OK, want to know what we really believe, here it is- unfiltered and without apology:
First, we are a CHURCH. The church is the body of Christ, a living organism more than static building. We don’t go to church, we are the church. The church is made up of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
We are MISSIONAL in our design. The church is the “Missio Dei” (mission of God) in His world- transforming culture and building God’s Kingdom from the inside-out. All believers are called to use their gifts to strengthen the church in its mission locally and around the world.
We believe in ORTHODOXY. That means “sound doctrine,” not that we’re part of one of the Orthodox denominations. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It means that we believe in the faith that has been passed down through the ages by the church around the world, starting from the third century, to this very day, as summarized in what is called the Apostles Creed. Each statement of this ancient creed is found in the Bible and reflects a vital truth of God:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (i.e. universal) church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
We are REFORMED in our theological interpretation. That means we are a Protestant church and affirm the basic tenets of the reformation which sought to establish the church on the following:
- Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”): The Bible is God’s word. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the infallible truth that is authoritative for our lives. (See 1 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Sola fide (“by faith alone”): Salvation is through faith, not works. ”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.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9.
- Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) Salvation from sin and death is provided by God’s unmerited favor alone, through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross, and we can do nothing to earn it. (See Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Solus Christo (“through Christ alone”) Jesus is the only way to salvation. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:6
- Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”) Everything we do should be for God’s glory. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ~ Colossians 3:17
We are GOSPEL CENTERED in our outreach. The Gospel means “good news.” The good news of Jesus is that every individual is invited to give their life to God, to be spiritual reborn by Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16
Further, we believe that God has eternally existed in the Trinity, three equal persons in one God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe that all people are made in the image of God, although we are all marred by sin. Sin separates us from God. All people are eternal. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. The place of eternal separation from God is called Hell. The place of eternal union and eternal life with God is Heaven. Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. We can never make up for our sin by good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ by faith. Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in the salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make mankind aware of our need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with spiritual gifts and fruit, power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.
We are DISCIPLES seeking to make more disciples- we call on Jesus as our savior, the one who died for our sins so that we may live in relationship with God the Father. And we call on Him as our Lord, the one whom we follow in all areas of our lives. (See Matthew 28:18-20)
So there you have it. That’s us in a nutshell: A missional church of people who really believe the Apostle’s Creed, who embrace the tenants of the reformation, love Jesus so much we can’t help but share the good news, and do all this in obedience to be disciples who make disciples.
Connections Church is a part of the Christian Reformed Church Denomination.