Let’s take it back to the basics.
What are the core things we believe to be true.
We believe the Bible, the whole thing, as it was originally written is “God breathed.” What that means is that it comes from within God. We believe that human writers, under the direction of God’s spirit, wrote what God wanted. What that means is the Bible is error free and an authority on whatever it talks about. The Bible is complete, you can’t add anything else to it, and it is the ultimate guide for knowing God, having faith, living life and entering eternity.
The writings of the Bible, while in a variety of genres (history, poetry, parable, prophecy, sayings), by a variety of human writers, has a single author: God. The different writings are now called books; each was given a name and collected together into what we call the Holy Bible. In the year 1227 a bishop, Stephen Langton, divided each book of the Bible into chapters and verses so that it was easier to point people to places in the Bible. So when you see John 3:16, it means the Gospel book of the apostle John, third chapter, verse 16.
One True God
We believe in the one eternal God, the Creator of all things as described in the Bible. It gets pretty mysterious at this point; we believe the Bible teaches that this one God exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each member of God is equal in every way, but they each have a different role in the God relationship.
God is all about relationships, even before He created people.
God has always been. He existed before time. He created time. So, he has no beginning and will never end. He doesn’t grow old. He wasn’t made. He just always was. He always will be. The persons of God are the only ones like this.
God is always good, always loving, all wise, and all powerful.
God created everything. He even created the physical laws like gravity, and He created spiritual laws. Because He made everything, it belongs to Him, and he is the top ruler of everything. He is the emperor over everything.
We believe God made everything, including the first two people to be like Him. The Bible quotes God speaking among his persons when He said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” What that means is God is self aware, has desires, makes decisions, loves, hates, sees beauty and wants to communicate with others using words. He made humans to do the same.
Because God made us like Himself, he made humans to take care of the earth, to be guardians of it. God created humanity to make choices. The first two humans, Adam & Eve, rejected God as their ruler, because they wanted to rule over everything in God’s place.
Before that happened, everything was perfect, there was no death, no sickness, no evil., but when Adam & Eve rejected God, they broke the relationship and sin entered into the world. Sin passes down from father to children. There is evil, sickness, and death.
God is perfectly good (holy) and perfectly just. Just like human systems of law & justice punish criminals, God, because He is just, must punish sin. Because he is eternal and perfectly good, the punishment for sin is eternal death. This penalty is shared by all humanity. No person can hope to ever pay the full penalty for their own sin. As such our eternity is without hope.
But as just and holy as God is, He is equally loving, merciful and gracious. That’s were Jesus Christ comes in.
God the Son came into the earth as a man; the man Jesus Christ. He was born into the world as a baby: we celebrate that on Christmas day. He grew up to adulthood. Throughout his human life, He never sinned. He is fully human and fully God. As the only sinless human, He is the only man that could pay for all sin on behalf of humanity.
During His earthly life, Jesus was falsely accused and executed by crucifixion on a cross.
When that happened, God placed all sin on Jesus. He bore the penalty for all sin of all humanity. Humanly, Jesus died. At that moment, the power of sin was broken. Three days after he died, Jesus raised back to life, breaking the power of death. He now resides with God the Father.
Now God the Father offers a pardon from sin and eternal life to any who believes in Jesus and follows Him. For all believers, God the Spirit comes to live within them, helping each to learn to know God and live for Him.
From the very first days, Jesus calls Christians together in groups to support and encourage each other. The Church represents Christ. As individuals and as a group they are called to represent Christ to the communities around them.