What We Believe

 

We believe that God reaches out to us in different ways.  

God is the Creator of the Universe and giver of all that is good.  God is the Savior — appearing boldly and intimately in Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection — who shows us how to live, love, and be saved.  God is the Spirit who makes a difference in us and enables us to make a difference in our world and in the lives of others.

We believe that the Bible is a beautiful, God-inspired, complex, and challenging book.  

God desired to reveal many amazing truths to humanity, and He did so through the most effective communication medium in human history: writing.  People all over the world can sit down and read the Bible, learning the same unchanging truths of the God of all nations.

We believe that we don’t have all the answers and that disagreement and discussion are healthy. 

We believe that the faith community is great not because it’s like-minded on every issue but because it is rooted in faith in Jesus, who is a lot more interesting than religion has made Him seem.

We believe that every human being is created and valued by God

therefore, people of every race, ethnicity, age, gender, background, ability and disability are invited to be a part of this faith community.

We believe that sin, both what we have done and what we have failed to do — the Bible calls it “missing the mark” — describes the reality that things are not as they should be.  

We are self-obsessed, broken, fearful, and oppressive.  We all see the problems in this world, and those of us who are humble enough to admit it realize that we've all played some role in contributing to the problems we see.  Sin, its guilt, and its consequences are what Jesus came to save us from.

We believe that we need each other.  

No matter who you are, it’s a lot easier to follow God with friends than it is by ourselves.

We believe that the goal of the faith community is not to make people more religious;

instead, we want to help people learn to love God more and therefore become more fully human.

We believe that we are called to reach out to our neighbors.

We want to do this both locally and globally, serving them in ways that make a difference.

We believe that spiritual practices like prayer, reading the Bible, participating in weekly Connect Groups, and tithing are vital to our faith.

We encourage each other in this things.

We believe that this faith community is a movement and will continue to plant new sites to serve diverse neighborhoods in this city.

Don't stop.  Never stop.

 

DENOMINATIONAL AFFILIATION

 

Our goal is to be an inter-denominational community where people from diverse spiritual traditions and those with no religious background all feel at home.

 

We Affirm the Following Salvation Creed

 

All Have Sinned: All human beings who live to the age where they know the difference between right and wrong choose to sin.

One Sin Damns: The guilt of one sin or more is enough to damn a person to eternal punishment on Judgment Day.  If a believer in Jesus were ever to have one sin stick to his or her record after coming to faith in Jesus, it would be enough to damn that person to Hell.  Yet there is no condemnation for those who have faith in Jesus the Savior.  Believers are fully forgiven.

Doing Good Does Not Remove Guilt: Doing good in the present does not remove guilt from past sins.

Refraining from Evil Does Not Remove Guilt: Refraining from evil in the present does not remove guilt from past sins.  Refraining from evil does not play any part in saving a person.

Salvation Through Jesus’ Sacrifice: Nothing in the history of the Universe has had the power to remove the guilt of even a single sin except for one Person through His one act: Jesus of Nazareth taking the full guilt for the sins of the world onto His own self and being punished fully unto death for those sins committed by others.

Complete Forgiveness Through Faith: When a person believes that Jesus of Nazareth took the full punishment for all of his or her sin guilt when He gave His life on the cross, that person is fully forgiven of all sin guilt.

Forgiveness Obtains Reconciliation from God: When a person is fully forgiven of all sin guilt through faith in Jesus as Savior, he or she becomes “righteous” (free from all sin-guilt) in God’s eyes, and is completely reconciled to Him.

No Condemnation for the Forgiven: If a person becomes “righteous” (free from all sin-guilt) in God’s eyes and arrives at Judgment Day in such a state, there is nothing whatsoever to be judged, condemned, and/or punished for.

Salvation is a Free Gift: Forgiveness of sins and the consequent salvation is a free gift obtained through faith in Jesus as Savior.  One must do nothing other than accept Jesus by faith in order to obtain complete forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God, and a place in Heaven.

Forsaking Sin Out of Gratitude: All believers should forsake each and every sin in their lives.  This is the reasonable service to the One who won their salvation at such a great price.  However, it is important to always remember that our obtaining Jesus’ forgiveness is not contingent upon our choice to forsake sin.

