VISION

 

We exist to be a community of people transformed by the Good News of Jesus Christ to love God and reflect him to the world.

 

CORE VALUES

The Gospel—or "good news"—is the free, undeserved and unearned gift of salvation offered by God to the whole world through Jesus Christ. By confessing our sins and believing in Jesus' perfect life, death and resurrection, we share his identity as God's children and our relationship with the Father is restored. The Gospel is our fundamental message and we strive to be established, informed and motivated by it in all that we do.

(John 3:16-17; Romans 1:16-17, 5:6-11, 10:9; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 John 3:1)

Salvation in Christ is a personal decision, but living the Christian life is a corporate experience. We strive to put the Gospel on display as we challenge, inspire, support and edify one another in our pursuit of Christ. We also partner with God to create compelling environments for biblical community to flourish and for others to join us—the invitation is open to all!

(John 13:34-35, 15:12-17; Ephesians 2:11-22; 4:3-6; Acts 2:42-47; Philippians 1:27-28, 2:1-4; Hebrews 10:24-25)

Our purpose is to bring glory to God as we partner with him in his activity in the world. First and foremost, this means that we follow Jesus' command to disciple the nations. We are learning from him how to live life well and, as we do, we seek to teach others to do the same. We are also sensitive to the good works that he has given us to do in this unique time and place. Our prayer is that our city and the world are blessed and built up by these efforts.

(Matthew 28:18-20, 5:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Ephesians 2:8-10; Esther 4:14)

In order to be all that God is calling us to be, we believe that Gospel, Community and Mission must be continually reproduced in and through the members of our congregation.  We equip and empower people to invest what God has given them into the lives of others to grow and multiply his influence in our community and in the world. We look forward to seeing the beauty that results from the Holy Spirit unleashing the gifts and passions of everyone who calls Sycamore home.

(Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 4:14-17, 12:4-11; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 13:7)

 

BELIEFS

 

We acknowledge and affirm our dependence on the Scriptures for our beliefs and gladly uphold the Bible as our final authority.

The doctrinal statements below are not exhaustive, but serve to summarize the truths which we hold as foundational to the Christian faith. They function as a contemporary confession of our faith and a standard by which we evaluate ourselves.

 
 

BIBLE

We believe the Bible—as compiled in the 66-book Protestant canon—to be the inspired Word of God, inerrant and infallible in the original writings, and the all-sufficient authority in matters of Christian faith, doctrine and practice.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 40:8; John 20:31; Psalm 19:7)

 

GOD

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons of one essence: the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  God is the creator, ruler and sustainer of all things visible and invisible.  He is all-knowing, all-powerful and fully-sufficient in himself.

(Deuteronomy 6:4; Colossians 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 1:17, Acts 17:24-25)

 

JESUS CHRIST

We believe Jesus Christ to be the incarnate Son of God who came from heaven for the salvation of all who would believe in him.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, was crucified, suffered, died, buried and was raised back to life.  He ascended to heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father, serving as Advocate and Intercessor for his people.  He will return to earth in glory to judge the living and the dead.  His kingdom will never end.

(Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:3; 3:1; 7:23-25; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 10:30; Isaiah 53:10-12; Acts 2:22-24, 32-33, 36; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1-2; Philippians 2:5-8)


HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement, and gives life to every Believer, serving as their guide, teacher and advocate.  The Holy Spirit baptizes, regenerates, indwells and seals Believers in Christ at the time of conversion, and works in them through the process of sanctification to be conformed to the likeness of Christ.


(John 16:8; John 14:16-17, 26; Romans 8:9, 14-17; Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:30; Titus 3:5)

 

ANGELS

We believe that angels are supernatural personal beings, originally created holy by God, but now exist as unfallen and fallen, including Satan.

(Psalm 148:2-5; Matthew 25:41; Ephesians 6:11-12, Colossians 1:16; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-12)

We believe that Satan exists and works to keep people from believing in Jesus.  We believe that God has power over Satan and will ultimately punish him justly in the eternal lake of fire.

(Genesis 3; Job 1:6-12; Acts 5:3; Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 25:31-45; Revelation 20:7-10)

 

HUMANITY & SIN

We believe that mankind was created in the image of God, as male (man) and female (woman) with biological and sexual differences, but with equal personal dignity.  Mankind sinned by willful disobedience to God, incurring both physical and spiritual death resulting in separation from God and the need for salvation.  We have inherited a sinful nature at birth and yet maintain the essence of God’s image even in our fallenness.

(Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:1-6; Romans 3:9-23; Ephesians 2:1-3; James 3:9; John 5:24)

 

SALVATION

We believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in him as Lord and Savior are justified before God based on his shed blood.

(John 3:16, 36; Romans 3:24-26, 4:25, 5:1-21; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 9:27-28)

We believe that salvation is eternal and is the free gift of God, completely apart from human works and possessed by anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.  True Believers are reborn and reconciled to God by the Holy Spirit; such a person can never lose their salvation.

(John 1:12-13, 3:5-6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 4:12)

 

SANCTIFICATION

We believe that sanctification—that is, being set apart to God—is a past, present and future reality for the Christian.  In one sense, it is already complete in the Believer since they are in Christ and Christ is set apart to God (justification).  However, because they retain their sinful nature, they are called to be sanctified presently, which is a process of growing in grace by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them (maturation).  Ultimately, Christians will no longer experience sin in practice when they are with Christ in heaven (glorification).

(John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 10:10, 14)

 

RESURRECTION & JUDGEMENT

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of the Lord Jesus, his ascension into heaven and his bodily, imminent and glorious return (Second Coming).  As part of his return, we believe in a final judgement to be administered by Christ himself, a right he was given by God the Father.  We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the eternal blessedness of those saved by faith in Christ and eternal separation from God for the unsaved.

(John 20:11-18; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 10:19-25; John 5:25-29; 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 24:36, 25:31)

 

CHURCH

We believe the Church to be the spiritual Body and Bride of Jesus Christ, consisting of all born-again persons who believe in him as Lord and Savior.  The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus from all nations.  We believe that individual congregations of Believers (local churches) are voluntarily joined together in specific localities to participate in this mission and to pursue together life in the Kingdom of God.  It is our belief that local churches are to be governed by a plurality of elders.

(1 Corinthians 1:23; Philemon, vv. 1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-26, 29-31; 2 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-19)

We believe that the two ordinances that Christ has given the Church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion).  We believe that baptism is by immersion and that Communion is a memorial to Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross.  These ordinances are observed by the Church in the present age, but are not to be regarded as means for a person’s salvation.

(Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 8:35-38; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:17-29)

While we recognize that many true Believers practice infant baptism, we do not see this practice as fulfilling the New Testament ordinance and, therefore, encourage every Christian to be baptized by immersion after trusting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  However, this is an issue about which we are happy to disagree without it being any hindrance to full Christian fellowship.  We will under no circumstance make this “non-essential” issue an essential one.