What We Believe
Statement of Faith
- The Bible, having been inspired by God, is entirely trustworthy and without error. Therefore, we are to believe and obey its teachings. The Bible is the only source of special revelation for the church today.
- The one true God is personal, yet beyond our comprehension. He is an invisible spirit, completely self-sufficient and unbounded by space or time, perfectly holy and just, and loving and merciful. In the unity of the Godhead there are three “persons”: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- God created the heavens and the earth, and all they contain. He upholds and governs them in accordance with his eternal will. God is sovereign (in complete control) yet this does not diminish human responsibility.
- Because of the sin of the first man, Adam, all mankind is corrupt by nature, dead in sin, and subject to the wrath of God. But God determined, by a covenant of grace, that sinners may receive forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ has always been the only way of salvation, in both Old Testament and New Testament times.
- The Son of God took upon himself a human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, so that in her son Jesus the divine and human natures were united in one person. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and died on a cross, bearing the sins of, and receiving God’s wrath for, all those who trust in him for salvation (his chosen ones). He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where he sits as Lord and rules over his kingdom (the church). He will return to judge the living and the dead, bringing his people (with glorious, resurrected bodies) into eternal life, and consigning the wicked to eternal punishment.
- Those whom God has predestined unto life are effectually drawn to Christ by the inner working of the Spirit as they hear the gospel. When they believe in Christ, God declares them righteous (justifies them), pardoning their sins and accepting them as righteous, not because of any righteousness of their own, but by imputing Christ’s merits to them. They are adopted as the children of God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies them, enabling them increasingly to stop sinning and act righteously. They repent of their sins (both at their conversion and thereafter), produce good works as the fruit of their faith, and persevere to the end in communion with Christ, with assurance of their salvation.
- Believers strive to keep God’s moral law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments, not to earn salvation, but because they love their Savior and want to obey him. God is the Lord of the conscience, so that men are not required to believe or do anything contrary to, or in addition to, the Word of God in matters of faith or worship.
- Christ has established his church, and particular churches, to gather and perfect his people, by means of the ministry of the Word, the sacraments of baptism (which is to be administered to the children of believers, as well as believers) and the Lord’s Supper (in which the body and blood of Christ are spiritually present to the faith of believers), and the disciplining of members found delinquent in doctrine or life. Christians assemble on the Lord’s Day to worship God by praying, hearing the Word of God read and preached, singing psalms and hymns, and receiving the sacraments.
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We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all that is unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake
he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic
and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.1
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
- Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
- And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
- Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance
- For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.
- But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
- Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.
- The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
- The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
- The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
- And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.
- As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
- So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;
- And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
- So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
- And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
- So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
- And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
- For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord;
- so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.
- The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
- The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
- The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
- So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
- And in this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.
- But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.
- So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
- He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
- Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
- God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
- Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
- Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
- Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
- One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.
- One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
- For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
- Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
- He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;
- From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
- At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
- And shall give account of their own works.
- And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
- This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.