What We Believe

 

We believe there is one God who created all things. All things that aren’t God were created by God. He created the laws of physics, physical matter, and all things, whether visible or invisible. He created the universe, the sun and the moon, the earth, and all the earth’s inhabitants, including humans.

Because we believe that this God created all things that aren’t God, we believe that He has every perfection imaginable. There is no power that is not sourced in the very being of God, so we believe that God is perfect in power—He is almighty, omnipotent, all-powerful. Likewise, He is perfectly good, which is convincingly demonstrated to us in that His steadfast, loyal love lasts forever and ever and in that He continues to feed and care for all of creation moment-by-moment. Likewise, He is perfect with respect to knowledge, such that there is nothing that He does not know. Likewise, He is not limited by space or time as if they existed before He did. He is able to do and know all things in all places and all times. He is God in the most robust sense—He is Creator of all things.

We believe that God created humans in His own image, such that they shared some of His characteristics in limited form and were charged to represent Him by ruling over all the Earth. However, the first two humans, Adam and Eve, rebelled against their Creator by abusing the freedom God had given them when they listened to and obeyed the created snake. Because of this rebellion, they, along with all humanity after them, were different. Instead of being free and fully human, they had become enslaved to the power of the devil, spiritually dead, and unchangeably bad apart from God’s gracious intervention. In short, they had become sinful, and all humanity became sinful with them.

We believe that, because of humanity’s helpless situation, Jesus Christ came to do for humanity what humans could not do for themselves. We believe that this Jesus Christ is the Son of God—He is truly and fully God in the same way that His Father is truly and fully God and in the same way that the Holy Spirit is truly and fully God. As the Nicene Creed says, the Son is Light from Light, true God from true God, being of the same essence as the Father. All three of these, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are God in the most robust sense. They have always existed together before the existence of anything else, the Son being eternally fathered by the Father and the Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father. These three alone are worthy of all glory, honor, and worship.

We believe that this eternal, uncreated Son of God became human for the sake of humanity and its salvation. This Son of God is Jesus, the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah of the Jews as prophesied for hundreds of years beforehand in the Old Testament. He was made like us, the rest of humanity, being of the same essence as us in every way with respect to His humanity, except without sin. He now has both a rational soul and a body. Nevertheless, He remains fully divine, of the same essence as the Father with respect to his divinity. He is truly God and truly human. He is one person with two natures. He is the God-man.

We believe that the Son of God came down from heaven and was made flesh by the Holy Spirit, being born to the Virgin Mary. This Son of God, Jesus Christ, was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and died and was buried. Then, on the third day that He was dead, He was physically resurrected according to the prophecies made about Him in the Old Testament. After appearing to His followers for several weeks, He physically ascended, returning to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father until the day that He will physically and gloriously return to Earth.

We believe that upon Jesus Christ’s return, He will physically resurrect everyone who is dead and judge both the living and the dead. The wicked will be subjected to the second death, eternal separation from God in conscious torment in the lake of fire. The righteous will be transformed into the new, glorious type of humanity that was ushered in by Jesus at His own resurrection. These glorified humans will then live in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit on a remade earth in perfect satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy for all eternity.

We believe that the only way to be righteous is by God’s gracious, completely free gift of righteousness. This gift is appropriated through faith in God who sent His Son for us, and it comes on the basis of Jesus Christ. In other words, salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone. Jesus Christ’s incarnation, from His conception through His perfect life, His bloody death, His glorious resurrection, and His ascension to His imminent return, is the only means by which God has chosen to do for humanity what humanity could not do for itself. Just like Adam changed the nature of humanity for all who followed him, Christ is changing the nature of humanity for all who are His. Christ was made to be sin and a curse for us, took the penalty for sin which we deserved, and died in our place so that we could receive forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation to God, and righteousness upon exercising faith and being united to Him by the Holy Spirit.

The One that now indwells, empowers, and is beginning to transform all who have come to know and believe in Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit who spoke through the prophets and authors of the sixty-six books of the Bible. He is the same One that is and has been forming all believers since the day of Pentecost into a single, holy, universal, apostles’-teaching-based church that will be the bride of Christ at the culmination of all things. All who are in this church are united together and thus desperately need one another. This church is composed of all who are truly Christian—all who have the faith that the whole Bible was written to engender when properly read, faith in this Father who sent His Son, in this Son who became human for the sake of humanity, and in this Spirit who continues to work in the world through the church.

We believe this faith that Jesus handed down to his apostles. His apostles handed down this faith to their disciples, and it has been believed by everyone who has rightfully called themselves a Christian—it has been believed everywhere, by every Christian, in every age. This faith has been handed down reliably, from the apostles and their disciples to the early universal church councils (such as Nicaea in 325 AD, Constantinople in 381 AD, Ephesus in 431 AD, and Chalcedon in 451 AD) to the reformers to faithful Christians throughout the world today.

When we baptize newly converted believers into the church, we are baptizing them based on this faith. When we practice the Lord’s Supper, we do it based on this faith. What stands written here is intended to be nothing more than a retelling of this faith.