1. Who is God?
God is Trinity.
We are fully convinced that the universe was created by, is ruled by, and is held together by one God and that he is the only God that there is. We are fully convinced this one God is triune – meaning that He eternally exists as three distinct persons – but He is not three separate gods. The three persons of God are: God the Father, God the Son (who is Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. While they perform distinct roles in creation, providence, redemption, and relationship, their roles are harmonious. The three persons of the Trinity are co-eternal in being, power, glory, nature, attributes and perfections, and are equally worthy of worship, confidence and obedience. God the Trinity is spirit and is a personal God (refer to Genesis 1:1, Matthew 28:18-19, Mark 12:29, John 1:14, Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 13:14, John 4:24 and Deuteronomy 6:4).
God the Father
We are fully convinced in God the Father, the first person of the Trinity. We are fully convinced that He is an infinite personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We are fully convinced that the Father ordains the events of history, He foreknows all that shall come to pass, He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humankind, He is the hearer and answerer of prayers and that He is the one who sends His Son, Jesus, to save humankind from sin and death through His death on the cross (refer to Isaiah 53:10, Matthew 23:9, John 3:16, Matthew 6:9, Ephesians 1:3-6 and Isaiah 41:21-29).
God the Son
We are fully convinced that Jesus came to earth as a man without ceasing to be God. We are fully convinced that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a woman named Mary who became His earthly mother and that she gave birth to Jesus as a virgin. We agree with Jesus’ teachings, believe He lived a sinless life on earth and that he performed miracles. We are fully convinced that when Jesus came to earth, He was fully God while being fully man. We are fully convinced that Jesus received the wrath of God that was directed toward the sin of humans and that Jesus died as a substitute in our place – the death that humans deserve – to pay for human rebellion against God. We are fully convinced that Jesus’ death on the cross was the work that accomplished redemption for all who receive His death as their substitute and that Jesus’ work is the only work that can make a person right with God. We are fully convinced that Jesus rose from the dead in a literal, bodily resurrection, that He ascended into heaven where He is exalted at the right hand of God the Father and that He now acts as an intercessor, high priest and advocate for all who believe and trust in Him. We are fully convinced that Jesus will return one day to earth to judge the living and the dead (refer to John 1:1 & 14, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 1:18-23, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 4:14-16, Luke 24:36-43, 1 John 2:1-2, Romans 3:23-25, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 Peter 4:5).
God the Holy Spirit
We are fully convinced that God the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God – and that He came forth to humanity from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. We are firmly convinced that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ and indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. We are fully convinced that He is the divine teacher and helper who guides believers into truth and that it is the responsibility and privilege of all Christians to continually seek the filling of the Holy Spirit. We are fully convinced that the Holy Spirit empowers Christians with supernatural gifts, or talents, to perform ministry to the church and to the world (refer to John 16:8-11, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 & 27-31, Romans 12:3-8, Romans 8:9, 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 5:18 and Galatians 5:22-26).
Man in God’s Image
We are fully convinced that humankind – both male and female – have been distinctly created by God in His image and in His likeness, also commonly referred to by the Latin phrase “Imago Dei”. Although humans are not gods and fall short of God’s glory, God made humans to be like Him (refer to Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7 & 2:18-24).
Adam, the first human, rebelled against God and brought sin into the world, passing that sin onto all humans and tarnishing God’s image in humankind. All humans, except Jesus, inherit a sinful nature, are born rebellious against God in both nature and practice, are alienated from having a true relationship with God and are under the bondage of sin and enslaved to unrighteousness. Thus, humans are completely unable to save themselves from their sinful and lost condition and are completely unable to make themselves right with God through any action or desire, because even one sin results in spiritual and physical death. A human’s inability to save themselves places them under the wrath, condemnation and righteous judgment of God, meaning that a Savior is needed to save humans from themselves (refer to Genesis 3:1-24, Romans 1:18, Ephesians 2:1-3 and Romans 3:23, 5:12 & 19).
