I believe in one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– three perfect, equal and fully divine persons — all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. The eternal, omnipresent Triune Creator of the world always has existed and made human beings uniquely in His image. Through Adam we fell out of a state of ideal communion with God. Since then, every part of our lives has been tainted by the effects of sin. Total depravity is not to say that we are as bad as we possibly could be but that all areas of our lives have been touched by our fallen natures. We all willingly and inevitably disobey, and this separates us from a right relationship with God. In mercy Jesus Christ, of one substance with the Father, incarnated through the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, came to earth, fully God and fully man. He was tempted like us in every way and therefore understands our weaknesses, although He never gave in to sin.
I believe that the Father sent the Word Incarnate to be an atoning sacrifice for our sin and that Jesus is the only way to God. Through His life Jesus demonstrated God’s compassion, forgiveness, holiness and justice. God is love. There is absolutely nothing we can do to make God love us more and He will not love us less. God seeks us; we are unable to seek Him on our own. We cannot extricate ourselves from this sinful condition and no amount of good works can save us.
I believe the Holy Spirit brings the elect, once dead in transgressions, to life in Christ and lives within us to guide and conform us to the image of the Son. We are justified by faith alone through grace, a free gift of God. Only by Christ’s life, crucifixion and resurrection are forgiveness and reconciliation with God made possible and those who trust Him are freed from the penalty of sin. Our primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. He is the source of everything true, good and lovely. Through worship, prayer, Bible Study, fellowship, self-sacrifice, acts of service and the pursuit of holiness God helps us grow as His disciples.
I believe the Old and New Testaments make up the infallible written Word of God and spell out the covenant of grace. Illumined by the Holy Spirit we study Scripture as our sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. I accept the Book of Confessions in subordination to the written Word of God and delight in the rediscovered truths of the Reformation. Grace alone. Faith alone. Scripture alone.
I believe in the Sacraments instituted by Christ, consisting of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, whereby the church is reminded, edified and sustained by God through the gracious gift of Christ. These physical signs serve as seals for the promises of God and help us focus on the One to whom we belong.
I believe the church was instituted by Jesus Christ and as such is meant to be the provisional demonstration of what God intends for humanity. There is one universal church with Jesus Christ alone as its head. It consists of sisters and brothers from all kinds of social backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, tastes and political persuasions. The church finds its mission in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It starts first with loving God and then loving our neighbors. This includes preaching the good news of the gospel and participating in God’s activity in the world through a life of service to others and the promotion of justice. Guarding the truth of Scripture while reaching out to a lost and often relativistic world in desperate need of the good news of God’s unconditional love seems to be an increasing challenge. Happily, Christ shall return in power, establishing the Kingdom of God and bringing restoration and a glorious inheritance for those chosen before the beginning of time.