In many ways and throughout its history, the Church, being a human institution, has done much to distort the image of who God is. Some, perhaps you, have been given a heritage of a God who is a finger-wagging God— an angry God—who always has something against you and stands in disapproval or condemnation over you.
Discovery Church is a place where we work hard not to distort the true image of God. We want each person we meet to know that they have infinite worth and value to God. By infinite, we mean that there are no amount of “good works” you can do to earn more worth and more value with God. But, we also mean that there are no amount of “bad behaviors” that you can do that take away from your worth and value to God. He loves you infinitely and always will.
God, the Father, gave up something of infinite worth and value for every human being when he gave Jesus up to die on the cross. That act gives each of us infinite worth and value. We did not earn it and we cannot lose it.
Jesus, in his earthly ministry, did a lot of things, some of which we want to make special note. First, he reduced all of the Old Testament Law down to 2 commands: Jesus says the goal of all of the Law was to teach us to “Love God with everything we have...and then love our neighbors as we do ourselves.” The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 that if we “have all knowledge...and all wisdom...etc. BUT...we do not have LOVE, then all that other stuff is just religious noise.” So, at Discovery, we acknowledge our call to unconditionally love God and our neighbors.
Jesus also stood against the hyper religious who thought that adherence to a code earned them favor with God. Jesus chased after the hearts of those who were cast out and looked down upon by the religious. He loved them and always let them know they were forgiven. At Discovery, we stand against that form of religion and legalism. We, like Jesus, seek out those who are hurting and in need of rescue. We work hard to create a safe place for anyone who God leads our way.
At Discovery, we recognize a set of what we would call essentials. These essentials are what unite us with so many other groups within our city and outside our city. We can agree to disagree on non-essentials and not allow those disagreements to hinder any relationship with those people or groups.
The Nicene Creed is a good wording on some essentials that we recognize as well as the Apostle’s Creed. Both of them are widely available on the internet, but please ask and we can get you a copy of both.
The teachings of Jesus are at the center of what we believe. What follows are what we would consider some pretty big deals:
The Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired by God, the Bible is truth and is completely relevant to our daily lives.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Psalms 119:11, 89, 105; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 22:29; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 3:16
God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He exists as one being expressed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority. They act in concert and never contradict one another. Jesus was all that God wanted to communicate to us in flesh. At Discovery, we look to Jesus to interpret what we don’t know or cannot understand of God in areas like the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 1:35; John 5:21-23; 14:10, 16; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:8-10; James 2:19
God is our Father— a perfect father. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, completely worthy of our trust, infinitely loving, and always seeks out what is best in our lives. It is in Him that we live, move and exist. God is good. He is our Father. He is a provider of all that He knows we need. Our Father allows all of His creation to have free will and yet He will always accomplish His will...keeping us completely free, yet His will never fails.
Exodus 3:14; Numbers 23:19; Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; Psalm 11:4-6; Malachi 3:6; John 3:16; 4:24; 5:26; 14:1; Acts 17:28; Romans 3:3-4
Jesus Christ is completely human but, at the same time, completely God. He is the only plan for bringing people who are far from God back into a right relationship with God. He lived a perfect life, so that He could be a substitution for us in satisfying God’s demands for perfection. He defeated death in His resurrection so that we can have life. Jesus is known by the name Jesus, the name Christ (Christ means Anointed One or King), the name Son or Only Son, or the name Messiah (the divine rescuer that the prophets spoke about).
Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 14:33; 16:16; 28:5-6; Luke 22:70; 24:46-47; John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 11:25-27; 17:1-5; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 8:1-3; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Gal 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit’s presence assures us of our relationship with Christ. He guides the hearts of believers. He works in tandem with Jesus to chase, rescue, convict, and teach each person. He comforts us, gives each of us giftings, and chisels us to become more like Jesus.
Genesis 1:2; Psalm 51:11; 139:7 ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Mark 1:10; Luke 1:35; 4:1; 11:13; 12:12; John 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 13:2; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Peter 1:21; Revelation 22:17
Baptism is a word translated from a Greek word that carried the idea of being dunked or plunged underwater. Baptism was a practice that was common both among Jews and non-Jews during the time of Jesus. However, in the New Testament, Jesus teaches that this is not some ceremonial cleansing of the body which was the common practice in that day— it was so much more. It was a request to God for a good conscience. Our conscience is directed by the Holy Spirit to allow us to feel conviction about what is good and what is evil and to help us know the difference. What is more, every single time the Bible tells us about someone becoming a follower of Jesus, it includes baptism. Baptism, then, is part of the gospel and it is an act of crying out to Jesus for his blood to be applied to our sins...resulting in forgiveness.
Acts 2:38ff; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Acts 10; Acts 22; Romans 6; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:26-40; Ephesians 4:4-6; Acts 16:16-40
While Discovery is a church,it is only one expression of the true Church, which the Bible tells us is the Bride of Jesus. Every follower of Jesus is a member of the true Church, the Bride of Jesus. The Church is synonymous with the “kingdom” and it is a spiritual kingdom. When one obeys the gospel they are accepted into the true Church. It is not a human institution, so God is the leader of His Church. In each expression or congregation there have been elders/leaders who have been given authority over that location. They guard the unity of that group and strive to keep that group aligned with the teachings of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a key component of appointing those elders/leaders who are simply recognized by those people who identify with that particular expression, congregation, location. We can find the requirements of those leaders in 1 Timothy and Titus. But, the true Church universal is only governed and under the leadership of God Himself— there is no earthly hierarchy.
Matthew 16:18-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; 5:11-14; 13:1-3; 14:23; 16:5; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:10-12; 5:22-32; Colossians 1:18; 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 21:2-3
At Discovery, we believe that prayer is the most powerful thing we can participate in. We believe in a good, good Father who hears His children call out to Him and not one word goes unheard. We bring praise to our Father. We bring our sins to our Father. We bring our weakness to our Father. We cry out to Him in times of need where we are desperate for relationship with Him. We need our Father to act in our lives—to stir His finger in our space and time. We also believe we must submit to our Father’s authority. Being human, we will often ask for things that are not in our best interest, or we’ll desire things according to our timing, but our Father is all-knowing and loving and so we submit to His authority and sovereignty, and thus His timing.
Matthew 6:9-13; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:8; James 5:16; 1 John 5:14-16; Ephesians 6:18; Jeremiah 29:12; James 5:13; Mark 11:24; Matthew 26:41; Psalm 17:6; Psalm 102:17; Psalm 141:2; Romans 12:12; 1 John 1:9