What We Believe

Below you’ll find three sections that describe what we believe. 

This will cover the gospel, our doctrinal statement, and our new identity in Christ

The Gospel

The Gospel is the verbal message about the person and work of Jesus Christ for people like us. 


"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve," (1 Corinthians 15.1-5, ESV).


We see in this passage that although there are many important things, getting the gospel right is most important and something we can’t get wrong. So what is the gospel?


1.  We need to know the facts about salvation. 

  • All people are sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3.23, ESV). 
  • Sin deserves punishment. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life,” (Romans 6.23, ESV). 
  • Jesus Christ died to pay the punishment for sin. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us,” (Romans 5.8, ESV). 

2.  Jesus invites us to personally respond to these truths by coming to him repenting of sin and believing the gospel. 

  • We respond with repentance and faith. “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee; proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel,’” (Mark 1.14-15, ESV). 
  • Anyone can come to Jesus. “28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11.28-30, ESV). “37 He who comes to me I will not cast out,” (John 6.37, ESV). 

3.  Jesus promises to forgive us of our sins and give us eternal life. 

  •  “16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3.16, ESV). 
  • “18 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1.8-9, ESV). 

Doctrinal Statement

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the history of the church believers have gathered their thoughts together and attempted to summarize the Christian faith. These are called confessions, creeds, or doctrinal statements. There are examples of this even in the New Testament itself (see Colossians 1:15-20). One of the most well known of these is the Apostle’s creed, which dates back to the 5th century, if not earlier. This creed is universally accepted by Christians worldwide.

I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born from the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, descended into hell, on the third day rose again from the dead,

ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, thence He will come to judge the living and the dead;

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic (universal) Church,

the communion of saints, the remission of sins,

the resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life.

Amen.

We adhere to the Apostles Creed, but also have our own doctrinal statement. While we would ultimately say, “The Bible is our doctrinal statement,” it is helpful to have something like this for purpose of unity and clarity in our church. This isn’t an exhaustive statement of everything we believe and practice (for example there is no section below on prayer though prayer is very important), but it does cover the basics for anyone seeking to be a part of our community and desiring to see what we believe in this kind of format. Please follow up with one of our pastors with any questions.


GOD. THE TRINITARIAN GODHEAD

The story of God begins with the one living and true God (Genesis 1:1). Though one, He has forever existed as a perfect, self-sufficient, self-sustaining community of three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each member is co-eternal in being and nature and co-equal in power and glory, sharing the same attributes. Within the Trinity there is perfect submission, eternal love, and complete worship. (Genesis 1:26; 11:7; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1-2,14,18; Romans 8; Hebrews 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:5-6; 22:3)


GOD'S SON. JESUS THE CHRIST

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person in the Godhead. He was born of the virgin Mary, conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit, and fulfilled all Old Testament prophesies (Luke 24:27; John 5:39-40). He did not cease to be God in His humanity in order to save sinful man (Matthew 1:21-23, Luke 1:35, John 1:1,14). He was God made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14) entering human history as a man to live without sin as a perfect example (Hebrews 4:15). He died for sin as the propitiation from God’s righteous wrath (Hebrews 2:17), and resurrected over sin, death, and the satan in victory (Colossians 2:13-5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is exalted at the right hand of God, where He is to this day. He is presently our high priest and works on our behalf as our representative, intercessor, and advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:27; 1 John 2:1-2). He will one day return again to receive his people unto Himself, to live with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).


GOD'S SPIRIT. HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. The Spirit has always been at work beginning in creation (Genesis 1:2) through the beginning of the church (Acts 2). The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). He is the supernatural agent in regeneration baptizing all believers into the body of Christ forever indwelling and sealing them (Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14). The Holy Spirit is present in every believer and He is at work progressively sanctifying believers to be able to live unto righteousness and die unto sin (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 4:23-24). He also empowers all believers to serve the church in a variety of ministries (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).


GOD'S REVELATION. THE BIBLE

God has revealed who He is, who we are, and the trajectory of human history through a written document, the Bible. The Bible is comprised of 66 books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). It was written by some 40 different authors, in three different languages, and over the course of several thousand years. We believe the Bible is one unified story that points to Jesus (Luke 24:27; John 5:39-40). The words found on its pages are the result of divine inspiration and guidance from the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16) expressed through human personalities and their respective cultures (2 Pet. 1:21). The Scriptures serve as our final authority of faith and practice. They are not to be added to or detracted from (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; John 16:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18).


GOD'S CREATION. MEN, WOMEN & ALL THINGS

God chose to create the universe and all living things. Everything he made was good (Genesis 1:1-31). At the pinnacle of His creation, He fashioned humanity in His own image, He created human beings (male and female), and gave them dominion over all He had made (Genesis 1:26-30). He placed the first man and woman in a garden, naked and unashamed, and charged them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28; 2:25). There, He performed the first wedding describing marriage as a one-flesh union (Genesis 2:22-25; Matthew 19:4-6). This union establishes the only normative pattern (sexual ethic) throughout scripture for sexual relations between a man and woman and the only normative pattern for marriage (one man and one woman). Ultimately, marriage serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:21-33).


