STATEMENT OF FAITH
1. "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth."
There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is our Father (Matthew 6:9) and reigns over the universe as the Lord Almighty (Revelation 4:2-11). He created all that exists as Father (Genesis 1:1), Son (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17), and Spirit (Gen. 1:2).
2. "And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord."
"Jesus" means "Savior" (Matthew 1:21), the one who came "to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10). "Christ" means "Messiah" (John 1:41), the one anointed by God to rule the nations (Psalm 2:1-9). He is God's "only Son" (Matt. 3:17; 16:16). He is "Lord," our Master and King (Rev. 22:20). He came to inaugurate the Kingdom of God (Matt. 4:17), and will consummate it at his return (Rev. 19:16). He calls us to extend his Kingdom (Matt. 10:7) by leading all people (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8) to make him their King.
3. "He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary."
Jesus chose to leave heaven for earth (Philippians 2:6-7) to be conceived physically by the power of the Holy Spirit in the body of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35). His Incarnation was the miracle by which he became Immanuel, "God with us" (Matt. 1:23).
4. "He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried."
Jesus' physical life and death (Luke 23:46) are documented by the Scriptures and by Roman and Jewish historians as well. He came to be "the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 2:2), dying in our place (2 Corinthians 5:21) to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase our salvation (Rom. 5:8-9).
5. "On the third day he rose again from the dead."
Jesus' physical resurrection (Matt. 28:1-10) is the miracle which proves his divinity (1 Cor. 15:12-20). He rose again as he promised (Matt. 16:21), proving that God's word is authoritative (Matt. 28:18), trustworthy (Matt. 5:18) and relevant today (2 Timothy 3:16-17). His resurrection was the central affirmation of early Christian preaching (Acts 2:29-33; 17:31).
6. "He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father."
Jesus' ascension (Acts 1:9) further proved his divinity. He is now "at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Rom. 8:34).
7. "He will come again to judge the living and the dead."
As Jesus ascended to heaven, so he will return visibly to earth again one day (Acts 1:10-11). Christians do not know when Jesus will return (Matt. 24:36), so we must be ready for him to come today (Luke 12:40).
8. "I believe in the Holy Spirit,"
The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:4, 9). He indwells every believer at salvation (Rom. 8:18; 1 Cor. 3:16). His gifts for ministry (1 Cor. 12:28-29; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11-13) are still operative today. We are called to submit to his leadership and seek his power for service every day (Ephesians 5:18).
9. "The holy Christian Church, the communion of saints,"
The Church was founded by Jesus (Matt. 16:18) and is his body for ministry today (1 Cor. 12:27). All believers (1 Cor. 12:13) from all time (Hebrews 12:1) are part of the universal Church.
10. "The forgiveness of sins,"
We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is a gift from God (Rom. 6:23). We must each receive this gift personally (John 3:3) by confessing our sins to God (Proverbs 28:13) with repentance (Acts 3:19; 2 Cor. 7:10), asking Jesus to forgive them (Luke 11:4) and trusting in him as our Lord and Master (Rom. 10:13).
When we make this commitment to Jesus, he makes us a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and holds us in his hand forever (John 10:28). As believers, we must continue to confess our sins to God and seek his forgiving grace (1 John 1:8-10). Since the results of sin are death (Rom. 6:23), those who refuse God's offer of salvation in Christ are separated from him forever in hell (John 3:18; Rev. 20:15).
11. "The resurrection of the body,"
Jesus' resurrection assures us of eternal life with him (1 Cor. 15:22). Believers never die (John 11:25-26). At the moment of physical death, we are instantly united with Jesus in Paradise (Luke 23:43).
12. "And life everlasting."
Christians will spend eternity with God in imperishable bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 53-55), worshipping him forever (Rev. 5:13). Jesus came to give us abundant life now (John 10:10) and eternal life with him in heaven (John 14:1-3).