STATEMENT OF FAITH
The following constitutes the essential, sine qua non, beliefs of Christianity, as defined in the Bible. We accept all those who hold to these beliefs as true Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ:
- There is one God, and no other god but He.
This is the God Who has revealed Himself in the Holy Bible as YHWH. He is the One God who exists eternally in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct, co-equal, and co-eternal persons. At the same time, these Three are One God: the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God, yet they are not three Gods but One God. This is the doctrine of the Trinity, or Triune Godhead.
The God of the Bible reveals Himself as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, perfect in all power and wisdom and holiness, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them. He further reveals Himself as a God of love, the standard of all love and justice, One Who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy and grace.
- The Son is Jesus Christ, who “became flesh and dwelt among us.”
He is truly and fully God (“In Him the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily”) and truly and fully Man, without ceasing to be either. He is completely without sin (the only person never to sin), yet “became sin for us,” dying on the cross as the atoning sacrifice which God accepts as the propitiation for all sins for all those who put their faith in Jesus.
[See, inter alia, John 1:1, 1:14, 8:58; Romans 9:3-5; Titus 2:13; Colossians 2:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Hebrews 2:14, 17; Luke 24:39; Romans 1:2-4, 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 1:18-25; Romans 5:6-11; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:29-31]
- Personal salvation, which comprises forgiveness of all sins of that person and his inheritance of eternal life with God, was obtained for us by Jesus Christ through His sacrifice on the cross, and is given freely by grace alone to all those who receive Him as Saviour through faith alone in Christ alone.
Faith is not mere intellectual belief and assent to the facts of history, but a sincere personal commitment to Jesus, trusting in Him as one’s personal Saviour and only avenue to salvation.
Jesus describes faith in Him as a “work” (John 6:28-29) and as such is the only “work” needed for salvation. We categorically reject any teaching that anything other than faith is necessary for salvation, whether it be good works or sacraments or baptism or church membership. If anyone says that sacraments are necessary for salvation, or that baptism is necessary for salvation, or anything other than faith is required for salvation, he is preaching a false gospel in which there is no salvation.
It is altogether necessary for each person to believe this gospel and put his faith in Jesus to be saved, for all have sinned and therefore stand already condemned by God because of their sins. Therefore, those who reject this faith to the end will by no means be saved but are under the wrath of God and are destined to eternal hell.
[See, inter alia, John 3:16-18; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-28, 4:1-8, 5:1-2; Galatians 2:16, 5:1-4; Titus 3:4-7]
- The resurrection of Jesus was an actual, physical, historical reality.
The Man Jesus Christ was truly slain on the cross, and rose again bodily on the third day following. We affirm that Jesus rose from the dead in the same physical body that was slain on the cross. We categorically reject any understanding of the resurrection that sees it as other than bodily, whether this view is that of a vision or non-corporeal appearance or any other thing. Without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith is vain.
[See, inter alia, Matthew 16:21, 27:32-28:20; Mark 10:45, 15:21-16:20; Luke 23:26-24:47, 24:36-43; John 2:18-22, 19:33-35, 19:16-20:31, 20:24-29; Acts 2:23-32; Romans 1:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:1-20]