The gospel is good news; it is an announcement that something has been accomplished and it changes everything. It is that Jesus lived the life you couldn't live and died the death you should have died to save you and then send you out. It is not good advice. Matthew, the first book in the New Testament, doesn't begin with "Once upon a time" or "In a galaxy far, far away". It begins, rather, with news. Why does the New Testament begin with history and news rather than commands? Because God is telling us that the Bible, the gospel story, is not about you and what you need to do for God, but about Jesus and what He came to do for you! Thus the Bible is not, at its core, rules, instructions, or a manual; it is a story of redemption. So the rules point to the Ruler, the instructions point to the Instructor, and the stories point to the ultimate Storyteller, who is Himself the central character! And the story is that Jesus invaded our darkness and brought light. Jesus walked our broken world and brought hope. Jesus died by our hands and brought forgiveness. Jesus rose again from the grave by His power and brought defeat to our greatest enemies: sin, death, Satan, and hell. Everything we do as a church, proceeds from, is motivated by, and is in cause of this gospel story!
Statement on Final Authority:
We believe that God has revealed Himself to the world through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ; this revelation is recorded authoritatively and inerrantly in the Bible. Though various theological statements provide necessary boundaries in ministry, we ultimately submit ourselves to God’s Words as recorded in the Bible.
1. There is one God, creator of the universe and all that exists, who eternally exists in three distinct persons who are fully God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. All Scripture is inspired by God and is inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient for all things.
3. All humanity is made in the image of God and is also sinful from birth and by action. Therefore, all humanity is spiritually dead, and remains under the wrath of God.
4. Jesus Christ, eternally God the Son, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and is both fully God and fully human.
5. Jesus Christ died in the place of sinful humanity on the cross to pay the penalty of sin and satisfy the wrath of God. He rose bodily from the grave, ascended into Heaven, and will one day return bodily to earth.
6. Only through repentance and trust in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ can one be reconciled to God and enter Heaven.
7. Salvation is all an act of God's grace according to His sovereign and eternal plans and can never be revoked or lost. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for the glory of God alone.
8. There will be a future bodily resurrection of the dead. Those who depend and trust in Jesus Christ will be raised to eternal life. Those who do not repent and trust in Jesus Christ will be raised to eternal punishment.
Baptism & Communion
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances given to the local church. Believer's baptism is through immersion and is a public identification of union with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism signifieds the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as well as the believer's death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism is not a requirement for salvation nor does it possess any power to save, but is commanded of believers as an act of obedience and outward demonstration of a decision to follow Jesus. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-41; Acts 8:35-38; Romans 6:3-6)
Communion is a public remembrance and celebration of the death of Jesus Christ. As Christians remember the body and blood of Jesus, symbolized by the bread and juice, they are commanded to solemnly examine themselves and confess sin so as to avoid taking communion in an unworthy manner. The remembrance of Jesus' work on the cross must lead us to celebration as we rejoice in the salvation He purchased. Like baptism, communion is reserved for believers and possesses no power to save. (1 Corinthians 11:20-29; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:42-46)
For more information, read this article written by Pastor Chris.
Call to Mission & Church Planting
Just as Jesus was sent into the world to save sinners, so all believers are sent by God to make disciples of all nations. On an individual level, this means every believer is called to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to their friends, co-workers, neighbors, and community. Corporately, we seek to mobilize people in various small group ministries to assist one another in building relationships, serving others, and evangelizing our community and world. We also seek to use our church campus to meet our community where they are and show the love of Jesus in conjunction with sharing the good news of Jesus.
It is our belief that planting new churches is both God's established plan to reach the nations and the most effective method to see long-term results. We therefore seek to train, equip, and send our people out to plant churches both domestically and internationally. We also partner with church planters around the globe in order to strategically invest our time, talent, and treasure in the advance of the gospel. (John 20:21; Matthew 29:19-20; Acts 13-15; Acts 14:21-23)
To find out more about why this is important, read this article by Tim Keller.
We believe all Christians should be members of a local church. Membership places us under the God-ordained authority of the church, gives us a shared identity, and unites us with a common purpose. Church membership helps us pursue these commands in community and also follows God's design for accountability and church discipline when we depart from the calling He has placed on our lives. While this distinctive is not explicitly stated in Scripture, a careful reading of the New Testament only makes sense against the backdrop of church membership. Church membership serves as a catalyst for living in community, which is a key ingredient for displaying the image of God, loving one another, and living on mission. (1 Corinthians 5:1-11; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 5:1-10; John 13:35)
Marriage & Sexuality
We believe God wonderfully and immutably creates all human beings in his image as either male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders beautifully picture both the image and nature of God. Human marriage is also a picture of Jesus' marriage to the church where He is the groom and the church is the bride. This imagery also demands that male and female be understood as distinct and complementary. (Genesis 1:26-27; Ephesians 5:22-23; Galatians 3:27-29)
God has gloriously ordained marriage to be an exclusive union of one man and one woman for life. God designed and planned sexual intimacy to be only within the context of marriage. All sexual activity outside of marriage is expressly forbidden. (Genesis 2:18-25; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4)
God's mercy, grace, and forgiveness are freely given to all who repent of their sin and come to faith in Jesus Christ. Further, we believe all human beings should be treated with love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful attitudes and behaviors are to be repudiated and are not in accord with the practices of this church, and more importantly, with the teaching of Scripture. (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 3:19-21; Mark 12:28-31; John 4:1-42)
Women in Ministry
We believe men and women possess complete equality in essence, value, and dignity. God's divine design is that they have complementary, distinct roles within the church. We encourage women to use their spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ wherever possible unless Scripture clearly excludes women from a given ministry role. The office and role of pastor is reserved for spiritually qualified men. The issue is not only whether women hold the title of pastor, but also whether they perform the roles designated by God for pastors. Just as the different roles and mutual submission within the Trinity do not indicate inequality, so different roles and mutual submission within the church do not indicate inequality. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 1:2; John 6:38; Galatians 3:27-29)
Sanctity of Life
We believe that all humans are made in the image of God. As the only beings made in the image of God, all humans possess immense value. Because God deeply loves humanity and identifies Himself as a defender of the weak, we should do the same. As God's ambassadors on earth, we are called to defend, protect, and value all human life. This includes pre-born babies, the elderly, the physically challenged, the mentally challenged, the poor, refugees, orphans, and widows. (Genesis 1:27-28; Psalm 139:13-16; Proverbs 14:31; Psalm 68:5; Psalm 82:3-4; James 1:27)
Read this article for a more in-depth look at this topic.