What We Believe

About God.

We believe in one God who is infinite in wisdom, power, and love. We affirm our trust in God as the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things, the One who comes to us as the Holy Spirit. We believe that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us a clear, full, and true revelation of God. We believe that God is all merciful, righteous, and just. Through prayer, and in fellowship with God, we grow in our understanding of the divine purpose and will for our lives.

About Jesus Christ.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ-the promised Messiah and Deliverer, our Savior and the Savior of the world, "the world's true light." We believe that Jesus lived a life that was truly human and truly divine. He was tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning (Heb. 4:15-16). He lived in perfect obedience to God. The unmatched depth of God's love is revealed within the life and ministry of Jesus' preaching, teaching, and healing, and in his suffering, death, and resurrection. We affirm the faith of the early Christians that Jesus Christ is the Lord. We believe the living Christ is present with us and that through faith in Christ we experience the joy of salvation.

About the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the Holy Spirit as God present with us for guidance, comfort, and strength. We affirm the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives, inspiring those qualities known in the New Testament as "the fruit of the Spirit" - "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23). Likewise, the Holy Spirit inspires gifts that are to be used for our mutual up-building: "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good" (1 Cor. 12:4-7). "The Spirit helps us in our weakness" (Rom. 8:26) and keeps us in perpetual remembrance of the truth of Christ.

About Forgiveness.

We believe in the reality of sin and in the forgiveness of sin. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. When we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (/ John 1:8-9). We confess that we have alienated ourselves from God by our self-centeredness and disobedience. Our estrangement thwarts our hopes of achieving what is good. We believe the Holy Spirit quickens our conscience, convicts us of sin, and prompts us toward righteousness. Our repentance is matched by God's gracious love and acceptance. Forgiveness re-establishes a broken relationship and enables us to begin again. Since God forgives us, we are expected to forgive others.

About Scripture.

We believe the Word of God contained in the Old and New Testaments is the sufficient rule both of faith and of practice. Although God is revealed in many ways, we believe the testimony of the Bible is crucial in helping us to live in terms of God's will. We believe the Bible was written by persons who were inspired and challenged by the Spirit of God. The Bible is a record of the many experiences men and women had on their journey of faith: faithfulness and disobedience; high commitments and broken promises; affirmation and doubt. We believe that God speaks to us through the Scripture when we interpret the ancient witness in light of both its original meaning and its message for us today.

About Church.

We believe the Church is a community of faith and love, and a fellowship for worship, study, and service made up of all people who are united to the living Lord. The Church is not a place, a building, or an institution. The Church is present when we come together as a gathered community, as well as when we express our faith in witness and service in the world about us. We confess that "the Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord." We affirm our belief in the Church universal-the fellowship of Christians around the world. This is what The Apostles' Creed means when it refers to "the holy catholic Church." We recognize that within the fellowship of the Church are those who have lived and died before us, who have finished their course in faith, and who now rest from their labors.

About the Kingdom of God.

We believe in the kingdom of God as the divine rule in human society. One of Jesus' favorite themes was "the kingdom of God." It represented for him God's reign, the manifestation of God's purpose and will. Any number of his parables about the kingdom depict God as One who searches for us. Jesus spoke of the kingdom in various ways: within us, around us, among us, beyond us. The kingdom is already here; it is yet to come. It is a present reality; it is a future hope. We are called into fellowship with God and with one another to the end that the divine will can be expressed in and through us. We Pray, "Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

About Eternal life.

We believe in the final triumph of righteousness and in the life everlasting. We have here, through faith in Christ, a glimpse of that which shall be revealed. We believe that eternal life is not simply an extension of life beyond death, but also a quality of life in Christ lived here and now. To live "in Christ" is to know eternal life. Even though we "walk through the valley of the shadow of death," we fear no evil. Although we may have questions about what life after death may be like, we are confident that the promise of Christ is trustworthy and that God will be with us and sustain us.

About Human dignity.

We believe that God endows each person with dignity and moral responsibility. The alienation and discrimination many individuals feel is painful to them and to us. We seek to be sensitive to each person's longing for self-respect and the desire of all people to share in a good life. Our clearest insight into what human dignity means is found in Jesus Christ, who brings together into one life the truly human and the truly divine. We recognize our responsibility to God and to one another, and confess that "to worship rightly is to love each other."

About Grace.

We believe in the primacy of grace. Grace is God's self-giving love bestowed upon us quite apart from our having deserved it. God's love is freely given to us, not because we have earned it, but because we need it. Out of our heritage we gratefully reaffirm belief in 'prevenient grace,' the divine love that anticipates all our conscious impulses and that persuades the heart toward faith. We believe that God's love is always with us and encourages us to be faithful in the midst of the temptations and problems we face.

About Conversion.

We believe that a decisive change in the human heart can and does occur under the promptings of grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This new birth, or conversion, may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. It marks the beginning of a new life in Christ. The personal transformation that comes about through a faithful response to God's love expresses itself in many different thought-forms and life-styles.
We may look back into our lives and identify a time, or place, or a series of experiences that we recognize as a turning point or as transforming moments - our conversion. There is also a sense in which we need to be daily transformed and renewed by the Spirit of Christ. Our salvation is not static. It is not simply an experience of the past. When conversion is viewed as a dynamic encounter with the living God, we can say, "I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved." We must always be receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

About Faith and Works.

We believe that faith and good works belong together. Having a life full of good works without faith will leave you far from God. And living a life of faith without good works is not really faith. What we believe must be confirmed by what we do. Personal salvation must be expressed in ministry and mission in the world. We believe that Christian doctrine and Christian ethics are inseparable, that faith should and will inspire service. We affirm the biblical precept that "faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (James 2:17).

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