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The theology of Vibrant Church

All of our values begin and end with the life changing grace and love of Jesus Christ.  Without it, nothing else matters. But with it, we can change the world!

GOD: We believe in One eternally existing God who created all things and by whom all things exist.  God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.  (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 1:1-14; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6, John 10:30)


THE BIBLE: We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  The Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God.  It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths.  We accept the Scriptures as the final authority in all manners of faith and conduct.  (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26)


JESUS CHRIST: We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified on Calvary for our sins, and bodily rose from the dead; and that he has been exalted to the throne of God where he is the only mediator between God and man.  He alone is Lord and Savior.  We believe that through this death, burial, and resurrection we have personal salvation and power for victorious living.  (Colossians 1:15-18; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:1,14,14:6;20:28; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Acts 4:12; Revelation 1:8)


SALVATION: We believe that all have sinned and stand in the need of redemption, which is received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection.  Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or any human efforts.  (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-13, 3:1-9, 15-18; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:21-24)


REPENTANCE: We believe that all people are called to repent - it is God’s will that no one perishes, but everyone comes to life-changing repentance. Repentance is a commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Jesus fully.  (Acts 2:38, 17:30; Matthew 3:1-2; Isaiah 55:7)


WATER BAPTISM: We believe that following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, new believers are commanded by the Word of God to be baptized by submersion in water in the name of Jesus.  Water baptism is an act of obedience which signifies our union with Jesus in death to sin, burial of the old nature, and resurrection to new life. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 8:12,16:36-38, 10:48, 16:33, 19:5, 22:16; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12)


HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit is active in the world today and that the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in other tongues is the privilege and promise of all believers. (Mark1:7-8; John 14:16-18; Acts 1:5, 8, 2:1-4, 38-39, 4:31, 8:17, 10:44-45, 19:6)


THE CHURCH: We believe the church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus’ great commission.  Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers.  There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23)


THE SECOND COMING: We believe in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His Kingdom.  We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgement and the ultimate victory of the eternal Kingdom of God.  This will occur at a date undisclosed in Scripture.  We await His return.  (Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1: 9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7)

SEXUALITY: A frequent theological question posed to the Pastors of our church is about sexuality. Therefore, we are stating a shared theology—not because there is a biblical emphasis that matches the topics covered thus far, but simply out of pastoral response to the questions being asked both within our church and broader culture.

We believe in the historically Christian view of marriage and sexual expression; namely, that marriage is a lifelong one-flesh covenant union between two sexually different persons (biological male and biological female) from different families, and that all sexual relationships and expressions outside of marriage are sin.

The expression of this belief is often the more important question to people in search of a spiritual home: Will I (or one of my loved ones) be welcomed at Vibrant Church? And is there a barrier where that welcome is worn out?

Regardless of sexual background, Vibrant Church welcomes all to worship. Jesus is the head of the church, and Jesus was uncompromising in teaching and calling people to align with his beliefs, a pathway to “life to the full.” (John 10:10) Another group of rabbis, called the Pharisees, were equally convicted of the truth of their beliefs, and held many beliefs in common with Jesus. So why was it that those who felt alienated by the Pharisees also felt so welcome by Jesus? Because of how each expressed common beliefs: the Pharisees did so in pride, as their primary concern was being right, while Jesus did so in love, as His primary concern was compassion for the person and story behind the belief.

The church is called the Body of Christ. We are a communal expression of Jesus’ heart, so both our beliefs and our expression of those beliefs should mirror Jesus. When it comes to sexuality, we carry three important convictions that inform our expression:

1. Our first responsibility is to be a living display of covenant love and sexuality. The church was not founded to critique the surrounding culture but to form a distinct counterculture where “life to the full” is on display as an invitation to all. However, in many ways (covenant love and sexuality being one obvious example) the church has mirrored the culture more than forming a counterculture. Therefore, our work is not to change anyone else’s mind or critique the world outside of our family, but to live with the sort of fidelity, service, and love within our own singleness and marriage covenants that we become a living witness to the fullest sort of life.

2. We lead with a heart of love and compassion for people. The doors and the arms of our church family are open to anyone, regardless of belief. No one will ever be excluded from worshiping with us on Sundays for any misalignment of belief.

3. We must differentiate between agreeing and accepting. One of the truly fascinating aspects of the life of Jesus is that the very people whose lives least aligned with his ethical teachings were most drawn to him. His dinner company and close friends are made up of people out-of-alignment with his teaching (e.g. Jesus teaches that to even look at a woman lustfully is to commit adultery, then is consistently surrounded by prostitutes who profited on lust; Jesus teaches an ethic of radical generosity, then welcomes a tax collector, whose life was defined by greed, into his inner circle of 12 disciples; etc.). In modern cultural rhetoric, agreement and acceptance are often used synonymously: “If you don’t agree with my ethical choices (belief), you don’t accept me (expression).”


However, in Jesus, we observe the opposite phenomenon: Those who felt most accepted in his presence were those most obviously living in disagreement with his teaching. Therefore, as a church we are committed to being a community linked to Jesus in both agreement and acceptance. We are unapologetically aligned with every word of his teaching. Equally, we will love with the same love that Jesus displayed to all people, regardless of past sexual sin. 

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