The source for everything that we do at Forest Grove Church is the Bible. At the heart of the Bible is the message of the Gospel. This is the message that all of the Old Testament points to and all of the New Testament proclaims. This is the message on which Christians throughout the centuries have staked their lives. And this is the message that continues to ring out today, as God declares how sinners may be saved from His judgment through His Son, Jesus Christ. The gospel is our only hope and that which unites us in belief and practice. Below is a summary of the gospel, the essentials of the Christian faith, and the practical life of every Christian.
 

The Gospel

The gospel is good news. It is the proclamation of what God has done and is doing in Christ.

God created the universe and the highlight of his creative work was us. He created us in His image for His glory. God and humanity lived in perfect fellowship with one another as we lived for God’s glory as He intended. God gave the first commission: to go out into the world and display His glory.

But we rebelled against God. We exchanged His glory for our own glory and as a result we have fallen short of His glory. Our image was tarnished and sin, death, and evil came into this world and ravaged all of God’s creation, which was placed under a curse.

What God has done in Christ is to display His glory like never before. In Christ, He has redeemed, reconciled, restored, and recreated us. He sent His Son, Jesus, into this world and through His perfect life, death, and resurrection we can be saved by faith in Him. Jesus has ascended into heaven and is our mediator until the time when He will return and we will be resurrected, glorified, and completely united to God forever.

 

Statement of Faith

God

1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory. (Dt 6:4; Gen 1:1; Isa. 6:3; Ps. 33:11; Jn. 17:11; Mt. 6:6; Heb. 1:5; Jn. 14:16; Eph. 1:11; Rev. 21, 22; Ps. 19:1–2)

The Bible

2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises. (Matt. 1:22; 2 Pet. 3:15–16; Lk. 1:1–4; 2 Tim. 3:16; Titus 1:1–2; Lk. 16:29–31; Jn. 17:17; Rom 15:4; 1 Jn. 2:5; Heb. 10:23)

The Human Condition

3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, male and female, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed. (Gen. 1:26–27; Gen. 3:1–6; Rom. 5:12–14; Eph. 2:1–2; Rom. 5:10; Rom. 1:18; Acts 4:12; 1 Thess. 1:10; Col. 1:20; Phil. 3:21)

Jesus Christ

4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel’s promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate. (Matt. 1:21; Jn. 1:14; Col. 2:9; Matt. 4:2; Jn. 3:13; 10:30; 17:5; Matt. 1:18; Isa. 7:14; Heb. 4:15; Mk. 15:15; Matt. 28:1–10; Lk. 24:51; Eph. 1:20; Heb. 2:17; 1 Jn. 2:1)

The Work of Christ

5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation. (Mk. 1:12–13; 1 Pet. 2:24; Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:14, 22; 1 Cor. 5:7; Jn. 1:29; Rom. 3:25; Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:3)

The Holy Spirit

6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. (Jn. 16:14; Jn. 16:8; Col. 2:13; Acts 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:10; Rom. 8:15; Eph. 3:14; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 5:16, 18; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:4–6)

The Church

7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer. (Matt. 16:18; Ps. 103:12; Rom. 3:20–28; 1 Cor. 12:12–27; Eph. 1:22–23; Acts 9:31; Matt. 18:15–20; Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 14:22–25; Jn. 6:55-56; Acts 2:38; 8:39; 16:34; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:29-30; Col. 2:12)

Christian Living

8. We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed. (Matt. 7:17–18; Heb. 11:6; Dt. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Rom. 12:10; Dt. 15:11; Ex. 23:6; Eph. 6:10-18; Eph. 6:11; Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8; Matt. 5:13–16)

Christ’s Return

9. We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission. (Matt. 24:30; 26:64; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 25:31; Titus 2:13; Mk. 13:32; 1 Thess. 5:1–11; 2 Thess. 1:6-8; 2 Tim. 4:8)

Response and Eternal Destiny

10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen. (Acts 20:20; Mk. 1:15; Acts 3:19; Jn. 1:12; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2; 1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:13; Rev. 20:12; Matt. 25:46; Lk. 16:26; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 14:11; 21:6, 8; 22:14, 15; Matt. 25:34, 46; Jn. 14:2; Rev. 21:1-3; Rev. 21:1, 22:3; Eph. 1:6, 12)

 
 

Church Covenant

God established a covenant relationship, first with His people Israel, and then a new covenant with His people, the church. (Hebrew 8:7–13; 9:15) Therefore, having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and having accepted the Bible as our sole authority of faith and practice, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
 
We covenant…
to pursue the Lord Jesus Christ through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship and practice of spiritual disciplines (Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 9:24– 27; Eph. 5:1–21; 1 Thess. 5:12–22).
 
to forsake the paths of sin, by walking in holiness in all areas of life as an act of worship to Jesus Christ, by God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:13–16, 4:1–3).
 
to regularly participate in the life of Forest Grove Church by attending weekly services, engaging in gospel-centered community, and serving those within and outside of this church (Acts 2:42–47; Heb. 10:23–25; Titus 3:14).
 
to follow the command and example of Jesus by participating in the New Covenant ordinances prescribed to His Church:
• Baptism
• The Lord’s Supper
 
to steward the resources God has given us, including time, talents, spiritual gifts and finances. This includes regular financial giving, service and participation in community that is sacrificial, cheerful, and voluntary (Matt. 25:14–30; 2 Cor. 8–9; 1 Pet. 4:10–11).
 
to maintain family and personal devotions, and train our children in Christlikeness.
 
to fulfill the Great Commission by seeking the salvation of our family, friends, and acquaintances and making disciples of all people (Matt. 28:18–20).
 
to watch over one another in brotherly love.
 
to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech.
 
to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
 
to, by Divine aid, live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life.
 
to submit to the discipline of God through His Holy Spirit by:
• following the biblical procedures for church discipline where sin is evident in another—the hope of such discipline being repentance and restoration.
• receiving righteous and loving discipline when approached biblically by fellow believers (Ps. 141:5; Matt. 18:15–20; 1 Cor. 5:9–13; Heb. 12:5–11).
 
to submit to the elders and other appointed leaders of the church and diligently strive for unity and peace within the church (Eph. 4:1–3; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:5).
 
to do the following should I leave the church for righteous reasons:
• to notify the Pastor and/or elders.
• to seek another church with which I can carry out my biblical responsibilities as a believer.
 
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14