DISCUSSING BELIEF STATEMENTS CAN BE TRICKY. Following Jesus isn’t about belief systems as much as it is about a way of life. It’s more than a checklist of beliefs to sign your name to; it’s a lifestyle meant to be embraced. With that said, there are beliefs that we believe to be central to the story of Jesus and to our faith context. Our mission statement is Helping people see Jesus, and we want nothing more than to exist in a way that always makes Jesus the hero of our story. Therefore, our goal is to unite people in a spirit of unity to best model God’s purposes for His world.
We believe in God the Father. He is the God who created out of chaos in the beginning, and He is still creating out of chaos right now. The story of Scripture teaches us that God is driven by His willingness to love.
We believe in Jesus, God’s Son. He is the image of the invisible God. The firstborn of all creation. He is God in flesh. God who became man. God who became vulnerable. God who can be touched and seen and felt. His obedience to His Father led him to the cross, and that sacrifice has forever dealt sin a catastrophic blow. The cross is at the core of our story, but it’s incomplete without the empty tomb. The resurrection of Jesus became the central message of the Christian faith. Death cannot hold our Lord and Savior. He is alive.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the Holy Spirit—our counselor, comforter, and the one who intercedes on our behalf. He provides followers of Jesus with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is God-honoring.
Every human is born as one who bears the image of God. There is something holy and sacred about being human. However, the story of Scripture teaches us that when we make decisions to step outside of the parameters that God has set up to protect the sanctity of life, we disconnect ourselves from God’s purposes. Jesus came to both rescue and restore. He came to rescue us from our brokenness and separation from God’s created intent, and he longs to restore us as people who will live as those who have been created in God’s own image.
The Bible is the story of God’s restoration. The Holy Spirit used a variety of voices to piece this book together. The bible is so much more than a book to be studied and memorized; it is a story to be imitated and lived out. God intends for Scripture to help motivate people to join in God’s continued acts of restoration throughout the world.
Salvation is a free gift from God. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin. God isn’t only interested in us being saved from something, but he’s just as interested in us being saved into something. We have been saved from the powers of hell and we have been saved into a life in which we get to passionately follow Jesus in the here and now.
COVENANT (Baptism & Lord’s Table)
God forms covenants with humans because he’s relational. Baptism teaches we are saved by grace through faith. Our belief is baptism by immersion, which represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:1-5) and symbolizes the burial of the old self and the emerging of a “new creation” in our own lives as we seek to walk and grow with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). To be a baptized person is to join in the adventure of living as a disciple of Jesus in our everyday life.
Every Sunday at Sycamore View, we celebrate Jesus’ body and his blood. We call it the Lord’s Table. Some call it communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, or an Agape Feast. The purpose of this celebration is three-fold: to remind the church of the new covenant with God through the sacrifice of Jesus, to live transformed because his power is at work within us, and to remain connected to other disciples.
DISCIPLESHIP & SPIRITUAL FORMATION
The Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20 gives the command to make disciples of all nations. With Jesus, there is no Plan B. The word disciple is used 269 times in the New Testament. The word Christian is used 3 times. To be a disciple is to be a follower; an imitator of Jesus. To honor and obey Jesus’ words, we are eager to raise the bar of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We are not called to be admirers of him, but passionate followers. The call of church leaders in the New Testament is to present people mature in Christ (Col.1:28-29) and to live with the passion to see Christ formed in others (Gal.4:19).
We believe the story of Jesus to be one that brings people together from all different walks of life. We continue to pray bold prayers that God will make us more diversified in a number of ways. As different ages, races, and people from all levels of economical status come together forming one church family, we realize that this demands great forms of humility and respect. We rebuke the spirit of entitlement as we journey as a diverse community to reflect the many colors of God.
COMPASSION & JUSTICE
Our prayer is for God’s compassion to intrude upon our time, relationships, and resources. The Sycamore View family deeply cares about the city of Memphis and God’s work throughout the world. We want to see the resurrection of Jesus bring dead things to life in our city and beyond. We believe that the poor, the hurting, the disenfranchised, and the abused are on God’s agenda, and we want to be obedient as disciples who will boldly follow Jesus into the crevices of life with the faith to see God do more than we could ever ask or imagine.
At Sycamore View, we believe that people are more important than issues. As a body of believers brought back into relationship with God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict. We also hold true that conflict provides opportunities to bring honor to God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ.
>> If you have any questions about what we believe, we encourage you to contact Josh Ross, Preaching Minister, at 901.372.1874.