The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Son, who is the Word of the Father and of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the virgin Mary. He is the one Christ, truly God and truly Man, who suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men. Christ rose again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, he then ascended into heaven, and will return to judge all men at the last day.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the administrator of the salvation planned by the Father and provided by the Son’s death, resurrection, and ascension. He is the effective agent in our conviction, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. He is our Lord’s ever-present self, indwelling, assuring, and enabling the believer.
The Bible is God’s written Word, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit. It bears unerring witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word. As attested by the early church and subsequent councils, it is the trustworthy record of God’s revelation, completely truthful in all it affirms. It has been faithfully preserved and proves itself true in human experience.
The Scriptures have come to us through human authors who wrote, as God moved them, in the languages and literary forms of their times. God continues, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, to speak through this Word to each generation and culture.
The Bible has authority over all human life. It teaches the truth about God, His creation, His people, His one and only Son, and the destiny of humankind. It also teaches the way of salvation and the life of faith. Whatever is not found in the Bible nor can be proved by it is not to be required as an article of belief or as necessary to salvation.
Justification by Faith
We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. We believe that man was created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him, but became alienated from that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, man is totally incapable of coming back into a right relationship with God by his own effort. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, salvation only occurs when a person places his faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as the sufficient payment for his
Sin. We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself. By obedience to the Word and daily yielding to the Spirit, every believer will mature and become conformed to the image of Christ.
The church is created by God. It is the people of God. Christ Jesus is its Lord and Head. The Holy Spirit is its life and power. It is both divine and human, heavenly and earthly, ideal and imperfect. It is an organism, not an unchanging institution. It exists to fulfill the purposes of God in Christ. It redemptively ministers to persons. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it that it should be holy and without blemish. The church is a fellowship of the redeemed and the redeeming, preaching the Word of God and administering the sacraments according to Christ’s instruction.
While sex is part of God’s good creation, all people are born sexually broken with distorted desires and inclinations that do not reflect God’s design for humanity. Faithfulness to Christ as Lord demands a lifelong stewardship of our sexuality for all persons. Sex outside of the marriage covenant is an abuse of God’s good gift and outside of God’s design for humanity.
Singleness and celibacy are God honoring lifestyles that Scripture commends and that should be considered by all who seek to follow Christ. Those who choose singleness and celibacy follow the example of Jesus and Paul, and live full, meaningful, and purpose-filled lives that point us to the temporary nature of marriage and our eternal union with Christ.
Marriage is a lifelong union between a male and a female on a mission from God to reflect God’s character, His covenant love, and to give a visible illustration of Christ’s love for the Church. Sex differences are a key component of marriage as witnessed to in creation and affirmed by Christ.
Those who experience same sex sexual desire are not condemned or disqualified from service and leadership in the church. The Scriptures speak about behavior and do not address the modern categories of orientation. Those who experience same sex sexual desire share in the same call of all Jesus’ disciples: celibacy or faithfulness in marriage between a male and a female.
Jesus Christ himself affirmed the lifelong nature of marriage. Divorce, except under the narrowest of circumstances, is to be avoided. Divorce harms the Church’s witness to Christ and is harmful to the family and society.
Recognizing our common brokenness and that we all fall short of the glory of God, we rejoice in and affirm the good news of God’s grace and forgiveness made available to all persons through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.