Living for the praise of God’s glory (Ephesians 1:6) we set our sights to become mature to the full measure (Ephesians 4:13). Doing this, we stand on the following.
The Bible is God’s Word to all people, wholly inspired by him and hence free from error, as originally written. We therefore believe the Bible to be the holy guide for what is profitable in all godliness (2 Timothy 3:16f). Furthermore, it is trustworthy in every regard. That is to say, it stands as a sure record to truth (theological, moral, and salvific) and to history itself.
We believe that God abides eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are of one substance and equal in power and glory, and infinitely perfect.
We live with grace toward those who have different convictions, but for us we believe the Bible to be wholly true. This means that any promise of salvation without Jesus misses the central, absolute, exclusive, and indispensable nature of Christ and the cross (Galatians 2:21). The Bible says that the salvation made available in Jesus Christ cannot be obtained by any other name (Acts 4:12; cf. Isaiah 45:6).
At a most basic level a Christian means that one is not one’s own man or woman. We do not belong to ourselves but to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
We endorse the acronym “GOSPEL”: Grace is Obligatory, Sovereign, Provision-making, Efficacious, and Lasting! We believe that a person’s favorable relationship with God (by justification and adoption) and renewed nature (by regeneration, sanctification and glorification) do not precede, but follow His gracious initiative. God has to come to us before we can come to Him.
We have a strong desire to “major on majors” and many of the people at Celebration have done a lot of soul searching on what are the majors. But since we want to major on majors we try to not isolate ourselves from fellow Christians with whom we may not entirely agree. So, since we love Christ, we don’t have an option other than to love fellow believers as brothers and sisters (1 John 4:19). In practice, this commitment to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) means that we are not driven to divide over rather important, but nevertheless secondary issues as church polity, baptism, style of worship, eschatology, the gifts of the Spirit, the sovereignty of God or the sovereignty of man, the ordination of women, etc.
Christians will all be rewarded at the end of time on the basis of what Christ has done, and for what we have done. We will not receive a reward for what we had hoped to do or what we thought we did, claimed we did, pretended to do, or fooled ourselves and our friends into thinking what we did, or gave. We will be rewarded by what we actually did. This includes every hidden thing, not just our deeds but also our words. Jesus said this is so (Matthew 12:36). The main reward, however, for those who live in Christ, will be heaven itself.
It’s not a mutual admiration society but a hospital for the sick, the sin sick. Jesus said it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:31-32).
We try to avoid moralistic legalism (extra-biblical lists of do’s and don’ts). We do, however, really promote true holiness and Christ-like wholeness of character in life (Galations 2:4; 5:1-26; Colossians 2:16-23).
We believe that Christians do not have to park their brains at the door (Matthew 22:37; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Peter 3:15). So, we make no apologies for challenging Sunday morning messages or in depth study of the Bible.