REFUGE: CORE BELIEFS
The Bible: We believe the Bible is the actual voice of God, making it the final authority for both the decision-making in the church, and life in general (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). It is without error in the original Scriptures, and is totally reliable, without mistakes or contradictions (2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5). After more than a thousand years, the Bible is still relevant to the reader today because the truths proclaimed in it are timeless (Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 4:12).
God: We believe in the one God who created the universe and He did a great job (Genesis 1:1, 31; Deuteronomy 6:4). In spite of all the terrible things happening in the world today, God is still good; He is still actively accomplishing His purpose (Psalm 34:8, 119:68; Proverbs 19:21; Ephesians 1:11). God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have and will always exist as one Person (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21-22). All three are equal and work in different ways. They serve different purposes to accomplish the same goal while working at the same time if needed (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Jesus: We believe that Jesus, the Messiah, Son of God, became a man without ceasing to be God (John 12:44-45; Philippians 2:6-8; Colossians 1:15). Through the power and conception of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born of a virgin; a woman named Mary (Luke 1:34-35). Jesus left heaven for the purpose of saving humanity (Luke 19:10). Jesus accomplished our redemption by dying for our sins on the cross and accomplished our justification by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 15:4-5; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 2:24). He then ascended back into heaven and is now ruling and reigning from the right hand of God (Acts 1:9-11; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3, 10:12). Finally, Jesus will one day return to judge the living and the dead (Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5).
Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is God living inside of those who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit gives guidance (John 16:13), empowers the believer to overcome temptation (Acts 1:8), gives understanding to the truths of the Bible (John 16:13), and informs the believer when they mess up (John 16:8). These are just a few actions of the Holy Spirit. The greatest benefit is the seal of the Holy Spirit that marks us, guaranteeing that we will spend an eternity with Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14). Once the Holy Spirit is inside of the believer, He remains forever (Hebrews 13:5).
Salvation: Salvation occurs when we are in right standing with God (Romans 3:24; 5:1-2). It is accomplished when God draws us into a relationship with Jesus Christ (John 6:44). Though not everyone will have this relationship with God, He does not want anyone to die without knowing Him (John 3:36; Titus 2:11; 2 Peter 3:9). Salvation is based on grace alone (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:5). There is nothing we can do to earn our right standing with God, because He offers it freely (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Eternity: This earth is not our home; we are strangers here (2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11). We were meant to live forever (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Matthew 25:34). When our life on earth ends, our eternal life begins (2 Corinthians 5:1). Where we spend eternity is our decision (John 3:16). If we have a relationship with Christ, we will live forever in heaven (1 John 2:17). If we choose to reject Jesus as the ONLY way to heaven, we will spend forever in a literal hell (Revelation 20:15).
Humans: God made humans in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). God loves everyone because He created all (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8). God never makes a mistake, so all people can be confident that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14; Isaiah 45:18). People are more important to God than any other part of creation (Psalm 8:3-8). He created us to have a relationship with Him, and only in this relationship will we find our true meaning and purpose in life (Psalm 138:8; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 John 4:9).