I believe God has sufficiently revealed Himself in the splendor of His creation leaving humans with no excuse for rejecting Him (Romans 1:19-21).
I believe that the Bible was written by men in human language (Luke 1:3; Acts 4:25; Galatians 6:11; Hebrews 1:1) and has been divinely preserved in the canon of the protestant churches. The authors of these scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the authoritative revelation of God (2 Peter 1:19-21). The Bible, as it has been preserved, is true in all that it teaches and trustworthy in all it implies (1 Peter 1:23). The Bible is the only verbal revelation of God for the Church today. The Bible accurately and deliberately reveals the character and will of God and is sufficient for all matters of teaching and practice in the Church (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I believe in the One Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is no god beside Him (Deuteronomy 6:4). His existence is without temporal sequence and conditional on nothing. He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1). He alone is to be worshipped, praised, served, honored, and revered (Revelation 4:11). God loves. His character is the source of moral standards and therefore perfect beyond the understanding of any created being (Job 42:3). He is wise in His administration of all things.
In His eternal nature, God exists as three co-eternal Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). The distinction within the Triune God is of person and function, not nature or perfection (Luke 1:35; John 14:26). God has no diffusion of His will and enjoys perfect fellowship and harmony amidst the Persons.
I believe humans were created morally and ontologically good in the Image of God (Genesis 1:26-30). When Adam chose to act outside of the revealed will of God, his morality became deviant and his ontology defective (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-11). As Adam’s progeny, all humans are born sinners as depraved enemies of God and doomed to physical and spiritual death (Romans 5:12, 19; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
Because humans are made in the Image of God and the Holy Spirit restrains the destructive tendencies by common grace, humanity has continued to partially fulfill their created function of filling the earth, caring for the earth, and representing God’s authority on the earth (Genesis 9:1). Though imperfect, because this is the result of divine grace, such activity may be called good by those who serve the Creator.
I believe Jesus Christ is eternal God of the Universe (John 1:1). He is the only and beloved Son of the Father (Mark 9:7), existing apart from the created sequence of time (John 1:1). When there was not, Jesus Christ created the universe (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). According to the will of the Father and by the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary with no human father (Matthew 1:24-25; Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ obeyed the will of the Father in every respect and had no sin for which he was culpable.
I believe that according to the perfect will of the Father, Jesus Christ submitted to Roman execution (Philippians 2:6-8). He thereby paid the ultimate sacrifice to God for the sin of humanity (Hebrews 9:24-28; 1 Corinthians 15:3), enabling their salvation (Ephesians 1:15; Hebrews 7:25; 12:2), defeating Satan and death (1 Corinthians 15:25-26), reconciling God and man (Hebrews 8:6), and demonstrating the extent of the Father’s love for the world (John 3:16).
I believe that on the third day after His death, Jesus Christ was bodily resurrected by the Father (Luke 24:5, 39; 1 Corinthians 15:4), demonstrating the sufficiency and appropriateness of His great sacrifice (Acts 2:32).
I believe Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9) and sits at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33). From there He will come to judge the living and the dead (1 Corinthians 15:24).
I believe the Holy Spirit is eternal God (Matthew 28:19). He is not begotten, but proceeds from the Father without relation to the created sequence of time. The Holy Spirit is an intelligent person (Acts 5:9). The Holy Spirit participated in the event of creation (Genesis 1:2). Throughout human history He has guided men and women, enabling them to do the work of God. He has also impressed the words of God upon the human authors of the Bible (Acts 4:23).
I believe that the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus Christ at Pentecost to both the individual believers in Christ and the whole Church (Acts 2:4). The Holy Spirit comforts us (John 14:16-17), intercedes for us (Romans 8:26), illumines the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:10), attests to the work of the Son (Acts 5:32; 1 John 5:6), confirms our faith (Ephesians 1:13-14), identifies us as Christ’s (Romans 8:9), guides us (Galatians 5:25), gives us special ministry abilities (1 Corinthians 2:12; 12:4-11), and convicts us of sin.
I believe that the sinful condition of humanity requires rectification (Romans 3:23) if humans are to have a relationship with God (2 Corinthians 5:18). However, their vile and rebellious disposition prevents any recognition of God’s truth and love (Ephesians 2:1). Salvation then is only possible by the relentless pursuit of God for the heart of His Image bearers (John 3:16; Romans 6:22). By the Spirit, men and women who hate God are given eyes to see the truth and thereby repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:3, 8; Colossians 2:13). By the Son, the sin of all who repent and believe is atoned (1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 3:25).
All who willfully repent and believe are saved from sin and punishment by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 15:11, 16:31; 1 John 5:1). All who reject the mercies of God face eternal damnation (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:12-15).
The salvation of God is not only of souls. In the resurrection, all who hope in Christ may have confidence that their bodily self will be redeemed wholly (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
I believe that all who are saved by Jesus Christ are members of His body, the one, holy, and catholic church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). I believe that the church is only manifest on earth in local, internally accountable, congregations. The church must protect the reputation of her groom by excluding those who claim His Name but reject His Word.
I believe there are two sacraments of the Church which are signs of God’s grace that seal the faith of the participants.
The first being baptism, whereby believers adopt the grave of water identifying with Christ’s death and arise from those waters identifying both with the new life offered in Him and with His body (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-5). The second being holy Eucharist, by which the community remembers the death of their Lord, the gift of his salvation, and by which they enjoy the grace available to those who meditate on such things (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The holy Eucharist is only for those who have been baptized into Christ’s death. Accompanying the holy Eucharist should be a period of communal reflection of their care for poor among them (1 Corinthians 11:27-34).
I believe Christ will return to reign on earth establishing the fullness of his kingdom. From His throne He will judge the living and the dead, the just and the unjust (Revelation 20:11-15). Those who have not been recorded in His book of life will be condemned to eternal punishment apart from God’s blessed presence (Matthew 25:41a; Revelation 20:15), and Satan and his minions will be bound and tormented forever (Matthew 25:41b; Revelation 20:10). The redeemed will be bodily resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:21) to joyfully worship their God forever enjoying the world as it was created (1 Thessalonians 4:14). And God will rule on earth in perfect peace and justice forever (Revelation 21:1-5). Amen.