The Bible describes Jesus as one who was "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14, 17). The two go together. God's grace is always truthful, and His truth is always graceful. Truth without grace is oppressive; grace without truth is permissive. To divorce them creates something that is not real Christianity. Our goal in following Jesus is to likewise be full of grace and truth.
Our Basic Beliefs
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God (inspiration). We believe it is without error in the original writings (inerrant), that it is the complete revelation of God's will for our salvation, and that it is our supreme and final authority in all matters of our faith and life (infallible and authoritative). 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
We believe there is only one true God; and that it is He alone whom we must serve and worship, and that He alone is worthy of our lives and trust. We believe God is eternal, infinitely perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing, and holy (separate from humanity and morally perfect). We believe this one God exists and works in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Trinity). We believe He owns and controls all things according to His will. Ephesians 1:11; 3:11; Acts 4:24-27.
We believe that God alone has existed from eternity past and, in His wisdom, decided to create the universe using nothing which had pre-existed. Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3; Isaiah 44:24.
We believe that human beings were created by God in His own likeness (image) in order to have an intimate relationship with Him (fellowship) and to bring Him glory. Therefore, we believe humanity has tremendous dignity and value (Gen. 1:26; Col. 3:17). We also believe, however, that humanity broke that relationship through rebellion and disobedience (sin), and thereby became spiritually dead, separated from God, under His condemnation, totally unable to please Him or earn a restored relationship (salvation). Rom. 3:9-19; 8:7,8.
We believe that Jesus Christ is truly God (Rom. 9:5), and that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, becoming also truly human (Luke 2:1-40). We believe He did this in order to represent both God and humanity (as a mediator) and to become the bridge that restores our relationship to God. Because of His humanity, and His suffering and being tempted in every way like we are (yet without sinning), He is also able to be compassionate and sympathetic toward us (Heb. 4:14-16). We believe that Jesus is the only savior and way back to God (1 Tim. 2:5); that He suffered, died on the cross and took the full punishment of our sins as our substitute and sacrifice (Rom. 3:25a), and thereby redeemed us (bought us back) and reconciled our broken relationship with God (Rom. 5:10). We believe Jesus physically and truly came back to life after three days (resurrection; Matthew 28), demonstrating His deity and power, and the effectiveness of His sacrifice. We believe that He then ascended into heaven in the sight of His disciples and now reigns with God the Father (Luke 24:50-53). We believe He is now our advocate (continually "standing up" for us; Rom. 8:34).
The Holy Spirit
We believe that God sends the Holy Spirit to live in each believer. He gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him, produces the strength for a new way of living, creates new character (fruit), and brings new abilities (gifts) to help the church grow together in love.
God's Plan of Salvation
We believe in the Gospel, the Good News: that, through Jesus and His sacrifice, sinners (like we all are), can have an intimate, loving relationship with God again, and one day live with Him forever. We believe God's plan and provision to send Jesus to redeem us was purely out of love for us and by grace alone (doing good for those who deserve the opposite). We believe that only faith, trusting in who Jesus is and what He did, is the means to receiving the gift of salvation; and that nothing we do by the way of good deeds or religious exercise can earn it. We believe faith is the gift of God and the work of the Holy Spirit; and that it is accompanied by our admitting we are great sinners in need of a great savior (repentance). We believe the results of salvation by grace through faith alone include: the total forgiveness of our sins (past, present and future), the complete removal of guilt in God's sight, acceptance and approval by God, the crediting of Jesus' obedience to our record, our adoption into God's family as His sons and daughters (with all its rights and privileges), the power to become more and more like Jesus throughout our lifetime, and the guarantee of being united with Him at our death in order to live with Him forever. John 3:16; Rom. 3:22-24; Eph. 2:1,4,5,8-10.
We believe Jesus promises to personally and visibly return again one day and bring all things to their completion and culmination. We believe there will be a final judgment by God, where He will take His own to be with Him forever and will deliver all others to be separated from Him forever. 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:11-15.
We believe in the invisible church: that we are one with all God's people, everywhere, throughout history. We also believe in the visible church: where God's people in particular places and at particular times in history express their unity by visibly committing themselves to mutual encouragement and accountability. We believe these local churches are the ordinary means through which God spreads the Gospel and helps His people grow in love and faith. We believe the church uses the Bible, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper (visible signs of invisible grace), and prayer to accomplish this.