One nuance of the Upper Room is we don’t gather around doctrine or ideology. Rather, we gather around our heavenly Father, around Jesus, and around the Holy Spirit. God is a relational God and His government is family. Nonetheless, there are certain beliefs that are essential to the Christian faith and for salvation. These beliefs have been held by followers of Jesus from the very beginning and have been encompassed in various creeds embraced by the universal Church that have endured millennia. They are essential. Here is what we believe:
About the Bible We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired written expression of God and, as such, are infallible and authoritative. The scriptures reveal who God is and are intended to bring us into relationship with Him.
About God We believe in one personal God who created the universe and exists eternally in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are equal in power, authority, and glory. They are so pure and so united, they operate as one.
About the Father We believe Jesus came to reveal who God the Father is and what He is like. God is love and God is good. He loves all unconditionally and sacrificially. With God, all things are possible.
About Jesus We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who laid down His rights as God to become human. Being born of a virgin, He lived a life of love, bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth. Jesus laid down His life, dying a cruel death on the cross to pay for the sins of the world and was buried. Triumphing over sin and death on our behalf, He rose again bodily, ascended to heaven, and is eminently seated with the Father for eternity.
About the Holy Spirit We believe in the Holy Spirit who regenerates and indwells every believer in Jesus. He reveals Jesus, guiding us into all truth and goodness while steering us from sin and its devastation. He comforts, aids, and strengthens us, transforming us to be like Jesus and giving us supernatural abilities so we can effectively impact the world around us with heaven’s goodness.
About Mankind We believe that all people were created in the image of God to enjoy fellowship with Him, but we have become alienated in that relationship by inheriting a sinful nature and through our own sinful disobedience. As a result, people are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through their own efforts. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
About Salvation We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, which He shed on the cross, provides the only way for the forgiveness of sin and restoration with God. God freely grants salvation to all who place their faith in Jesus, receiving the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin. Salvation cannot be earned; it is a gift from God.
About the Church We believe in the universal Church, composed of people from every race, language, and nation who have placed their faith in Jesus and have received salvation through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Rather than an organization, the Bible refers to the Church as the body of Christ of which Jesus is the head. As such, we are His hands and feet and have been given the privilege of partnering with Him to touch the world with His love.
About Eternity We believe in the personal, visible return of Jesus to the earth for the establishing of His gracious Kingdom and that every human will stand before the Lord of all for the final judgment. We believe that our eternal destination of either heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ in our lifetime.
Having the proper beliefs is tremendously important as our beliefs shape us—especially what we believe about God. Since Jesus “is the radiance of [the Father’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3 NASB), we like to say that Jesus is perfect theology. As Jesus put it, “The one who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 NASB). If you have a question about what God is like, take a good look at Jesus!