OUR ESSENTIALS These are our “Faith Essentials” that make us who we are as followers of Jesus Christ and identify what we believe to be true: (Scriptural references are available upon request)
The Triune GOD: There is one and only one living and true God who alone is worthy to be worshiped. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being who is also known among other things as Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. His holiness is complete and because of who He is, we owe Him our highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit without any division of nature, essence, or being.
The Father: God the Father reigns sovereignly over all His creation and every flow of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. Though He remains God of all creation, He is especially known as Father to those who become His child through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Son: Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is co-equal with the Father. He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life and willingly offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over both sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Until that day, He dwells in all believers and is the living and ever present Lord.
The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is understood in scripture as both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus. Yet He is also unique and distinct in His personhood and is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation and provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right and dispersing spiritual gifts as He sees fit.
Bible: The Bible consists of the writings of the Old (39 books) and New Testaments (27 books) and was given by inspiration of God. Because it is inspired by God, it is “The” source of truth for Christian faith and daily living.
Man & Sin: Adam, the first man, was created in God’s own image and with His unique freedom of choice. Yet by his free choice man disobeyed God and brought sin into the human race. As a result, all people from Adam naturally have a “propensity” towards sin and as soon as they are capable of moral action, they will choose the wrong rather than the right. Only the grace of God can overcome this weakness and bring man back into fellowship with His holiness.
Eternity (Heaven & Hell): Man was created to exist forever and will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally in union with God through forgiveness of sin. To be eternally separated from God is hell and to be eternally in union with God is eternal life or heaven. Both heaven and hell are literal places.
Salvation: All people are in need of saving and can never make up for sin by self improvement or good works. Yet because of the sacrifice of Christ for sin, God offers the free gift of salvation to all who will admit their sinfulness condition, accept Christ’s righteous act and receive God’s forgiveness offer. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Church: The church is made up of individual believers who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are referred to as the “body of Christ” and are understood as both a local gathering of believers as well as a universal collection of all believers throughout time. They are empowered by the Holy Spirit to continue the ministry of Jesus by gathering to worship God, growing in faith, shining as lights and ministering to those in need.
Return of Christ: According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth. The dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in righteousness for what they have done while on earth. Those whose names are not written in the “book of life” will spend eternity in Hell; the place of everlasting punishment. Those whose names are written in the “book of life” will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with their Lord.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is our first act of obedience and symbolizes our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, our death to sin, the burial of the old life, our resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Likewise, the Lord's Supper is a symbolic act whereby members of the Body of Christ, through partaking of the bread and the wine (or juice), memorialize the death of Jesus Christ and testify to our belief and anticipation of His second coming.