WHAT WE TEACHWe unite around these core doctrines
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
We offer this statement of our convictions with humility and with no illusion that we could ever capture the fullness of God’s truth in any document. We embrace and celebrate the mystery of faith, and we look forward to Jesus’s return, when we will know fully as we are fully known.
We want to start by making it clear that we don’t see ourselves as “the ones who finally got the Bible right,” nor do we base our identity and confidence on being right about everything. We are, however, irresistibly drawn to the person of Jesus – the power and brilliance and grace of his life and teaching – so we have chosen to accept his invitation to follow him. That decision is taking us on a journey of discovery that has sometimes confirmed our convictions and at other times has called us to repent and change in order to be more aligned with his Way.
So while we hold firmly to our faith, we also strive to maintain the posture and mindset of perpetual learners – seeking God’s will, stepping out on faith, experimenting, sometimes doubting or failing or falling, but rising strong again – always aiming to build a community that collectively follows the Way of Jesus.
We Believe In God, The Three-In-One
Father, Son and Holy Spirit existing in an eternal relationship of self-giving love.
We Believe In God
God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, is good and keeps his promises. God calls out people to be his own and blesses them so that they can be a blessing to all. God has spoken through his prophets and through his Word, and definitively revealed himself in and through Jesus.
We Believe In Jesus Christ, Our Lord
Jesus is the risen, reigning, and returning King, the object of our faith. He is the eternal Word of God who became flesh and lived among humans. He was crucified, died, was buried, and was resurrected on the third day. He will return to judge the world and to consummate the fullness of His Kingdom in the new heaven and new earth.
We Believe In The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is our Indweller who unites us in one body and fills us for worship; our Teacher, Revealer, and Counselor who gives us wisdom, discernment, and conviction of sin; our Guide and Enabler who graces us with gifts to serve others and the power to be loving and faithful; our Comforter, Intercessor and Advocate before God’s throne; our Seal and Deposit, who guarantees our glorious inheritance.
We Believe In The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Bible to be inspired by God, a reliable witness to the story of God’s people through the ages, and authoritative for our life and teaching. We view the Scriptures as the primary instrument for introducing God’s story and message to the world – the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven. As people of the Book, we embrace this story as our story and God’s future as our future.
We Believe In Salvation As The Gracious Work Of God
Salvation begins and ends with God – it is God’s work and it is accomplished by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10). God is delighted to show the extravagant riches of his love and mercy to us, not only by forgiving us, but also by rescuing us, empowering us, and transforming us into the likeness of Jesus.
God alone saves. We are free to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation, but we would not be able to accept the offer except that God has first initiated with us and drawn us. Because God is in essence a relational Being, it is not surprising that salvation is given freely to those who respond and choose to come into a saving relationship with God.
The biblical response to God’s offer of salvation involves faith (Acts 16:31, Rom. 3:22), repentance (Acts 2:38, 3:19-20), and baptism (Rom. 6:1-4, Col. 2:11-12). God meets us in faith, repentance, and baptism and the result is salvation. We believe it is most helpful to understand this as a saving relationship, rather than a transaction. We bring nothing “to the table” in our sacred meeting with God. Although faith, repentance, and baptism are things we do, they are not works that in any way earn salvation. They are simply the appropriate biblical response to accept God’s gracious offer.
While we can’t claim to comprehend all that this entails, we can be confident that we have been forgiven, our lives have been forever altered, our chains have been removed, and we have been set free to live for our Lord.
We Believe In The Church
The biblical word for church means “gathering.” We are a Christian community that gathers to worship and to learn to put the teachings of Jesus into practice. We are a called out people – called out from death to life, from captivity to freedom, and from complacency and apathy to meaningful engagement.
We believe the Church exists for the world and not just for herself; she is to be a signpost pointing to the Kingdom of God and bringing it into every part of this world. We serve our King, one another, and the world according to the gifts that the Spirit has graciously distributed among us and we strive to cooperate with God in bringing full and abundant life to all of creation.
We Believe In Life Everlasting
Jesus came to give us abundant, authentic and eternal life. This eternal kind of life is the life of the age to come, when God’s Kingdom fully comes and God’s will is done on the new earth as it is in the heavens. But that eternal kind of life begins now, as we experience it in some measure through the Holy Spirit, through our relationships with God and each other, and as we see the Kingdom break in on this world as God’s will is put into practice. We believe in the Great Resurrection in that age to come, when God will live with us and we will reign with God.
Because we have been given this eternal kind of life, our citizenship is in Heaven and our ultimate loyalty is to our Liberating King – far above any other group or party. So we are strangers in a fallen and rebellious world, striving to live as Spirit-empowered nonconformists who are a blessing to others as we demonstrate the justice, love and peace of Jesus by service to the world around us.