Discipline for the Sinning Believer: While it is absolutely true that believers in Jesus do not lose their salvation when they sin, God has promised to treat believers as His children, and they can surely expect God will use His right to discipline them in fatherly love when He deems it necessary — yet believers need not fear Hell.

Forgiveness for Past, Present, & Future Sins: A believer in Jesus does not need to fear when they mess up, for Jesus already took the punishment for all of their sins — past, present, and future.  For a believer, sin-guilt does not stick to their record, just as water poured on a duck’s back will roll right off.  Jesus dealt with the sins from a believer’s past, the sins of a believer’s present, and all of the sins the believer will commit in the future.

Assurance of Salvation: Assurance of salvation is the due inheritance of every believer from the moment they place their faith in Jesus as Savior.  Believers in Jesus should feel the comfort of forgiveness and salvation as long as they trust in the Savior.

Maintaining Salvation: The only requirement to maintain salvation after the first moment a believer trusts in Jesus as Savior is to continue on in that trust until death.

Losing Salvation: Salvation cannot be lost through sinful behavioral choices once it is obtained through faith in Jesus the Savior.  However, salvation can be lost if the believer discontinues faith in Jesus and does not return to that faith.  If the believer loses their faith but then does return to the original faith in Jesus the Savior, they will once again be within the safety of salvation.  Salvation is obtained and maintained through faith in Jesus the Savior, and that salvation may only be lost if a believer rejects faith in Jesus the Savior.

Definition of Justification: In the context of the salvation message (the Gospel), “justification” refers to the act whereby God declares a person righteous (sin-guilt free) when he or she puts trust in Jesus of Nazareth for salvation.

Definition of “Repentance”: In the context of the salvation message (the Gospel), “repentance” means “to change your mind” from unbelief in Jesus to belief in Him.  In Acts 2:36-38 and Acts 3:17-20, Peter called his listeners to “repent” of their previous unbelief in Jesus and to turn to full faith in Jesus so that they could be forgiven of sins and have salvation.

This is Not “Repentance”: In the context of the salvation message (the Gospel) described in Acts 2:26-38 and 3:17-20, the requirement of “repentance” for salvation does not mean “to turn from all of your sins.”  It is not true that we must turn away from all of our sins in order to be saved, for no believer ever has or ever will turn away from all of his or her sins.  To teach that you must turn from all of your sins to be saved by Jesus annuls faith, causes a person to turn to self-righteousness, and leads them astray from the true Gospel which teaches us to trust in Jesus alone for forgiveness and right-standing with God.

Saved & Continue to be Saved Through Faith: After a person puts their faith in Jesus as Savior, that person will continue to commit certain individual sins, each of which would be eternally damning if it were not for the sin-atoning characteristic of Jesus’ sacrifice.  No believer stops sinning entirely, although they ought to strive for perfect living as best they know how.  However, despite their sin, believers continue to be saved through their faith in Jesus, being forgiven each time they sin.

Adding Works to Faith Makes Saving Faith Ineffectual: If a person believes that Jesus took the full punishment for all of his or her sin guilt when He gave His life on the cross, yet then also adds to that the belief that he or she must do good works in order to obtain and/or maintain salvation, the latter addition of reliance on good works will make void the efficacy of the former faith.  A partial faith in Jesus for salvation is no saving faith at all.

Adding Self-Reformation Makes Saving Faith Ineffectual: If a person believes that Jesus took the full punishment for all of his or her sin guilt when He gave His life on the cross, yet then also adds to this the belief that he or she must stop doing sinful things (behavioral reformation) in order to obtain and/or maintain salvation, the latter addition of reliance on behavioral reformation will make void the efficacy of saving faith in Jesus.  A partial faith in Jesus for salvation is no saving faith at all.

Stand Firm:  A person who has trusted in Jesus’ sin-atoning work on the cross and believes in His victorious resurrection should stand firm in that faith, adding no other alleged requirements for salvation.  1 Corinthians 15:1-7 declares the Gospel (the message of salvation) in the simplest and clearest of terms: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Peter, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time."  We must believe this simple message, adding nothing to it, and taking nothing from it, and by this faith we receive forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God, and a place in Heaven.

 

For a more comprehensive statement of beliefs, Click Here to view our complete doctrinal statement.