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"Our 12 Non-Negotiables"

1. We believe in the divine inspiration and consequent authority of the whole canon of scripture. This includes it being free of all manner of error in the original manuscripts
2 Timothy 3:16 & 17: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." God's Word is NOT like a church potluck where you can choose to have just dessert. Instead, we must take it all---grace and truth, good and evil, sin and righteousness, Heaven and Hell--- we do not get to pick the parts we WANT to believe and discard the rest. It's an all or none proposition. 


2. We believe in the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God The Holy Spirit
This 3 in 1 is fascinating - it is three separate individual things and one single entity all at the same time. God - the Father, Jesus - His Son and our Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit - our Counselor, Advocate, Helper and the Spirit of Truth. This phenomenon has been compared to an apple with the skin, pulp and core as the 3 parts, but one apple or an egg with the shell, white and yolk. These word pictures help us understand this concept.


3. We believe in the Satan-tempted fall of man, all people's inherent moral depravity, and their need for a spiritual rebirth and regeneration
We are ALL sinners - everyone of us! Sin still exists today and is a "real thing". There is an absolute right and wrong. Romans 3:10 tells us, "There is no one righteous, not even one," and Romans 3:23 says, "for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". This is not just referring to people in the Bible - it means us too!


4. We believe that every person can be spiritually reborn and regenerated only through receiving Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior and Lord

In John 3:7, Jesus teaches Nicodemus about being "born again" and John 14:6 teaches us that there is "only one way" and Jesus IS that way! Romans 3:24 tells us about "justification", but the New Living Translation (NLT) says this... "Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins."  Justification - He makes us "right in His sight"!

5. We are justified only by trusting in Him for our salvation

Both Miracles: 1) Virgin Birth - referenced in Matthew 1:23 and 2) the Miracle of the Cross - Jesus as a substitute for us - He paid the price for all our sins- past, present and future. Romans 4:25 and 1 John 2:2 share the mission of Jesus to sacrifice His life for ours.


6. We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and in His substitutionary death as an atonement for our sins

Jesus is the "God-Man" - Hebrews 4:15 and 2:17 both talk about Jesus being tempted because He was fully man, but not sinning in His temptation, so He could be the atonement for our sins - fully God!


7. We believe in the resurrection of the body, in the case of both the just and the unjust

Resurrection of the body - Acts 24:15 refers to this. In the English Standard Version (ESV) it uses the words "just and unjust" in other versions it says "righteous and unrighteous" or as we might say, "believers and non-believers".


8. We believe in and anticipate Jesus Christ's imminent return

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 talks about "the Lord coming down from Heaven" and that believers will be "caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air". Now that's a vision of hope! 


9. We believe that all people will die once, and after this will come the judgement. Those who have received Jesus Christ will spend eternity in heaven, and those who have rejected Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Hell

Die once, Judgement comes and then it is either Heaven or Hell. Those who received Him chose Heaven for their eternal home and those who reject Him chose Hell. Revelation 20: 11-15 shares details about the Judgement. Some t-shirts say this plain and simple "turn or burn"! Romans 6:23 promises "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

10. We believe it is the God-given responsibility to tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ and to encourage them to give their lives to Him

Share Jesus! The Great Commission. Matthew 28: 19 & 20 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age." 


11. We believe that our facilities have been provided by God and should be used to help people build relational bridges to Him

We are in the business of bridge building. Building bridges between ourselves and God (vertical part of the cross) and building bridges with fellow believers and non-believers (horizontal part of the cross). 1 Thessalonians 2:8 reminds us of this, "Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well." We need to be "bridge building, life sharing" people of God!


12. We believe that God has shared resources with us so that we should share these resources freely with others in our community

James 1:17 tell us that "Every good and perfect gift is from above." James also tells us in 1:27 "to look after orphans and widows in their distress". Romans 12:13 reminds us to, "Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Matthew 25:40 instructs us, "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" And finally, Church, Acts 4:13, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus".

Let this be said of us - that others can tell we have been with Jesus! Amen!

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