WE BELIEVE . . .
. . . that Jehovah is the only true God, and that He is “eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of all good” (Belgic Confession, Article 1).
. . . that Jehovah is Triune, that is, He is one God consisting of three persons. These three persons are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
. . . that Jehovah makes Himself known to His covenant people both by His work in creation, and by His written word (Scripture), which consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.
. . . that His revelation in Scripture is more clear and comprehensive than His revelation in creation, so that we can properly understand His revelation in creation only when we properly understand His revelation in Scripture.
. . . that these 66 books of Holy Scripture are God’s genuine and complete Word to His people; that they alone are inspired, infallible, and inerrant; and that they are our only true authority for what we believe, how we worship, and how we live.
. . . that Jehovah created everything that exists, including invisible things such as angels. The only being which Jehovah did not create was Himself.
. . . that Jehovah created all things out of nothing, in six 24-hour days, by His Word.
. . . that Jehovah continues to uphold and govern all creation, so that nothing happens by chance, but all according to His good and wise purpose.
. . . that Jehovah created man, in the historical person of Adam and later Eve, as the last and chief of all his creature. He created man good, in Jehovah’s own image, so that man could live in friendship with Jehovah.
. . . that the human race, represented by Adam and Eve, fell into sin and endures the consequences of sin: the complete loss of Jehovah’s image; the complete inability to do anything which pleases Jehovah, because it is not done out of a heart that loves Him; the ability only to love, choose, and do that which is sinful. This is the doctrine of Total Depravity.
. . . that parents pass this sinful and corrupt human nature on to their children, by conception and childbirth.
. . . that Jehovah freely determined, even before He created the world, to show His grace and mercy by bringing some humans back into fellowship with Himself in the way of one bearing the punishment for their sin (“election”); and to show His justice by leaving other humans to endure forever the consequences of sin (“reprobation”). This is the doctrine of Unconditional Election.
. . . that the Triune God, Jehovah, sent the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, into the human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, to restore the elect to covenant friendship with God, and to function as our chief prophet, only high priest, and eternal king.
. . . that Christ paid the penalty for the sins of the elect (the doctrine of Limited Atonement) by His lifelong suffering and His death on the cross, and arose again the third day, ascended into heaven, and sits at God’s right hand, to continue to give the elect all the blessings of salvation which He earned for us.
. . . that the saving work of God includes implanting anew the life of Christ in the hearts of God’s elect; speaking to His people by His Word and Spirit; working and strengthening faith in their hearts; declaring them righteous in Christ; continually empowering them to a life of holiness, which means they grow in hating sin; and preserving them in His salvation until finally He brings them to heaven.
. . . that Jehovah works this salvation, and every aspect of this salvation, in the hearts of His people by grace alone. He does not give it only to those who have showed themselves more worthy, or who have performed any work of merit. Even man’s faith is not a prerequisite to receiving these blessings of salvation, because faith in man is the gift of God Himself. This is the doctrine of Irresistible Grace, which, when rightly understood, rules out any possibility of man helping God save him.
. . . that those whom God saved truly begin to hate and fight against sin, to love God and His Word, to desire more and more to enjoy the blessings of friendship with God. God’s work of salvation does not only change them outwardly, so that they do right things; but completely changes their heart, so that they love right things. This does not mean that they no longer sin; but God works in them more and more to hate sin and desire to be delivered completely from sin, by being brought to heaven. This is the doctrine of the Preservation of the Saints.
. . . that Jesus Christ, in saving the elect, gathers each of them into one spiritual body, called His church.
. . . that this one spiritual church is seen on earth in many congregations of true believers and their children, who sincerely profess true faith in God, and strive to live according to God’s Word.
. . . that the fundamental calling of the church on earth is to preach the true gospel, administer the sacraments rightly, and call to repentance those of her members who continue in sin, even to the point of putting out of her membership those who do not repent.
. . . that baptism is rightly administered to infants of believing parents.
. . . that the Lord’s Supper is rightly administered, under the supervision of the elders, to those who profess to be truly sorry for their sins, find their salvation in Jesus Christ alone, and desire to live a holy life.
. . . that, when all that God has determined to happen in time and history has happened, Jesus Christ will come again, not to dwell here on earth and reign over an earthly kingdom, but to bring all of time and history as we know it to an end, to judge all humans who have ever lived, to visit the hardened unbelievers with everlasting punishment in hell, and to bring His people to heaven, to live with God forever.
Scriptural and Confessional Basis
All this we believe, because it is taught in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. In believing these points as being taught in Scripture, we stand with all in the Reformed tradition, who confess the truths of Scripture as summarized in the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dordt.