A Triune God
With Christians of other communions, we believe in a triune God— Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in God’s self revelation as three distinct but inseparable parts.
We believe in one true, holy and living God, who is creator, sovereign and preserver of all things visible and invisible. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for our well-being and salvation.
We believe in Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. In him the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. The Son is one substance with the Father, the eternal Word of the Father made flesh, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the mystery of salvation in and through the redeeming love of God found in the teachings of Jesus, in his death and resurrection, and his promised return. Through him we are forgiven and reconciled to God.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son. God’s love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in our personal lives and in the church. The Holy Spirit is a constant presence in our lives, whereby we fine strength and help in time of need. The Spirit comforts, sustains, empowers, and guides us.
We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the rule and guide for our faith and practice. Biblical authors testify to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation, in the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing activity in human history.
We believe the Christian Church is a community of faith under the Lordship of Christ. It is the fellowship in which the Word of God is preached and the sacraments administered. The Church worships, grows in faith, and reaches out to the world in redemptive love.
By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit. While the grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as “prevenient grace,” continues in “justifying grace,” and is brought to fruition in “sanctifying grace in the life of the believer.” In spite of suffering, violence, and evil, we assert that God’s grace is present everywhere. Despite our brokenness, we remain creatures brought into being by a just and merciful God. God summons us to repentance, pardons us, receives us by grace given to us in Jesus Christ and gives us hope of eternal life.
Justification and New Birth
In justification we are, through faith in Jesus Christ, forgiven our sins and restored to God’s favor. This process of justification and new birth is often referred to as conversion. Such a change may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. In either case it marks a new beginning, yet it is also part of an ongoing process. We believe God reaches out to the repentant believer in justifying grace with accepting and pardoning love.
We hold that the wonder of God’s acceptance and pardon does not end God’s saving work, which continues to nurture our growth in grace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and in love for neighbor.
Faith and Good Works
We see God’s grace and human activity working together in the relationship of faith and good works. God’s grace calls for human response and discipline. Faith is the only response essential for salvation. However, salvation evidences itself in good works. Both faith and good works stem from God’s gracious love.
Service to the World
Personal salvation always involves service to the world. Personal faith, witness to that faith, and social action are mutually reinforcing. We reach out to bring the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to our community and the world.