Churches often interpret the Bible in different ways on various topics, but for twenty centuries, there have always been churches that have held onto the essentials of the orthodox Christian faith.
We agree with Rupertus Meldenius, who said, “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity.” In other words, we need to nail down and agree on the essential orthodox beliefs that make Christianity what it is. Then, we have the liberty to disagree about secondary, non-essential issues. And in all of our beliefs, we love those with whom we might disagree.
We consider these to be core, foundational beliefs…
- God is real. He is love. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and in charge of the direction in which history is moving.
- God is Trinity. That is, our One God exists in the three distinct personalities of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- He created everything, and everything he created was good.
- Every human being is created in the image of God and reflects his goodness, possessing infinite value and worth.
- Though made in God’s image, all of us have sinned against God.
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, rose again from the dead, and ascended back to the Father and has been enthroned as King of the Kingdom of God.
- Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
- The Holy Spirit lives in every believer and empowers and gifts us to live and serve.
- The Bible is God’s inspired Word to us about his dealings with humanity and the saving story of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Baptism is when believers are immersed in water, not for salvation but to tell the world we follow Jesus.
- Communion is a memorial to Jesus’ death.
- Jesus started the church before His death, protects it through every age, and commissioned the church to tell the world about Him.
And no matter what, there is always hope.