We believe that the Bible was inspired by God as an account of God’s activity in history. With that in mind, what we believe is shapTed in the form of a historical narrative…. an abbreviated form of the greater story that we are part of:
We believe in a Creator God who is the ultimate reality. Before the creation, God existed in three persons that included the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Through the Son, God spoke the created world into existence. God’s good and relational nature was passed onto humanity, who were created in God’s image. No other being, including angels or animals can make the same claim. God’s desire for humanity was to have a relationship with us.
God offered man a true and full life in this good creation, but humans rejected it. After being deceived, humankind chose to follow their own way, rather than the life God had offered. This caused man to fall from intimacy with God, and all of God’s creation’s relationship with God became fractured.
Though broken hearted over this schism, God worked to again initiate a relationship with humanity. God called Abraham and Sarah to begin this work. God promised them that through their offspring, the Hebrews, all the peoples of the earth would be blessed.
In time, the Hebrews became slaves in Egypt, where they cried out to God. God heard their cry and remembered the promise that had been made to Abraham and Sarah. After liberating the Hebrews, God established a covenant relationship with them, offering blessing to them as the followed the Torah, a set of laws or guidelines on how to live. But through the law was meant for good, it became a burden as some tried to prove themselves more righteous than others.
Through one of Abraham’s descendants, Jesus, God offered the means to repair the broken relationship with humans. Jesus was God’s Son, fully human and fully God. He lived a perfect, sinless life, to offer a view for humans of the way that God had designed for us to live. Jesus proclaimed this way of life to be the kingdom of God, and invited humanity to live in this way.
Jesus was killed through crucifixion. This was not only a gruesome execution, but also God’s offering of self as a final sacrifice to mend this broken relationship with humans. On day three following His death, Jesus rose from the dead ( also known as resurrection ) as a testimony that He offered power over sin and death.
Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus left the earth to be with the Father in heaven. But He did not leave us alone. He promised He would send the Spirit to come and continue to show us how to live in the way of Jesus. For those who are followers of Jesus, the Spirit affirms us as children of God, empowers with gifts, convicts, guides, comforts, counsels, and leads us into truth through a communal life of worship and a missional expression of our faith.
When the Spirit came, the church began, and it continues today to extend the kingdom of God on earth. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in us and through us, to a broken and hurting world. We labor to restore relationships between God and humans, and among humans. We hold firmly to the belief that the way of Jesus is the best way to live and it is open to anyone who desires it. As a sign of commitment to living in the way of Jesus, we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus through water baptism ( Immersion ).
But even as we labor for the kingdom of God, we know it is not yet complete. We look forward to the day when Jesuus will return, and God will fully and completely restore things to the way they were meant to be. God will dwell with us here in a restored creation. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we have given our lives to living out that future reality now.