What we believe
We believe in one God, Who has eternally existed as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are three-in-one, and are of the same being. This means that God has always existed as these three persons; none of them came into being, but rather always have been. They are co-eternal and co-equal, sharing all power and glory together as one God. For all eternity, they have enjoyed perfect fellowship and union with one another.
Creation, Fall, and Redemption
At the beginning of time, God initiated a creative act through the overflowing love and joy known among the persons of the Trinity into the creation of all that exists, and He called it good. God created men and women to know Him and have fellowship with Him. He created men and women in his own image, meaning He made us to be like Himself, and to know the perfect love and joy that the Father has with the Son in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Humanity was made to enjoy God and be in harmonious relationship with Him. God's mission when he created the world was to make a people for himself to know and be known by, for them to have dominion over all he created, and to share his life and joy with all of creation.
But through the temptation of the devil, man in his pride disobeyed God and caused a rupture in relationship with Him. Because of this, the curse of death came upon mankind, and all of creation fell into sin and darkness. As a consequence, man is born into alienation from God.
Since then, God has made it his mission to restore the broken bonds of fellowship between Himself and humanity. He intends to complete the mission he set out to accomplish since before the creation of the world. He continues to uphold everything, and through His sovereign and good purposes He is bringing all of creation to the resolution for which it longs, the restoration of all things in Christ.
Jesus Christ and Salvation
Jesus is our "Immanuel" — He is God-with-us. The coming of Jesus Christ to earth was God's "Yes!" to mankind. He preached repentence, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, and lived among the downcast of the world. He became incarnate through the virgin Mary and became man for our sake and for our salvation. Jesus is the eternal second person of the Trinity, God the Son, the Son of the Father. By becoming man, the eternal Son of God has brought the life of God into the existence of man. God in Jesus Christ has enacted salvation for us by living as a man in perfect obedience to the Father. Jesus suffered crucifixion and was obedient unto death in order that he could be our substitute for the punishment we justly deserve. In doing so, he put sinful flesh to death in his own body. He was buried in a tomb and on the third day he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, victorious over sin and death.
The resurrection opened up the life of God to anyone who would believe in Him. Now Jesus has ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, where he lives to intercede for us on our behalf. In Christ, salvation is offered to us by grace, through faith. Our salvation is entirely the work of God’s free grace. He looks upon us with compassion, lifts us up from our sin and devastation, and restores us to life. God saves everyone who comes to faith in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, and he promises to us life, true happiness, freedom from condemnation and the devil's tyranny, and everlasting peace as we wait in joyful hope for the return of our Lord Jesus. When he comes he will judge all things and restore everything to the way they were originally meant to be. While we wait, God has given us His promised Holy Spirit.
God sends his Holy Spirit to draw us to his Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit works to bring faith, hope, and love to the world through the Church. He unites men and women everywhere to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to each other; the Spirit of God lives in all believers in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the One by Whom Jesus Christ became incarnate: the One born of the Spirit. The birth of Jesus is then our second birth in which we participate. To receive the Holy Spirit is to apprehend Jesus Christ by faith. The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Father and the Son. He lives in us so that God's kingdom will spread through us.
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit through its authors. Scripture thus speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of its various authors.
In our union with Jesus Christ, all believers become members of one another. There is one true universal Church, which is composed of all people everywhere, living and dead, who have trusted in Christ alone for salvation. God commands us to assemble together for the purposes of worship, edification, and mutual encouragement, and wherever God’s people meet in obedience to this command there the Church, and there is Christ. Christ then is present in the preaching of the Word, and in the sacraments of the Church.
Word & Sacrament
Through His ministry on earth, Christ has taught us to come to him to be fed by Word and Sacrament.
A sermon is the Word of God spoken through the mouth of a person (Rom 10:14). It is for gathering and building up Christ's people, and destroying and overturning the powers that surround us and turn us away from God. We gather week after week to listen for the voice of our Lord, and to offer him praise, love, and obedience.
A sacrament is God’s word to his people in the forms of water, bread, and wine. They are visible signs of invisible realities. They were instituted by Jesus himself for the offer, gift, and seal of the forgiveness of sins and communion with God, which Christ purchased on our behalf. We celebrate the sacraments of Baptism and Communion in keeping with the Scriptures.