STATEMENT OF FAITH
We’re pleased that our congregation shares the great doctrines of the Church through the ages with other Christian groups. We do not see ourselves as an isolated church holding truths unrecognized or not practiced by the great majority of Christendom. In fact, we believe we hold the most universal truths of the church as taught in sacred scriptures. We’re a “Restoration” church; that is, we are part of a movement that began in the 1800s whose aim was to restore to the church the simplicity and holiness taught in the New Covenant scriptures. Our goals are to “restore” and “unite” – to restore in our practice the principles of New Testament truth and to seek unity with all Christians on the basis of our common salvation.
We believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the story of salvation offered by God on the basis of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross (Matthew 28:19-20). Through faith in Christ, we’re saved to bear his name and do his good work in the world.
We believe that all who are “born again” (John 3:5) are “saved by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). We believe, as the apostle Paul teaches, that “as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). These and other scriptures show that both faith and immersion (Mark 16:15-16) are involved in our salvation. Immersion (or baptism) is not something separate and apart from faith, but the scriptural demonstration of our faith (Romans 6:3-4).
We believe and teach that the holy scriptures are inspired of God and constitute the believer’s guide to all faith and practice. While we recognize the New Covenant scriptures as particularly applicable to all believers in Christ, we believe the Old Testament writings, given primarily for the Jewish people, also offer important truths for all Christians and were considered as “the scriptures” for the New Testament Church. Most importantly, they provide the foundational narrative of who we are and why we exist in this world.
We believe in the church as it is revealed in the scripture, the church Jesus promised he would establish (Matthew 16:18) and the church the apostles write about in their various epistles. We believe the church is not a denomination, but is made up of all those in every time and place who have been “born again” according to Jesus’ words in John 3:5. As a local congregation we merely seek to be a faithful part of the church that Jesus said he would build.
We believe that as children of God we are called to lives of holiness (Ephesians 5:26) and prayer (Ephesians 6:18). In the midst of the world’s temptations we recognize our need for the power of the Holy Spirit, which God has given his children to enable them to become like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). We understand that through the discipline of prayer we invite into our lives the divine power and participation to accomplish his will for our lives (2 Peter 1:3-4).
We believe that we were created to worship our creator and aspire to have in our worship services praise and music which give honor to God and encouragement to one another (Psalms 100). While we believe worship should be orderly, we also encourage variety and creativity in our worship experience reflecting the variety of gifts the Lord has given us (Ephesians 5:19-20).
We believe in the early church’s practice of ordaining elders and deacons for the leadership of the church (Philippians 1:1). These are not positions of authority or rulership, but special posts of service, meeting the spiritual and material leadership needs of the church. For that reason every three years we invite the congregation to reaffirm its leadership.
We believe the scriptures teach that all Christians are ministers (servants) and should employ their gifts for the building up of the church (1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:7-16). Those who have appropriate gifts often serve as ministers in a special sense, preaching the Word and generally working to lead the church to maturity. We do not make a distinction between “clergy” and “laity” as we believe in the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9).
We believe that the scriptures teach parents that they should be responsible for the spiritual training of their children (Ephesians 6:1-4). In our programs and the teaching materials we develop, emphasis is given to the parent’s teaching role. We try to provide parents with materials and special training to better equip them to fulfill their responsibility to their children that God has given them.
We believe in giving of our means for the spread of the gospel and the relief of the poor. Under the Old Testament, there was a tithe (10%) law. With all the superior blessings we receive under Christ, we believe that Christians ought to exceed the demands of the tithing law. However, we encourage giving from the heart, not from the demands of law (2 Corinthians 8:1-7).
We believe that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). We feel it a duty to be good citizens of our earthly country, obeying its laws and generally contributing to its moral and social welfare. At the same time, we never forget that we’re looking “for a better country-a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16).
We believe that our Lord Jesus will one day return to judge the world and to take those who believe in him to the home he is now preparing (John 14:1-4). We believe we shall live with him eternally in the new heaven and new earth. and that he will bring into being (Revelation 21:1-4).