What We Believe
God created the world and it was good. We had other ideas.
God made earth to reflect and enjoy his glory. When He stepped back to survey his work, everything functioned perfectly and man and woman held special honor as God’s image bearers (Genesis 1:26-31). They loved each other and worshiped God. But the honeymoon didn’t last.
Our first parents sinned by rebelling against God, and death and sorrow entered the world. They chose to listen to the lies of Satan, God’s enemy, rather than the voice of God himself (Genesis 3). Since then, sin has become genetic, as we all live selfishly apart from God, instinctively and by choice. Nothing in our being or in creation is left unstained by sin and its brokenness (Romans 1:1-25).
God stepped into his fallen creation.
God had no obligation to fix what we had broken or to rescue us from the destination we chose: eternal hell, apart from the warmth and glory of his presence. But God revealed his heart as he took decisive action to reconcile us to himself (Romans 5:6-11).
God sent his son, Jesus, into first century Palestine on a rescue mission (Luke 4:16-21). The salvation of God’s people was accomplished by the sinless life, atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins (Romans 3:23-25). Our shorthand for God’s startling, saving work is “the gospel.” God lived the life we should have lived–but never could–and died the death we should have died–but now do not need to (Romans 6:23).
God left us a ticking clock and good work to do.
After Jesus walked out of his grave, he told his disciples that the cosmic battle had been won. Sin had been paid for, evil was defeated, and death had been reversed. Having brought God’s kingdom back to earth, Jesus said that God would return a final time, to restore all things (Revelation 22:1-5). Until then, said Jesus, our work is to make disciples, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the guiding and empowering presence of God (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Bible is central to our faith because God stakes his claim to our lives in the public square of history (Luke 1:1-4). Christianity is not a private faith. Jesus’ feet kicked up real dust on Galilean roads. The history and poetry and propositions of the Bible tell his story and are God’s trustworthy, inspired, infallible, chosen means of self-revelation (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Doctrine is not and has never been mere information to be passively nodded to. Doctrine is truth about God that changes us and in so doing, changes everything. Accurate, biblical doctrine is vital (1 Timothy 4:16) because it is not just what we believe. It’s who we become.
Therefore, in stating these truths about God, we’re also confessing our destiny. We’re accepting an invitation to a great dance, a game, a life, where the stakes are high, the risks are great, and the weight of glory and joy is immeasurable (Philippians 3:7-11).
This doctrinal foundation is held in common with a variety of other churches, associations, and denominations. The Bible tells us to have sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16), love other Christians (1 Peter 4:8) and avoid needless divisions (Romans 16:17). Apparently God thinks these things can happen at the same time, so we do too.