Our Beliefs

Mission & Vision

Our Mission:  To build Christ-centered lives for God’s Kingdom.

Our Vision:  We envision an expanding group of passionate Christ-followers, renewed by God, and empowered to make a difference with our families and friends, in our cities and in the world.

To this end, we as a church have three imperatives for our ministry:

  1. Reach – We share the good news of Jesus Christ in creative and winsome ways.
  2. Renew – We seek to have our lives changed and molded around God’s truth
  3. Respond – We use our gifts and talents to serve Christ in the world

Jesus told his followers to love God with their heart, soul, mind, and strength.  To be faithful to Jesus’ call in our lives, we have four basic behaviors that we follow here at Wilshire Avenue.

Sunday Morning Worship (Heart) – We participate in worship services to connect with God and one another.

Personal Bible Reading and Prayer (Soul) – We seek God daily through the personal disciplines of Bible reading and prayer.

Life Groups (Mind) – We gather weekly in small groups to discuss Sunday’s message and apply the Scriptures to our lives.

Service (Strength) – We use our gifts and talents to serve God both in the church and in the world.

We also acknowledge that we live in a pluralistic age.  With so many doctrines and belief systems swirling around us it can be confusing and overwhelming.  How do we sort our way through this maze of beliefs?  A good rule of thumb that has been used for centuries among Christians is:

In essential beliefs, we have unity (Ephesians. 4:4-6).  In non-essential beliefs, we have liberty (Romans 14:1).  In all things, we show love (1 Corinthians 13:2).

Which only raises the question:

“What are the essential doctrines or beliefs of the Christian faith?”

Of course, there are a number of distinctive practices and beliefs that set followers of Christ apart from each other. It wouldn’t be wise or loving to ignore or dismiss those differences. There is something worth learning from all of them. Some followers of Jesus choose to emphasize holiness, others grace, while still others expresses loyalty to a certain historical leader or a particular style of church organization.  Each expression of faith has played an important part in the rich history of the church.

But some people are surprised to learn that historically there has always been a broad area of consensus regarding Christian belief. There have been a number of attempts to express this consensus in writing. Generally these efforts tend to focus on seven essential beliefs:

The Essentials

About God

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.  He has eternally existed in three personalities:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these three are co-equal and are one with God.

Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14

About Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is co-equal with the Father.  Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross.  He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.  He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; I Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13.

About the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God.  He is present in the world to make people aware of their 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.  He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved.  As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.

II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18.

About the Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to us.  It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.  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, 12:6Proverbs 30:5

About Human Beings

People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character.  People are the supreme object of God’s creation.  Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.”  This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.

Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2

We believe that God has established marriage as a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman and that all intimate sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, is immoral and therefore sin.

Genesis 2:24-25; Exodus 20:14, 17, 22:19; Leviticus 18:22-23, 20:13, 15-16; Matthew 19:4-6, 9; Romans 1:18-31; I Corinthians 6:9-10, 15-20; I Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 1:7

We believe that God created the human race male and female and that all conduct with the intent to adopt a gender other than one’s birth gender is immoral and therefore a sin.

Genesis 1:27; Deuteronomy 22:5

About Salvation

Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it.  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 anyone be saved from sin’s penalty.  When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his/her life by faith.

Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1.

About Eternity

People were created to exist forever.  We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation.  To be eternally separated from God is Hell.  To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life.  Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.

John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; I Corinthians 2:7-9.