Who We Are

Understanding some of the things we believe and do as a church.
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MISSION
Love God.
Love Others.
and Make Disciples.
... wherever we go.

VISION
To be vibrant disciple-makers
engaging people with the love,
grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Joyous Worship
Authentic Relationships
Kingdom Growth

Beliefs

The Good News!
We believe God still speaks through the Scriptures to us today, and we believe the core of its message is what we call the Good News or the Gospel.
Although God created humanity good, the first humans chose to rebel against God. Ever since, human beings have been falling short of God’s standard for them and hav been failing to live up to his purposes for their lives (Romans 3:23). If you read the newspaper or scroll through social media, you can see the result. The world is filled with hate instead of love, and people are hurting rather than helping one another. Put simply, we are alienated from one another and from God our Creator (1 John 1:8-10).
The Bible calls this sin, and it is a huge problem because God is just and he must punish sin (Matthew 5:48). The punishment is death and eternal separation from him (Romans 6:23). Because we owe God full obedience everyday, there is nothing we can do tomorrow to make up for our sins yesterday. We need to be saved from the punishment we deserve, and there is nothing we can do to help ourselves.
The Good News of the Bible is that God is also a loving and merciful God. He sent his Son, Jesus, to the earth to be our substitute. Jesus was truly human, so he could stand in our place, and he was truly divine, so he could take on the full weight of God’s wrath for humanity (John 1:14; 1 John 4:9).
The New Testament records that Jesus lived a perfect life and had no sins of his own to pay for, yet he still died on a cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). That death was for you and for me (Romans 5:8)! God the Father put our sins on God the Son, and he was punished in our place (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 8:1). God is still just, and God is still loving. Better still, Jesus rose from the dead, proving he was who he said he was, proving his sacrifice for sin was accepted, and proving that our greatest enemies — sin and death — had forever been defeated (1 Corinthians 15:4). The Bible promises that at the end of our lives, we will be resurrected just like Jesus was so that we can live with God forever (John 11:25; John 6:40).
All of this is only possible because of God’s grace and because of our union with Christ through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:4-5). God offers forgiveness to all who would trust only in Jesus for their salvation, turning away from sin and toward a life lived with and for God (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Romans 4:4-5). In fact, salvation is just the beginning of the story. God sends his Spirit into our lives and renews us so that we can honor God in the way we live. This shows our gratitude to God, wins others over to Christ, and assures us our faith is real because of the fruit it bears (John 14:15, 15:12). And everyone who knows news this good just has to share it (Matthew 28:19-20)!
If you would like to learn more about the Good News in the Bible, start at Ephesians 2:1-10. To learn more about who Jesus was, we recommend reading the Gospel according to John. If you want to dive even deeper, consider joining our Groups at Cascade!
Bible

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the authoritative Word of God, fully containing God’s will for faith and practice, and completely sufficient for what people need to believe for salvation. God inspired the authors of the Scriptures in such a way that the Bible is completely without error in matters that relate to faith and life. The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself.

Who is God?

GOD (The Father)

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each possessing equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. We believe that the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is the maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

GOD (The Son)

We believe the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ; who is God, the eternal second Person of the Trinity. He was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. Jesus lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to the Father and willingly atoned for the sins of us all by dying on the cross as our substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Jesus alone. By His mercy and grace through faith, we are freely forgiven and accepted into His family as children of God.

(Jesus’ Resurrection) We believe that although our Lord was most certainly dead and was buried, God raised Him from the dead, overcoming the power of sin and death. He Is Risen, new life has begun for all believers. In His risen and ascended power, Jesus, the only Mediator between God and humankind, continues to intercede on our behalf as High Priest and Advocate.

(Our Sin and God’s Gift of Salvation) Originally created to have fellowship with God, humankind defied God, choosing to go their independent way, and were thus alienated from God and suffered the corruption of their nature, rendering them unable to please God. The fall took place at the  beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of humankind is wholly a work of God’s free grace offered only through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Salvation is not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His word that He will continue performing it until the day of its fully complete.

(Jesus’ Second Coming) We believe Jesus Christ will personally come again, this time in unmasked glory and power. He will come as Judge and King to bring this present age to its completion and to receive us into the wonderful place prepared for us. We wait for Jesus’ glorious coming with eager hope, when we shall see Him face-to-face and know Him in all His grace and glory.

GOD (The Holy Spirit)

We believe the essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience, attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to humankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them a recognition of their need for a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation, the Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. The Spirit permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the up-building of the body of Christ, the Church.

The Church

We believe the Church, the body of Christ, includes all Christians of all times and places – all those who have acknowledged Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and have received the gift of forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. The Scripture commands the Church to gather together as congregations to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of baptism and communion as the sacraments established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world.

Human Destiny

We believe death seals the eternal destiny of each person. For all humankind, there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world, and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. Unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God.

Practices

Communion

Communion, also known as The Lord’s Supper, is mentioned in the New Testament books of the Bible and refers to the act of thanks and remembrance of the death of Christ and our relationship through the new covenant. It is also called the Lord’s table, eucharist, but is most commonly called communion today. Scripture tells us that Communion is a permanent ordinance and command that was set in place by Jesus Christ until He comes again.

The first communion took place during the Passover Feast as Jesus ate with his disciples. The act of communion uses bread to symbolize the body of Jesus and wine to represent His blood. As we take communion, the purpose is to remember his sacrifice on the cross, examine ourselves and confess our sins, and proclaim Him as Lord and Savior. (Text from Christianity.com)

Key Verse references:

Baptism

The sacrament of baptism reminds and assures us that “as surely as water washes away dirt from the body, so certainly [Christ’s] blood and his Spirit wash away . . . all [our] sins” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. and A. 69).

In the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), baptism is performed by an ordained minister of the Word or commissioned pastor. The usual method of baptism is by the sprinkling of water on the forehead of the person to be baptized, but other methods (such as immersion) may also be used. The CRC employs infant baptism (for children of believing parents) as well as “adult” baptism (for those who join but have not previously been baptized in a Christian church); an adult who is baptized is also called upon to make a public profession of his or her faith in Christ.

Serve

Part of our mission statement is to Love God and Love Others. One of the way we can demonstrate both is by service towards others in the name of the Lord.

We offer opportunities to serve our Cascade/Ada community, the Grand Rapids community, and our church community. To learn more, go to the Serve page on our website.

Belong

Christian Reformed Church (CRC)

We are a part of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). We share a set of core beliefs with over a thousand other congregations. We also share these beliefs with other ‘Reformed’ traditions as well.

The above sections contain an overview of our core beliefs. We try to be consistent in teaching and living out these beliefs in our worship services, classrooms for all ages, music program … in every area of our ministry.

Summary Documents

A summary of what we believe is contained in three creeds and confessions we share with many other Christian churches:

The CRC has a list of position statements as well.

CREED – official statement of faith. CONFESSION – similar in nature to a creed, but more extensive / deep.

 

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