In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. // Augustine
These basic doctrines represent what Elevate Life Church believes to be essential elements of biblical teaching. We believe that the Church should be united around these essential beliefs. We seek to not allow non-essentials to be divisive. We celebrate the freedom and differences of perspective on all non-essentials within the Church.
We believe that God created all things out of nothing and He is one in essence and three in person (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). We believe that God reveals himself to the world through Jesus Christ, Scripture and natural creation.
We believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God – fully human and fully divine. He died for the sins of humanity and was raised from the dead so that we could no longer be separated from God.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts humanity of sin. When we decide to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit leads us, guides us and helps us live like Jesus.
Humanity and Sin
We believe that all human beings are made in the image of God and have the capacity for good. Every part of every person is corrupted by sin. Our sin separates us from God and is the cause of much of our difficulty.
We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
We believe that the gathering of Jesus followers (the Church) is sent into the world to shine to preach the Gospel, live like Jesus and love all people.
We believe that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and the final authority for determining what is true (what we must believe) and what is right (how we must live). All claims of truth, behavioral and ethical standards must be tested by God’s final Word, which is Scripture alone. The beliefs, character, or conduct of a Christ-follower cannot be dictated by any other authority.
The gospel is the divine message about Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, detailing his identity and actions, promising salvation to all who repent and trust in Him as Lord. Adding anything, like works or opinions, distorts it into a different gospel.
Gender and Sexuality
God created Adam and Eve in His image, equal yet distinct as male and female. Biological sex is Biblically integral to self-conception; physical anomalies do not invalidate this design nor hinder a fruitful life in Christ. Approving non-biblical sexual or gender identities is sinful, deviating from Christian faithfulness, as human sexuality is not socially constructed but divinely ordained.
God designed marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman, for covenantal, sexual, and procreative purposes; sexual desires outside this design, including homosexual or heterosexual expressions are sinful. Any union not fitting this definition is not biblical marriage, and persistent desires for sexual immorality do not justify such behavior nor exclude someone from the gospel’s hope.
God created all people equally from one man, transcending ethnic and national distinctions, and Christians should view their identity in Christ as paramount over racial or group identity. Race is a social construct, not a Biblical one. Racism, a sin of pride and malice, must be condemned by those honoring God’s image in everyone, as it violates God’s will and the Great Commandment. It is a misconception that only those in power can be racist or certain ethnic groups are immune to racism. The Bible cannot be used to justify racial prejudice, and systemic racism contradicts Christian principles and Scripture; Elevate Life does not promote one ethnic group over another.
Love and Grace
We believe our true battle lies with evil and spiritual darkness, not with fellow humans, as all have sinned yet can be led to repentance by God’s goodness. God’s grace, covering all sins, empowers us to transform, aligning our self-conceptions with biblical teachings, and through Christ’s sacrifice, offers forgiveness and eternal life to all who repent and follow Him. This grace obligates us to forgive others as we are forgiven, and truth spoken in love brings freedom through Jesus and Scripture.
Social Justice, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory and Gender/Sexuality
In 2021, at the conclusion of our series “The Elephant in the Room” we published the Elephant Statement. It represents our best attempt to apply these essentials to current cultural movements.
We believe God wants us to have a fulfilled life that has purpose and challenges you to grow to become your best self. If you are comfortable, you are not growing. We create positive tension (create meaning for people, honor people, demand excellence) wherever we go. Jesus Christ was offensive to the culture, and we too must stand for what is truth and biblical in a world that so quickly forgets to honor God.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Prov 27:17
We believe that transformation happens in relationships. Just as iron is honed and made sharper by friction against another piece of iron. You can advance, be made sharper and refined through interactions with others. It is important to surround yourself with people who challenge you and inspire you to personally grow.
It is the art of ruling oneself in spirit, soul and body. Principles (truth) over preferences. When a leader has principle-based values their leadership behaviors align with those values (not preferences).
- The study of leadership
- It is the process that when applied to life, will reap untold benefit to you and those around you. Be a doer, not a hearer only. Take time to study each quote and find application in your life.
We give and talk about giving often because we as Elevate Life Church believe that giving is a biblical principle. It’s a lifestyle marked by generosity that produces a rich harvest in our lives.
John 3:16 reminds us that "..God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son." This teaches us three life lessons about true biblical generosity.
It is always motivated by love, not law. - God loved, so he gave.
It reveals our priorities and the things we value most - He loved the WORLD.
It is measured not by what we give, but by what we keep for ourselves. - God held nothing back; He gave his very best, His only begotten son.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Giving starts with finances, but it is not limited to that. When we live this biblical principle, we give of our time, our talent and our tithes (first fruits) and offerings (our treasures). When we live this principle, we put God first in every aspect of our lives and we believe that in doing so we are living a life that God can truly bless.
A leader is someone who can lead themself first. It is a person who is excellent, has wisdom and discipline. It is someone who embraces resistance, refuses to be offended, doesn’t gossip, desires to be the best, acts their way into a feeling, believes the best even when the worst has been displayed, do more than what is asked, loves people the way they need to be loved, gives generously, leads themselves first, lives with a transcendent cause… more.
Leadership is choosing a way of thinking, being and doing that is not common.
//Pastor Keith A. Craft