STATEMENT OF FAITH
I BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
I BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY
GOD CREATED ALL THINGS GOOD
Including man and woman, who bears His image. (Genesis 1-2.) Humanity willfully choose their own wisdom over God's to bring sin into the world. Therefore, I believe all humanity is born with a predisposition toward sin which, when acted upon, inevitably leads to separation from God. This sinful nature puts all humanity in need of a Savior and Redeemer (Genesis 3, Romans 3:23).
THE OLD TESTAMENT
Records which establish God’s covenant with Israel and the promise of a coming Savior (Ephesians 1, Genesis 2:4). I believe Jesus Christ is that long-awaited Savior who came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21, 1 John 4:9-10). He fully and forever defeated the power of Hell and death through His work on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). I trust that the New Testament account is a true story of Jesus's life, death, resurrection, the birth of the Church, and the promise of Christ’s return (Matthew 1:1).
ALL WHO CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST...
Will be saved by grace through faith and inherit eternal life (John 3:16, Rom. 10:13). This is a gift from God and not a result of human effort and results in a life of fullness, goodness, and purpose from present day to eternity. Although believers are free from the punishment of sin, they wrestle with the ongoing presence of sin in their lives with the grace of God knowing nothing can separate them from God's love. Those who reject Christ will remain in separation from God and experience His just wrath by their own conscious choice (Eph 2:8-9, Rom. 1:18, 12:19, 13:4).
GOD IS MERCIFUL
Restraining sin on the earth with the desire that all would return to Him. He will come again to judge the earth with perfect righteousness, remove all sin, and restore His perfect Kingdom on earth. No one knows when this day Jesus will return but believers are to prepare for His coming with expectation and urgency. (Matthew 24:36, Luke 21:34-36, Matthew 16:27, Acts 1:10-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Revelation 22:20, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 3:9.)
I BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY
I hold to the historically-orthodox understanding of the Trinity as expressed in the Athanasian Creed:
That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.
For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
the person of the Son is another,
and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
I BELIEVE THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD
EVERY WORD OF SCRIPTURE IS LIVING AND ACTIVE
Breathed out by God, written and preserved by human writers, and inspired by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21). God’s Word is true and every word is given to us that we might know God and grow an intimate relationship with Him (Matthew 4:4). The Bible is meant to be read by every believer and no amount of human wisdom makes you more or less qualified to understand God through His Word. Nothing you are doing, have done, or will do renders you ineligible for the good news of the gospel (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
I BELIEVE GOD DESIRES OBEDIENT FAITH IN ACTION
JESUS SUMMARIZED THE CALLING OF THE CHRISTIAN
With two simple statements: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27, Matthew 22:36-40). Those who receive God's love and have been justified in Christ will receive the Holy Spirit to sanctify, convict, teach, comfort, and empower them in a life-long process of becoming more like Christ (John 14-15, Acts 2).
Believers work with God to spread His glory and goodness to the ends of the earth and teach others to do the same (Matthew 28: 19-20). They are equipped with a God-given calling, spiritual gifts, and influence that is uniquely theirs and predestined before the beginning of time. (Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 12). Christian life should reflect the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 6) and the values of God’s law (Deuteronomy 20).
According to this early church model, new converts were taught an ethic that included sanctity of worship, sanctity of life, and sanctity of sex (abstaining from all sexual behavior outside of heterosexual marriage) (Acts 15:19-20). All believers will continue to wrestle with sinful desires of many kinds, but they are called to live in the grace of God and walk in holy restraint. Although we are imperfect, we remain an integral part of the Body of Christ as we all walk in faithfulness, purity, and self-control. The end goal of every believer's life is to be ultimately united with Him as His unstained Bride: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27).
I BELIEVE IN THE TENETS OF THE APOSTLE'S CREED
A STATEMENT OF FAITH USED BY CHRISTIANS SINCE THE FOURTH CENTURY
IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY...
The Creator of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
* “Catholic” refers to the universal church of God’s people throughout all time and from all places.