Our statement of faith is as simple as one acronym: The G.O.S.P.E.L.
God – We believe there is a creator God who is so much bigger than us; we can’t fully understand Him! We know He is perfect, relational and loving. He exists in relationship, which we understand as “triune”–God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Again, this is just a human way of explaining the multidimensionality of our loving, creator God! What we do know is that He created us in His image for perfection, for relationship, for love, and for community.
Our Sin – We believe that freedom means freedom–freedom to love or hate, to obey or disobey, to trust or to distrust. Since God did not create robots, all created beings have the ability to choose a different path. Lucifer, one of God’s created beings, choose to exalt himself over his Creator. This was a departure from unselfish love. Lucifer’s selfishness was passed on to Adam and Eve, the first created humans, then to the rest of the human population, including you and me. Because of sin, we experience separation from our pure source of life and true love. We have a broken connection with God, which leads to sadness, hate, sickness; you name it. Ultimately we die. Our sin destroys us.
Salvation – Because of God’s multidimensional love, He is all about reconciliation and reconnection. The only good way to express His love was by coming to our level and showing empathy and care. That is why God cut out a piece of Himself and transplanted it on earth (like one can replant a stem cutting to propagate new growth). We know this “tender green shoot out of dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2) as Jesus, the “Son of God.” Jesus came to this earth through humanity (thanks Mary)! Jesus lived a perfect life so that He could be the perfect substitute for our sin. Jesus died for us, and was resurrected to give us new life. Through Jesus Christ, we are reconnected to God and set free from eternal death. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life!”
Power – After God saved us, He guaranteed eternal life as long as we would accept it. Even more, God gave us ways to be freed from the power of sin while on this earth. He gave us another dimension of Himself–the Holy Spirit–to empower us to overcome sinful ways. This is certainly a lifelong journey of growth, but it is exciting to be able to become free from bad habits and destructive paths. What a deeply satisfying life we can learn live!
Enjoy – As God gives us power to harmonize with His perfect value system, our tastebuds, so to speak, begin to change. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8) Through Christ, we begin to enjoy living a life of obedience, focused on joining other transformed humans in acts of love and service. We enjoy caring for others more than dismissing them as unimportant. In fact, we enjoy lifting up all humans above ourselves! “Love God with all your heart, mind and soul; and love your neighbor as yourself.” What a joy it is to be free from sin!
Life Eternal – If this sinful world was it for us, then we might want to revert back to sinful, selfish ways, because what would the point of it all be? The good news is that God is going full circle; He will reconnect us back to Him not just spiritually, emotional, intellectually, but physically too! At an unknown time to us, Jesus Christ will come again to take us Home. It’s amazing that we have a window into the future! And there is so much more in the Bible to understand. The Bible is our “ultimate rule of faith,” meaning it is God’s handbook for us to know Him fully.
Do you want to learn more about the G.O.S.P.E.L? William Hurtado prepared a Bible study series called the G.O.S.P.E.L. Sketchbook with lots of scriptures that explain the Gospel in detail. Get a hold of a copy and study it more! May you embrace God’s grace and love!