What you believe about God changes everything. It affects how you love, work, live, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase, and worship. Is God an impersonal blob, distant and disinterested in the world except for figuring out who the good and bad people are? Is “god” a karma vibe making sure everyone gets what he or she deserves? Is God a myth that weak, stupid, or oppressive people use to console themselves or dominate other people? Is God a cosmic cheerleader who is concerned mainly about your immediate happiness and self-actualization? Or is God someone else?
God reveals himself to sinners and saves them for his glory.
Theology is not obscure, abstract theories about the divine. Rather, theology is the study of a personal God and how he relates to his creatures.
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, who is infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity thinks, acts, feels, speaks, and relates because they are persons and not impersonal forces. Each member of the Trinity is equally God, which means that they share all the divine attributes.We believe there is no one like God, no one equal to God, and no other God. God is just, merciful, holy, loving, all-knowing, jealous, all-powerful, patient, everywhere, eternal, unchanging, and not bound by time.
“RELIGIOUS RITUALS DO NOT MEDIATE BETWEEN US AND GOD—NEITHER DO THE GOOD WORKS WE DO. NOBODY ELSE, EXCEPT THE GOD-MAN, JESUS CHRIST, SERVES AS OUR MEDIATOR TO GOD.”
REVEALS HIMSELF …
We believe that God reveals himself to everyone everywhere through general revelation, which includes creation and conscience. In general revelation, God has made known his power and divine nature, wisdom, majesty, justice, and goodness. We believe God has supremely revealed himself to fallen humans through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We believe it is only through special revelation, God’s gracious self-revelation, that any of us come to a saving and transforming knowledge of God. We believe Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and humanity. Because God is holy and all humans are sinful and sinners, we need a savior who mediates between us and God. Religious rituals do not mediate between us and God—neither do the good works we do. Nobody else, except the God-man, Jesus Christ, serves as our mediator to God. There is no other name by which a man can be saved other than the name Jesus. (Acts 4:11). Hebrews 7:23-28 tell us that Jesus intercedes on our behalf and His sacrifice alone is sufficient to atone for sin. We believe that every word of the 66 books of the Bible are divinely inspired. The Holy Spirit both inspired the writing of scripture and illuminates the meaning and understanding of scripture, and empowers the obedience to scripture. When rightly interpreted, scripture is centrally about Jesus Christ, as the only God and Savior, and eternal life. Additionally, scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. We believe that the scriptures alone are our only ultimate authority for faith and practice. This doesn’t mean that the Bible is the only place where truth is found. It does mean that everything else we learn about God and his world, and all other authorities, are subordinate to the scriptures. The scriptures are the sole necessary and sufficient source of our theology.
“‘THAT I WITH BODY AND SOUL, BOTH IN LIFE AND DEATH, AM NOT MY OWN, BUT BELONG UNTO MY FAITHFUL SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST; WHO, WITH HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD, HAS FULLY SATISFIED FOR ALL MY SINS, AND DELIVERED ME FROM ALL THE POWER OF THE DEVIL.'”
SAVES SINNERS …
We believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone. We are neither saved by our merits nor declared righteous (justified) by our good works. We are justified solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and Christ’s merit. We do not merit grace, or else it wouldn’t be grace. This means that God grants salvation without reference to our foreseen merits or achievements or even our faith. God’s election is the unconditional and unmerited nature of his grace. Because of sin, not only did we inherit a nature that is in bondage to sin from Adam, but we also were born in sin.Therefore, we were enemies of God and lovers of that which was evil. We needed to be made alive (regenerated) so we can even have faith in Christ. All of this is grace that we don’t deserve. Because we didn’t earn or attain this grace, we cannot lose it. God graciously preserves us and keeps us. When we are faithless toward him, he is still faithful. It is only by God’s grace that we may stand before Him because he mercifully attributes to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ and attributes to him the consequences of our sins, which were judged on the cross. The effects of this Gospel are many. According to the Heidelberg Catechism, our sole comfort in life and death is:
“That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 teaches all this clearly: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ”
… FOR HIS GLORY.
We believe that glory belongs to God alone. Sinners being saved by grace is all about God getting glory, not about people improving their lives and God just being a means to their end. Because of who God is and because he reveals and saves, the end goal of all of life is to give glory to God alone: “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). The Westminster Catechism says the chief purpose of our life is to “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” God’s glory and fame are to be our only ultimate ambition.