What we believe about...
We believe in God Almighty, the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This triune God spoke the universe into existence, breathed life into humanity, and continues to mercifully sustain the cosmos and the human race.
Humanity, however, does not deserve such mercy. God created us to be in harmonious relationship with God. But soon after creation, we turned our back on God, choosing instead to follow our own desires and appetites. With this rejection of God, called sin, we condemned ourselves to an existence of eternal separation from God. This separation is the supreme death penalty.
But God’s mercy persevered. God did not give up on humanity, choosing the people of Israel to be God’s instrument of blessing and reconciliation in the world. Eventually, God the Father sent God the Son into the world to be incarnated as the man, Jesus Christ, through whom complete and final reconciliation would be accomplished. This Jesus, who was fully God and fully human, lived a sinless life. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, and proclaimed the nearness of the Kingdom of God.
We believe that Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. Humanity’s death penalty—the result of sin—was finally and completely paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. Because of his sinless life, Jesus was able to take upon himself the sinfulness of the entire world, and as he cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, experienced that separation from God which every human being deserves. It is this event that takes away humanity’s guilt and makes reconciliation with God possible. It is through faith and repentance, by God’s grace, that a person responds to God, establishing reconciliation between God and that person.
We believe that God raised Jesus Christ to life with a glorified body three days after his crucifixion. The resurrection must never be separated from the crucifixion, for it is the resurrection that demonstrates the certainty that Jesus’ death was indeed effective for humanity’s reconciliation with God. Ultimately, the resurrection reveals Jesus Christ’s supremacy as the Son of God.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is present among us today, empowering, comforting, and counseling the people of God to carry on Christ’s ministry of compassion, justice, and reconciliation. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to God’s people to help them carry out that ministry.
We believe in the Scriptures. They are the authoritative Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and written down by people who listened to God with receptive hearts, giving us an account of God’s work in bringing the world back into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
We believe in the invisible, universal church. While it may be divided by disputable matters, the universal church stands united in proclaiming God’s message of reconciliation to the world, declaring the love and power of the triune God, the incarnation of God in Christ, and the continuing activity of God in the world today. We also believe in the local, visible church, God’s uniquely ordained instrument called to glorify God, proclaim the good news of reconciliation, and create a loving community where people can draw close to God and experience God’s love as expressed in the lives of fellow believers.
We believe that both sacraments—baptism and the Lord’s Supper—are signs of God’s covenant with humanity and seals of the salvation offered to us. Baptism, which is to be administered only once, is a symbol and an assurance demonstrating the fact that God has cleansed us by his grace and has grafted us into the body of Christ. It is available to those who profess Christ as their Lord and savior, as well as to infants of those who make the same profession. The Lord’s Supper, which is to be administered often, signifies our embrace of the suffering and death of Christ and assures us of the complete forgiveness of sins offered to us through Christ’s sacrifice. The Communion table is a table of grace, not of works, and it is, therefore open to anyone who wishes to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).
We live our lives in joyful anticipation of one day seeing the risen Jesus, of standing in awe before God Almighty, of enjoying the eternal presence of the Holy Spirit, and of living forever with other believers in perfect harmony as we worship God eternally.