What we believe

What we believe concerning God

We believe in the triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit cf. Matt 28:19). These three distinct Persons, who are equal in eternity, power and glory, are the one, true and eternal God (cf. John 5:23)

Concerning God the Father, we confess that He created the universe and all that fills it in six days by His divine command. He also upholds the universe, and so governs all things that nothing happens without His will.

Concerning God the Son, we confess that He humbled Himself of His rightful honour (cf. Phil 2:6-8) by taking upon Himself the flesh and blood of man, of the virgin Mary, through the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit (cf. Matt 1:20). He is at once both true God and true man (cf. John 1:1-3, 14; Heb 2:17). He, through His death, made complete payment for the debt which we incurred through sin (cf. 1 John 2:2; 4:10), and through His obedience earned for us the gift of eternal life (John 3:15). He rose from the dead (cf. Matt 28:6), and is now enthroned as King at the right hand of the Father (cf. Acts 2:33). To Him has been given all authority and power in heaven and earth (cf. Matt 28:18), by which He gathers, governs, defends and preserves the Church (cf. John 10:16,28-30) which He purchased with His blood.

Concerning God the Holy Spirit, we confess that He is the Author of life, both physical (cf. Psa 104:30; Job 34:14-15) and spiritual (cf. John 3:6,8). Through Him we come to faith (cf. 1 Cor 12:3), to which no man can come of himself (Eph 2:8). Through Him we are being renewed more and more in the image of God (cf. Ezek 36:26; 2 Cor 3:18).

What we believe concerning Holy Scripture

Creation is itself a most wonderful book which portrays God’s eternal power and deity (cf. Psa 8:19). But through the fall into sin man’s mind became darkened so that he cannot rightly come to know God through creation (cf Rom 1:18-21), nor can he come to know the gospel of redemption in Jesus Christ through it.

For this reason God revealed the gospel to the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, and to the apostles in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit inspired men to record this gospel in written form (cf. 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21), which we now call the “Holy Bible.” We believe that the Bible is God’s infallible Word in its entirety.

What we believe concerning Man

God created man good, after His own image (cf. Gen 1:27), in righteousness and holiness. But man, of his own free will, in deliberate disobedience, rebelled against God (cf. Gen 3). As a result man lost the excellent gifts and virtues with which he was created. His mind became dark, his thoughts futile; his heart was hardened and his desires corrupt; his will was enslaved to evil. Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time (Gen 6:5). Man was dead in sin (cf Eph 2:1,5, Col 2:13), incapable and undesirous of doing anything worthy of merit or favour (cf. Eccl 7:20; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:12).

What we believe concerning Grace

God decided to redeem man out of his sin and misery. This redemption is entirely a gift of grace (cf. Eph 2:8). In eternity God chose those whom He would redeem (cf. Eph 1:4), though they had done nothing at all to merit God’s favour (cf. Rom 9:11). Through the working of the Holy Spirit, God confers the gift of faith (cf. Eph 2:8, Phil 1:29) upon those whom He has chosen, and as many as are chosen believe (cf. Acts 13:48). In themselves God’s children are so weak (cf. Rom 7:14-19) that they could never persevere in faith, but would fall away from God’s grace and loose their redemption. But Christ graciously preserves those whom He has chosen so that none are lost (Luke 22:31-32; John 10:28,29). Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith (cf. Heb 12:2). That is, He is the one who gives us the gift of faith, and who causes us to persevere in faith throughout our lives, so that we receive the crown of glory and eternal life that He has promised to all who believe.

What we believe concerning the preaching

We believe that Christ calls men to convey the promises of His Gospel to the world by preaching. The Word remains the central way in which the Gospel is brought to the hearts and minds of people and is the medium by which God’s Holy Spirit works in the hearts. Preaching is therefore also a central part of our worship as God’s Word to us is explained and applied to our lives.

What we believe concerning the sacraments

We believe that Jesus Christ, who has fulfilled the sacrifices and ceremonies of the law of the Moses, Himself instituted two signs for use in His churches by which He seals the promises of the Gospel to us, namely baptism and Lord’s Supper. By the washing of baptism we are ingrafted into the body of Christ and promised forgiveness of sins by His blood. In the communal eating of bread and drinking of wine we recall and proclaim the death of Jesus Christ as a sacrifice by which He paid the penalty for our sins and transgressions.