The Bible is the fully inspired revelation of God’s will to His people throughout the ages for His glory and our salvation. The Spirit of God has acted through the writers of Scripture so that their words, spoken in particular historical circumstances, should fully and unequivocally also be understood to be the words of God himself. The Scriptures offer us a reliable and true testimony of Christ—being himself the very revelation of the Father—for our spiritual training in God’s grace and for equipping us for every good work in Christ.
While the word “Trinity” does not itself appear in Scripture, we certainly affirm that there is one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, existing eternally together. We wholeheartedly affirm that God is our faithful Father, sovereign over all creation. He delighted to welcome us as his adopted sons and daughters. We wholeheartedly affirm that God is the Son—the eternal Word of God by whom, for whom, and to whom all things were created—Jesus Christ, the only name in Heaven or earth by which we must be saved. We wholeheartedly affirm that God is the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life. The Holy Spirit is God, worthy of worship in all he does. It is only by the Spirit of God that we receive the benefits of salvation in Christ and are united to him.
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity who eternally exists with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He was sent by God into the world so that we might be saved through him and receive eternal life. The Scriptures testify to us that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. This is good news for us! Jesus was able to endure the eternal punishment for sin—not just for one, but for all the world. He overcame the power of death, being resurrected by the Holy Spirit as the first-born of God’s new creation. He was crucified for our sins, and raised to life again for our justification, fulfilling not only God’s promise of the messianic king, but the promises of the redemption that God himself would bring to his people.
We affirm the Bible’s teaching that man and woman are created in God’s image, with inherent dignity and purpose, and as such, we are dependent upon God, the Creator, for everything including our very breath. Humanity was originally designed to reflect the character and attributes of God as we related to each other and carried out the task of ruling the earth. Essentially, God created and called humanity to rule the earth in such a way that displays His character and glory throughout creation.
Though God created male and female in his image, and created humans very good, we have all sinned and betrayed our good and gracious creator. Sin is idolatrous by nature and affects all of our being. While we are not as wicked as we could be, there is no area of our lives or our beings that is not defiled by sin—making us powerless to help ourselves. Because of our sin, we are fully deserving of eternal punishment.
We were dead in our sins, but made alive in Christ Jesus by the power of the Spirit, to the glory of the Father. Salvation is entirely an act of God. Even the faith by which we receive such a gift is granted to us by God. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and moves people to repentance and faith in Christ. Therefore, our old sinful nature no longer enslaves us and the Spirit gives us a new nature through His regenerative work by uniting us to Jesus. Our conversion and unhindered relationship with God is solely a result of the gracious work of the sovereign Triune God— the Holy Spirit who binds us to Christ, Christ who reconciles us to the Father, and the Father who delights to save us.
Age to Come
In the Scriptures, God promises that he will restore us and make us ready for his eternal new creation kingdom—in both body and soul. Our resurrection to life is possible because Christ was raised and we are united to him and it is the very goal to which we strive. When Jesus visibly and bodily returns, the dead will be raised and the righteous will receive eternal life and the wicked will be cast into eternal punishment. The devil and the forces of evil will be totally defeated and Jesus will fully establish his kingdom with power and glory on earth just as it is in Heaven.
The Church is the people of God throughout all times and ages who believe in Jesus Christ. The Church consists of all people for whom Christ died and redeemed through his own blood. Christ is head of the Church, his body, over which he rules. The purpose of the visible church in the world is to proclaim the gospel, guide in worship and fellowship, and administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper.