The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
Salvation through Christ
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 5:9 NIV
We believe God reaches out to the repentant with accepting and pardoning love. We are, through faith, forgiven our sin and restored to God’s favor. This righting of relationships by God through Christ calls forth our faith and trust as we experience regeneration; we are made new creatures in Christ.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ, conversion marks a new beginning, yet, it is part of an ongoing development of Christian Grace. We can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation as the Spirit “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. John 1-2 NIV
We share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the source and criterion for Christian beliefs. Through Scripture, the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace.
We are convinced that the living Christ is manifest in the Scripture, and therefore, he is in our midst and becomes the basis for our trust in the redemptive power of God.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world.
God’s Place in History
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.Romans 1:20 NIV
We believe human history reveals God’s Spirit in the ongoing act of transforming human life. It is confidence in the continued unfolding of God’s grace which sustains our faith and strengthens our commitment to carry out God’s commandments and therefore, be vehicles and expressions of Christ’s love.
God’s Relationship to Man
For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Romans 3:23
We rebel against God; we hide from our Creator. Ignoring God’s commandments, we violate the image of God in others and ourselves. We accept lies as truth and we exploit neighbor and nature.
We deserve God’s condemnation. Yet, God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation. God’s grace awakens in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith.
In life and death we belong to God.
However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. I Corinthians 2:9-10
We accept the limitations of reason and understand that much of our understanding about life’s experience is seen through a dark glass but we trust in the progressive revelation of God’s plan for our own lives and for all of God’s creation.
Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experiences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of human language and reason, we also believe that a disciplined theology calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture. By reason, we determine whether our Christian witness is clear. By reason, we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God’s action and will.
The Relationship of Faith and Good Works
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 NIV
We believe good works are the necessary fruits of faith and follow the Salvation experience.
We believe service to the world is ordained by God. Love of God is linked with love of our neighbor; God’s love is reflected to a hurting world through the Christian light and through the specific obedience of the believer to carry out God’s commandment to love our neighbor.
Our faith and obedience to Jesus is the basis for our social conscience. It is God’s love expressed through believers that is the basis for renewal in the life of the community.
The Presence of Evil
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5 NIV
Certain dimensions of human experience test and strain our human and limited ability to fully understand. Often, our theology is tested when confronted with stark reality. The Christian will honestly address and confront issues which require serious theological reflection. Difficult questions about the nature of existence must be viewed in the light and presence of God’s immanent love. A new awareness of such experiences can inform our appreciation of the good news of the kingdom of God.
Ultimately, through it all, in the midst of our questioning hearts, we trust in God’s unwavering justice and trust in His eternal love as expressed in God’s persistent and unequivocal call for the return of his own.