We describe God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
- There is one God, who created the world and all that is in it.
- God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.
- God is loving. We can experience God’s love and grace.
- Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
- Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
- God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. (Christ and messiah mean the same thing—God’s anointed.)
- Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.
- Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.
The Holy Spirit
- the Holy Spirit is God with us.
- the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.
- the Holy Spirit awakens us to God’s will and empowers us to live obediently.
- God created human beings in God’s image.
- Humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.
- All humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.
- The church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
- The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
- The church is “the communion of saints,” a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.
- The church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.
- The Bible is God’s Word.
- The Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
- Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).
The Reign of God
- The kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.
- Wherever God’s will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present. It was present in Jesus’ ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration, and healing.
- The fulfillment of God’s kingdom–the complete restoration of creation–is still to come.
- The church is called to be both witness to the vision of what God’s kingdom will be like and a participant in helping to bring it to completion.
- The reign of God is both personal and social. Personally, we display the kingdom of God as our hearts and minds are transformed and we become more Christ-like. Socially, God’s vision for the kingdom includes the restoration and transformation of all of creation.
- Through baptism we are joined with the church and with Christians everywhere.
- Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God’s love and forgiveness of our sins.
- Persons of any age can be baptized.
- We baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring.
- A person receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.
The Lord’s Supper (Communion, Eucharist)
- The Lord’s Supper is a holy meal of bread and wine that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ.
- The Lord’s Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God’s family.
- By sharing this meal, we give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice and are nourished and empowered to go into the world in mission and ministry.
- We practice “open Communion,” welcoming all who love Christ, repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another.