We are all on a journey, learning more and more as we go. And we all have an authority; someone or something we point to that helps us navigate our beliefs and values. For Christians, that authority is God and the direction He gives us in His word, the Bible. As individuals, we don't have the perspective to know truth the way God does, and so we look to Him to point us to all truth. There are some beliefs Christians disagree about, and there are some things that Christians discuss quite often. Below you will find two sections. The focus of the first section is the primary thing that unites Christians; the gospel. The second section outlines the things most Christians you'll meet will agree on, and what we, as a church, are committed to as we learn from God through His word.
How would you respond if someone asked you, "What is the gospel Christians believe in?" Some people would tell you the gospel is a set of rules and regulations you need to follow if you want a pleasant afterlife. This may be a common view, but it is not the gospel. That's not even good news (which is what the word "gospel" means). If, in the end, the gospel is about me and what I must do to get eternal life, then it is not good news because we all rebel and fall short of earning the best God has for us (Romans 3:23). That is the bad news.
The bad news is that we have all rebelled against God, going our way and doing our thing rather than living a life the reflects His character. The Bible maintains that God created the physical and moral laws of the universe and just as we are accountable to the physical laws (gravity, etc), so we are also accountable to the moral laws. We have broken God's moral law, and thus we are accountable to God for our rebellion. This is where the good news comes in.
While we were far away from God in our sins (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:5), God acted on our behalf, sending His son Jesus Christ who lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died. The wages of our rebellion earned for us eternal separation and forsakenness by God, and Jesus, hanging on the cross, bore the full weight of that penalty for our sins. He was forsaken by God (Matthew 27:46) so we could be accepted by Him. God sends His son, not because He needs us, but because He loves us. God would rather endure the full penalty of sin Himself, rather than endure eternity without you (John 3:16).
We take hold of the salvation God offers by turning to God and trusting that Jesus death on the cross was for me and is all I need for eternal life. If we think faith in Jesus sacrifice for me is a part of the plan, we completely miss the good news, and, as the Apostle Paul says, "nullify the grace of God" (Galatians 2:21). Eternal life is a gift we receive from God.
Romans 3:24 says we are "justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." The Apostle Paul says that when we trust in Jesus' death on the cross, we stand wholly righteous, holy and blameless before God (Colossians 1:21-22, Philippians 3:8-9, Galatians 2:16). This is called grace.
Grace is undeserved favor. We don't deserve God's care and concern, His love and mercy, but He freely gives it. In the end, the good news is that all who trust in Jesus' death on the cross and follow Him have been saved by grace, through faith. Trusting in what Jesus did for us means that our works play no part in our salvation (though they are a fruit, or evidence of, my salvation, see James 2:14-26). The Bible says that salvation is 100% God's doing, so rather than boasting in anything we've done, we will forever boast about the goodness of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13-14).
The videos at the bottom of this page expand on several of the ideas in the above explanation of the gospel. They answer several questions that come up as the gospel is presented. If you're ready to receive God's gift of eternal life today by turning to God and placing trust in Jesus' death on the cross for you, you can talk to God in your heart, saying something like this:
“Jesus, I recognize that I am a sinner. I know you died for me so I could have eternal life. I turn from my sinful past, and want you to be my Savior and Lord. I trust you completely for this free gift. Amen.” (Amen is a fancy way of saying, “let it be so.” It’s the way Jesus ended His prayers, so we follow His example.)
If you crossed this line of faith today, or if you just want more information about it, our church has a series of lessons, called "Roots," that we'd love for you to go through. Click "Here" for a link to a version of the first lesson you can view on-line or print out at home.
If you have any questions, or if you need help understanding anything on this page, you can email Pastor Loren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a fairly extensive statement of belief. If you'd prefer something short and sweet, you can check out the statement of faith all churches in Converge Worldwide share (a network of churches to which we belong). If you have any questions, feel free to shoot our staff an email.
