A Brief Statement of Faith
Updated March 18, 2011
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” – Westminster Shorter Catechism 7.001
To be able to glorify God, we must come to know God. God is revealed to humanity in the Word and in the Confessions of the church through the encounter of experience in three distinct ways:
- First, God the Creator brings order out of chaos. All that God orders is good.
- Second, God the Redeemer in Jesus Christ comes to earth and lives in created order, fully human and fully divine, teaching humanity to recognize God, to turn toward God, and to follow God. This is the path of righteousness.
- Third, God the Spirit as Sustainer lives within us, breathing life from within us.
God creates humanity to be in relationship. Without relationship to the Holy One, we are not turned toward God. Therefore, we are not able to follow God. To accept God’s gift grace is to turn toward God and follow God.
Relationship with God is a gift of grace that is both individual and communal. Therefore, this relationship with God is recognized in the church through the Sacraments of Baptism and of the Lord’s Supper. A faithful response to God’s gift of grace is to recognize, to turn, and to follow. God reveals to us this right, good, and faithful response is scripture:
- To God as Creator, humanity is given the responsibility to be co-creators with God, to adopt this creation of goodness, and to lovingly care for all of creation.
- To God as Redeemer, humanity is given the responsibility to love this created goodness, to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to love the creation of our neighbor’s goodness.
- To God as Sustainer, humanity is given the responsibility to embrace the Spirit within each one of us, to witness the power of Holy Spirit, and to share this witness appropriately.
The freedom God gives humanity is the freedom to choose to adopt these responsibilities or to stay turned away from these responsibilities.
Each new, present moment is a new creation. Each new moment holds the invitation of choice. Each new moment is created with the possibility of goodness. Whether or not the moment becomes goodness is determined in humanity’s freedom. Turning toward God is being faithful. Our desire to glorify God and love God forever is lived most fully in the present moment.
Whereas we understand the revelations in our relationship to the Holy One to be God, we mature into the knowing of these revelations by recognizing the experience of the Holy One. Therefore, our relationship with the Holy One strengthens as faith grows, and it is necessary for us individually and corporately to share our experiences of God. Without this sharing, the church will be stagnant. It is through this sharing of experience as a dynamic force that the Kingdom of God is spread on the earth. By sharing our experiences we glorify God, and we live into learning to enjoy God forever.