Our Basic Beliefs
Our church connects with the people of Oneco, East Bradenton, and Manatee County Florida. We invite them to know Jesus, equip them to fully follow Jesus, and send them out to impact our community and the world for Jesus.
What We Believe
This Statement of Faith describes our core beliefs as a church. There is nothing new or revolutionary about them. The primary, authoritative source of our beliefs is the teaching of Scripture (the Bible). Thus, these essential or core beliefs are non-negotiable, unwavering commitments. Because we believe that the following are consistent with the Scripture, we hold to and claim the belief statements of the historic Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed, and traditional and official Doctrinal Standards of the United Methodist Church.
There is one true, eternal, holy, and living God, existing in three separate persons: God the Father as Creator, God the Son, Jesus Christ, as Redeemer and Savior, and God the Holy Spirit as Counselor and Sustainer of life. Thus we have one God in three Persons comprising the “Trinity.” All three receive equal worship and are uncreated, eternal, equal in worth and glory, distinct but inseparable, forming a perfect and eternal love-relationship. (Gen. 1:1; Mt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the eternal second member of the Trinity. Fully God and fully human, He lived a sinless life. Through His voluntary death on the cross, Jesus paid in full the debt of our sin, bridging the gap between God and people for everyone who believes in Him. Three days after His crucifixion, Jesus physically rose from the dead. Soon after, He ascended to heaven, and is now praying for His Church. He will physically return to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Jn.1:1, 14; Heb. 1:8; I Pet. 3:18; I Tim. 2:5-6; I Cor. 15:1-8; Acts 1:9-11; I Thess. 4:13-17)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the eternal third member of the Trinity. He is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to invite everyone into a relationship with Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation, providing the Christian with guidance and power for Christ-like living. He gives every believer spiritual gifts to build up the Church. As we daily yield to the Holy Spirit, Christ lives his life in and through us transforming us into His image. (Acts 5:3-4, Jn. 6:44; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:7-12; II Cor. 3:17-18; Gal.5: 16-23)
The Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, and perfect Word to all people. Comprised of 66 Old and New Testament books, the Bible describes God’s loving initiative in drawing us back into relationship with Him and each other. No other writings are so inspired by God. The Bible is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. (Isa. 40:8; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)
God, Who is holy love, seeks and pursues all people, inviting them to enter a new-life relationship made possible through Jesus Christ. Originally created to live in perfect harmony with God, we have all chosen to go our own way (sin) and have thus become separated from God. As such, we are unable to restore this relationship by ourselves. Thankfully, out of sheer love, God freely offers us His salvation: an act wholly initiated by God that is not earned or added to by any act of human goodness. Anyone may receive this gift of salvation by receiving Jesus Christ, surrendering to Him and trusting Him to save him/her through His sacrifice on the Cross and resurrection. Salvation includes being both forgiven and being made holy, like Christ. (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:16; Rom. 3:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13; Eph. 2:8-10)
God desires that each person live eternally with Him; so much so, that Jesus Christ died for every person. God calls all; all may come. However, God loves and respects us too much to force anyone into a surrendered love-relationship with Him. Thus, depending upon one’s choice/response (or lack of) to Christ, each person will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through His salvation and forgiveness. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with God is eternal life (begins at conversion; culminates in heaven). Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence. (Deut. 30:19; Mt. 25:46; Jn. 3:36; 14:1-6; Rev. 20: 11-15)
The Church is comprised of all who receive and know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Under the authority of the Bible and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Church is called to exalt and embody Jesus Christ by bringing the Kingdom of God to the world. In Christ’s Name, the Church invites, worships, prays, disciples, preaches the Word, serves and loves one other and the world, shares communion and baptism (the two sacraments of the church), and works to make disciples of all nations. The Church is not a fortress, where people hide, or a country club that exists to serve itself, but a Spirit-empowered, disciple-making people through which God lives and transforms the world. As such, all are welcome. (Mt. 16:15-19; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32; I Tim. 3:15)
Jesus: “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)