We are fully convinced that all humans are sinful and rebellious against God and are in need of salvation to be made right with God. Therefore, God sent Jesus as Savior of the souls of humans and through a process called sanctification the Holy Spirit renews humans who believe upon Jesus to renew them unto the image and likeness of God. Without salvation, no human can enter heaven or be a part of God’s family. We are firmly convinced that salvation is a free gift given to humans by God and that it is a gift that is only offered and acquired by God’s grace. Salvation is neither deserved nor secured in part or in whole by any work or virtue of humans. Salvation is received by humans through placing their faith in the person and work of Jesus as their Lord and substitute. We are fully convinced that upon receiving the gift of salvation a person is set free from the bondage of sin and unrighteousness and is given a new nature that enables them to live out their holy calling and relationship with God, as well as a new eternal life, which is the life of Jesus, which is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit of God indwelling and residing in the believer. Upon receiving the life of Jesus, the believer is made righteous by His righteousness, is adopted into the family of God, receives deliverance from condemnation and receives every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness (refer to 1 John 5:11-13, John 1:12, Romans 3:22-24, 6:23 & 8:1, Galatians 3:26, John 5:24, Ephesians 1:7 & 2:8-10, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 1:18-19).
We are fully convinced in the universal church, whose membership is made up of all regenerated persons on earth past, present and future, and that those persons make up a living spiritual body of which Jesus Christ is the head. We are fully convinced that the universal church is made up of many local expressions, often called “local churches”, which consist of believers in Jesus from a common region who are joined together by faith in Christ, worship of God and fellowship with God and with one another. We are fully convinced tha God has given a mission to each local church, which includes delivering the truth about Jesus to a broken world. We are fully convinced that all Christians have a responsibility to submit and belong to a local church and that each believer must place themselves under the authority and leadership of that local church, including the local church’s responsibility to discipline unrepentant members. We are fully convinced in the autonomy of the local church, free from control from any except God Himself. We are fully convinced that the local church has a responsibility to properly observe the God given ordinances of water baptism and communion (refer to Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:41-47, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 1 Peter 2:4-5 and Hebrews 10:24-25 &13:17).
Please listen to the sermons "The Church: Parts 1-6" from the CORE: We Are Convinced series.
We are fully convinced there exists a spiritual being whose name is Satan, or the devil, who was once a holy being who enjoyed heavenly honors. Through pride and ambition, Satan desired to be as God is, so he rebelled against God and drew many angels into his rebellion. Satan is now the unholy ruler of this world; he is humankind’s greatest tempter; he is the enemy of God and of God’s children; he is the author of false religions and the author of the powers of darkness and evil. We are fully convinced that Satan is destined for a final defeat at the hands of Jesus Christ and will be condemned to eternal punishment in hell (refer to Ezekiel 28:11-19, Isaiah 14:13-14, 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 12:10 & 20:10, Ephesians 2:1-3).
The Last Things and the Eternal State
We are fully convinced that Jesus Christ will physically return to earth one day to eradicate evil and judge the living and the dead. In His judgment, Jesus will complete the salvation of God’s children, granting them eternal peace from sin and suffering and Jesus will deliver eternal suffering in hell to the wicked. We are firmly convinced that all Christians will be resurrected in bodily form and enter into what is called the glorified state; any Christian who dies before this event is temporarily separated from the body and immediately enters into the presence of God in heaven, awaiting this bodily resurrection (refer to Matthew 16:27, John 14:3, Acts 1:11, Philippians 3:20-21, Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 4:5 & 15, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12, Revelation 20:4-6 & 11-15, Luke 16:19-26).
We are fully convinced that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, are fully inspired by God. The Scriptures are authoritative and sufficient to speak into the life of all believers in matters of faith and conduct. As the Bible is God-breathed, it is without flaw or error. God used may human authors in their own style and vocabulary to bring the Bible to fruition, so it is accurate to say that the Scriptures are fully authored by both God and people. The Bible clearly details each of the issues that were discussed above (refer to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matthew 5:18, John 16:12-13).