This statement of beliefs is a temporary statement. Until we have been able as a church to study together and officially adopt a statement of beliefs, this statement gives a general idea of what we believe. In the future, it will be tweaked and adjusted, and some of the wording may be changed, but the basic content will remain the same.
If you are someone without much of a church background, some of the language here might seem a bit complicated and unfamiliar - don't let that put you off. If you spend some time with us some of these things will be explained further, but in a short statement like this the big words help summarize some concepts that take a lot of explaining. And don't hesitate to ask any questions - we'd be happy to explain!
This statement of our beliefs is based on the beliefs of the EFCA (Evangelical Free Church in America). We are a new church supported by the EFCA. Unlike many denominational groups, the EFCA is made up of autonomous self-governing churches which have agreed to partner together for the sake of a common mission. More information about the EFCA can be found at www.efca.org.
There are beliefs that are non-negotiable, and beliefs that are negotiable. In other words, there are beliefs to die for, and beliefs to hold onto loosely. Those that are absolute are the glue that hold us together in fellowship; the rest are generally not worth dividing over. The beliefs explained below are the non-negotiable absolutes we hold to.
...the Bible is God’s Word. When we say “the Bible,” we are referring to the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. They are completely inspired by God. They are without error (in the original writings). They are the final authority for our faith and life.
...there is one God, who created all things. He is infinitely perfect and exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
...Jesus Christ, the eternal son of God, is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, substitutionary sacrifice. Our justification is sure because of his literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at God’s right hand as our high priest and advocate.
...the Holy Spirit convicts men, regenerates them, baptizes them into the body of Christ, indwells them, and seals them till the day of redemption.
...that man was created in the image of God, but through Adam’s sin the race fell into sin. This means that we all inherit a sinful nature and are alienated from God. We are totally depraved, meaning that every part of us is affected by sin and we are completely unable to remedy our lost condition.
...that salvation comes to man only by God’s grace, through personal faith in Jesus Christ alone. All who are saved are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever.
...that the church is the body and bride-to-be of Christ, and is made of all redeemed persons. The head of the church is Jesus Christ, and each local church governs its own affairs under the authority of Christ. The church is to practice baptism and the Lord’s Supper, though these things are not means of salvation. The Holy Spirit gives believers gifts for service in the church and the world, and it is our responsibility and privilege to develop and use these gifts in ministry.
…that Jesus Christ will return to judge the living and the dead, resurrecting believers to eternal life and unbelievers to eternal punishment.