At the core of our belief is the simple faith that has been handed down to us in the Bible, which we believe is God’s own Word that points to His Son Jesus as the Savior of the world. Another way of expressing this simple faith is in Martin Luther’s summary phrases ~ “Grace Alone”, “Faith Alone”, and “Scripture Alone”.
Grace Alone: God loves us unconditionally. We do not have to seek Him, come to Him or do anything to earn His love. Fact is, we don’t seek Him, can’t come to Him and won’t do what His Law really requires! The meaning of grace is that God recognizes this, yet still gives us His love as a free gift. Never because of anything we have done or said, but through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. No strings attached. It is God’s grace that “saves” us, meaning that only God Himself can restore our relationship with Him. He does so through Jesus.
Faith Alone: Faith means the same thing as trust. Faith is trust that we have received God’s grace through Jesus. It’s that simple. Faith is the amazing confidence in the promise God makes to us. It is a confidence we could never manufacture through our emotions because it requires truth that can only come from outside of ourselves. Faith is from the Holy Spirit working in our heart to rely more and more on the promise of God. This promise is to forgive all we have done or will do against Him and one another and to give us the hope of a new life in Jesus.
Scripture Alone: God reveals His grace and feeds our faith through the pages of the Bible. The Bible is, quite simply, all about Jesus and His victory for us on the cross. The Bible is the Word of God, or Scripture, in which God reveals Himself to us. More than just a book, the Bible shapes our understanding of our relationship with God and His calling in our lives.
We call the Bible our only source and norm of teaching about God’s grace and practicing our faith.
This is the simplicity of our belief, as written by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesian churches. Paul writes, “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
The question might remain, “Why does God give such gifts?”
Paul answers this as well as he continues, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
In short our salvation and our faith is fairly useless unless it moves, pointing others to the wonderful free gift of God we have received in Jesus. Therefore, we’re always asking for God to help us maintain balanced lives of faith, being nurtured by His Word and reaching out to others with care and compassion. It’s the mission God has given us to be a Christ centered and community focused people of faith!