Joe Schneider

Expanded Statement of Beliefs

God

There is one God who created all things, visible and invisible. He eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God has revealed himself through creation and direct revelation (as recorded in the Bible) so that we can know him. 
See: Genesis 1; John 1; Hebrews 11:3, 2 Peter 2:21; Romans 1:20.

Jesus

Jesus is the only begotten son of God. He is fully human and divine, being conceived as a union between Mary and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless life, died willingly on a cross for our sins, and was raised in the flesh on the third day. Because of this, he is our one and only savior. Afterwards, he ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father and mediates on our behalf. One day he will return to judge the living and the dead. 
See: Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:14, 3:16-17, 14:6; Romans 8:34; Acts 10:42; 1 John 1:1, 4:9; Colossians 2:9; Acts 2:22-41; Philippians 2:1-11.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son. Before he left this earth, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be a helper for his followers after he returned to heaven. He helps followers of Jesus overcome sin, better understand Scripture, and live a more Christ-like life. All believers in Christ receive the Holy Spirit at conversion. He gives various gifts and power so we can serve the Body of Christ, the Church, and to show the love of Jesus to the world.
See: John 16:5-16; Acts 1:708, 2:38-39; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19.

The Bible

The Bible is God’s inspired message to humanity. It provides instruction on what we should believe, how we can live to honor God, and how we can find salvation. It was written by a variety of authors under direct influence from God through the Holy Spirit. It is the final authority for all matters of faith and practice for the Church. 
See: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3, 19-21; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 4:12.

Sin

Humans were created to glorify God through worship, obedience, and having a close relationship with Him. However, from the first humans onward, we have decided to defy God. Defiance, rebellion, sin, and trespass are some of the words used to describe the choices we make that go against God’s will for our lives. These actions have caused us to be separated from God. We are without hope and unable to do anything to reconcile ourselves back to God. We are in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness, which is possible because of what Jesus has done for us. 
See: Genesis 2-3; Romans 3:10, 23, 6:23.

Salvation

Salvation is being rescued from our sins and their eternal consequences. It‘s only possible because Jesus died on the cross to take away the penalty of our sins. We are saved only by God’s free gift of forgiveness that we don’t deserve and can’t earn. Any person can accept this free gift by: believing that Jesus is God’s son and that he was raised back to life, choosing to turn from their old life of sin to a new life with Christ (repentance), confessing their faith in Jesus, and being joined with Christ by being immersed in water. Individually, none of these are sufficient. 
See: Romans 6:23; John 3:16-17, 14:6; Romans 10:9; Mark 16:16; Hebrews 4:14-16.

Return of Christ

Jesus will return just as he promised. He will come without notice to judge the living and the dead and to restore creation to its pre-fallen state. Because unbelievers have rejected Jesus, they will be separated from His presence for all eternity in Hell. Believers will be received into heaven to be with God for all eternity. 
See: Matthew 24:36-25:46; 2 Peter 3:8-13; Revelation 20-22.

Communion

Communion is a celebration Jesus instituted with his first disciples during a Passover meal, hours before being betrayed. As they ate the bread they were to remember his broken body. As they drank the wine they were to remember his blood that was spilled for them. When we participate together, we join in that remembrance. Communion also serves as a reminder of the the unity of the church and his promise to come again. All who follow Jesus are welcome to participate. 
See: Matthew 26:26-29; Acts 2:42-26; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

Marriage

God created marriage to be between one man and one woman. Sexual relations within that union is a gift given by God, our creator and sustainer. Straying from that design and seeking sexual gratification outside of marriage dishonors God and harms people. In addition to God’s design for marriage, God has created humans to have two genders / biological sexes. It is recognized that many people struggle with their identity and how it relates to gender and sexual expression. Ultimately, those who struggle with those issues Will find find help and healing when they find their identity in Jesus. 
See: Genesis 1-2; Matthews 5:27-28; 19:5; Ephesians 5:31; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Corinthians 6:15-16.

Baptism

Baptism is the moment we fully submit our lives to Jesus and accept his gift of salvation through faith. It‘s when we participate in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism itself is a prayer of faith to God, asking for the guilt of sin to be washed away. It is the way we call out to Jesus for salvation. In response to our faith, God forgives our sins and gives us the Holy Spirit. As we are immersed into Christ, our old life of sin is taken away and we are raised to live a new life and are identified as belonging to Jesus. 
See: Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2; Acts, 22:16; Romans 6; 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:8-15; Galatians 3:27.

Life With Jesus

Once we accept salvation from Jesus, a process begins where we are made more like Jesus. It‘s a cooperative effort between us and the Holy Spirit, as we submit ourselves more fully to Him. We increase in knowledge of God, trust Him more, repent of sin, and do what pleases Him. We strive to live in a way that demonstrates joy, love, holiness, and grace to those around us. To accomplish this, we practice regular prayer, giving, worship, Bible reading, service to others, and being in deep fellowship with other Christ-followers. 
See: Romans 6:22; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 1:5-11; John 10:10; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Matthew 6:1-18; Luke 12:15; Galatians 5:16-26.

The Church

The church consists of those who have accepted salvation through Jesus. Each person works together to fulfill the Great Commission and use their God given gifts to build up the Church. The Church is called by many names including the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, God’s flock, and God’s family. 
See: Galatians 3:25-29; Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 12; Colossians 1:24; Revelation 21:9; 1 Peter 2:17.

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