We are first Christians, second Evangelicals, third Missional, and fourth Reformed. The description below is intended to set the framework of our understanding, not to be all encompassing.
First, we are Christians which distinguishes us from other world religions and cults. Therefore, we adhere to both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds.
Second, we are Evangelicals and in agreement with the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals:
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Third, we are Missional:
- We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3).
- We believe that our local churches must faithfully proclaim the truths of the gospel to the context and culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
- We believe that our mission is to make disciples and to equip the saints for the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 4:11-16)
Fourth, we are Reformed in our view of salvation:
- We believe that God created the heavens, the earth.
- We believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as His image bearers on the earth.
- We believe that our first parents sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring human image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (e.g. reasoning, desires, and emotions).
- We believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishments of hell. We also believe that God in His unparalleled love and mercy chose undeserving individuals unto salvation soley on the basis of His own good pleasure and gracious choice.
- We believe that the salvation of the elect was unconditional and predestined by God in eternity past. (Note: We do not try to explain the mysterious place where our election and our call to evangelize meet. We embrace God’s revelation of Himself in His word as a God who both chose us in Him and called us to make disciples).
- We believe that the salvation of the elect was accomplished by the sinless life, substitutionary atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins.
- We believe that the salvation of the elect, by God’s grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.
- We believe that God’s saving grace is ultimately irresistible and that God does soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to His sovereign will.
- We believe that the gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people so that all who believe may be saved through the preaching of God’s Word by the power of God’s Spirit.
- We believe that true Christians born again of God’s Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church, and love of lost neighbors in the culture.
- We believe that God is Lord over all of life and that there is nothing in life that is to be separated from God.
- We believe that the worship of God is the end for which people were created and that abiding joy is only to be found by delighting in God through all of life, including hardship and death which is gain.
By stating these foundational assumptions, we are not saying:
- that we will be excluding or including people from the community based upon the beliefs contained in this list;
- that our interpretation of Scripture is foolproof; or
- that eternal salvation is dependent upon a prescribed level of understanding of orthodox Christian theology.
We are saying:
- that the church of Jesus Christ is diverse in its expression, but is held together by a common, proven, and traditional confession of belief that is rooted in the Scriptures;
- that we affirm as true the common, proven, and traditional (i.e., orthodox) confession and belief that is rooted in the Scriptures and has been upheld by the Reformed tradition with its creeds and confessions; and
- that within the Reformed confessions there are key assumptions that are foundational, upon which rest the major tenets of the Christian faith.
Rightly understood through the Spirit’s leading, the integration of these truths into the disciple’s daily life yields fruit of the Spirit that brings glory to God. It leads to a life of love, which is a fulfillment of the commandments that Christ taught:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. -Matthew 22:36-40