GOD'S JUDGMENT. THE FALL

Despite possessing every needed provision for lives of joy, love and peace with God and creation, the first man and woman sinned against God. In turn, their image was marred, or corrupted, on account of their sin. All of humankind has inherited a corrupt nature and is alienated from God. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:10-18, 22-23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3). God promises to make all things right on a final day of judgement where believers in Jesus will be saved from the consequences of sin and those who have rejected Jesus will be separated from God for all eternity.


GOD'S WORK. REDEMPTION

From the moment of the first human’s initial sin, God promised salvation through the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20). That seed is Jesus. We believe our redemption, planned in eternity past, was purchased by Jesus’ sinless life, substitutionary death on the cross, and literal physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24). This is the Gospel, or God’s message of good news; good news that Jesus Christ came to live, die and rise again for the forgiveness of sin to bring redeemed sinners under God’s gracious reign for the renewal of all things (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19). The Gospel brings us home to God for a life that is truly life – every day – in relationship with our Creator. Through faith in the Gospel, God adopts us as His children, unites us as His church, and pours out the Holy Spirit upon us for supernatural empowerment to continue Christ’s work of restoring wholeness and incarnating His presence on earth (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:13; Titus 3:5; 1 John 4:12). We believe that this salvation is an act of God’s grace. He offers it to the world as a free gift and we receive it by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, as he regenerates our dead hearts by the Holy Spirit to rightly respond to Him.


GOD'S PEOPLE. THE CHURCH

We believe that the church is the gathering of God’s people referred to as the body and bride of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 5:32). She is a spiritual organism, invisible, and universal, and is composed of all those called out of the world by God. Although not perfect, she is visible in the local church or gathering of believers. The first disciples began gathering as a community and wrote down their practices for the in the New Testament which form the foundation of the church today (Acts 2:42-47; Pauline Epistles). The church is responsible to carry out the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, for they were appointed by Christ as visible testimonies, signs, and seals of the covenant (Acts 2:37-41; Romans 6:1-4; 42; 1 Corinthians 11:17-32). The church was given a mission by Jesus to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) this is our purpose for existence in the world.


GOD'S FUTURE. RESTORATION

God’s people, the Church, are now invited to join and partake in God’s kingdom, even as they await the kingdom’s full consummation on the earth (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus has promised to return one day in glory to judge the nations. He will bring final justice and set the world right. He will establish the new heavens and a new earth in which the redeemed people of God will live in perfect, sinless harmony and worship Him forever (Revelation 21-22).

Identity in Christ

What we do flows out of who we are. Jesus has transformed our lives and given us a new identity in him. 

We see 5 aspects of that identity that we like to talk about at Seaside. Because of Christ we are, Family, Witnesses, Learners, Servants, and Worshippers. 

Click here for a PDF in-depth study of these 5 identities.


We are a Family to one another. 

We are children of God who live and care for each other as a family. God has always desired a people-an earthly family-who would live in such a way that the world would know what he is like. Jesus said that those who live in his ways and obey his Father are truly his family. Through Jesus we believe we are children of God and brothers and sisters with each other. As family we see it as our obligation to personally care for the needs of one another - both physically and spiritually. We disciple, nurture, and hold each other accountable to this Covenant life together. We do this through Sunday gatherings, Discipleship groups, and daily living together. 


We are Witnesses of Jesus to the world.

Webster defines “representative” as, “standing or acting for another especially through delegated authority.” God has made us His representatives based on His authority in the world. We are sent by God to restore all things to Him. God sent his son, Jesus, to Earth to take on human form and live within the culture. He worked, ate, and interacted among the people; living in such a way that those around him could see and experience what God was truly like. Jesus came so that all people, places and things could be restored to a right relationship with God. In the same way, we believe we are missionary representatives sent into our culture to restore all things to God through Jesus. We live this out individually and in community. 


We are Servants to the people around us. 

We are servants of God who serve others as a way of life. Fully God-fully human, Jesus took on the posture of a servant. He gave his life, even unto death, so that others could experience salvation, peace and restoration. Jesus said, "I am among you as one who serves..." All those who follow Jesus are called to serve in the same humility. For us this means joyful submission to God, leadership, and to each other, as we serve whomever God brings into our lives. We do whatever needs doing, whenever it's needed, and wherever it leads us.


We are Learners of Jesus who are continually growing.

We are disciples of Jesus who take responsibility for our own development and the development of others. As a young man Jesus grew in both height and wisdom. He learned from local religious teachers, by living in community, and through regular times of listening to God. Jesus called others to follow his ways, to be his disciples and live in obedience to all that God commands. He then sent these followers out to make new disciples. We believe we are also called to be followers of Jesus who take responsibility for our own development and the development of others. This includes both our personal time with God as well as involvement together in training provided by spiritual leadership. 


We are Worshipers of the One True God

We were created to worship. The question is not whether we will worship, but who or what will we worship. Sin has distorted our worship of God, so that we now worship created things instead of our Creator. Our worship is a 24/7 response of the heart to who God is and what he has done in the gospel. The gospel redeems us from erroneous or idolatrous worship to truth and spirit worship. As disciples we worship individually and corporately in true heart worship because of what Jesus has done on the cross to make our worship acceptable in the sight of the living God.