What We Believe
WE BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY TRUE GOD IS THE TRIUNE GOD; ONE GOD WHO SHOWS HIMSELF IN THREE DISTINCT AND SEPARATE PERSONS.
- The Father, who creates and preserves all things. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
- The Son, who redeems the world by His perfect life, death and resurrection. (John 3:16, John 5:39; Acts 4:12)
- The Holy Spirit, who brings and keeps people in saving faith in Jesus Christ, who grows and matures us that we live lives that make a difference for the sake of the kingdom. (1 Corinthians 12:3).
WE BELIEVE THAT GOD DESIRES ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED AND KNOW THE TRUTH.
- God loves all people and wants them to come to love Him and each other. (Ezekiel 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:3, 4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 4:16)
- We are sinful at birth, alienated from God, and must be born again in faith. (John 3:1-8; Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:21; Ephesians 2:1-5).
WE BELIEVE THAT GOD SO LOVED PEOPLE THAT HE SENT HIS ONLY SON JESUS TO RESCUE US FROM OUR LOST CONDITION.
- Jesus Christ is both God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5-6; Colossians 2:8,9)
- Jesus gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, resulting in our forgiveness and acceptance before God the Father. (Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
- Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9,10)
WE BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS US TO, KEEPS US IN, GROWS AND MATURES US IN SAVING FAITH THROUGH GOD'S WORD, HOLY BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER.
- We cannot believe in Jesus or come to Him without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)
- God’s Word is true, powerful and has the ability to change lives. (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:14-16; Hebrews 4:12)
- Through baptism the Holy Spirit offers all people new life, and makes us God’s children. (John 1:12,13; John 3:1-8; Titus 3:5; Acts 2:38)
- In Holy Communion, Jesus offers believers His body and blood under forms of bread and wine for Christians to eat and drink. (1 Corinthians 10:16,17)
- In Holy Communion God offers believers the forgiveness of sins and increases the depth of their faith. (Matthew 26:27,28; John 6:54-58; 1 Corinthians 11:26)
WE BELIEVE THAT THROUGH THE CHURCH GOD EQUIPS, EMPOWERS AND SENDS BELIEVERS TO SERVE HIM BY SERVING OTHERS AND SHARING THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS.
- God has uniquely gifted each person to do good works which He expects His children to do. (Matthew 25:34-40; 1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:3-21)
- It is not good for people to live in isolation. God intends for us to share His love with nonbelievers and believers alike through intentional relationships. (Genesis 2:18; Galatians 6:9,10; Hebrews 10:25)
- The Christian faith is best lived in close relationships with other people — i.e. Group Life, Missional Communities (Proverbs 27:17; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:9-13)
- Our greatest purpose in life is to bring others into a saving relationship with Jesus their Savior. (Matthew 28:19,20; John 20:30,31)
The Lord's Supper
What Does Our Savior’s Palm Springs Teach?
A Sacrament. Earthly elements | Spiritual benefit
Strictly defined, a sacrament is a rite instituted by Jesus where earthly vessels are used to convey the gifts He won for us on the cross. In the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, God has selected certain elements in His created world to use as instruments in saving and sustaining fallen people.
While some scoff at the idea of God working through earthly elements, we must remember that God consistently has shown himself to work through earthly vessels to deliver His divine gifts and do His perfect will. And the Word and Sacraments are no different.
Just as God has chosen to use human language to bring the message of the Gospel to mankind in His Word, He has also chosen that same Word to work with simple water (Baptism) as well as bread and wine (the Lord’s Supper) to grant a saving faith and constant assurance in the hearts of those who receive them. (1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-11; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
Why does God work like this?
[God] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit… – Titus 3:5 (NIV)
So, why does God choose to instill saving faith through such earthly, tangible means? The answer is simple: love and assurance.
In a world riddled with sin, uncertainty abounds. Spirituality is no different. The inner workings of the human heart sway back and forth between devotion and disbelief. (Ps. 25:16-17) To use one’s own good works or their inner sense of commitment and determination as a gauge for salvation leads one to only doubt God’s love and their salvation all the more. When the emphasis is placed on our mental capacity, devotion, or deeds, our assurance of salvation becomes inherently subjective and uncertain. People find themselves wrestling with questions like, “How does one know where they stand with God? How can I be certain that He loves me? Am I good enough? Did I really mean it, when I asked Him into my heart?”
