Beliefs

We are a church where you do not need to check your brain nor your emotions at the door.  We believe it is good to ask real questions, and it is only natural to worship God passionately.  

So what does this mean?  How does this work itself out at First?  

We believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are grace- and gospel-centered in all we do.  We are "ruthlessly" biblical, which means we allow the Bible to be the guide for our faith and practice.

Does this mean we always agree and think the same way as to what the Bible teaches?  No!  We know there will be diversity in opinions and our tradition allows and encourages that diversity. What we affirm is

"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things charity (or love)."

What are the essentials?

1.) We believe God the Father created all things out of nothing and that humans, both male and female, are the capstone of creation because we are created in His image.  In the beginning, God declared all of creation very good.

2.) We believe that through willful human action, sin and death entered God's good world.  The result of this sin was a break from the created good.  This break causes each of us and our communities to have an alienation from God, from each other, from ourselves, and from creation.

3.) We believe these two essential truths explain so much about our lives and our world!  We affirm the vestiges of goodness seen in our culture, in the arts, and in people.  Yet, we also recognize the fallen nature of this world explains the evil often found in ourselves, in others, and in our culture.  Such evil is called sin, which is anything short of the perfect goodness found in God and in His creation.  

4.) We believe that since none of us live perfectly in accord with our created goodness, we desperately need a savior.  This savior is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the Son of God and the only means of salvation.  His call is for each of us to daily repent of our sinfulness and to walk in faith.

5.) We believe that our walk of faith does not happen through our strength.  The Holy Spirit is given to all who believe in Jesus as their only hope for salvation to begin the process of restoration back to being the person God made us to be.  The Holy Spirit transforms our heart so we want to follow God, and the Holy Spirit continues to work to help us grow.  Thus, the entire Christian life is founded on grace, and we are transformed as we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.

6.) We believe that God is a God of justice and holiness.  One day, perhaps very soon, Jesus will come back to set all things right.  He will come to restore and redeem.  He will also come to judge and declare what is good and right from what is evil and crooked.  We look forward to His coming when sin, death, disease, and all evil will be finally and completely destroyed.

While these brief points declare what we believe, a fuller description of points of doctrine can be found in our statements of faith.  We are not a church that "makes it up as we go along."  We belong to the long line of orthodox and Biblical faithful followers of Christ.  We affirm and subscribe to the following Creeds and Confessions because we believe they affirm and describe what the Bible teaches on a variety of subjects.

Apostles' Creed

Nicene Creed

Athanasian Creed

The Heidelberg Catechism

The Cannons of Dort

The Belgic Confessions

Belhar Confession

Belhar Confession - Related documents:

Confessions of a Belhar Reader by Dr. Robert Price.

URCSA Statement on Belhar October 2011