God. The Trinitarian Godhead. The story of God begins with the one living and true God. Though one, he has forever existed as a perfect, self-sufficient, self-sustaining community of three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each member is co-eternal in being and nature and co-equal in power and glory, sharing the same attributes. Within the Trinitarian Godhead there is perfect submission, eternal love, and complete worship. (Genesis 1:26; 11:7; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1-2,14,18; Romans 8; Hebrews 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:5-6; 22:3)
God’s Son. Jesus The Christ. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person in the Godhead. He was born of the virgin Mary, conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit, and fulfilled all Old Testament prophesies (Luke 24:27; John 5:39-40). He did not cease to be God in his humanity in order to save sinful man (Matthew 1:21-23, Luke 1:35, John 1:1,14). He was God made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14) entering human history as a man to live without sin as a perfect example (Hebrews 4:15), die for sin as the propitiation from God’s righteous wrath (Hebrews 2:17), and resurrect over sin, death, and Satan in victory (Colossians 2:13-5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is exalted at the right hand of God, where he is to this day. He is presently our High Priest and works on our behalf as a Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:27; 1 John 2:1-2). He will one day return again to receive his people unto himself, to live with him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
God’s Spirit. Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. He is responsible for convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). He is the supernatural agent in regeneration. He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ and will forever indwell and seal them (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). The Holy Spirit is present in every believer and he is at work progressively sanctifying the whole man to be able to live unto righteousness and die unto sin (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 4:23-24).
God’s Revelation. The Bible. God has revealed who he is, who we are and the trajectory of human history through written word, the Bible. The Bible, comprised of 66 books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament), was written by some 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents over a period of roughly 1600 years and tells one story, the story of Jesus (Luke 24:27; John 5:39-40). We believe the Bible is absolutely trustworthy (infallible) and without error (inerrant) in the original autographs. The words found on its pages are the result of divine inspiration and guidance from the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16) expressed through human personalities and styles (2 Pet. 1:21). The Scriptures serve as our final authority of faith and practice. They are not to be added to or detracted from (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; John 16:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18).
God’s Creation. Men, Women & all things. As an expression of divine love and glory, God chose to create the universe and all living things therein. He made everything out of nothing by the power of his word – all of which was good (Genesis 1:1-31). At the pinnacle of his creation, he fashioned humanity in his own image, male and female, and gave them dominion over all he had made (Genesis 1:26-30). He placed the first man and woman in a garden, naked and unashamed, and charged them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28; 2:25).
God’s Judgment. The Fall. Despite possessing every needed provision for lives of joy, love and peace with God and creation, the first man and woman sinned against God. In turn, their image was marred, or corrupted, on account of their sin. From Adam, all of humankind inherited a corrupt nature and was alienated from God. All human offspring have since experienced that same separation, being born with a depraved nature prone to reject God and embrace sin, incapable of redeeming his or her lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:10-18,22-23; 5:12; Ephesians 1-3,12).
God’s Work. Redemption. Yet, from the moment of Adam’s initial sin and the plunge of all creation into curse, God promised salvation through the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20). That seed is Jesus. We believe our redemption, planned in eternity past, was purchased by Jesus’ sinless life, substitutionary death on the cross, and literal physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5). This is the Gospel, or God’s message of good news; good news that Jesus Christ came to live, die and rise again for the forgiveness of sin to bring redeemed sinners under God’s gracious reign for the renewal of all things (Ephesians 2:8-10, John 1:12, 1 Peter 1:18-19). The Gospel brings us home to God for life that is truly life – every day – in relationship with our Creator. Through the Gospel, God adopts this people of faith as children, unites them as his church and pours out the Holy Spirit for supernatural empowerment to continue Christ’s work of restoring wholeness and incarnating his presence on earth (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:13; Titus 3:5; 1 John 4:12). We believe that this salvation is an act of God’s grace. He offers it to the world as a free gift and we receive it by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, as he regenerates our dead hearts by the Holy Spirit to rightly respond to him.
God’s People. The Church. We believe that the Church is the one Bride of Christ. She is a spiritual organism, invisible, and universal, and is composed of all those called out of the world by God. Although not perfect, she is visible in the local church or gathering of believers. We believe the New Testament formulated and defined the continual practice of the local church (Acts 14:27; Acts 18:22; Acts 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1,3). She is responsible to carry out the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, for Christ appointed them as visible testimonies, signs, and seals of the covenant (Acts 2:41,42, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We believe the church, corporately and individually, is to be involved in evangelism and discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20).
God’s Future. Restoration. God’s people, the Church, are now invited to join and partake in God’s kingdom, even as they await the kingdom’s full consummation on the earth. Jesus has promised to return one day, not again as a humble peasant, but in glory to judge the nations. He will bring final justice and usher in a resurrection of all peoples, some to eternal torment, others to eternal peace (Revelation 11:18). He will establish new heavens and a new earth in which the redeemed people of God will live in perfect, sinless harmony and worship forever (2 Peter 3:13). In the end, all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5).
(This affirmation of faith is taken from “What We Believe” and used by permission of Downtown Cornerstone Church; http://www.downtowncornerstone.org/about)