Narrative of Scripture
…a plan to unite all things in Jesus – Eph 1:10
We believe that central to the Bible is an overarching and fully integrated story of Jesus Christ, redemption, and the Kingdom of God. We believe God inspired the authors of Scripture by his Spirit to speak to every generation of believers. The Bible tells of actual people God calls us to immerse ourselves in this authoritative narrative, both communally and individually. We faithfully interpret that story so we can actively live it out now as we are led by the Spirit of God.
In the beginning, God created all things good. He was and always will be in a communal relationship with himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created humans in His own image. He designed us to be relational as well; to live in fellowship with Him, with each other, with ourselves, and with creation. He marked us with an identity and a missional calling to reproduce ourselves and to cultivate the earth. When the enemy tempted the first humans and they willingly complied, darkness and evil entered the story through human sin and are now a part of the world. This devastating event caused our relationship with God, others, ourselves, and creation to be fractured.
But God had a plan. He God did not abandon his creation to destruction and decay; rather he promised to restore this broken world. As part of this purpose, God chose Abraham and his descendants to represent Him in the world. God promised to bless them as a nation so that through them all nations would be blessed. In time they became enslaved in Egypt and cried out to God because of their oppression. God heard their cry, liberated them from their oppressor, and brought them to Sinai where he gave them an identity and a mission as His treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy people. Throughout the story of Israel, God refused to give up on his people despite their frequent acts of unfaithfulness to him.
God brought his people into the Promised Land. Their state of blessing from God was intimately bound to their calling to embody the living God to other nations. They moved toward this missional calling, yet they disobeyed as they allowed foreign gods into the land, overlooked the poor, and mistreated the foreigner. The prophetic voices that emerged from the Scriptures held the calling of Israel to the mirror of how they treated the oppressed and marginalized. The prophets affirmed that God cares deeply for the poor among us. We believe God’s heart is the same today.
In Israel’s disobedience, they became indifferent and irrelevant to the purposes to which God had called them. For a time, they were sent into exile. Yet a hopeful remnant was always looking ahead with longing and hope to reconciliation and a renewed reign of God, where peace and justice would prevail.
We believe these longings found their fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, mysteriously God in the flesh. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and set captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the Kingdom of God, and restoring our fractured world. He and his message were rejected by many as he confronted the oppressive nature of the religious elite and the Roman Empire. Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation, and Himself; all of the relationships we fractured in the garden. All those who trust in Jesus are affirmed as children of God by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit empowers, convicts, guides, comforts, counsels and leads us into truth through a life of communion with God, unity with one another and mission to the broken world.
The church is rooted and grounded in Christ, practicing spiritual disciplines and celebrating baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is a local and global expression of living out the way of Jesus through love. We embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world. We are called to be a living, breathing representation of Jesus Christ’s love for the world. In doing so, we display the Kingdom of God to the world.
We believe the day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, bringing an end to injustice and restoring all things to God’s original intent. God will reclaim this world and rule forever. All pain, sin, and chaos will cease and God will dwell with us in a restored creation. On that day we will beat swords into tools for cultivating the earth, the wolf will lie down with the lamb, there will be no more death and God will wipe away all our tears. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we are giving our lives to living out that future reality now.