We believe that Jesus has eternally existed as the Son of God. As a part of the narrative story of God's redemption, Jesus became human. In other words, God became one of us. The church describes this as the Incarnation. The redemption narrative, which we call the Bible, continues as Jesus not only becomes human, but is born to a virgin and lives a sinless, perfect life on earth, allowing him to make right everything that had been done wrong in Adam. Jesus chose to die on a cross as a sacrifice for the penalty that should have been ours and his resurrection three days later made new life possible for us in this life and the next. What Jesus did during his time on earth and the character of his being provide a consistent reminder of what we should be about with our lives.
How do I begin a relationship with Jesus and receive this new life?:
According to the Apostle Paul . . . "By grace through faith" (Eph. 2:8-9). Grace can be defined as getting what you don't deserve (i.e. a gift). We do not deserve the gift of forgiveness provided by Christ's death in our place or the gift of righteousness ("right standing" with God) provided by Christ's sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21). By confessing your sinfulness to God (Rom. 3:23), placing your trust in Jesus and what His life, death, and resurrection made possible for you (Rom. 10:9-10, 13, Eph. 2:8), you can begin a personal relationship with Him (John 3:16). We believe that when we begin that relationship, the Spirit of God enters our being - we call it the Holy Spirit - and that Spirit not only becomes our guide, but it continues the process that began at our point of surrender - moving us from a life of sin to a life where we resemble the person of Jesus!
We believe that God has eternally existed. God himself shows us his desire for relationship by being relational in himself. He has continually revealed himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each part of what we know as the Trinity has distinct personal attributes, but these do not divide the nature or essence of God's being. Being created in God's image means that God is, in himself, relational and that He created man to be in relationship with Himself.
About the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with the power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.
About the Bible:
The Bible is God's Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
In our worship celebrations or gatherings, as some people call them, there are two recurring symbols: baptism and the Lord's Supper (also known as the Eucharist). In Scripture, baptism followed the decision of a person to surrender one's self to God for salvation in Jesus Christ. Through baptism, we announce our commitment to the church and our desire to live a life following the example of Jesus Christ. In the Lord's Supper, we celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, through which we have the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that this meal is a memorial to that sacrifice. We do not subscribe to the idea that Christ is present in the elements themselves, but we do believe in the presence of Christ with and in His church as they share this meal as His body. Both of these are important symbols that refocus us on the center of our lives: Jesus.
We believe that God created man in the image of God. Because of this, each and every human being possesses great dignity and is worthy of our respect and love. God confirms his love for each and every person when He sent His own son to die on the cross so that we might be able to be in relationship with Him through salvation in Jesus. In Genesis, God created man to rule over the earth; therefore we are stewards of the earth and the resources it contains. We believe that we will be held accountable for that stewardship, along with the stewardship of our gifts, talents, and the provision God makes in our lives on a regular basis.
About the Church:
The church has never been, nor will ever be perfect. However, its shortcomings cannot deter us from our purpose as God's primary instrument of change in the world. We know that we were designed for community with other people, and the place of greatest community in the world should be the church. The church is not a corporation or a massive company. It is a new humanity created by the resurrection of Jesus Christ that expresses itself as a community of faith in Christ. The Scriptures describe it as a body or a family. Our church takes seriously our role to serve our community and exist as a place that offers people hope and purpose, even as we challenge people to discover and live a Christ-centered life.