The Apostles’ Creed
The Apostles’ Creed was written early in church history to sum up the essence of the Christian faith as taught by the original apostles. It is not Scripture, but the attempt of those early believers to briefly synthesize the central message of the Scriptures. We affirm the Apostles’ Creed in keeping with what Jesus’ church has believed for almost 2,000 years.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
And he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy catholic (universal) Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.
The Bible was inspired by God, written by men, and is true, authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient. It is the standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be measured.
We believe the whole Bible is about God’s redemptive plan, finding its true fulfillment in Jesus. It tells a cohesive story of God’s gracious and redemptive action on behalf of humanity in order to rescue them from sin and restore them to fellowship with himself through Jesus. The Old Testament points forward to Jesus as the coming Messiah who would ultimately rescue from all sin and suffering. The New Testament tells the story of Jesus and points back to him as that Messiah, the savior of all humanity. Because of this, we read the whole Bible through the lens of Jesus and his gospel.
Ex. 24.4; Ps. 19.7-10; 119.89; Is. 40.8; Lk. 18.31; 21.33; 24.27, 44-48; Jn. 5.39, 17.17; 2 Tim. 3.15-17; Heb. 4.12; 1 Pt. 1.25; 2 Pt. 1.20-21
There is only one God, who created, sustains, and rules over all of creation. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature or being.
Gen. 1.1; Jn. 1.1-3; Col. 1.16-17; Ps. 42.1-2; Deut. 6.4; Jn. 1.14, 10.30, 14.9, 17.21-22; 1 Pt. 1.2-3, Lk. 3.21-22; Jn. 4.24, 16.7; Matt. 28.19
Humanity and Sin
All human beings (excluding Jesus Christ) are sinners by birth and action. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually), and justly subject to God’s wrath apart from his own gracious intervention.
Ps. 51.5; Rom. 3.10-12, 23; 5.10, 12, 19; Jer. 17.9; Eph. 2.1-8, 4.18; Col. 1.21; Rom. 1.18; 2.5; 7.24-25; 2 Cor. 5.21
The Plan of God
From all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew, chose, and called them to salvation in Jesus.
Mk. 13.20; Jn. 6.44; 15.16, 19; Rom. 8.29-30; 9.10-16; Eph. 1.4-6, 11; 1 Thes. 1.4-5; 1 Pt. 1.1-2; Rev. 5.9; 7.9; Gen. 12.1-3; Ps. 67, Is. 49.6
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became human, being conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He was fully God and fully human. He lived a sinless life, was crucified as a substitute for sin for all who believe, arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven. Only by trusting in the person and work of Jesus alone can a person be reconciled to God and saved from the penalty of sin. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.
Matt. 8.29; 16.15-17; Mk. 1.1; Jn. 1.1, 14; Lk. 1.34-35; Mt. 1.23; Jn. 10.30; 14.9; Heb. 4.15; Is. 53.5-6; 1 Pet. 1.18-21; 2.24; 2 Cor. 5.21; Mk. 1.15; Acts 10.43; 1 Cor. 15.4; Acts 1.9; 4.12
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is fully divine, being the third person of the Trinity. He has always been at work in the world, but when Jesus ascended into Heaven, he inaugurated a new era of the Holy Spirit by which he also resides in human hearts, which takes place fully at the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit inspired people to write the Scriptures, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement, regenerates spiritually dead sinners, guides us into truth, produces spiritual growth, glorifies Jesus, comforts believers, and gives spiritual gifts to believers.
We approach miraculous gifts of the Spirit such as healings and tongues with openness and caution. With clear evidence in Scripture of occasions when God manifested his Spirit in this way, and with no conclusive evidence that he has stopped, we cannot in good conscience make that statement ourselves. So we are open. Given the propensity for these gifts to be misunderstood and misrepresented, however, we feel it is wise to approach them with caution and humility.
Scripture also emphasizes walking by the Spirit and fruit of the Spirit more than spiritual gifts. Accordingly, we should pay more attention to obedience and character produced by the Spirit than receiving spiritual gifts. The gifts exist for the glory of God and the edification of the church. They are not ends in themselves.
Gen. 1.2; Judges 14.6; Job 26.13; Ps. 51.11; Ez. 36.26-27; Mt. 1.18; 3.16; 4.1; 28.19; Lk. 11.13; 12.12; Jn. 14.15-26; 15. 26; 16.5-15; Acts 1.8; 2.1-4, 38; 4.31; 7.55; 10.44- 46; 13.2; Rom. 8.9-11, 26-27; 1 Cor. 2.10-14; 12.1-13; Gal. 4.6; 5.16-25; Eph. 1.13-14; 4.30; 5.18; 2 Tim. 3.16; 2 Pet. 1.20-21; 1 Jn. 5.6-8; Rev. 22.17
The Restoration of All Things
There will be a bodily return of Jesus, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. There will also be a bodily resurrection of the dead—those who trust in Jesus raised to eternal reward in the unhindered presence of God in Heaven and those who have not trusted in Jesus raised to judgment and eternal punishment in Hell.
Is. 2.4; Matt. 16.27; 18.8-9; 24.27; 25.31-46; 1 Cor. 15.24-28, 52-55; Php. 3.20-21; Col. 3.4; 1 Thess. 4.14-16; 2 Thes. 1.7-9; Matt. 5.11-12; Rev. 21.1-8
The church is described as universal and local. The universal church is a worldwide church made up of believers from every people, tribe, and tongue. The primary expression of the church in Scripture is what we call the local church. Local churches are groups of baptized believers, with recognized leadership and membership, who live out Jesus’ mission to make disciples, and gather regularly to share life and worship God. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Jesus.
Matt. 18.15-17; 28.19-20; Acts 2.41-47; 8.4; 11.19-20; 13.1-3; 14.23, 27; 15.1-21; 16.5; 20.28; 1 Cor. 1.2; Eph. 1.22; 2.19-22; 3.9-10, 21; Col. 1.18; Heb. 11.39-40; 1 Pet. 5.1-4; Rev. 5.9; 7.9
Marriage, Gender, & Sexuality
Mankind is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. God immutably creates each person as male or female, and these two distinct, complementary genders reflect the image and nature of God. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation, and the rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of God’s sovereign and perfect will in creating that person.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. God created intimate sexual activity as a good gift and a means of procreation and intends for it to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people and the way Christ relates to his church. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church, sacrificing himself for her. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, protect, and lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. Being created in the image of God, both husband and wife are of equal worth and great value before God, and the complementary nature of their relationship reflects the character and nature of God.
Gen. 1.26-28; 2.18-25; Ps. 128.1-4; 139.13-16; Pr. 5.15-20; 12.4; 18.22; 31.10-31; Mal. 2.14-16; Mt. 5.31-32; Mt. 19.3-19; Mk. 10.6-12; Rom. 1.18-28; 1 Cor. 6.9-10, 18; 7.1-16; Gal. 5.19-21; Eph. 5.21-33; 6.1-4; Col. 3.18-19; 1 Tim. 5.8, 14; Tit. 2.3-5; Heb. 13.4; 1 Pt. 3.1-7