MAKING DISCIPLES WHO KNOW GOD AND MAKE GOD KNOWN
The following statement summarizes God's love letter to the world handed down from Jesus and his apostles. It is wide enough for Christians to have differences of opinion on non-essentials, but narrow enough to exclude those who call themselves Christians but reject Christ's teachings.
This statement is meant to be a tool for worship, a place to begin plumbing the depths of the infinite God. Don't just read it. Pray it--with reverence and wonder.
We believe in God...
The Lord our God alone is God, Creator and Sustainer of all that is, revealing in creation and in Jesus Christ God's own power and glory, grace and mercy. (Deut 6:4; Gen 1:1; Rom 1:20; John 1:14; Heb 1:3)
The Lord our God alone is God, just and true, perfect in being and trustworthy in action. He has sovereignty over us, affection toward us, and glory for us. (Deut 32:4; Matt 5:48; Ps 111:7; 83:18; 97:9; Rom 8:38-39; 1Pet 5:4)
The Lord our God alone is God, holy, infinite and beyond imagination; our minds can never fully know God nor our hearts completely grasp his ways. He is faithful and unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere present. (1Pet 1:16; Rev 1:8; Ps 139:7-12; Isa 55:8-9; Rom 11:34; Ps 119:90; John 16:30; Jer 32:27; Ps 139:7-12)
. . . the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
The Lord our God is Triune – one being in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in co-equal, co-eternal communion. (Deut 6:4; Matt 28:19; John 1:14; 2Cor 13:14)
God the Father is Father to his eternal Son, Jesus Christ, and to all who are adopted as his sons and daughters through faith in Jesus Christ. (2Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3; John 1:12-13; Rom 8:14-16; Gal 3:26)
God the Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ – one person in two natures, fully human and fully divine – who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Christ died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day was raised according to the Scriptures. (John 1:1,14,18; 3:16; Luke 1:30-35; Phil 2:5-8; Rom 8:3; 1Tim 3:16; 1Cor 15:3-4)
God the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus Christ to do the Father's work. The Spirit convicts us of sin, brings us to faith in Jesus Christ, conforms us to the image of Christ and gifts us for service. The Spirit inspired the authors of Scripture and guides the church in faithful translation and interpretation. The Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is God-breathed and true, without error in all that it teaches; it is the supreme authority and only infallible guide for Christian faith and conduct – teaching, rebuking, and training us in righteousness. (Luke 3:21-22; 4:14,18,19; Matt 12:22-28; Acts 10:38; John 14:10-11; 16:8; Tit 3:4-7; 2Cor 3:17-18; 1Cor 6:11; 1Pet 1:2; 2Thess 2:13; 1Cor 12:4-11; 2Tim 3:16-17; 2Pet 1:20-21; 3:15-16; John 16:13)
. . . the Author of our salvation
God, the ruler of the universe, created people in his image to glorify him, to rule creation, and to have a joyful relationship with him and one another. (Isa 43:7; Eph 1:6,12,14; Gen 1:26-28; 2:18; 1Pet 1:8)
Through Adam's sin and rejection of God as king we are alienated from God and all creation is immersed in meaninglessness. The effects of sin are so pervasive that apart from God's grace we are his enemies, lost and dead. (Gen 3:17-24; Rom 5:10-12; Eccles 1:2; Rom 8:19-22; Eph 2:1-10)
As promised, God sent Jesus to rescue us. Jesus' sinless life and substitutionary death on the cross demonstrated God's love, conquered the powers of darkness, initiated new creation, and satisfied God's just anger which our sin had provoked. In his bodily resurrection Jesus' life and teachings are proven to be true, and he is revealed to be the only ruler, judge and redeemer of the world. God commands all people to turn from their rebellious, self-sufficient fantasy and bow to Jesus. We submit to God's rulership by grace through faith in Jesus Christ in whom we are made alive and right with God. Faith in Jesus Christ incorporates us into the body of Christ, his church, the community of all believers in heaven and on earth. Empowered by the Spirit, the church is called to be obedient by bearing witness to Christ among the nations, praising God, loving each other, preaching the good news, discipling believers, serving the poor, setting free the oppressed, and caring for creation. (John 3:16-17; Acts 13:32-37; Gal 4:4-5; Heb 4:15, 10:10-14; Rom 5:8; Col 2:15; 2Cor 5:17-19; Rom 3:21-26; 1John 2:2; Rev 19:16; John 5:22-23; Acts 4:12, 17:30-31; Col 2:9-14; Eph 1:15-2:22; 4:4-6,28; 1Cor 12:4-11; Acts 1:8; Heb 13:15; 1Pet 4:8; Rom 10:15; Gal 2:10; Matt 25:31-46; Luke 4:18; Gen 1:28-29)
Jesus Christ holds his chosen secure and intercedes for them at the right hand of the Father. He will return in his glorified body to judge the living and the dead. Those who do not trust in him will be raised to suffer a just eternal punishment. Those who trust in him will be transformed, their bodies raised imperishable and incorruptible, to live and reign with him forever in a new heaven and a new earth in which there will be all that is good and true and beautiful, but no sorrow, no tears, and no evil thing. (John 6:39; 10:29; Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25; Acts 10:42; Matt 25:46; 1Cor 15:50-56; Rev 22:5; 21:1-4,27)