What kind of Church are you?
We are often asked the question, ďWhat kind of Church are you?Ē This normally refers to what denomination we are affiliated with: Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Catholic, extÖ and although we understand the desire people have to be able to have a point of reference we feel that this can be more of a distraction than an aid. We believe it is more important to focus on the truths of Godís Word, the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and His work through the body of Christ as He accomplishes His will through us as we receive from Him conviction, guidance, and the power to accomplish His will through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.
However at the same time we know how important it is that when deciding on a church to join you want to know that the church is solid in their faith and doctrine. Therefore we have provided the following list of truths that we affirm and hold fast as a body of believers. To be read by anyone who wishes to know what kind of church we are.

We Believe the Bible is the complete Word of God and that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. We believe that it is true in all that it declares and that it is the standard by which all Christian experiences are to be judged. The Bible quite simply is our road map in life and our love letter from God and should be studied on a daily basis and studied diligently.

We Believe God is God. Any definition of God we would attempt to give is never going to be adequate in its declaration of who He fully is and so we must humbly state what God has said of Himself. We know God to be God, the great ďI AMĒ. All that we know of God has been declared to us through His scriptures. The attributes or characteristics of God as found in the scriptures are normally separated in two categories and we too will separate our descriptions in these two ways as well. First we will describe God by attributes that only He poses namely the fact that He is:

Omnipresent = meaning He has no boundaries and is present in all of creation. He is  
                        everywhere at all times by choice not necessity.

Omniscient = meaning God knows everything; both what is or can be and nothing is 
                     hidden from Him or not known by Him.

Omnipotent = meaning God is all powerful and can do whatever He wants to do. 
                      However God can not do anything that goes against His moral nature.          
                      For instance God is truth and therefore He can not lie.

Immutable = meaning God does not change. He is the same today yesterday and
                     forever.

The divine attributes of God are only true of Him and not true of anything else in His creation.

The Second way God is revealed to us in scripture is by His moral attributes, the moral nature of God. God and all creation are both governed by Godís moral attributes. They are the standard of what is right and therefore also expose what is wrong or what is sin.

Holiness = God is exalted above all creation and is the perfection of purity. He is
                 fully perfect and He is fully pure. God is the standard by which everything
                 is measured.

Righteous/Just = God is fully fair and He is fully just. Godís righteousness and
                            justice flow from His holiness. God is perfect and being perfect He 
                            is the judge of what is not perfect. Godís righteousness and justice
                            can not permit sin. If God permitted sin to go unpunished He could
                            not be Holy.

Love = The Bible says God is love. But how does one describe love. Thankfully God
            has defined what love is for us: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy
            or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not
            irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the
            truth Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
            things. Love never ends. Like in holiness benevolence, mercy flow from Love.

Benevolence = God is moved with love towards His creation and expresses that love
                       in action. The creation itself is an expression of Godís benevolence. He
                       created the heavens and the earth with the intent of it being enjoyed.
                       God provides for us and desires to bless us and make us a blessing.
                       God is fully benevolent.

Mercy/Compassion = God is moved by love to show mercy for those who are
                                 suffering or distressed. Mercy is not receiving the penalty that
                                 one has earned. God is fully merciful. The scriptures often
                                 speak of how God responds to a persons suffering as a result of
                                 Him being moved with compassion.

God is Truth = God is the standard by which truth is measured. He speaks and it
                        happens; whatever God declares to be will be. As we look at how God
                        created the heavens and the Earth we see that: ďGod saidÖĒ and it was
                        so. The Bible says that God can not lie and this is why, for whatever
                       God decides to be, it is!

     As we pause to consider the attributes of God it is important remember that God does not just poses theses attributes He is these attributes completely and fully: 100% omnipresent, 100% holiness, 100% righteousness, and right on down the list. If God was less than 100% in any of His attributes He would not be God. Also it is important to remember that that He never ceases to be any of them. As we think about this it would appear that Godís attributes contradict or could be in conflict. It would appear that Godís holiness, righteous, and justice are at odds with His love, benevolence, compassion, and mercy. The truth is they are not a conflict for God, He has no sin and therefore is at peace with Himself. However This conflict would be true when considering Godís dealings with man. How can a holy and just God allow a man to sin and not judge him guilty and punish him?

The answer is He cannot!

