What We Believe
The following is from the the Saddleback website and accurately reflects our beliefs.
What is The Bible?
The Bible is God's perfect guidebook for living.
The Holy Spirit inspired human authors to write the books of the Bible. Every word of scripture is chosen by God himself. The Bible is God's love letter to all of humanity and is the final authority in every issue it communicates. It is complete truth, and we can trust it for all matters in this life and eternity.
Who is God?
God is bigger and better and closer than we can imagine.
Many people have differing ideas about the nature of God. Most of those ideas have one thing in common - they are the product of human intellect! When it comes to our Creator, it matters very little who we think God is. The Bible is the only trustworthy source for understanding Him. Scripture teaches that God created everything we can see -- and even everything we can't see -- out of nothing. Although it might be difficult for the human mind to comprehend, the Bible teaches that He is one yet has existed since the beginning of time as three distinct and equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God showing himself to us.
Jesus Christ is God's Son and an equal of the Father. He has existed from the beginning of time, yet lived on earth during the first century A.D. Throughout His earthly life, he was completely God and completely human at the same time. After living a perfect, sinless life, Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for every human being who has ever lived by dying on a Roman cross. After three days in the grave, he defeated sin and death by rising from the grave. He then ascended to Heaven and will return to earth one day to reign as King.
Who is the Holy Spirit? Through His Holy Spirit, God lives in and through us now.
The Holy Spirit is a full and equal part of the Trinity. He works in the world to make all people understand their need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives inside every follower of Jesus from the moment they decide to follow Him. The Spirit is our power source for life, ministry and spiritual growth. To tap into that power, we must continually yield to the Holy Spirit.
Who is Man?
Nothing in creation "just happened." God made it all.
Man is the pinnacle of God's creation and the only being on the earth whom God made in His own spiritual image, with the moral ability to choose right from wrong. Every person, although endowed with the image of God, inherited a disobedient heart from Adam, the very first man. This attitude of disobedience (called sin in the Bible) - unless rectified through Christ - forever keeps man from forming a relationship with his Creator. This attitude also keeps us from being the kind of person God created us to be.
What is Salvation?
God has allowed evil to provide us with a choice, God can bring good even out of evil events and God promises victory over evil to those who choose him.
Our disobedient nature has eternally separated us from our Creator. No matter how hard we try, we can never earn our way back into God's presence. Our only hope is to trust Jesus as God's provision for our disobedience. Whenever you make that decision, you step into the eternal and abundant life Jesus promises for all believers.
How will I spend Eternity?
Heaven and hell are real places. Death is a beginning, not the end.
God made you to exist forever. Heaven is a perfect place, and since none of us is perfect we were all headed for an eternity of separation from God. That's why God sent Jesus: to pay the price for our sins so that we can spend eternity with Him. What you decide about Jesus Christ in this life will determine where you will spend eternity. If you reject Him, you'll spend it eternally separated from God in Hell. If you accept Him, you'll spend it eternally connected with Him in Heaven. Hell is a place of separation, suffering and darkness. Heaven is a place of eternal joy in God's presence.
How do we grow as believers?
Faith is the only way to grow in our relationship with God.
God has set us apart (sanctified us) for the purpose of growing us to become more like His Son. Through our faith in the Bible and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, God changes our heart in order to change our character and actions. God's promise is that when we reach heaven, He will complete the process of making every believer like Jesus.
Why is evil present in the world? God has allowed evil to provide us with a choice, God can bring good even out of evil events and God promises victory over evil to those who choose him.
While God will one day do away with all evil, He currently allows evil in the world - which provides mankind a choice. Satan is the source of all evil and will suffer an eternity of separation from God for his choices. (Hell was originally prepared for the devil and his demons.) Evil is present in the world because of mankind's choice in the Garden of Eden. Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to choose the goodness of God's grace over evil. While God could eliminate evil immediately, He endures the grief of waiting to do so in order to give more people the opportunity to come to faith in Him. God is able to cause all things, even the evil in this world, to work together for the good of those who love Him.
If I Accept Jesus Christ Is My Salvation Forever?
Grace is the only way to have a relationship with God.
Definitely! Your salvation is through the most trustworthy being in the universe - Jesus Christ! You didn't do anything to earn your salvation, and you can't do anything to lose it. Your salvation is maintained by God's trustworthiness and love not by what you do.
What is the church?
The church is to serve people like Jesus served people...
The Bible tells us that the church is the body of Christ in the world today. The New Testament tells us the church is a local body of baptized believers. The head of the church is Jesus Christ. The biblical purposes of the church are worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship and ministry to others.
What is the second coming of Jesus?
Jesus is coming again.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness.