We believe the Bible to be God’s holy and divine Word1. It is the infallible rule for regulating, founding, and establishing our faith2 and it’s teaching is perfect and complete in all respects3. This Holy Scripture, God’s Word, contains the will of God completely and that everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently taught in it4.
12 Peter 1:21
22 Timothy 3:16
3Psalm 19:7; John 15:15; Acts 20:27; Romans 15:4
42 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:10-12
So that we as a church may confess our beliefs in unity1, we subscribe to a set of written (not simply verbal) creeds and confessions that summarize our understanding of God’s Word. Our biblical beliefs are summarized in the Ecumenical Creeds and in three confessions commonly referred to as the Three Forms of Unity. The Ecumenical Creeds are shared by all churches worthy of the name Christian. The Three Forms of Unity are three confessions widely used by Reformed churches with roots in the Netherlands. These are meant to help guide believers systematically through the Bible, so that our teaching and understanding of particular doctrines are clearly understood2.
The Three Forms of Unity:
11 Timothy 3:16
21 Corinthians 14:40
God is a simple and spiritual being1, personal2, perfect3, and sovereign over all4. He is three in person (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), yet one in essence and Godhead5; God is eternal6, independent7, immutable (unchanging)8, and infinite9. He is all-knowing10, all-wise11, all-good12, all-holy13, all-righteous14, all-powerful15, and sovereign16. He is the creator and sustainer of all creation17 and has revealed Himself as the redeemer18 and sanctifier of His people19.
2Malachi 2:10; John 14:9b
5Genesis 1:26-27, 3:22; Matthew 3:17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16, 15:26; Acts 2:32-33; Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6; Titus 3:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 4:13-14; 1 John 5:1-12; Jude 20-21; Revelation 1:4-5; 2 Matthew 3:16
6Psalm 90:2, 93:2, 102:25; Habakkuk 1:12
8Malachi 3:6; James 1:17
91 Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 23:24
10John 21:17b; Hebrews 4:13
11Psalm 104:24; Daniel 2:20, 21b; Romans 16:27
12Matthew 19:17; Psalm 86:5, 118:29
13Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8; 1 Peter 1:16
14Psalm 89:14; 145:17
15Numbers 23:19; Genesis 18:14, 17:1; Matthew 19:26
16Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11
17Genesis 1; Revelation 4:11
18Isaiah 47:4, 48:17; Psalm 19:14; Luke 1:68; Ephesians 1:7, 13-14
191 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23–24; 2 Timothy 1:19; Ephesians 1:4; Titus 2:4
God the Father
God the Father is the first person of the Trinity1, who begat the Son from all eternity2 and sends the Son and the Holy Spirit3. We distinguish, not divide4, the persons of the Godhead by their works. The works ascribed to the Father are the planning of redemption5, creation6, and providence7. He is personal, knowing each of us intimately and completely8, and receiving our prayers9. He elects and draws all believers to His Son, Jesus Christ10.
1Matthew 3:16-17, 6:9, 28:19; Ephesians 3:14, 4:6
2John 1:2, 18; Proverbs 8:22-31
3Luke 9:48; John 15:26
4Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4,6
5Isaiah 53, 42:1; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Peter 1:19-20; Acts 2:23
6Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 44:24; Acts 4:24, 14:15
7Psalm 104; Matthew 10:29; Ephesians 1:11
8Malachai 2:10; John 14:9b; John 21:17b; Hebrews 4:13
9Psalm 50:14-15, 116:12-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
10Ephesians 1:4; John 6:39, 44
Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, who the Father sent into the world. He is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father. He was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man. He lived a sinless human life, performed miracles and offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days and demonstrated His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven and will physically return some day.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. He is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to convict people of their need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian and guides, instructs, revives, equips, and empowers them for Christ-like living and service. As Christians we seek to live under His daily leading.
Man (The Human Race)
People are made in the likeness of God and are the crown of His creative work. When the first humans Adam and Eve sinned against God, they plunged the whole human race into physical and spiritual death; this is known as the fall. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, commit acts of sin, suppress God’s clear and compelling disclosure of Himself in the Bible and creation, and must be reconciled to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Everyone is in need of salvation. Human beings, in their sinful condition inherited from Adam, and thus stand condemned before a just and holy God. Salvation is God’s free gift offered to all who sincerely repent and believe in Jesus Christ. The result is forgiveness and reconciliation with God. We can never be saved by good works or self-improvement. Only by repenting and believing in Jesus Christ can we reconciled to God.
When Adam and Eve sinned against God, their fall and disobedience so poisoned our nature that we are all conceived and born in sin. God is terrible angry with the sin we are born with as well as our actual sins that we commit. God’s justice demands that sin, committed against his supreme majesty, be punished with the supreme penalty—eternal punishment of body and soul.
God requires his justice be satisfied, yet we are unable to make such satisfaction, moreover we increase our guilt each day. Therefore, we must look for a mediator to deliver us from our debt of sin which we cannot pay. God has promised to deliver those who through true faith believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Through his death on the cross and resurrection, Jesus Christ, true man and true God, is the perfect offering of satisfaction for God’s justice and merits salvation for us: as man, for God will not punish any other creature for what a human is guilty of; And as God, by the power of his divinity he bears in his humanity the weight of God’s wrath and earns for us and restores to us righteousness and life. By faith we believe and trust all that is revealed to us in his Word and gospel by his Holy Spirit, that God has freely granted, not only to others but to me also, forgiveness of sins, eternal righteousness, and salvations, and that these gifts are purely of grace only because of Christ’s merit.
Because we have been redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection, Christ is also renewing us by his Spirit into his image, so that with our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, and that he may be praised through us, and further, so that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ. When we are truly redeemed by Christ blood, we will show forth genuine repentance: namely the dying-away of the old self, and the rising-to-life of the new. The new life is characterized by wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a love and delight to live according to the will of God by doing every kind of good work—those which are done out of true faith, conform to God’s law and are done for his glory.
The Kingdom of God
When we are saved in Jesus Christ, we enter the kingdom of God. In doing so, we experience the forgiveness of sins and the inward transformation that awakens a desire to submit to Christ’s sovereign rule. As an expression of this submission, we should neither withdraw from the world nor become indistinguishable from it. Rather, we are to seek the good of the city by bearing witness to Christ's sovereign rule and saving work on the cross. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God's sovereignty in the world toward the eventual restoration of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan's dark kingdom and brings restoration wherever God’s people speak and live transparently before others.
The Church is a gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ, being washed by his blood, and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end. Christ is its eternal king and it is preserved by God. This holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain persons. But it is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world, though still jointed and united in heart and will, in one and the same Spirit, by the power of faith. This church is the body of Christ and the family of God in which Jesus is the head and all of Christ’s followers are members. To remain healthy, the body's members must work together, with each part contributing to each other’s growth and maturity. Since the church represents Jesus Christ to a needy world, God works through the church to reconcile a lost world to Himself and be His arm of righteousness in an unrighteous world.
Sacraments - Baptism & The Lord's Supper
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are signs and seals of the covenant relationship between God and His people in Jesus Christ. Baptism is connected with entrance into the covenant community and comes with the promise that as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly his blood and his Spirit wash away our soul’s impurity, that is all our sins. The Lord’s Supper is connected with ongoing covenant renewal and is designed to strengthen our faith and tie to Christ and comes with the promise that as surely as we see with our eyes the bread of the Lord broken for us and the cup shared with us, so surely his body was offered and broken for us and his blood poured out for us on the cross; moreover, as surely as we receive this sign and seal, he nourishes and refreshes our souls for eternal life with his crucified body and poured-out blood. Together, they underscore God’s assurance to us that our entire salvation rests on Christ's one sacrifice for us on the cross.
The Lord Jesus Christ will one day return personally, visibly, and gloriously and will bring His kingdom to its completion and perfection. He will judge the living and the dead, the just and the unjust. The unjust will be eternally separated from God in hell and the just in Christ will be eternally united to God in the new creation (new heavens and new earth). God will be in all in all and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.