What we believe about God
There is one God who exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The beginning of Scripture refers to the concept of Trinity in the statement, “Let Us make humanity in Our image” (Genesis 1:26). The doctrine of the Trinity was demonstrated at the baptism of Jesus when the Spirit descended on the Son and the Father spoke from heaven (Mark 1:10-11). This one and only God, who exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a holy, loving being that cares for His creation and takes initiative to make Himself known to us through nature, Scripture, and the incarnation of God the Son. Valley Community Church exists to worship God and serve Him responsibly and faithfully in Tate City, Georgia and wherever we are during each week.
What we believe about nature
The beauty of nature daily reminds us that there is a great designer (Psalm 19:1-6). We find in the ecological diversity of nature reasons to praise the creator for the bounty, the beauty, and the resiliency of his handiwork. The grandeur of nature helps us gain a sense of God’s greatness. God stated His opinion concerning nature in the very first chapter of the Bible when He stated repeatedly that what He made is good (Genesis 1). We agree. The goodness of what He has made is one of the reasons we enjoy the Tallulah River basin. God has given humanity the responsibility of being stewards of His creation. We are to reflect God’s character through our compassionate care of all parts of the creation. As followers of Jesus Christ, we join together to worship God each Sunday at the Valley Community Church building, however our worship is not limited to our time in the building. Nature itself is a living cathedral that continually reveals the beauty, grandeur, and greatness of our creator.
What we believe about God’s Word
God further revealed Himself and Truth about our human condition through the Bible (Psalm 19:7-14). The Bible contains 66 books that are “God-breathed” or “inspired.” It documents God’s active role in creation and His covenant relationship with Israel. It explains the condition of humanity and why the coming of Jesus was necessary. The Bible presents the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ — God’s promised “Anointed One” that made atonement (sacrifice) for the sins of humanity. The Bible also contains the teachings of the Apostles. All of Scripture is trustworthy (2 Timothy 3:16) and must be understood through prayerful study and discussion. God’s Word is a central part of our Sunday service at Valley Community Church.
What we believe about humanity
When God made humanity, He made us good with an ability to reveal His character (Genesis 1:26) through our daily decisions and behavior. We are made “in His image.” With this marvelous ability came responsibility to accurately reflect His character through our choices. Genesis chapters 1 and 2 tell the creation story and emphasize its goodness. Genesis 3 continues the story recounting “the fall” of humanity. We have “fallen short” of what God wanted. The Bible describes our condition stating “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God is a relational being and made us as highly relational beings. In the beginning we were relationally healthy spiritually (in our relationship with God), psychologically (in our relationship with ourselves), socially (in our relationship with others), and ecologically (in our relationship in and with the creation). Our “fall” affected all these relationships. We are spiritually separated from God (Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 4:18), we struggle with guilty and shame, we are unkind to others, and have misused and been indifferent toward the creation. We have high potential and serious problems. We continue to carry the ability to reflect God’s character, however we are imperfect and fallen with the potential for doing great good and great evil. At Valley Community Church we will teach that humanity has great potential in Christ and that humanity creates great problems without Christ. Holding both concepts simultaneously allows us to have a biblically balanced, realistic perspective concerning humanity.
What we believe about Jesus, God’s Son
Isaiah wrote about the human condition 800 years before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. He stated, “we all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). The central story in the Bible is called the gospel or good news. This story can be communicated through understanding 4 terms: Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension.
The incarnation is the story of how God the Son existed eternally with the Father, was born in Bethlehem, learned the language and culture of Nazareth, and experienced human life. The significance of the incarnation is that Jesus understands us and that we can come to God in confident prayer. Hebrews 4:14-16. “14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
The crucifixion is the story of how Jesus offered himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 states, “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The story of Jesus does not end with the crucifixion. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 stated that the resurrection is of vital importance. He wrote, “3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” The resurrection affirmed that God the Father accepted Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins.
Understanding the story of Jesus involves appreciating the incarnation (God understands me) and the crucifixion (God forgives me). It also involves appreciating that God has empowered me to be able to live as He wants me to live through the resurrection of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:18-20a “18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead…”
The fourth concept is the ascension. Jesus has returned to be with the Father. Jesus prays for us and as we trust in Him, He positions us in a safe and secure relationship with the Father (Read Hebrews 7:25 and Ephesians 2:6). The central story of the Bible is this good news about Jesus. As we hear this story, we have an opportunity to receive what Jesus provided. The Apostle Paul explained in Romans 10:9-10 that we should respond to this story by inwardly trusting in Jesus (Thank Him that He understands you, forgives you, empowers you, and positions you securely) and we should tell others that Jesus Christ is our crucified and risen Lord. We look forward to hearing this at Valley Community Church.