The Basics

  • God is bigger and better and closer than we can imagine.
  • Humankind is both glorious and broken in our inner selves.
  • The glorious nature comes from the imprint of God on us.
  • The broken nature comes from our innate selfishness and pride.
  • Jesus is God showing himself to us.
  • Through Jesus we can have a relationship with God.
  • Following Jesus is the greatest and most challenging adventure in life and is called discipleship.
  • Through His Holy Spirit, God lives in and through us now.
  • The church is to serve people like Jesus served people.
  • Heaven and hell are real places. Death is a beginning, not the end.
  • The Bible expresses God’s passion for us and is His perfect guidebook for living.

The Details

God
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and are one God. Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14.

Humankind
We are all made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although human kind has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates us from God. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2.

Eternity
We all were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. The place of eternal separation from God is called Hell. Heaven is the place of eternal union and eternal life with God. John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15 (Hell); Matthew 25:41; Revelation 21:27 (Heaven).

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days, demonstrating His power over sin and death. He was seen by over 500 people and returned to the Father to prepare a place for us. Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; I Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11.

Salvation
Salvation is a gift from God to humankind. We can never make up for our sin by self improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, John 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:21.

Discipleship
The Christian is called to live out the Great Commandment – to love God with all our heart and soul and our neighbors as ourselves; and the Great Commission – to 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 all Jesus commanded us.  This is called discipleship, and it is what every Christian is called to.  It simply means following after Jesus. Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 22:37-40.

Eternal Security
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in this salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self effort of the Christian. It is the grace and “keeping power” of God that gives this security. John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14; I Peter 1:3-5.

Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son (of God). He is present in the world to make humankind aware of our need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily. II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12; 3: 16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1.

The Bible
The Bible is God’s word to all humankind. It was written by human authors who were under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit so that what they wrote is the Word of God. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160; Psalm 126; Proverbs 30:5.

Covenant
We are a covenant keeping church. God enters into a covenant (special binding agreement) with those whom he calls to be his sons and daughters. Covenant people have a special relationship with God and have a special responsibility. We keep covenant with God by living our lives as his children, by keeping covenant with our spouses and family and by keeping covenant with all believers regardless of race, age, gender or marital status. Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 32:38-40; II Corinthians 6:16-18; Romans 8:12-17; Acts 2:39; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 4:1-6.

The Church
The Church is the living Body of Christ on earth. He is the head and the source of its life. We believe that all true believers want to be a part of the Church so they can grow in their faith, worship and fellowship with other believers, and make a united impact upon society. Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:4-8; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:1-16; Colossians 1:15-20.

The Sacraments
We believe there are two sacraments given by Christ to strengthen our faith as members of His Church. The first is Holy Baptism which is a sign and seal of God’s eternal covenant of grace for us and our children. Baptism symbolizes the washing away of our sins through the blood of Christ.

The second is the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The broken bread symbolizes the broken body of Christ. The cup symbolizes the blood of Christ poured out at the Cross for our salvation.. Christ is spiritually present in the bread and juice. When we celebrate Holy Communion our strength is strengthened. Genesis 17: 1-10; Deuteronomy 7:9; Matthew 19:13-15; 28:19; Acts 16:14-15; 30-33; Mark 14:22-25; I Corinthians 11:23-26; I Corinthians 1:16.

The End of Time
When history has run the course laid out for it in God’s plan, Jesus Christ will return in power and glory to judge the world and to complete the total victory over sin, death and Satan. At that time those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord will enter heaven to be with him forever. Those who have not believed will be eternally separated from God. Acts 1:6-11; Mark 13:24-27; Revelation 1:7; I Peter 4:5; Matthew 24:29-31; 25:31-46.

What does it mean to be Reformed?
Although we generally go by “Emmanuel Church,” our official name is “Emmanuel Reformed Church.”  We’re part of a group of churches that connects way back to the 1500s when there was a great renewal in the churches in Europe.   That period was called the Reformation – a time when a lot of Christians reformed their spiritual lives in order to get reconnected with God through the scriptures. So our name reflects that heritage.


Discipleship

A Disciple Submits:

To Jesus:

Jesus is Lord. When we happily embrace his Lordship in our lives, we grant him the right to tell us what we will and will not say, what we will and will not do. His leadership is both demanding and life-giving, transforming us into people who think, act and speak like Him.

To the Body of Christ:

A follower of Jesus is not an island. He or she chooses to obligate themselves to their brothers and sisters in Christ. We willingly submit to the influence, wisdom and words of other Christ-followers

To a person discipling them:

We entrust ourselves to the care and direction of someone who deeply loves the triune God (Father, Son and Spirit), the mission of God, the body of Christ, and us. Thus we gladly grant this person the right to speak truthfully to us about who we are and who we need to become.

A Disciple Deeply Connects to Jesus:

Through His Words:

Jesus taught. His words inform our understanding of reality and our role in the world. His words are eternal life and the spiritual food for our souls. His words hold the ultimate authority for what we believe and how we should live.

Through His Way of Life:

Jesus modeled for us a way of life, not merely a way of thinking. Being a disciple of Jesus means doing the things he did, not just knowing the things he taught.

Through His Death and Resurrection:

The message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the power of God for salvation. Jesus was crucified on the cross to atone for our sin. He was raised from the dead to validate his identity and defeat death. We cherish and are defined by these realities.

A Disciple Deeply Connects to People:

Hospitality:

Hospitality is kindness shown to people – people we might naturally know, people we have just met and people whose life experiences are very different from our own. The primary expression of this kindness is fellowship around a meal in a home and providing for material needs. We demonstrate hospitality when we regularly and intentionally invite into our lives all kinds of people.

Through Intentionality:

We consciously engage the people around us – family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends, people at the grocery store, etc. We take relational initiative with people we don’t know or who we have just met. We are proactive in inviting people into our lives. We are increasingly purposeful in the questions we ask and the love we show.

Through Time Spent:

In our fast-paced and self-seeking world there is no substitute for setting aside significant amounts of time to simply be with and invest in people.

A Disciple Deeply Connects to Mission:

By Doing Justice:

Loving vulnerable people is the activity of those who follow Jesus. We steward all our resources – education, wealth, relationships, spiritual gifts, and experience – towards care for the “least of these.”

By Witnessing:

Followers of Jesus bear witness to the reality of Kingdom of God through their activity and their words. We testify to the presence of Jesus as we act and speak of his saving work on the cross. Both are necessary.

By Financial Generosity:

Followers of Christ faithfully bring a tithe (10% of income) and joyfully give an offering (as much money as possible) to the work of the Kingdom of God.

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