What We Believe
We believe that all people were created to love and serve God our Creator (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
By His grace, God transforms our lives, enabling us to follow Jesus Christ and to live by His Holy Scriptures (the Old and New Testaments). God gives us spiritual re-birth and growth as the Holy Spirit changes us by and with His Bible.
Statement of Faith
We believe that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) saves human beings by:
- Grace Alone (sola gratia)
- Through Faith Alone (sola fide)
- In Jesus Christ Alone (solus Christus)
- As Revealed in the Scriptures Alone (sola scriptura)
- To God’s Glory Alone (sola Deo gloria)
For further discussion of these five items read the blog Celebrating God’s Reformation.
We believe that God’s Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is Holy Spirit-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training us in righteousness so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Scripture is God’s self-attesting truth, requiring our trust and obedience in all areas of life. God’s infallible word (the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments) is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully expired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
3. Essential Beliefs
There are many different brands of Christians, yet we believe in one true family of Jesus’ followers knit together by the Holy Spirit’s work through a common faith. While Christians differ on secondary faith issues, God’s true people are united on the essentials. These Bible truths have been embraced by true Christians in all centuries. We maintain:
- In the essentials: unity
- In the non-essentials: liberty
- In all things: charity (Christian love)
On the Scriptures’ sure foundation, we affirm these additional essentials of our faith:
- God the Father. We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “From Him, through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
- God the Son. Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven, where at God’s right hand rules as our King, High Priest, and Mediator. Because Jesus Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses and to give us mercy and grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15,16).
- God the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply Christ’s saving work to us. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for Christ-like service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of final redemption at Jesus’ return.
- Sin and Salvation. Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His righteousness to people who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and God thereby justifies (pardons and accepts) them in His sight. Only people who are born again by the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life. The Holy Spirit brings us Christ’s righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17).
- The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity, where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For our perfecting, we await our Lord’s return.
- The Return of Christ. Jesus Christ will come again to the earth—personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and God’s eternal plan. The Lord will dwell with His people. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away. Christ will make everything new (Revelation 21:3-5)! He promises, “Yes, I am coming soon” and we respond, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev 22:20)
- Evangelism. The Lord Jesus commands all believers to proclaim His gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us. Jesus calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Our Statement of Faith is adapted from “Essentials of Our Faith” of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. These Essentials are set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
In addition, Words of Hope affirms the ancient statements of faith (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed) and affirms the historic Christian faith as expressed in the consensus of the historic Reformed confessions (Westminster Standards, Three Forms of Unity, and 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith).
4. The Apostles Creed
Jesus Christ’s apostles did not write this document, but it contains an early and brief summary of their teachings. The Apostles’ Creed was based on Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the New Testament Letters, and to a lesser degree the Old Testament. In its present form it is dated near the fourth century. Because it is used by Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans, it is called an ecumenical (worldwide) statement of faith.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to hell.1 The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,2 the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
1 We understand this phrase to mean that Christ our Lord, by His suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, on the cross but also earlier, has delivered His people from hellish anguish and torment.
2 We understand catholic to mean the true Christian church of all times and all places.