Concerning the Bible
- The Bible is comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, which were all written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These were all inerrant in the original, and have been faithfully passed down to us by God's provident oversight. They essentially tell the story of God's creation, humanity's fall, and God's plan of redemption through Christ. It is the chief authority and source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
Concerning the Trinity
- God is a Spirit, who exists in Three persons, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
Concerning God the Father
- God the Father is the One who, as a just and merciful judge, sent His Son and Spirit to accomplish His decree to create and redeem. Upon saving us, He adopts us as His children through the work of Christ and the Spirit, and will keep His promise to complete His work of redemption in us.
Concerning Jesus Christ
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was and continues to be, fully God and fully man; and is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus became man so that He could die the death that we as sinners deserve, to live the perfect life that God requires for us, and to rise again from the dead to give us new life and to defeat the power of sin and death. He ascended to heaven's glory where He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords and will return again someday to earth as Judge of the living and the dead.
Concerning the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is God, co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. He is the means by which Christians are united to Christ and He is given to them once and for all when He brings them from a state of spiritual death to new life in Christ. He is also God's seal on all His adopted children, guaranteeing for them all of the promises that Christ won for them. As He dwells within all who believe, He conforms them more and more into the image of Christ, empowers them to live more in light of Christ's work for them, and intercedes for them before the Father.
- Adam and Eve were created by God to govern the earth as His co-rulers, with Adam as the representative head of all humanity. He created them in a state of pure goodness and free from all sin. He made a covenant with them, requiring perfect obedience from them to secure their place with Him forever on the one hand, with the consequence of eternal death if they disobeyed on the other. They chose to disobey and thus received the promised death sentence, which was passed on to all humanity and the entire creation. Humanity is now doomed to die. We have now inherited a fallen nature which is spiritually dead and naturally desires sin. This death sentence included a curse upon all creation so that all things lead toward decay and death. While we are all inclined toward evil and unable to please God, we are not as wicked as we possibly could be. We still bear the image of God and thus, have value above all other of God's creatures.
- Because we sinned in Adam, God had a right to punish us as His covenant required, because the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23). However, out of His incredible mercy and grace God decided to make another covenant with us to send another representative, Christ, the second Adam, to come meet God's requirements of a sinless life for us, to die the death that we had earned and to rise again, defeating sin and death and giving us new life. This salvation that Christ accomplished for us comes to us as a free gift through faith that God enables us to have by the awakening power of the Holy Spirit. Upon convincing us of our sin and misery the Holy Spirit brings us to repentance and faith in the work of Christ. The moment we believe, God credits us with the perfect life that Christ lived and places the blame and punishment for all of our sin upon Christ. This means that God then loves the Christian as though they did every obedient deed that Christ did, and will never be angry at them because He has poured out His just wrath on Christ, once for all time (Rom 5:15-19). Thus we are justified by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone.
- Upon our justification, the Holy Spirit then also gives us a new heart which responds to this gift of Christ's life and death by desiring to love God and our neighbors and to turn away more and more from serving ourselves. This work of sanctification is also a work that God performs in us by grace through faith. God promises that Christ's new life in us will be perfected by the power of the Holy Spirit as He works in us greater appreciation for the work of Christ, and kills off more and more of our old nature. God promises that this work will be brought to completion and guarantees that nothing can thwart it, forfeit it or take it away, because nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39).
Concerning the Church
- God has not saved us in order to leave us to complete our journey alone. He has ordained that all who trust in Christ become members of His church, which is "God's household ...the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). God has commissioned His Church to preach the Gospel to all nations, baptize those who profess belief and their children, and to teach them all that God has commanded them (Mt 28:18-20). Every Christian needs the feeding that God has empowered His means of grace to provide for them. Through the preaching of the Word, the sacraments, and the corporate prayer and worship of God's people, He reminds them of His holiness, of their need to continually repent and confess their sins, of the permanent love He has for them in Christ, of His promise to never leave them or forsake them as He is bringing them closer and closer to their eternal life with Him. Because every Christian is entangled in a three-way war against their old nature, the brokenness of the world and the attacks of the devil, they all desperately need the church to surround them with these truths so that they can be continually strengthened to be God's witnesses and ambassadors for the Gospel to the world.
- God will return someday as He promised to bring an end to the current order, to recreate heaven and earth, and to judge all humanity. Those who have trusted in Christ are guaranteed to be accepted and welcomed as faithful servants because they are clothed in Christ's perfect righteousness. Those who have rejected Him will be condemned by God because they all have no excuse before Him. People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence.