Statement of Beliefs

We believe the Bible is God’s infallible, authoritative, and inerrant word which communicates God’s perfect character and His will for each of us, and for mankind in general.

We believe God eternally exists in three Persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and these three are one God, the Holy Trinity.

We believe Jesus, the second Person in the Trinity, entered human history through the virgin birth and is now and forever both fully Divine and perfectly human.  He lived a sinless life, died in our place as the only acceptable sacrifice to God for man’s sin, and rose from the dead three days later.  He physically ascended to heaven, yet spiritually indwells all believers, along with the Father through the Holy Spirit.

We believe the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, convicts unbelievers of sin and indwells, gifts, seals, and empowers believers until the ultimate day of redemption.

We believe eternal salvation is received through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone – and nothing else!Those who simply trust Jesus for eternal salvation receive the forgiveness of all sins, a new identity as a holy and beloved child of God, spiritual life in Christ, permanent access to God and perfect acceptability by God.  Therefore, any person who simply trusts Jesus Christ for eternal salvation has the assurance of eternal salvation.

We believe the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ on earth, exists to glorify God, to convert unbelievers into believers in Jesus Christ, and to spiritually nurture each believer in faith, love and godliness.

We believe Jesus will return for His church and His return will be pre-millennial.  Jesus Himself will reign as King at His return and throughout eternity.

Statement of Essentials

1. God’s Word

    God’s Word, the Bible, is God’s direct revelation to mankind, perfect in all it contains. It is given that we may know God truly, trust Him completely and enjoy Him thoroughly. The Bible reveals the mind and heart of God, the sinfulness of man and the resulting separation. It reveals how God acted in grace and love to bridge that separation and reconcile sinners to Himself through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. It declares that the only way man can be reconciled to God is through faith alone in Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross. Anyone who believes in Him for eternal life will be forgiven their sins and brought into a family relationship with God. The Bible also tells believers how to live by faith and calls us to more deeply trust God, allowing Him to produce His character through us and provide us with increasing victory over sin. Therefore, personal application of biblical truth is vital for everyday living, spiritual growth and intimate fellowship with God and one another.

2. God’s Grace

Grace is an essential aspect of God’s character. He loves all people unconditionally, offers us eternal life as a free gift, and sacrificed Himself for us while we were determined enemies and willful sinners. God’s grace is God’s unmerited favor, His gift to mankind. The Bible declares that forgiveness and new life are made available by God’s grace alone. We cannot earn our salvation by good works or even the promise of good works in the future. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace which must be personally received by trusting Jesus Christ alone to provide it. Those who never trust Jesus for eternal life reject His gift of salvation and choose to be separated from God forever. Therefore we hold that all people are in need of God’s wonderful grace. Once we accept this gift of new life we remain in daily need of God’s grace for fellowship, encouragement, strength and the character qualities that our sin nature is unable to produce. God faithfully offers His grace to correct and heal improper images that we have gained of ourselves and our relationships with God, believers and unbelievers alike. His grace frees us from the slavery of habitual sin, opening up possibilities for true fulfillment and contentment in life. Therefore as we experience God’s grace in our lives we will enjoy God and become who He intends for us to be.

3. Relationships of Grace

Our church family is learning to experience and live out the grace of God. We seek to nurture relationships of grace whereby we relate to our Christian family, and all people, in the same way Jesus Christ relates to us: by accepting one another not judging them, and by forgiving, loving and caring for one another. We realize that people today are hungry to experience grace (unlimited acceptance, unconditional love, and undeserved forgiveness). These virtues are healing, freeing, refreshing and life changing. They also promote relationships of grace. And because of these relationships, first with God the Giver of grace then with one another, SFBC is a church “where grace happens.”

4. Salvation and Discipleship Distinctions

We understand there to be clear biblical distinctions between salvation (justification) and discipleship (sanctification). A person is justified – forgiven his sins and granted eternal life – by God’s grace when he simply believes in Jesus Christ alone for eternal salvation. Therefore, a person is eternally saved (justified) as God’s free and unmerited gift to “whosoever believes” in His Son. Discipleship, however, is not cost-free. A disciple is a believer who commits to a deepening relationship with God characterized by ongoing trust and dependence, submission and sacrifice. Therefore, while all believers are eternally saved by God’s grace, not all believers progress in holiness, love and maturity; not all believers become devoted “disciples” who walk in communion with Jesus. Discipleship flows out of fellowship with God. This is an essential distinction that preserves the glorious doctrine of justification by faith alone while promoting progressive sanctification by challenging born again believers to “press on to maturity.”

5. Unity, Acceptance and Freedom

Unity, acceptance and freedom express what happens in our church when pleasing God is more important than pleasing ourselves. When we experience a growing relationship with our Heavenly Father, desires and priorities change as our will becomes more like His will. One evidence of this change is seeing God’s people work together in love; this is the essence of unity. Unity is not the “rubber stamp” of the dictator, but the agreement, as a body, that God can be glorified in how things get done and how priorities are set. God has created each of us differently – with different personalities, life experiences, backgrounds, cultures and genders. Acceptance allows that richness of diversity to be expressed without fear or criticism. Acceptance is not simply “letting” someone do something, or “putting up” with them, but encouraging and even embracing the diversity God has built into each of us as part of a spiritual family. Acceptance is the natural outcome of unity. For when we place God’s desires above our own, we can see each other as God does: loved, redeemed and accepted as children. Sometimes we don’t accept others because we don’t feel God accepts us. Yet when we see ourselves as God sees us and experience His acceptance of us, we can accept others in their differences. While we allow God’s Spirit to unify us, opening our hearts to the beauty of our differences, true freedom – an environment where our differences can be accepted – will be experienced within our church. This environment allows each of us to relate to Jesus and each other as we feel comfortable; to reach others beyond the limits of our own culture and social position; to love those who’ve never known love; and to embrace differences in how we each serve and worship God. As we know God’s personality and delight in His character we are motivated to please Him, and His Spirit acts through us producing unity, acceptance and freedom. And as God develops these qualities within our spiritual family we can more fully experience how He wants us to function and relate.

6. Authentic Christian Living

We are not into ‘playing’ church or ‘doing’ religion, saying one thing and doing another, or living one way on Sunday and another way throughout the week. God wants us to be authentic with Him and honest with ourselves and others regarding where we’re at spiritually, how we’re doing, and who we are in Christ. As we are honest about ourselves in the light of God’s grace, we can trust Him to mend and heal us, to deliver us from sin and create integrity in our lives. The Bible calls us to live our lives openly, in God’s light. Grace promotes such living. Conversely, when we judge sin in people we force them to hide their sins; and sin grows in power and frequency when it’s hidden from others. God’s Word encourages authentic Christian living. He wants us to deal with our sin issues in a community of grace and not hide them until they pass over, or hope they miraculously disappear.

7. Corporate Worship

Worship is something every believer will continue to do throughout eternity. When we worship God together we praise Him for who He is, for what He has done and what He promises to do. God enjoys meaningful, heartfelt worship and He created music to open our hearts for such worship. Worship isn’t only intended to be instructional but experiential, progressing beyond an intellectual exercise to a relational experience with the Living God. Congregational worship that touches our hearts touches God’s heart. We affirm that corporate worship engaging our whole being is worship our Father seeks from us. Worship is more than a tool to “prepare us for the sermon,” it stands on it’s own. Worship is essential to our relationship with God and vital for the health of our church. When we sing together as a congregation our hearts unite in praise to God. Therefore, we see corporate singing as an essential element of our Worship Service.