The Word of God: We believe that the Bible, containing the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, is the whole and sufficient, inspired word of God. We believe God’s Word was written by human authors under the supernatural inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This work is the supreme, unalterable, inerrant authority in all matters of faith and conduct. (See Psalm 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
The Triune God: We believe that there is one living and true God who is the Creator and Ruler of all that exists. We believe that God has eternally existed in three distinct persons, and that these persons are equal in every divine perfection (such as: omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, eternality, infinitude, immutability, and possessing a perfect foreknowledge of all events). We believe that each person – The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- are equally deserving of worship and obedience, that they work in differentiate agency, yet in concert with one another to achieve God’s plan of salvation. (See Genesis 1:1; Numbers 23:19; Deuteronomy 6:4, 33:27; Psalm 90:2, 139:2; Isaiah 43:10-11, 44:6-8, 45:5-6,18; Hosea 11:9; Malachi 3:16; Matthew 1:20-23, 3:16-17, 28:19; John 1:1-3; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 9:14; James 1:17; 1 Peter 1:1-2)
God the Father: We believe in God the Father, creator of the world, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. Though He is the transcendent creator of all things, He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humankind, hearing and answering our prayers, and saving all from sin and spiritual death who would come to Him though Jesus Christ. (See Genesis 1:1; Matthew 5:48, 10:32-33; Mark 11:25; John 1:14, John 4:23-24, 15:16, Ephesians 3:8-9)
God the Son: We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, begotten not made. He is the Eternal Word, coequal, coeternal and consubstantial with the Father and Holy Spirit. We believe that the Father created all things through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence. The Eternal Son was made flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; He lived a sinless life, performed miracles and offered Himself as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world by dying on the cross. We believe that in the incarnation, Christ surrendered nothing of His divine nature while accepting all the essential characteristics of humanity. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into Heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and His future, personal and visible return to the earth to reign as Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords. We also believe that the eternal Son is the one through whom God will judge all humankind. (See Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5, 14, 5:22-23; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Colossians 1:15-17, 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3, 7:25, 9:27-28)
God the Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial with the Father and the Son, proceeds from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. We believe that each person who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation is baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation; regenerating them, sanctifying them, and giving to each member of Christ’s body power for living by bestowing upon the believer a spiritual gift. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Christian’s abiding helper, teacher and guide. (See Genesis 1:2; John 14:16-17, 16:7-13; Romans 8:9, 15:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 12:7, 12:11; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18)
Human Beings: We believe that all people are created in God’s image and matter deeply to Him. Through the sin of Adam, human nature has been corrupted. Further, each person has turned away from our Maker, and is guilty of sin, and thus under condemnation of spiritual death, both by nature and choice. However, the central message of the Bible is that God loves humankind, and gracefully invites each person to live in communion with Himself and in community with each other. We believe death seals the eternal destiny of each person. At the final judgement, unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation and believers will be received into God’s loving presence where they will dwell with Him for eternity. (See Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 25:31-34; Romans 3:23-24, 5:12, 6:23; Hebrews 9:27-28)
Salvation and Regeneration: We believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice, and are therefore under condemnation before the Holy and Just God. All people who hear the good news of the gospel, are convicted of sin, trust in Jesus Christ as the sole means of salvation and eternal life, and choose to submit to the Lordship of Christ are supernaturally given new life by the Holy Spirit who indwells them. Regeneration occurs instantly as the repentant sinner responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. This provision is commonly called “the gospel,” and is an act accomplished wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, not on the basis of human merit or works. (See Psalm 51:4-5; John 3:3; Romans 3:23-26; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-7)
Justification: We believe that justification before God is an act of God by which he declares righteous those who trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for their salvation. This act of God takes place apart from any virtue of man, and involves the placing of our sin, and our cursedness before God upon Christ, and the placing of Christ’s righteousness on us. (See Romans 3:25-26, 8:33, 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21, 7:10; 1 Peter 2:24)
Sanctification: We believe that at salvation every believer is fully justified before God, and is therefore declared to be holy. By the work of the Spirit indwelling man, believers are brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God. In essence, as each follower of Jesus grows closer to the example of living He gave us, we grow closer to the holy status we have been given. (See 1 Corinthians 1:2-3, 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:21-23; Philippians 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; Hebrews 10:10)
The Church: We believe in the universal Church; a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and regenerated persons are members. The local church is a congregation of believers who gather for worship, prayer, instruction, encouragement, mutual accountability, and community. We believe that God has given the church the task of bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world; making disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything our Lord Jesus commanded. (See Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, 11:2; Ephesians 4:15-16, 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 10:24-25)
The Last Things: We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final eternal judgement unto life for the believer and death for the unbeliever. We believe that each individual will exist eternally either separated from God by sin in Hell, or in communion with God by His grace through the forgiveness of our sins. (See Matthew 24:30-31, 25:31-32; John 3:16; Acts 1:10-11; Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 20:12-15)
Eternal Security: We believe that each true believer will persevere to the end, standing firm in the faith. Every member of Christ’s true church can have full assurance of faith, knowing that our salvation and eternal inheritance is upheld by God’s faithfulness and power; not by human frailty. (See Matthew 10:22; Romans 8:38-39; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Hebrews 5:9, 6:17-20, 7:25)
The Ordinances: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the Church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the Triune God. Baptism is an outward sign of the inward putting to death of the old life of sin, and rising to new life in Christ. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for the commemoration of the new covenant He established by His death on the cross. These two practices should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27)
Christian Conduct: In response to God’s love and kindness He showed to us in Christ, and as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit working in the life of the believer, we believe a Christian will continually grow in his/her capacity to live out the two great commandments: Loving God with all our heart, mind and strength, and loving our neighbor as one’s self. In so doing, the christian should be blameless before the world, a faithful steward of possessions, and growing in his/her ability to follow Jesus fully. (Matthew 22:38-39, Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:5, John 16:8-11, 1 Timothy 5:7, 1 Timothy 6:18)
Religious Liberty: We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each local church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. (1 Timothy 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9, Hebrews 4:14-16)
Marriage: We believe that God loves each and every person, and that the Christian is called to love, serve and care for all people without exception. We believe that Christian marriage is a sacred institution ordained of God for the happiness of mankind and the propagation of the race. It is a spiritual and physical union into which one man and one woman may enter for the glory of God and, according to the scriptural ideal, is to be broken only by death. As part of the created order, marriage is not open to reinterpretation. We believe that God has ordained the marriage union as the appropriate context for sexual expression. We believe that God gives grace to those who have not always lived up to that ideal, and that through repentance and by trusting Jesus, those who have strayed from God’s plan for human sexuality can find peace in fellowship with believers and with God. (Genesis 2:23-24, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Mark 10:6-12)