“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love”
- Augustine (354-430 AD)
In the essentials of the faith we have unity: “There is one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6
In the non-essentials of the faith we have liberty: “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters… so then each of us will give an account of himself to God… so whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” – Romans 14:1-22
In all things we show love: “If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.” – 1 Corinthians 13:2
Essential Beliefs in Plain Terms
There is one God and the Bible contains his message of loving truth. This one God has eternally existed in three persons: God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth and all living things. He created men and women in his own image and so that he might have an intimate and loving relationship for eternity. He gave men and women the opportunity to choose to trust and love him or to turn away from him. The first people God created were Adam and Eve. They chose to turn away from him. With their decision, sin entered the world. Ever since that time men and women have continued to follow their example and chosen to sin. The consequence of the decision to sin is the same today as it was in the beginning, death and separation from God.
God is both loving and just. Justice demands that the consequences of sin be met. Love desires to forgive and restore those who have sinned. Because God loved us he sent his one and only son, Jesus to earth. He lived a sinless life and therefore did not have to deal with the consequences of sin: death and separation from God. Jesus chose to give his life up to pay for the consequences of everyone else’s sin. This allows for our sin to be forgiven, but also for justice to be served. Forgiveness for sin is a free gift from God that he wants everyone to receive. The only question that remains is, will you receive God’s gift of forgiveness?
Receiving God’s gracious gift of forgiveness through what Jesus did on the cross allows us to have an intimate and loving relationship with God. God wants our relationship with him to begin as soon as possible. One of the characteristics of all loving relationships is that we want to do what pleases the one we love. Jesus said it this way, “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” The Bible is a record of all the things that God has asked us to do in order that we might have a right relationship with him and with other people.
Essential Beliefs in Theological Terms
The sole basis for our belief is the Bible, which is uniquely God-inspired, without error, and the final authority on all matters on which it speaks. As the Bible teaches, there is one God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each possessing all the attributes of deity.
God created humans to have fellowship with Him, but they defied God by sinfully going their own way. Sin is the result of the selfishness we are all born possessing. As a result, we need God’s saving grace to end our alienation from Him. Salvation comes only through God’s grace – not human effort – and must be received personally by repentance and faith.
Jesus Christ, second Person of the Trinity, lived a sinless life on earth and because of God’s love for us voluntarily paid for our sin by dying on the cross as our substitute. This provided salvation for all who would acknowledge their need for a savior and his death as having provided a payment for the debt their sin incurred, namely death. He rose from the dead and is the only mediator between God and us. Baptism is an act of obedience He has asked us to do which portrays our joining him in his death, burial, and resurrection. He will return to earth to consummate history.
The Holy Spirit draws sinners to Christ, permanently resides in believers, and equips them for personal growth and service to the church. The church’s role is to glorify God and serve those in need. At the end, everyone will experience bodily resurrection and the judgment. Only believers will enjoy eternal fellowship with God.
Why We Focus on the Essentials
One of the sayings we have around here is, “Restoration over Denomination”. We are more concerned with restoring lives, souls, marriages, relationships, and our community than denominational differences. As a result we have people from all of the following backgrounds worshiping with us:
Non-Denominational / nondenominational
Assembly of God
Southern Baptist (SBC)
Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV)
Unchurched, Post-Church, Non-Churched or however you choose to define those who have either never been to church or this is their first time back in a long while.