What We Believe: The Details

The Triune God:
We believe that there is only one true God and that there are three persons to this one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three are one God, eternal, good, and all powerful.

God the Father:
We believe that God is not just the creator of the universe and preserver of all things, He is the loving father who desires a parent child relationship with us, His children. In this relationship, our Father loves us, protects us, and provides for our every need.

Humans:
We believe that humans are created good and in the image of this one God. We believe that God created us to live in a faithful, loving relationship with Him, that as His children, we should receive His protection and trust that He will provide.

Sin:
We believe that since the time of Adam and Eve, good creation has been marred by sin. This sin takes the form of rebellion, our rising up to become our own gods. The result of sin is 1) separation from God and 2) separation from each other. The parent child relationship has been broken and our rebellion has brought suffering and death into our world. We believe that this is true of all humans, that we are all sinners from our birth (Original Sin) and that no one can escape sin’s consequences.

The Son of God:
We believe that God the Son became a human being, born to the virgin Mary. We believe that this man, Jesus, is fully God and fully human (The Two Natures of Christ). Because he so loved us, God became one of us, that he was born, suffered, was crucified, and died as a sacrifice for our sin. He was buried, descended into hell, and then rose to defeat sin, death, and the power of the devil, and bring us back into the loving relationship that God first intended.

The Free Gift of Salvation:
We believe that the salvation described above comes to us as a free gift and that there is nothing we can do to earn or secure it. In Christ and in Christ alone, we receive forgiveness of sins, a restored relationship with our Heavenly Father, eternal life, and the possibility of a new life through the love of Christ. All that is required is a believing heart (Justification by Faith Alone).

Good Works:
We believe that any good we do is the result of the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus changes lives and turns our hearts and desires toward the God who loves us. Thus we know that what we do will not earn us a place in heaven or gain us favor with God. Instead, we do good works, works of compassion and love because we have first been loved by God. Thus our good works are the result of our faith active in love. God’s love for us sets us free to love others.

The Holy Spirit and the Church:
We believe that all of us suffer from sin. The Holy Spirit, the living God who moves through our world, calls sinners together so that we might share God’s healing promises of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The church then, is not a palace for the perfect but a hospital for sinners.

The Word of God:
We believe that The Word is God’s creative promise to love us, his children. This Word has been with God from the beginning of time (John 1:1-14) and finds it’s greatest expression in Jesus Christ, God’s Word who lives a human life and dies a human death so that we might be saved from our sin (See above: The Son of God). As such, we believe that God’s Word is both an anchor and a living thing. While the world around us shifts with the currents of culture, the Word of God remains as the true anchor for faith and life. At the same time, God’s Word is a living, breathing thing that speaks these eternal truths to each generation. The living anchor of God’s Word comes to us through 1) the person of Jesus Christ, 2) faithful preaching, 3) the sacraments of Baptism and Communion, and, of course, 4) the Holy Bible.

The Holy Bible:
The Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God which we believe is true and inspired by God. These scriptures reveal God’s heart of love and are our only norm for faith and life.

Sacraments:
We believe that the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion are God’s visible promises. Through them, God uses the earthly elements of water, bread, and wine to convey His love, His forgiveness, and His promise of eternal life.