Monday, December 18, 2017

Our Beliefs

IT MATTERS WHAT WE BELIEVE

"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
                                                                                I Cor. 3: 11

As a church within the Evangelical and Reformed tradition, we stand firmly within the Reformation of Martin Luther and John Calvin. The faith we hold is founded first in the Bible as supreme guide for matters of faith and practice. We believe that in essentials of the Faith there must be unity, in non-essentials diversity and in all things charity.

Whereas many have come to the conclusion that, 'truth' is, at best, uncertain. We hold that truth can be known because all truth is God's truth. While we do not claim to have all the answers, we do believe that we can know truth as propositional and absolute in many areas and in particular we can be certain of the things of faith God desires us to know in the Scriptures. The Bible is the primary source for this knowledge as it pertains to God and salvation. We also believe that creeds and confessions are helpful in clarifying the essentials of faith. They do not stand over the Bible, but often articulate truths from the Bible that assist us in our growth spiritually. It is important to know 'what' one believes and 'why' one believes what one does. Many may believe a falsehood sincerely - because truth does exist as an objective reality, it is always possible to be mislead in what we believe. The test of truth is not found in counting noses or in the cultural relativism of our day, but in it's relationship to reality ... does what we believe correspond to what we know of the world as we experience it? God has given us minds and reason to discern between falsehood and truth. Therefore we hold that it matters what one believes.

In standing in the tradition of all Historic Christian and Evangelical Churches, we accept the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds as a Basis of essential truths regarding the Christian Faith. When all is said and done, our only sure foundation rests in Jesus Christ alone. We believe that the following Nicene Creed reflects the Historic Christian Faith and present sound doctrine.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in One God, almighty Father, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

We believe in the One Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten of the Father from all eternity: 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. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried.

He arose on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. He entered 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 never end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son). Together with the Father and the Son he is adored 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. Amen .

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God the Father, the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.
I Believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate; he was crucified, died, and was buried.
He went to the dead.
On the Third day he rose again, entered into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of
the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life eternal. Amen.

A Statement of Faith

(This statement may or may not reflect in full or in part what many believe in this church. It nevertheless does not negate our essential creedal standing as evidenced in the Nicene and Apostles Creeds as standard confessions of this body. Though our acceptance of these historic creeds are not used as tests of faith, they do act to define the core values and beliefs of this church.

We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired of God, and free from error in their original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and practice. God so guided the writers of scripture that all they wrote was of such a nature that no error of human reason entered therein. Still, God used the unique language, character, and personalities of these authors to reveal His will as He designed.

We believe in One God, externally and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is over His creation and not to be confused or merged with His creation. God is majestic Creator and called all things into existence from nothing.

We believe that man (humankind) was created in the image of God, and he (humankind) sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed. Man freely sins against God through an act of free will so that God is not the author nor the provoker of our sins. Because God is just and loving He must deal justly with sin as well as act benevolently toward those who seek forgiveness of their sins through the perfect sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in him are justified on the grounds of his shed blood having his righteousness imputed to them and not their own of which there can be none. We are justified through Christ alone, as a free gift of grace alone, and not of works which we may not of ourselves boast of.

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in his ascension into heaven, and his present life there for us as only mediator between God and man, High Priest and sole advocate for those whom he has redeemed.

We believe in that blessed hope: the personal, premillennial, and imminent coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He came the first time to redeem us from our sins, and will return a second as the Lion of Judah and King of Kings.

We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. Whom God called he also justified, and whom he justified he also adopted, and whom he adopted he also sanctified, and whom he sanctified he will in the end glorify at the resurrection of the just.

We believe in the Bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the redeemed, and everlasting conscious punishment of the lost. Glory be to God who is the just and loving Judge of all. Shall not the Master of the Universe do what is right? Amen and amen.