to God through Christ. As this happens, followers of Christ are again made in God’s image as they become more like Christ, for His sake and the sake of the whole created order.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He was both fully God and fully human. He taught by word and example, sign and wonder, the way of love for God and neighbor, stranger and enemy, outcast and alien. He paid the penalty of our sins through His work on the cross; He suffered on the cross, died, rose again, ascended to heaven, and is alive sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. By His Spirit, He continues to work in the lives of those who follow Him to accomplish His purposes.
Salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and is both an eternity-altering instant, and a life-long process. God’s salvation is personal and extends to all the created order.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God in the third person of the Trinity. He was present and active in creation and is eternal in being. He glorifies Jesus Christ, convicts the world of sin, and regenerates and converts sinners. He indwells, guides, instructs, and empowers the believer for godly living and service, and He seals and keeps them until the Lord comes. He bestows spiritual gifts for the sake of the body of Christ. The practice of any gift in any gathered body shall be in keeping with the Scripture.
The Bible is divinely inspired and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. The Holy Scriptures are made up of the Old and New Testaments. The Holy Spirit preserves God’s word in the church today and speaks God’s truths through it. The Scriptures are the normative means in which God reveals Himself to the church and this world. We believe the Bible is authoritative in our lives in all ways to which it speaks.
The Kingdom of God is at hand. This message, which was central to Jesus’ teaching, means that every moment is pregnant with the possibility of God’s reality breaking into and transforming ours. This reality of new life in Christ for believers is attested to by the Holy Spirit and the “fruit” believers bear as they become fully devoted followers of Christ. They will enjoy never-ending life in communion with Christ and the family of God in the midst of a redeemed creation. Christ will come again. We believe in bodily resurrection, final judgment, and eternal destination, either with God or separated from Him; both heaven and hell do exist.
The Church is a body of believers in Jesus Christ, who are called to truth through worship together and are built up as they are sent out to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, in word and deed, to the world.
Baptism is a crucial outward act of one’s inward confession of faith and acceptance of Christ as Savior. It serves as a real and tangible channel marker in the lives of believers, showing that they are members of the body of Christ, and helps to anchor them in their faith. It is symbolic of Christ’s death and resurrection and also the washing away of our sins. Likewise, it is a sign to the community of the decision the believer has made. While baptism is important in the life of a believer, it does not gain one’s salvation. Although many modes of baptism are used, we believe that submersion is the most appropriate mode, in that it mimics most closely the actions of which baptism is symbolic. Christ led by example in that He, too, was baptized.
Communion is taken in obedience to Christ’s command. It serves as a reminder of His work on the cross: His body that was broken and His blood that was shed for our salvation. It is also a meal that looks forward to the time we will share perfect communion with Him in His Father’s Kingdom. It is to be partaken by believers. Although it is an integral part of the life of a Christ-follower, it does not gain one’s salvation.