A Practical Confession of Christian Belief*

We believe wholeheartedly these facts which are life to us:

  1. There is one, infinite, all-powerful, personal and triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. God created all things and all being, outside of Himself and out of nothing. Chance as the explanation for existence is thus nullified.
  3. Man, male and female, is made in God’s image and is, therefore, unique in creation.
  4. God is not silent. He has chosen to speak to us, Person to person, in words that will not pass away: in His special, inspired, infallible revelation and in His Son, the Word made flesh.
  5. Created in perfect fellowship with God, our parents, Adam and Eve, chose personal autonomy over active submission, heeding the Devil and their own desires rather than the command of God. As a result, creation does not function nor do we act according to God’s original design. The evils of the world may not, therefore, be attributed to the Creator.
  6. According to His promise, the Father graciously sent the Messiah, His Son, to redeem us, to restore our relationship with Him. True God and true man, the Son was born of a virgin in the reign of Augustus Caesar. He was crucified, shedding His blood for our sins. The Father accepted the validity of this personal, one-for-all sacrifice by physically raising Him from the dead. Christ the Son is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
  7. To be saved from our hell-bent sinfulness and transformed into people who possess new, abundant, righteous and eternal life, we must be reconciled to God. This involves recognizing our real moral guilt, not mere personal guilt-feeling, and trusting in Christ alone as the bearer of our sins, not as if this were one of various ways to find peace with God, but as the only way.
  8. The Holy Spirit draws men to confess their sins and trust in Christ, mediating spiritual new birth whereby we are declared adopted sons of the Father. By His power, as we submit to Him, turning away from our sins, the fruit and gifts of the Spirit begin to appear, spiritual truth is imparted, and Christ’s life is manifest in us. This life, in the context of verbally confessed trust in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Lord, is the normal external evidence of adopted sonship
  9. The believer in Christ is adopted into a family with many members, the spiritual Body of Christ, whose head is Christ. As there can be, therefore, no such thing as solitary spiritual status, even though each member is individually added to the Body, so there is no such thing as solitary spiritual living, divorced from the lives of fellow members of Christ. The Holy Spirit nurtures spiritual fruit and imparts spiritual gifts to the individual Christian so that the Body of Christ, the Church, may be built up, Christ as the Head being thereby glorified. Thus glorifying Christ, the Church is enabled through her ministries to fulfill the Lord’s sovereign and urgent commission to preach the Gospel to all the world. The two external signs of spiritual status in Christ are the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Discipline in the Church is necessarily, properly, and normally exercised toward and among those who are baptized in the context of discerning participation in the Lord’s Supper.
  10. History has a purpose. It is not a self-contained cycle, but a sequence with a beginning in Creation and an end in Christ’s Second Coming. Time is dominated by the fact of Christ’s coming. He is returning as King to balance the books, to save and to judge, and to establish the New Heavens and the New Earth.

* These statements do not purport to be anything more than a short expression of belief, against the backcloth of the historic creeds and the major Reformation confessions. Like them, they are subordinate to the only final rule of faith and practice, Scripture itself. Like Scripture, from which they derive, they are to be taken in the plain, historical, grammatical sense.

From the Trinity Fellowship Church in Syracuse, New York.
Used with permission.