I believe God was before anything and will be after everything passes away – before the beginning and after the end; from everlasting to everlasting. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present. God is perfect love. God was, God is and God will be.
I believe in the One Living God, the Triune God:
God the Creator – The world is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. God is creator of the universe and spoke the world into being through Jesus Christ, in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Although God’s Creation was perfect and humankind created in the image of God, humankind – given freewill – chose sin and rebellion rather than relationship with God. This sin introduced separation between Creator and created that cannot be reconciled or overcome by the created. God is Creator of the Universe and Author of Life but yet knows and cares about the intimate details of each person. God is not far away.
God the Redeemer – God incarnate in the man Jesus Christ, now glorified.
Jesus, fully human yet fully divine, lived a life without sin. This life was spent in relationship with Creation: loving, healing and teaching. Through his life, Jesus taught us how to love and to live in the world. Therefore, our lives are not to be comfortable, clean and neat but rather to be spent living with and among all people – not only those who look like us or profess the same faith. We must be willing to be interrupted – and respond with love and patience; be willing to be inconvenienced – and respond with compassion; be willing to yield what may seem rightfully ours – and respond knowing that all things are provided by God and all are loved by God.
Jesus died for the sin of all humankind but conquered sin and death, rising on the third day. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus created a way for the created to be redeemed for and reconciled to the Creator. Therefore, our lives should reflect the grace that we have received.
God the Sustainer and Reconciler – God as Spirit is active in the world today; just as the Spirit was active at Creation and will be at the end of the age. The Spirit binds us to God, the Creator and Redeemer. The Spirit transforms and is transforming, sustaining us individually and as the Church. The Spirit is in us but yet is not contained by us and is always moving through us. Through unique gifts given to each believer, the Spirit enables us to build up the Church and for our lives to show the love of Jesus Christ.
I believe God is unchanging – the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. However, our understanding of God changes as a result of humanity’s changing geographic, time and cultural locations. Therefore, we must be aware of the new ways that God will reveal God’s self to us – always consistent with Scripture but not restricted to our own ideas.
I believe Scripture is God’s revelation to humanity, inspired by the Holy Spirit but written by human hands and in human words. Despite human error, Scripture is infallible to communicate God’s will. God has revealed – and continues to reveal – God’s self to us in other ways as well. This diverse revelation of God – always consistent with the character and word of the Triune God – provides authority and guidance in our relationship with God and with one another.
I believe the sacraments of baptism and communion represent our participation in our adoption into the Body of Christ as well as nourishment as we continue our journey of faith and discipleship. Both call us into intimate relationship with God and one another. Through baptism, we respond to the prior claim of adoption by the Triune God and are sealed by the Holy Spirit. In Holy Communion, we are joined together in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and with the lives of all believers.
I believe we are saved by faith alone. However, saved by faith, we are called to live with the love and grace found in faith. The individual and Church are called to live in community: loving God and loving others. While they do not save us, good works are our joyful response to God’s love for us. As individuals and as the Church universal, we are also called to live in the world, while not being of it.
I believe that God is active in the world. Because God is always the initiator, we are called – individually and collectively – to discern and respond to what God is doing in this time and place. Because God is sovereign, we accept that God is working in ways that we cannot see and will not always understand. We continually die to self – individually and collectively – so that we may join God in what God is doing in the world.
I believe that just as we are called to live with love, we are called to live with certain hope. The day will come when all Creation is restored. On this day, we will be in full communion with one another and with God. Until this day, I believe we are to live in a way that strives towards that communion: forgiveness, compassion, care for the environment, justice for those who have no voice, and sharing of resources among all people in all countries.