We Believe in Real Life Grace
What good is Christianity when what you hoped to experience as a follower of Jesus hasn’t happened, or when your worst nightmare has come true? The divorce has been finalized. The children have abandoned the faith and started using drugs. The prayers for healing have gone unanswered; your cancer is terminal. You are addicted to pornography…still. You don’t have joy or peace. You are filled with fear and frustration. In honest moments, you can admit that deep down you are disappointed with God, maybe even angry with Him for what He’s allowing to happen. You gave Him your life, and it’s falling apart. Now what?
Contrary to fantasies many of us have entertained, becoming a Christian is no guarantee of a charmed, easy, or sin free life. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble”(John 16:33). It is a promise, and we live in the reality of it every day. Life is hard for all of us. We experience pain, disappointment, and conflict of all kinds in this fallen world. No matter how hard we try to fix things, they still seem broken. The more we work at getting our stuff together, the more it falls apart. The harder we try to repair relationships, the more distant people become. We often struggle and strive only to end up exhausted and empty.
We believe that God’s grace impacts us most powerfully in these difficulties of real life. In these painful providences, God reveals that He is not a demanding taskmaster, but a merciful Savior. He is not disappointed or angry with us. He understands our weaknesses and delights to meet us in our mess. He knows that true hope for our souls is not found in our efforts, but in His grace alone. We stumble and fall and fail, but He still loves us, and He is active in all of our lives using the hardships we face to open our hearts to the healing of His real life grace.
statement of faith
The Bible We believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word of God. It is comprised of a total of sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament (Genesis – Malachi) and twenty-seven in the New Testament (Matthew – Revelation). As the Word of God, it is the final and only source of absolute, spiritual authority and is sufficient for all matters of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
Jesus Christ We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, fully God, and fully human, yet He is not two, but one Christ. He is God in that He is eternal and shares the same divine nature and attributes with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He is man in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of a woman, the virgin Mary (John 1:1-14; Matthew 1:20-23).
We believe that Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. We believe that God raised Him bodily from the grave on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father (Luke 24:1-53; Acts 1:1-9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Romans 8:34).
Sin and Salvation We believe that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and thus are desperately in need of salvation. We believe that the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ fully paid the debt of sin and fully satisfied the wrath of God for all who believe (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Jesus is the Savior of mankind, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). And with the Apostle Peter we affirm that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
We believe that men are saved not at all by their own merits, but completely by the mercy and grace of God (Titus 3:5) and that this salvation is appropriated in the life of the believer solely by faith. We affirm with the Apostle Paul the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
The Godhead We believe in one God—the creator, sustainer, and ruler of all things—who is revealed in three eternally existent persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These persons share the same divine essence, attributes, and purposes and are equally worthy of trust, worship, and glory (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 14:1-26; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God and is a person, not a power or force. As a person, He creates (Genesis 1:2), speaks (Acts 8:29), and assigns spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11).
We believe that the primary ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit also indwells believers as a teacher illumining their minds to biblical truth (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13), as a comforter offering peace and rest to their troubled hearts (Acts 9:31), and as an enabler supernaturally empowering them to live the Christian life (Galatians 5:22-23).
The End Times
We believe that Jesus Christ will come again bodily and gloriously to judge mankind (John 5:22, 27; Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8). We believe in the resurrection of all mankind, the righteous unto everlasting life, and the unrighteous unto eternal punishment (John 5:29).
Marriage We believe that marriage is a God-ordained, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:3-6).
The Glory of God We believe that all we hold to be true, all we teach and all we do is to be for the glory of God alone as that is His highest priority in the universe (Psalm 19:1; Psalm 29:1-11; Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, 13-14).
The Ordinances We believe and practice two ordinances as prescribed by the Lord Jesus Christ: (1) Water baptism of believers by immersion, which is an outward symbol of one’s inward regeneration and union with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-11); and (2) The Lord’s Supper, which commemorates the death of Christ on our behalf until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).