That there is one God, inﬁnitely great and good, the creator and sustainer of all things visible and invisible, the one true source of light and life, who has life in himself and lives eternally in glorious light and sovereign love in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (MaC. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) – co-equal in nature, majesty, and glory. Everything God does in creating, sustaining, judging, and redeeming the world reﬂects who God is, the one whose perfections, including love, holiness, knowledge, wisdom, power, and righteousness, have been revealed in the history of salvation. God’s perfect knowledge extends to all thing past, present, and future. God has freely purposed from before the foundation of the world to elect and form a people for himself to be his treasured possession (Deut. 7:6), to the praise of his glory (Eph. 1:3–14).
That God has spoken and continues to speak in and through Scripture, the only infallible and suﬃciently clear rule and authority for Christian faith, thought, and life. Scripture is God’s inspired and illuminating Word in the words of his servants (Psa 119:105), the prophets and apostles, a gracious self-communication of God’s own light and life, a means of grace for growing in knowledge and holiness. The Bible is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it commands, trusted in all that it promises, and revered in all that it reveals (2 Tim 3:16).
That God communicates his goodness to all creatures, but in particular to human beings, whom he has made in his own image, both male and female (Gen. 1:26–27), and accordingly that all men, women, and children have been graciously bestowed with inherent dignity (rights) and creaturely vocation (responsibilities).
That the original goodness of creation and the human creature has been corrupted by sin, namely, the self-defeating choice of the ﬁrst human beings to deny the Creator and the created order by going their own way, breaking God’s law for life (Rom. 3:23). Through disobedience to the law-giver, Adam and Eve incurred disorder instead of order (Rom. 8:20-21), divine condemnation instead of approval, and death instead of life for themselves and their descendants (Psa 51:5; Rom 5:12–20).
That Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God become human for us and our salvation (John 3:17), the only Mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim. 2:5), born of the virgin Mary, the Son of David and servant of the house of Israel (Rom. 1:3; 15:8), one person with two natures, truly God and truly man. He lived a fully human life, having entered into the disorder and brokenness of fallen existence, yet without sin, and in his words, deeds, attitude, and suﬀering embodied the free and loving communication of God’s own light (truth) and life (salvation).
That God who is rich in mercy towards the undeserving has made gracious provision for human wrongdoing, corruption, and guilt, provisionally and typologically through Israel’s Temple and sin oﬀerings, then deﬁnitively and gloriously in the gif of Jesus’ once-for-all suﬃcient and perfect sacriﬁcial death on the cross (Rom. 6:10; 1 Pet. 3:18) in the temple of his human ﬂesh (Heb 10:11–12). By his death in our stead, he revealed God’s love and upheld God’s justice, removing our guilt, vanquishing the powers that held us captive, and reconciling us to God (Isa 53:4–6; 2 Cor 5:21; Col 2:14–15). It is wholly by grace, not our own works or merits, that we have been forgiven; it is wholly by Jesus’ shed blood, not by our own sweat and tears, that we have been cleansed.
That the gospel is the good news that the triune God has poured out his grace in the life, death, bodily resurretion, and ascension of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that through his work we might have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). Jesus lived in perfect obedience yet suﬀered everything sinners deserved so that sinners would not have to pursue a righteousness of their own, relying on their own works, but rather through trust in him as the fulﬁllment of God’s promises could be justiﬁed by faith alone in order to become fellow heirs with him. Christ died in the place of sinners, absorbing the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23), so that those who entrust themselves to him also die with him to the power, penalty, and (eventually) practice of sin. Christ was raised the ﬁrstborn of a renewed and restored creation, so that those whom the Spirit unites to him in faith are raised up and created a new humanity in him (Eph. 2:15). Renewed in God’s image, they are thereby enabled to live out his life in them. One with Christ and made alive in him who is the only ground of salvation, sinners are reconciled with God – jusQﬁed, adopted, sanctiﬁed, and eventually gloriﬁed children of the promise.
That the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, the unseen yet active personal presence of God in the world, who unites believers to Christ, regenerating and making them new creatures (Tit. 3:5) with hearts oriented to the light and life of the kingdom of God and to peace and justice on earth. The Spirit indwells those whom he makes alive with Christ, through faith incorporates them into the body of Christ, and conforms them to the image of Christ so that they may glorify him as they grow in knowledge, wisdom, and love into mature sainthood, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). The Spirit is the light of truth and ﬁre of love who continues to sanctify the people of God, prompting them to repentance and faith, diversifying their gifs, directing their witness, and empowering their discipleship.
That the one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic church is God’s new society, the ﬁrst fruit of the new creation, the whole company of the redeemed through the ages, of which Christ is Lord and head. The truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, is the church’s ﬁrm foundation (MaC. 16:16–18; 1 Cor. 3:11). The local church, operating under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, is both embassy and parable of the kingdom of heaven, an earthly place where his will is done and he is now present, existing visibly everywhere two or three gather in his name to proclaim and spread the gospel in word and works of love, and by obeying the Lord’s command to baptize disciples (MaC. 28:19) and celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19).
That these two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, can be the occasion where God acts to strengthen the faithful by visibly recalling, proclaiming, and sealing the gracious promise of forgiveness of sins and communion with God and one another through the peace-making blood of Christ (1 Cor. 11:26; Col. 1:20). They are tangible expressions of the gospel insofar as they vividly depict our dying, rising, and incorporation into Jesus’ body (“one bread … one body” – 1 Cor. 10:16–17), truly presenting Christ and the reconciliation he achieved on the cross. Baptism is an ordinance of commitment whereby the believer publicly confesses Christ as Lord, symbolizes their union with Christ, and identiﬁes with God’s people (Acts 10:47; Ro 6:3-5; Col 2:12). The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of renewal whereby the believer is able to express their gratitude to God for the gif of salvation, renew their commitment to Christ and the church, and be reminded of our purpose to proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (MaC 26:26-27; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 11:17-34).
That through participating in baptism and the Lord’s Supper, as well as prayer, the ministry of the Word, and other forms of corporate worship and personal spiritual disciplines, we grow into our new reality as God’s people, a holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9, 10), called to put on Christ through his indwelling Spirit. It is through the Spirit’s enlivening power that we live in imitation of Christ as his disciples, individually and corporately, a royal priesthood that proclaims his excellent deeds and oﬀers our bodies as spiritual sacriﬁces in right worship of God and sacriﬁcial service to the world through works of love, compassion for the poor, and justice for the oppressed, always, everywhere and to everyone bearing wise witness to the way, truth, and life of Jesus Christ. Those who are truly saved will be kept by the power of God and will persevere as Christians until present with God (John 10:27-29; Phil 1:6; Col 1:22-23).
That in God’s own time and way, the bodily risen and ascended Christ will visibly return to consummate God’s purpose for the whole cosmos through his victory over death and the devil (1 Cor. 15:26). He will judge the world, consigning any who persist in unbelief to an everlasting fate apart from him, where his life and light are no more. Yet he will prepare his people as a bride for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7–9), giving rest to restless hearts and life to gloriﬁed bodies (1 Cor. 15:42–44; Phil. 3:21) as they exult in joyful fellowship with their Lord and delight in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1–2). There they shall reign with him (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5) and see him face to face (1 Cor. 13:12; Rev. 22:4), forever rapt in wonder, love, and praise.