The True God as Trinity
We bear witness to the one true and living God, one God in three persons, revealed through the Bible as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Kingdom of God
God's plan for the universe is to bring about, through Jesus Christ, a transformed creation wholly governed by God, from which all evil and suffering will be banished and in which God will live with redeemed humanity for ever.
The Bible as the Word of God
The Bible tells the universal story of creation, fall, redemption and new creation, and thereby shapes our worldview. We receive it as the word of God spoken through human authors and believe it to be true and trustworthy in all it affirms. We depend upon it as the revelation of God's identity, character, purposes and actions and submit to it as supremely and uniquely authoritative for our belief and behavior.
God as Creator
The universe is the good creation of the one living God and reveals God's existence, power and glory. Human beings are created in the image of God, male and female, in order to love, worship and obey God, to relate to one another in love, justice and compassion, and to exercise wise dominion over creation.
Humans have sinned by rebelling against God, rejecting God's authority and disobeying God's word and so are alienated from God, one another and the created order. Sin deserves God's judgment and leads to eternal separation and judgment from God. The effects of sin and the power of evil have permeated the fabric of creation as well as all cultural, economic, social, political and religious life.
Though distorted by sin, the image of God remains the basis of the uniqueness, dignity, sanctity and equality of all persons without distinction, from womb to death and beyond. God loves and cares for all people in their cultural and ethnic diversity and has reached out in grace to save them through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
From before the creation of the world, God the Father chose us and blessed us in his Son, Jesus. We depend entirely upon the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, our King and Rescuer. Jesus is God-in-the-flesh, who shares our humanity, having been born of Mary, whom conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As the Son of God, Jesus came to make God known. As the Servant of God, Jesus came to undo the corruption of humanity and the divine curse on creation caused by the first man, Adam. He came to liberate us from our devastating self-love and to rescue us from the consequences of our ongoing willful refusal to love God and others. Jesus fulfilled the promises made by God to Israel and realized all that Israel was called, but failed, to be. He gave us a glimpse of the world to come, calling the people of God to follow him and to demonstrate the goodness of his rule by their shared lives.
The Life of Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Messiah uniquely appointed by God to bring the blessing of salvation to the world. God took our human nature in Jesus Christ, who taught and modeled the new life of the kingdom of God to which he calls his disciples. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus lived the life Adam and the rest of humanity could not live.
The Death of Jesus
Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus died the death that Adam and the rest of humanity deserve to die. On the cross he endured and exhausted God's righteous anger against our rebellion, paying its penalty in full. In his death on the cross he took upon himself the sin of the world, bearing its full cost and penalty so that we are put right with God through his grace by faith in Christ alone. On the cross Jesus also entered into our suffering, defeated the powers of evil and accomplished the reconciliation of all creation.
The Resurrection of Jesus
Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving the effectiveness of his death. In his bodily resurrection he defeated death and became the forerunner of redeemed humanity. The resurrection is the promise and beginning of God's new world.
The Reign of Jesus
Jesus returned to his father in heaven, from where he now rules over all creation. He sent his Spirit to apply all that he achieved on the cross. The Spirit equips us as God's people to live for Christ and speak of him so that others might submit to his gracious reign. In this way Jesus sovereignly gathers his church as he rescues those the Father has given him. Through his ascension he is exalted as reigning Lord, and at his return he will execute God's judgment, destroy Satan, evil and death, and establish the universal reign of God.
God the Holy Spirit
The Bible testifies to the Holy Spirit's activity both in creation and redemptive-history, empowering action for gospel liberation and justice. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and judgment, leads to faith and repentance and unites believers to Christ, making real in them what Jesus has accomplished. Through Christ, God's Spirit is poured out on all believers enabling them to live in unity and to bear the fruit of holiness, Christ-likeness and practical obedience. The Spirit gives gifts and power to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel, discern truth, pray effectively and prevail over the forces of darkness.
The Church and God's Mission
The church stands in continuity with God's people in the Old Testament, called through Abraham to be a light to the nations, shaped and taught through the law and the prophets to be a community of holiness, compassion and justice, and redeemed through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church exists to worship and glorify God for all eternity and is commissioned by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to participate in the transforming mission of God within history.
We live together in union with Christ as his church. God is littering the world with local expressions of this church. We celebrate our cultural diversity while enjoying unity in Christ. These churches are a means of grace to a needy and dying world. God has given us the task of making the good news of Jesus known to those without God and without hope. Our community life points ahead to what God has in store for his world. So, by word and life, we model and offer reconciliation to those alienated from God by their willful rejection of him. We call people to turn from despising God and urge them to trust in Christ.
As those welcomed, forgiven and accepted, we become a community of those who welcome, forgive and accept. We respond to the gospel in baptism, expressing that we have become part of the people of God. The Lord's Supper is the meal we regularly share together to celebrate the work of Christ and express that we continue to be part of the people of God together. Our shared life proclaims the Lord's death until he returns to make good the invitation to his eternal banquet.
We are waiting for the arrival of a new heaven and earth, which God will bring about through his transforming power. A day is coming when Christ will come again to establish his reign of justice and freedom. He will create the home of righteousness which his people crave, banishing forever sin, Satan and death.
In renewed bodies in a renewed creation, we will live as God's people in unbroken relationship with God and each other. At the center of everything will be the one God, eternally self-existent as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the creator and sustainer of all that is. His character is constant and his purposes unchanging. He will be all our glory. This will be life as it was meant to be lived – life in all its glorious and satisfying fullness.