What We Believe
“Answers to Important Questions of Faith”
We come to faith through the work of the Holy Spirit as the story of Jesus is passed on
to us. (John 3; Jude 3; Acts 2:42; 2 John 9)
Thus “our” answers to important questions of faith are not original, we receive and gather them from faithful Christians and sister congregations both historical and contemporary to us.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is fully man, fully God, the Savior of the world.
Jesus is fully Man: Jesus was conceived and born. (Luke 1:31, 2:7) He grew. (Luke
2:40,52) He experienced fatigue, (John 4:6) got thirsty (John 19:28), and was hungry.
(Matthew 4:2) He became physically weak. (Matthew 4:11; Luke 23:26). He slept. (Luke 8:23) He prayed. (Luke 5:16) He died. (Luke 23:46) And he had a real human body after his resurrection. (Luke 24:39; John 20:20,27)
Jesus is entirely God: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14; 8:54-58).
Jesus is the Savior of the world: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is God.
We believe he is a gift of love from the Father and he took on human form like us,
experienced the same feelings, pains, happiness, temptation, and sorrow and yet he lived without sin.
We believe that because he is fully man and fully God, he is able to show us what God is like and bring us into a relationship with God again.
What did Jesus do for us?
We believe that through his sinless life as a human and death by crucifixion, Jesus took all the sins of humanity; past, present, and future unto himself.
Jesus died our death and lives our life.
Jesus always did what was good, right, and perfect. He honored God and loved people with every thought, word, and deed. He was impeccable. He lived a perfect life for our benefit.
As perfect as Jesus was, he died on the cross. The penalty for sin is death, but Jesus never sinned! So why did he die? The Bible tells us that he was paying the penalty for our sins, our misdeeds, and our brokenness.
He willingly took our punishment for us. When we put our trust – not in ourselves and what we have done – but in Jesus and what he has done for us, our blemished record is cleared, and his perfect record becomes ours. An exchange takes place. For example, in 2 Corinthians 5:21, we are told, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
What is the Bible?
The Word of God.
The Bible is the story of God rescuing his broken world full of broken people and giving them a new life. The Bible is without error in all matters pertaining to faith and life, the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.
What is the Gospel?
The Gospel (“Good News”) is all about Jesus. The Gospel is Jesus.
The Bad News: I am so sinful that Jesus had to die for me.
We cannot save ourselves.
The Good News: I am so loved by God that Jesus was glad to die for me. There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved.
The additional Good News: Believing the Gospel means my identity is based on what God has done for me in Jesus. I don’t have to prove myself to God or others because my acceptance is based on Jesus’ good performance, not mine. I am loved by God simply because I am loved by God.
The pressure is off.
I am free to be myself with all of my faults and failures. I don’t have to hide because all of my sin is forgiven sin. I can welcome Jesus, the Light of the world, because even though I am exposed by him, he still loves me. Now he will help me learn to live by his loving truth.
(John 3:16-17, 19-21; John 4:8; Mark 1:11; John 8:12; John 15:12-16a.)
Think about it in terms of time. The Gospel is the good news that through faith, Jesus
saved us in his crucifixion and resurrection. The past is forgiven and wiped clean.
Through faith, Jesus saves us in our present experience from the power of sin. Real
change can happen now! Jesus didn’t die on the cross to change God’s mind about us; Jesus died on the cross to change our minds about God!
Through faith, we are saved from the eternal consequences of sin because of Jesus. There is hope for the future!
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
What is Worship?
Worship is honoring God with our entire lives as individuals. (Romans 12:1-2)
Because Jesus loves us (so much!) and is the King who became poor so we could be rich in Him, we honor and worship Him. In fact, our great delight is to do so.
(2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 2:8-10)
Worship is honoring God together. Our God-granted spiritual gifts and talents need to be combined. In this way, we make up a complete body of Christ, the church.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-14 ff)
Together, we can continue God's work in this world. Together, we experience all that God has in store for us. Together, we enjoy the worship experience more fully. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
In the life of our congregation, we intend all our teaching and preaching to point to Jesus as Lord of all. He is the beginning and end of our worship and in all that, we do as individuals and as a body of believers.
What is a disciple?
A disciple is a person who has responded to God, who has put up the sails of their soul to receive and begin to live an eternal life through Jesus.
(John 3:5-8; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2)
A disciple is one who lives intentionally in a close relationship with God.
A disciple chooses to be changed by Jesus; choosing to seek Jesus first, and choosing to join Jesus in his resurrection work. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)
A disciple joins in every member ministry, the priesthood of believers – men and
women; children, young, old, and everyone in between. (1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)
A disciple is patient, humble, and charitable in Bible study and practical application. For example, if it appears that Paul and Jesus disagree on something, we defer to Jesus while we sort things out.