I. God’s Word: The Authority for Our Confession The clearest declaration of God’s glory is found in His Word, both incarnate and written.
II. Trinity and Incarnation: The Two Central Christian Mysteries
A. Trinity: The triune nature of God is the first great mystery of the Christian faith. With Christians everywhere, we worship the only true God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who is both one essence and three persons. He is the source of all goodness, all truth and all beauty, of all love and all life, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
B. Incarnation: This is the second great mystery of the Christian faith, affirmed by all Christians everywhere: that Jesus Christ is both truly God and truly human. As to His divinity, He is the Son, the second person of the Trinity, being of one substance with the Father; as to His humanity, He is like us in every way but sin, of one substance with us, like us in having both a human soul and a human body.
III. Essentials of the Reformed Tradition:
A. God’s grace: Those who are united through faith with Jesus Christ are fully forgiven from all our sin, so that there is indeed a new creation. We are declared justified, not because of any good that we have done, but only because of God’s grace extended to us in Jesus Christ.
B. Election for salvation and service: God chooses us for Himself in grace before the foundation of the world, not because of any merit on our part, but only because of His love and mercy.
C. Covenant life in the church: We are elect in Christ to become members of the community of the new covenant. This covenant, which God Himself guarantees, unites us to God and to one another.
D. Faithful stewardship of all of life: The ministries of the church reflect the three-fold office of Christ as prophet, priest, and king – reflected in the church’s ordered ministries of teaching elders, deacons, and ruling elders. We affirm that men and women alike are called to all the ministries of the Church, and that every member is called to share in all of Christ’s offices within the world beyond the church.
E. Living in obedience to the Word of God: Progress in holiness is an expected response of gratitude to the grace of God, which is initiated, sustained, and fulfilled by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.