Image of God
We believe God created humanity in His own image for a perfect relationship with Himself. This relationship was lost and His image marred with the “fall” of Adam and Eve. This results in a me-centered perspective with a desperate search for satisfaction and meaning from everything but God, fueled by an often-unconscious awareness of our failure to measure up. For this reason, we put on masks and are afraid to be known. (Genesis 3)
No human effort to restore relationship with God has ever worked. God, however, out of His love for His people, carried out His plan to rescue His own and change their compromised character. Though all deserve His wrath because of their efforts to be “god” themselves, God became one of us, offered Himself as the necessary atonement and provided forgiveness through Jesus Christ as the substitute Lamb. (Titus 2:14) All who receive God’s redemption in Jesus are transformed and no longer enslaved to opposing God, but instead are known to Him forever. We spend the rest of our lives learning to live out of this new identity of being in Christ.
Grace and Truth
Since no mask can truly hide my heart from God, I must accept the truth about who I am, including my rebellion against my Creator and preference for my will over His. For my soul to be “restored,” I must also accept the grace God provides in Jesus Christ out of His love for me. (2 Timothy 1:9) Jesus is Grace and Truth from God. (John 1:14,17) Grace is undeserved favor, shown to me through the Truth. We need both truth and grace because only through both are we no longer afraid to be known as we are.
Through grace and truth, we experience new life through a restored relationship with God. This gives us purpose (Ephesians 2:10), a God-awareness which brings satisfaction, a desire to glorify God, and a new love for God and others. This is freedom in the truest sense. (John 8:32) (John 10:10)
Hope is necessary to sustain us and give us motivation to move forward. It allows us to experience joy in the midst of struggles because we believe that a flourishing life is not dependent on circumstances outside of us, but comes out of healing and wholeness within. We also have hope in a future beyond life in this broken world. This is more than just wishful thinking – it is a confidence based on the promises of God, received by faith as Truth.