The following statements are offered by the Lead Pastor to give a general overview of his understanding, as well as his teaching, of some of the more common Christian beliefs.
God is the designer, creator, and sustainer of the universe and all that exists. He is characterized by love, purity, and power. He is without origin, has always existed, and will remain in control of all things throughout eternity. He is revealed in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which have been described as the Trinity.
The Christian truths surrounding the trinity are a profound mystery. God is three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. Each person is fully God. And yet there is only one God. An analogy that is helpful but inadequate states: Water (H2O) is found in three forms: liquid (water), vapor (steam), and solid (ice). Though there are three distinct forms, there is still only one substance (H2O). God is one substance revealed in three distinct persons simultaneously.
Genesis 1:1-2; Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 63:10; Hebrews 1:8; I Peter 1:2; Jude 1:20-21.
God the Father
God the Father is spirit in form without a body, though sometimes the Bible uses human characteristics to describe him. When the Bible speaks of God’s face (Exodus 33:20), or Him wiping away tears (Isaiah 25:8), it does so to teach us about God’s nature in ways that we can understand. God the Father is sovereign over all things and yet shares his authority with God the Son. Jesus modeled submission to the will of God the Father, directed his prayers to God the Father, and acknowledged the Heavenly Father as the source of His miracles.
John 4:24; Exodus 33:15; Exodus 33:20; Isaiah 25:8; John 14; John 16:15; Matthew 6:9-15.
God the Son, who always existed with God, took bodily form in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a young virgin named Mary. God the Father miraculously enabled her to conceive this divine child. Though he was tempted in ways common to man, Jesus lived a sinless life that was completely pleasing to God. He worked many miracles to alleviate suffering, proving his divine status and demonstrating the nature of his kingdom. He gave his life on the cross as a sacrificial substitute to pay the price for our sins and justify us before a holy God. God raised him from the dead and he ascended to God the Father where they are awaiting the established time for his glorious return. In the mean time, Jesus is said to be our advocate with the Father and to pray to the Father on our behalf.
John 1:1-3; Luke 2:1-20; Luke 2:52; John 14:9-10; John 19-20; John 20:30-31; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:1
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is also referred to in Scripture as the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. He is in the world to draw persons to Christ and to make them aware of their need for a personal relationship with God. He lives in every Christian from the initial point of their salvation experience. He empowers the Christian to have a heart set upon God, to have victory over the dominating presence of sin, and to boldly share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world.
Genesis 1:2; John 16:7-13; 1 Corinthians 2:12 & 3:16; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13 & 5:18
The Bible is God’s Word to all human beings. It was written by human authors under the supernatural inspiration of God. It is absolutely true and perfect without any mixture of error. It is also effective in bringing about spiritual transformation in the lives of individuals who obey its teachings.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:9-11; Proverbs 30:5
Man was made in the image of God with the ability to reason, the need to relate with God, and the capacity to live eternally. He is the supreme creation of God’s created order. The creation story relays the act of disobedience toward God of the first human beings. All of humankind has inherited a nature flawed by sin and even the best efforts of human beings bear the marks of our imperfection. Only through God’s grace and forgiveness extended through Jesus Christ can human beings experience liberty from sin and reconciliation to God.
Genesis 1:27 & 3:1-8; Psalm 8:3-6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-7; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17
Salvation refers to the forgiveness of sins and the transformation of one’s life resulting in eternal life. It is a free gift from God to man. It cannot be earned by moral restraint, religious duties, or good works. God’s standard of moral and spiritual perfection is so high as to prevent anyone from ascending to it by their own efforts. Jesus Christ shed His royal blood on the cross to rescue us from the penalty of our sins and to present us faultless before a holy God. It is a mystery how the Holy Spirit brings about a spiritual rebirth within the human heart. Salvation is initiated by the Holy Spirit who regenerates, convicts of sin, and convinces us of the truth of Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of everyone who hears the good news of Christ to repent and believe.
Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:2; Romans 2:4; Psalm 51:17; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3: 7-8; Mark 1:15
Believing that salvation is a result of the new birth initiated by the Holy Spirit, the follower of Christ is held secure in that salvation for eternity. What God truly initiates, he truly maintains. Having been born of the Spirit, the follower of Christ is a child of God for eternity. God’s sovereignty over all things, including the salvation of His people, ensures their place in the family of God. Though believers are fallible and still struggle with sin and obedience to God, He loves and disciplines those that are his. It is the responsibility of the believer to pursue God and serve him faithfully in this lifetime which will result in present blessings and rewards in the life to come.
John 10:27-29; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; I Peter 1:1-5; Hebrews 12:5-10
The Bible teaches that while we were created for eternity, our physical bodies wear out and are limited to the lifespan afforded us by the timing and will of God. At death, the believer’s soul goes to heaven in the presence of Christ. In contrast, the souls of the disobedient and unbelieving are separated from God in hell. At a time appointed by God, there will be a final judgment of the dead where the unbelieving will be dismissed into the lake of fire. A new heaven and new earth of incomprehensible magnitude, beauty, and pleasure will become the eternal residence of God’s redeemed people.
John 3:16; Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 John 5:11-13; Revelation 20:15 & 21:1-8