We believe God has lived forever and has made everything. He made us, our world, the sun, moon, and stars … everything. He did it because He is creative and because He wants to be with His creation in perfect relationship. It is all created good and perfect – like He is.
We believe that God is one divine being found in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three work in perfect unity; yet they fulfill different functions. We admit it is hard to grasp a concept of three persons and one essence. We think it is ok, even to be expected, for God to be beyond our human ability to understand fully. That is why we find so much pleasure in getting to know Him.
Jesus is God’s son. He lives with His Father in perfect obedience and friendship. He came to the earth, birthed by Mary who was still a virgin at the time. We think this is important even though it is different than the way we were born. It means that Jesus was born fully human and remained fully God without any sin. Truly amazing! He was later crucified, even though He was perfectly innocent. He rose again in three days and went home to heaven where He is preparing a place for those who are His followers. We love being here on earth and serving Him; but we cannot wait to be with Jesus in the future. He promised to come back and to gather His followers together and take them to His place to be together face to face. It will be fantastic and we want everyone to be invited to go with us on that Day.
God has an enemy who hates him. His name is Lucifer. Many just call him the Devil, or Satan. Lucifer wants to take God’s place as Ruler but he cannot do it – he is not nearly strong enough to stand against God. So instead, he tricked the first humans, Adam and Eve, into disobeying God by eating a fruit that gave the knowledge of good and evil. God warned Adam not to do it. He told Adam that it would be the death of us all if he chooses to eat this fruit – the knowledge of good and evil is far too great for humans to handle apart from God. When they disobeyed, God moved them out of the garden where they lived and Lucifer took control of creation for a time being. As humans multiplied across the face of the earth, this new sinful nature multiplied with us. As a result, we see all sorts of pain and evil across the globe. We see it in ourselves, in others, in the world, and in nature as well. God is right. We are not made to handle this knowledge and we choose evil over good too often. It breaks God’s heart because He deeply loves us.
Because Adam and Eve disobeyed, death rules over creation just like God warned. It is not God’s plan for us to live this way so He decided to provide a solution. His answer ended up costing Him dearly. Because the penalty for sin is death and there is no other way around it, God sent His own Son, Jesus, who had no sin, to die in our place. This is why Jesus allowed himself to be crucified without defending or protecting Himself. He died because he loves us and is willing to take our place on the cross. When he arose three days later, he overcame the Devil’s stranglehold over us and created a way back to God. He did it by His power. It has nothing to do with our power, goodness, or work. We call this the grace of God and we are very excited about this truth. This is the reason we call our church Living Grace.
Jesus provided the way back to the Father through His death on the cross. The price for our sin is fully paid. God loves us; and because He loves us, He does not force us to love Him back. It is our choice to make. We can choose to love Him or we can choose to tell Him to stay away. We think that eternity is ultimately the fulfillment of our own heart’s desire set in place for all time. We can choose to be united with God and be with Him in a perfect place or we can choose to remain under the Devil’s hatred and darkness. It is our choice now based in Jesus’ sacrifice and victory. If we choose God, then we choose Him with gratitude for all He has done for us. We understand that Jesus gave up His life for us and we want to give him back our lives in return. This is not a head game for us. We want to grow and know God and challenge ourselves to obey Him. We do this because He loves us and know that He always has and always will — even when we fail.
The Bible is the book that we follow and study. We believe it is God’s word for us and gives us instruction on how to live and how to grow in our love for God and for others. We know that a lot of different authors penned the books in the Bible and find it amazing that God used each one of their personalities and experiences to pen His word without mistakes. We think it is the truth and we encourage each other to read it and study it as much as we can.