What We Believe
We believe those things that Christians have always believed. That's a big statement, I know. In that statement we are simply trying to say that we come from and stand in line with historical and classical Christianity. But in the midst of that, there are 6 things that give us our "flavor" as a church. As part of the Evangelical Covenant Church, there are six "covenant affirmations" we hold together-- six things we affirm that shapes our identity as a church.
- The Centrality of the Word of God -- We believe the Bible is the word of God and we hold it as central and authoritative to our lives. The Bible is where we discover who Jesus is and who we are and discover the whole salvation history of God. It is where we learn to believe and grow in our faith. It is the only perfect guide for how to live as a follower of Jesus. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each believer.
- The Necessity of New Birth -- Jesus told Nicodemus, "you must be born again" (John 3:7). We have all heard the phrase "born again" used negatively today and we recognize that the phase might carry with it baggage to some who hear it. But the reality of Jesus' statement hasn't changed. We need new life that only comes through Jesus. New birth in Jesus means committing ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, new life and eternal life that can only come through Jesus when we repent (recognize and confess that we haven't believed in and been following Jesus) and then follow him . It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love, righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us--and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
- A Commitment to the Whole Mission of the Church -- We believe in and strive to follow Jesus' two central calls. The Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves. We believe in and want to be about God's priorities in the world. We want to carry out God's mission both locally and globally. Mission includes evangelism, Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy and justice.
- The Church as a Fellowship of Believers -- The church is not an institution, organization, or a building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and the mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals.
- A Conscious Dependence on the Holy Spirit -- We affirm the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Jesus, and who assures us that Jesus dwells within us. It is the Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Jesus' mission in the world.
- The Reality of Freedom in Christ -- The Apostle Paul wrote, "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1). This freedom is a gift from God and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and with each other. It is a gift that is meant to serve the community and the world. Since we are united in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of Christian beliefs or Christian practice where the Bible seems to allow for it. We can agree to disagree as brothers and sisters in Christ over minor issues of faith. We will not break community over these issues, but we stand together united on the major issues of faith. If we are going to share heaven together, we can certainly live together now as the church.
- Biblical--where our life, actions and worldview are actively being shaped and formed by God's word. We want to hold the Bible as authoritative and central to our life in Jesus.
- Devotional-- we are so amazed that we have a new life and a new start in Jesus and because of that we want to love him and live in a growing relationship that is committed to him. We want our life to be a life of devotion and worship.
- Connectional--where we recognize that we are better together and that the Christian life is best lived together. We are part of the body of Christ--developing and deepening Christian relationships that move towards Jesus together.
- Missional--where we want to live like Jesus in the world. We want to be about God's priorities and participate in His mission in the world.