Many churches these days use some sort of statement of beliefs and doctrines or a creed as a “test” of faith. We don’t. We recognize that faith, like life, is a journey for all of us, not a destination. And we appreciate that a lot of folks – on both the left and the right – take a lot of nonessentials and make them into litmus tests. Not us. Freedom of conscience is a hallmark of our church.
At Saint Paul’s, we do hold some beliefs in common, however:
We acknowledge as our sole head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. We acknowledge as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession. We look to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper our creative and redemptive work in the world. We claim as our own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. We affirm the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, we recognize two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father, and to His deeds we testify:
He calls the worlds into being, creates man in His own image and sets before him the ways of life and death.
He seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
He judges men and nations by His righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the Man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, He has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to Himself.
He bestows upon us His Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
He calls us into His church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be His servants in the service of men, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at His table, to join Him in His passion and victory.
He promises to all who trust Him forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, His presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in His kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto Him.