Everyone follows something. We are called first and foremost as Christians to follow Jesus. Following God is not about rules and regulations, but about a relationship with Him. At the same time there are some very important principles that express what it means to follow God. These are so important that we believe we must have unity in these truths.
We follow a saying that many have used before us: In Essentials Unity, in Non-Essentials Liberty, in all things Love.
In Essentials Unity: We want to be unified in those essential beliefs of our faith – the truths the Bible is very clear about. Here are what we consider to be the Essentials:
There is one God, Creator of heaven and earth, who exists eternally as three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each fully and infinitely God yet personally distinct from one another. He is infinitely perfect, the sovereign Lord, holy Judge, loving Father, and intimately acquainted with all our ways. He is God and we are not. As God, He is perfect in person, power and plan. He is above and beyond any other being in existence. “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.” ~ Isaiah 45:5 ESV
We believe that Jesus is God incarnate, fully God and fully human. He has always been with the Father and has always been God. He came to earth, assumed a human nature being born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, willingly died on the cross as our substitute, and rose again. Now, He sits at the right hand of the Father as our advocate and will some day return in power and glory to consummate history and fulfill the plan of God.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its sin and draws them to Jesus. He and dwells in all followers of Christ and empowers them to live Christ-centered lives.
When the most powerful, perfect, loving being speaks we believe it’s important to listen. God has shared His thoughts and ways as recorded in the Bible. The Bible is His Word written for our benefit. His thoughts and ways ALWAYS trump ours thoughts and ways. It is the framework by which we judge all truth. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:9 ESV
We are messed up people and are part of an imperfect church. All people are created in God’s image and have boundless worth, but have sinned – disobeyed God and fallen away from His plan. Apart from new birth in Christ, humanity is spiritually lost and without hope of spending eternity with God. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed. The offer to be saved from the penalty of our sin and reconciled to God is God’s love-gift to every person. Rightness with God cannot be earned through any effort of our own, but only received by exercising faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.