We hold these core beliefs as non-negotiable. Everything else–while important–is not a test of fellowship.
Jesus is the preeminent reason for life, love, and all of creation. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Savior of all mankind. Most importantly, he is our King! He is the perfect representation of God and the perfect example of what a life lived in absolute submission to God looks like. He is the King of Kings. He is 100% in charge, although he allows Satan to rule the kingdom of the world for now. He calls us to live in submission to him and his rule as the King of the Kingdom of God. Through Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, all humans have access to eternal life by trusting in Jesus as Savior.
God is known throughout history by many names: "I Am", "Jehovah", "Yahweh", "Elohim", etc. He was known by Jesus as "Father", which is the name we use to refer to God today. He and Jesus–along with the Holy Spirit–are one. They created humankind to know God and have relationship with him in His Kingdom. Jesus is the exact representation of God and is the one who makes our renewed relationship with God possible.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God sent by Jesus to dwell in the hearts of true disciples of Jesus. He is given to men and women upon a true confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior as a mark of eternal life. He is Creator and Sustainer of the world. The Spirit is alive and active today and leads anyone who truly desires to know God to truly know him.
The Bible is the most precious book the world has ever known. It is composed of many books written by many different authors over a period of 1500 years. Inspired by God, it was given to humans as a primary way for us to understand the story of God and his love and desire for humankind. It defines good and evil. In its pure form, it represents the things God wants us to know about himself. It points us to Jesus, who is the Word of God, who can convict us, redeem us, and sustain us until Jesus returns.
To be "saved" from something means that there is danger if the salvation doesn't come. As fallen human beings, we are all separated from God because of the evil things we have done. Our end is death if we continue on our own path without reaching out to Jesus for salvation. Salvation– abundant, everlasting life–comes through true, active belief in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world. When a human comes to true belief in Jesus, salvation is his or hers forever and ever. Abundant eternal life is the reward for true belief in Jesus.
These following beliefs also help define us, but we recognize that there may be differences of opinion
The Gospel is the entire story of God's love for us. It is about how a loving God created us to live under his rule and reap the benefits of living in a perfect Kingdom. As humans, we sinned and tore ourselves out of the Kingdom, essentially setting up ourselves as rulers of our own kingdoms. The Gospel story tells of how God pursues his children, anxiously desiring for them to come back under his loving rule as King. This pursuit culminated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Through Jesus, all humans now have the opportunity for forgiveness of sins and access to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God. [Read the Gospel here.]
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the central teaching of Jesus. In his pronouncement that the "Kingdom is near", he was proclaiming that he himself was ushering in the Kingdom of God, which was the original intent of creation. His desire as King is to bring the entire world under his rule and reign. Everywhere Jesus reigns as King is where the Kingdom exists. Our goal as followers of Jesus is to bring the Kingdom to others. We don't do this through legislation, religion, or brute force; rather, we bring the Kingdom to others by simply living the way Jesus taught, which happens to be in direct opposition to the way the kingdoms of this world teach us to live. The Kingdom predates the Church and will outlast the Church, but the Church is part of the Kingdom of God.