What We Believe
The Inspiration of Scripture
We believe that the Scriptures are the very Word of God, “breathed out” by God. Every passage and word of Holy Scripture is inspired by God and therefore they posses ultimate and infallible divine authority. Inspiration regards the mode by which the scriptures have been revealed through God’s appointed human agents. The Holy Spirit superintended over the writing of Scripture so that every single word of the original autographs was brought forth without error. The prophets, according to 2 Peter 1:21, “were carried along by the Holy Spirit” – and when Paul talks about all scripture being inspired by God , he means that all of scripture ultimately comes from God, even though he uses various modes and contexts to breathe out this word. Not only the content or meaning of the scriptures generally has been written by God, but also its very words and form. God inspired and spoke through each individual personality and historical context, and they were not merely passive in this process. The sacred writings, according to Paul, are able to make wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
We believe that there is but one God, the true and living God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, and almighty. In the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Father is God, The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord. We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance. The three persons of the Godhead are one, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Each of these three persons is distinct from the others. There is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. The Father is neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood. Recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ. At once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting of a reasonable soul and body. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, he was made man, like us in all respects, apart from sin. He willingly undertook the office of a Mediator and Surety for us and on our behalf He was born under the law and fulfilled it perfectly in our place. By His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself, which He through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, He has fully satisfied the justice of His Father; and purchased for all the elect, not only reconciliation with God, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.
Christ’s Death and Resurrection
We believe that for our sake Jesus Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, he suffered death, was buried, and remained under the power of the grave for a time. On the third day he rose again from the dead in accordance with the Scriptures. He appeared to Peter and the twelve and to more than 500 witnesses. 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
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets and who convicts, regenerates, and applies the work of Christ to us and unites us to Him. The Holy Spirit is God, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. The Holy Spirit is incomprehensible, eternal, almighty, Lord, equal in power and glory and of one Substance with the Father and the Son. By the Holy Spirit’s power Christ was conceived, clothed in human flesh, upheld throughout his earthly ministry, raised from the dead, and ascended into glory. The Holy Spirit’s work now is to glorify Christ, act as an earthly advocate in Christ’s absence, to convict the world concerning sin, to remind men of Christ’s words, and to bring about the consummation of all things.
We believe that God created Adam fully formed as an adult from the dust of the earth and Eve from the rib of Adam. They were both created “very good” in God’s image and likeness with reasonable and immortal souls in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness and are set apart from all the other animals. Adam had the law written upon his heart and the ability and power to obey the Lord, having no inherent moral corruption, but he was also left to liberty of his own will which included the possibility of transgression under the probationary period. Adam sinned by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and by not guarding the garden from the serpent intruder, thus plunging the entire race into a state of spiritual death and complete inability to enter into the eternal Sabbath rest by their own works and effort. Mankind fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of their soul and body. The guilt of Adam’s sin is imputed to all of his posterity descending from him by ordinary generation, and this corruption of our nature makes us all utterly indisposed and unable to please God, apart from the regenerating work of God in us.
We believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Church as the way God sees it is called the invisible Church which is made up of all the Elect, and the Church as we see it now is called the visible Church which is made up of both sheep and wolves, wheat and tares. The universal Church has been visible to varying degrees throughout history, and the particular Churches have been more or less pure, according to the degree to which the Gospel is taught and embraced, God’s ordinances are administered, and public worship is performed more or less purely in them. The Church is God’s Covenant people who gather together corporately to worship Him, to receive His Word, and to partake of the Sacraments. The Church is made up of local congregations throughout the world and is ruled by Christ who is the King of the Church. Christ has appointed officers in His Church to serve, to teach, to discipline, and to rule the people of God during this present age. The Church in Scripture is described as the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, and the Household of God.