BELIEFS

We believe that what people believe shapes how they live. Beliefs aren't just abstract ideas about things we can't see. Instead, they form a story that gives meaning to all of life for people and communities. Because the stories we inhabit and live are so important we have framed our theology within the framework of a story that gives meaning and shapes how we understand our identity and mission.  

The Story: The Author and Plot
We believe God exists. 
He has made Himself known through what He has said and done. 
He has spoken authoritatively and reliably through His written word, the Old and New Testaments, which we beleive to be without error and wholly reliable and authoritative for faith and life.
He has also made Himself known by His acts of creation and redemption. 
He has accomplished redemption through Jesus Christ, the Living Word, His Son.  
We can know God personally because He has revealed Himself in and through Jesus the Messiah.

The Characters: God & People
We believe the Bible tells us the true story of God and humanity.
God is relational and exists as a Trinity, one God in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit. This means God exists as an eternal community of mutually self giving love.
God created the world and people in order to share His loving goodness. 
People are made with inherent value because they are created in God’s own image to relate to Him and others, and to reflect his character and purpose through the way we live.  
People are made to relate to God, each other, and the world in relationships of peace, righteousness, justice, and love.

The Conflict: Sin &  it's Results
We believe, although people were made to image and reflect God, sin has broken, distorted, and alienated us from Him, ourselves, and each other.  
Sin is violence against the peace and harmony that God intended for His creation.
At its core, sin is the choice of people to reject God as God and instead lift up and exalt someone, or something else in His rightful place. 
Sin has utterly damaged people, relationships, and all creation, leaving humans guilty, shameful, defiled, and fearful.

The Savior: Jesus & God’s Mission
We believe God has redeemed the world through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. 
Jesus is God become human. He is fully human and fully God. He is the King promised in the Old Testament who came to bring God’s rule and reign by which God is setting the world right. He is the Prophet promised to speak God’s good news for the world. He is the Priest who mediates a new relationship between God and people. 

The Center: Jesus & Salvation
We believe God has dealt with the problem of sin by sending Jesus to bring God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is the rule of God in human hearts and in all creation. We enter into the kingdom through faith, which means trusting Jesus and His work and turning from a life of sin ruled by self. This involves a departure from the realm and rule of evil and a transfer and transformation by God’s Spirit into the Kingdom of Jesus. Salvation is a gift of God and is given by God’s grace, and received by faith.
Jesus decisively dealt with the problem of sin in His cross, death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. His death not only satisfied God’s just wrath toward sin, but also cleanses people from sin. His redemptive death was in our place and also achieves forgiveness, acceptance, and reconciliation with God as well as triumph over the dominion of Satan.

The Result: Holy Spirit & New Life
We believe all who embrace Jesus by faith, turning to Him in believing obedience are made into new creations, where the Spirit creates a new heart, with new desires and capacities, that reflects God’s own character and purposes in the world. The Spirit indwells and empowers believers to live a life of obedience and partnership with God, to embody and reflect the kingdom. New life, empowered by the Spirit, is lived in Christ and conveys a new identity as a child of God. It enables people to live a righteous life and share in God’s mission to reach the world with His Gospel.

The Resolution: The Church & The Future
We believe the church is the sign, foretaste, and instrument of God’s kingdom. The church is the ongoing physical presence of Christ on earth and is the communion of the saints. The church is a family, the people of God, and the temple of the Holy Spirit, and is a means of grace in the world.  
We believe Jesus will return again and that there will be a resurrection of the dead to eternal life for those in His kingdom. We believe those who reject God’s grace will remain separated from God. We believe creation will reach its goal when He returns and all things will be renewed and remade, making earth God’s home, where people will be in perfect harmony and fellowship with God and one another. There is a distinct hope for the future because of Jesus’ resurrection, which is an advance installment of God’s world-righting project of redemption.   
 
(Download Cedar Mill Statement of Faith.pdf)



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