What we know about God is important, but what we believe about God is most important, for that will determine how we live. Jesus says plainly, that if we love him we will do what He says.
Knowledge of God is meant to fuel love for God. These are not mere mental affirmations, but beautiful, awe-inspiring truths that spur us on to more devotion and faithfulness in following God.
In addition, we strive for unity in essentials and liberty in non-essentials. We want to be on the same page (pun intended) for the truths that matter most. If we did not hold to these, then we would not be followers of Jesus (think Jesus' real and bodily resurrection). We also want to allow for freedom in exploring who this amazing God is and how He calls us to live (think drinking alcohol, or clothing styles). Even in non-essentials, it is essential that we love and care for each other, regardless of how we think or feel about the issue.
With that in mind, our core beliefs are expressed below, and are not intended to be exhaustive.
We recognize that there is one living and true God, who exists in three persons — Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit — but without division of nature, essence, or being.
He is the source of all life and all things were created by Him. He is supreme in all His attributes, such that we could say He is perfect. He is perfect in power. He is perfect in love. He is perfect in justice.
He is the only Being in the universe who is eternally worthy of all of our praise, adoration, and worship. Indeed, God desires this, as He is personal and wants a relationship with His creation, namely humanity.
Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 19:7-11; John 1:1; John 1:14; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 2:4
Authority of Scripture
The Bible is a masterful literary work and manifests the wisdom of God. He is its sole-author, in the sense that the Bible says exactly what God intends it to say.
He communicated the truths of Scripture, to ancient Israel (the Old Testament) and to the early Church (New Testament), who wrote in their own languages, in their own cultures, with ideas and concepts that were available to them at that point in human history, in order to communicate the nature and character of God.
It is the final authority on matters of life and faith, and is the primary way that God now communicates with us. It is to be read, studied, and meditated on, personally and corporately for the life of any follower of Jesus.
Psalm 1: 3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21
God created humanity in His own image. We are meant to showcase God's rule and reign over creation - this is true of every human.
In addition, as a part of God's royal court, we possess skills and abilities that allow for wise ruling, e.g., mind, intellect, will, emotion - these skills and abilities are expressed in varying degrees by all humans.
We were created for relationships and thrive when we are participating in loving, welcoming communities with God as the focal point and life source.
Genesis 1:26; Psalm 8:3-9; Acts 2:42-47; 1 John 3:1-3, 10, 14
Salvation is God's free choice to eternally commit Himself to rebellious people who, through the power of His self-giving love, could be radically transformed into the types of people God intends, namely loving, others focused, patient, kind, generous, etc.
Salvation is necessary because we have openly rebelled against God's good and wise rule and are worthy of eternal condemnation. Apart from the grace of God, we are eternally separated, and have no hope of returning to Him. But through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we can have new life, even Jesus' very own life for all of eternity. This life is applied to all believers by the Holy Spirit on the basis of faith.
It is a free gift and can never be earned, but will prove itself through a new lifestyle and patterns of thinking that manifest in new behaviors.
Genesis 3; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Mark 10:45; Romans 6 & 8; Ephesians 2:8-10; Revelation 21:1-8