     If it was not for the last of Godís attributes it would be impossible for man to go unpunished for sin or have a relationship with God. That last attribute is:

Grace = For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own
             doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
             Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It is not only God not giving you what
             you deserve, (mercy) it is God giving you what you do not deserve, (grace)
            Grace cannot be understood outside of Jesus Christ. ďFor God so loved the
            world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not
            perish but have eternal life. It is the pure life and sacrificial death of God
            Himself that was able to satisfy the requirements of Godís holiness,
            righteousness, and justice and we know that they were satisfied by the proof
            of His Resurrection.

We believe there is one God that is revealed in the scriptures as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This statement alone sounds like a contradiction but it is true. God is one in essence and is revealed to us in Scripture as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This presents a question. If there is three references to God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit how can we say that He is one and not three? The reason is that He cannot be separated; all 3 persons are the very essence of God, sharing the same attributes and acting as one in every aspect. This is hard to understand but look at it this way: you are body, soul, and spirit and we could not separate you into three parts but never the less you are three in one, mind, body, spirit. You do however have different jobs and different responsibilities for these three aspects of you. So it is with God. The scripture gives the title of God to all three persons of the God head and clearly says they are one. All three persons of the God head are present in several places of scripture at the same time doing the same thing and working together to accomplish the same task. Therefore we say with all confidence that God is three persons in one essence.

We believe all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. As we discussed earlier God is perfect and when our moral attributes are lined up and measured against his we find ourselves hopelessly, sinful and unable to stand in the judgment of God on our own merit. Everyone is in desperate need of the grace that only Jesus Christ can give to all who will give their life to him.

We believe that Christ died for all and is not willing that anyone die in their sins and take the judgment for their sins themselves but rather that they will come to know him as Lord and savior and accept the penalty for their sins that he has already paid. As the scriptures say, "he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us," However God has given man a free and allows man to make his own choice whether or not he will turn to God or not.

We believe that Eternal life is a gift of God and can not be earned, or kept by our own moral attributes. Salvation is based on the work of Christ alone on the cross and does not depend upon us to earn it or to keep it. If we could lose our salvation after having truly received it, would mean that Jesus' sacrifice was insufficient and therefore incomplete. This however we know is not true by the proof of His Resurrection.

We believe that we should no longer live for our selves but for Christ who died for us. We are to die to self take up our cross daily and follow him. God who has saved us from ourselves, desire for us to no longer seek our will, but His will for our lives.

With this Last statement of what we believe we now move from the doctrines of God and Man to the role of the individual believer and the role of the Church the Body of Christ.

Responsibilities For the individual:
Prayer along with daily Bible study is foundational in knowing the perfect will of the Lord. Prayer is not only given to us, as his children, as a privilege where we can commune with our Creator, being cleansed from daily sins, renewed in our spirit, and given direction for the future. Prayer is also a heavy responsibility, not to be taken lightly, where we intercede on behalf of others and stand against the schemes of Satan and his demons. Always remember, the fervent prayers, of a righteous person accomplishes much.

Gathering with the saints of God is not just a suggestion. The scripture repeatedly gives us examples of believers getting together, both in small groups of two or three and in larger congregational meetings. Jesus promises that where two or three are gathered in His name there He will be also. God is always with us but he works with us in a very special way when we gather together. The scriptures also command us not to forsake the assembling of the saint, but to stay close to the fellowship of other believers.

Imagine for a moment a stack of logs in a fire place burning brightly and creating a light and warmth that fills the room on a very cold day. As the fire continues to blaze one of the logs falls out of the fire place. At first the log continues to burn but the fire starts to go out and soon the log is cold and on the floor. Meanwhile the fire is still roaring in the fire place but now it is not as strong and each of the logs that remain are not able to burn as bright as they had before the log had fallen out. After some time has passed the fire started to dwindle and the room began to get cold, and then just when things looked really bad., suddenly the log that had fallen onto the floor was thrown into the fire and then new logs were added to the fire as well and then a little later and the fire started to burn brighter and provided more warmth than it had before. If we want to burn bright for the Lord and the church is to be a light to this community than we are going to need to make sure we stay in the fire and that we make sure that the logs that may fall out are looked for and brought back in and that we are always looking for more logs to add to the fire.

The great commission was given to every believer in the body of Christ. We are commanded to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Giving the Lord your Tithe and your offerings is not a request it is a commandment. The tithe or 10% of your income is to go to the Lord. The requirement to tithe is found both in the New and in the Old Testament. God says that when we do not give Him our tithes we are robbing Him and He will get it back. We are encouraged to give our tithes and offering with a joyful heart and not grudgingly for God loves a cheerful giver. All that we have is the Lord's and we should honor him with our tithes and offerings. Test me and try me says the Lord and see if I will not open the store gates of Heaven and poor out a blessings to great to receive.


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