But knowing all of this, God, out of pure love, set out to give His people assurance in the midst of such uncertainty. Therefore, God centers our assurance on events that are objective and outside of ourselves.
Out of pure love and mercy God gives us tangible, experiential, and historical actions to latch on to, to remember, and to return to.
Through a real, historical Jesus crucified, died, and risen, a Word proclaimed and written in our language, and through water, bread, and wine God anchors our spirituality outside of us so that there might always be certainty within us.
The Lord’s Supper
…whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
– 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)
Why do we celebrate it?
As with baptism, we practice the Lord’s Supper because the Scriptures command us to. Specifically, Jesus Himself has told us that regular celebration of this meal is to be a part of our life together as a community of faith. In the famous moment known as the “Last Supper,” Jesus broke bread and said, “This is my body given for you.” Then he took the wine and said, “This cup is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Matt. 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20)
What happens in the Lord’s Supper?
We take Jesus at His word when he says that we should receive the bread and wine given in this meal as His very own body and blood. (Matt. 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20) Holding to a high view of Scripture, we do not attempt to peer around or beyond these words and see them as purely symbolic or sentimental. Rather, by faith we believe that in this meal we receive both bread and wine and the body and blood of Jesus. Why? Because Jesus said so.
Likewise, the Apostle Paul in the New Testament tells us that there are some extraordinary things happening in this Supper. He warns the church in Corinth that to take this meal lightly or to do so in an unworthy manner is a sin against “the very body and blood of the Lord.” Paul goes on to say that anyone who takes part in this meal without ‘recognizing the body of the Lord’ that is present there, does so to his/her judgment. If this meal were purely symbolic then why worry about spiritual harm? Indeed, Paul is saying that in this meal – through the promise of Jesus Himself – the body and blood of the Lord are present, and carry spiritual power. (1 Cor. 11:27-29)
Therefore, we – as well as the vast majority of Christians throughout history – believe that Jesus’ body and blood are actually present in and with the bread and the wine. We also hold that in this meal God grants the faith which receives the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. Why? Once again we go back to the words of Jesus Himself, “…this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” (Matt. 26:28)
G. E. Veith puts it like this, “In the sacrament, Christ gives Himself to me. All of His promises and everything that He did for my redemption and forgiveness on the cross, are made so tangible I can taste them. I am touching, in fact, the risen Christ as the first disciples did. And God’s Word, ringing in my ears as I take this nourishment, tells me that His body and blood are for me.”1
Who can take the Lord’s Supper?
While some who support a symbolic view of the Lord’s Supper allow any and all to take part in this meal, the church family at Our Savior’s Palm Springs sees things differently. The Apostle Paul is clear in his teaching that both the ability to “examine” oneself inwardly as well as an ability to “recognize” what is happening in the meal are both essential in celebrating it in a worthy manner. (1 Cor. 11:27-30)
For us, this means that those actually receiving the Lord’s Supper should be able to answer “Yes” to the following questions:
- Do you believe that you are a sinner in need of the forgiveness of sin and do you intend to turn from your sin to a new life?
- Do you believe that Jesus’ body and blood are really present in this meal to grant you forgiveness and assure you of your salvation?
- Do you want to and will you try to live a life that is more like Jesus?
Young children and guests are always welcome to come to the Lord’s Table, as we believe this meal is an important witness to how God works and to what Jesus has done for the world. For children wishing to take the meal, we offer a class called, “First Communion” which outlines our beliefs and prepares them for a lifetime of celebrating this powerful meal.
We believe in baptizing people of all ages. This is because we view baptism as a gift of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in which He gives us faith in Him. He connects the baptized to the benefits of Jesus’ perfect life, sacrificial death on the cross and victorious resurrection. He calls the baptized by name and says, “You are mine!” He gifts us with forgiveness, abundant life, and the promise of heaven. And, He promises to be with us; not against us, but present and on our side now and forever.
- Believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior
- Believe in the true presence of His body and blood
- Examine your life, confess your sins and see your need for the forgiveness He offers you in the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:27-29), and
- Desire to receive the strengthening of your faith to live a new life
Then come, for these are the gifts of God prepared for the people of God!