I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
God is the self existent creator of the universe. God exists as one essence in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Through God the entire created order was made and continues to exist by his gracious and loving will.
Humanity was created bearing the image of God. We were given charge to care for the earth and fill it with people and culture. Through choosing to obtain knowledge of good and evil by means of disobedience rather than obedience, mankind “fell” from our created intention. This broken relationship is called sin and has kept us from pleasing God. Left to our broken nature, we are unable to come to God, except by his direct intervention.
The world is not the way it was meant to be. God created the world and our entire universe for the loving purpose of creating a home and purpose for humanity. The world itself is fallen because of the choices of humankind. We can see from the news and the overarching pattern of history that the world is not getting better. We create more lethal weapons, our destruction of the environment increases, our inhumanity multiplies. God himself will intervene in this pattern and remake the heavens and the earth. In that time, all things that are not compatible with the Kingdom of God will melt away and the world will be remade.
From the moment we fell, and from the moment we each fall, God is making the way for us to return to him. This happened once, for all, when God became man through his Son, Jesus Christ (The Living Word), who lived, died, and rose again in order that we might be able to return to God. Salvation from our broken relationship and hell happens through the faithfulness of Jesus, both God and man, who took upon himself the sin of the entire world and gives those who believe in him a new life. Faith in this promise is given to us by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel (the preached Word) or “good news” of Christ’s forgiveness of our sin. In this faith God creates in us a new person and puts to death the old.
The Bible is the God-inspired collection of scriptures that tell us His story. God chose to use ordinary people to author the books which are collected into the Old Testament and New Testament. These books were written over a span of over a thousand years, in three languages, in various parts of the ancient world, and convey one consistent message. Through them we receive from God the words of the Law and Promise. The Law demonstrates our sin and the broken state of man left to his fallen nature. The Promise gives us hope in the faithfulness of Jesus that we are restored to a right relationship with God through faith in him.
Because of our need, God has given us the sacraments of baptism and communion. In Baptism we are sealed by God, as his own, and we become inheritors of the promise through God’s action and not our own. This happens once for all time as God is faithful to his promise. Communion, or the Lord’s supper, is a memorial to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Both of these sacraments display the Grace of God, use tangible earthly items to connect us with the intangible promise of God, and were commanded by Jesus Christ. We believe that God is really present in the acts of communion and baptism nourishing our faith. All of those who believe in Jesus as God and Savior are welcome to the font and the table.
The most amazing thing about God is not his power, knowledge, or presence; it is his humility. God is humble enough to invite each of us to be about his work here on earth. The Church is the collection of all of God’s people who are called to do this work in the world. The Church exists wherever the Bible (Word of God) is rightly taught and the sacraments are rightly given. The Church is only the church when it exists for the sake of those outside of it. Therefore, we believe that all in the Church are responsible for outreaching to the world with the message of God.