CLC’s STATEMENT OF FAITH identifies our Christian beliefs about God, His Word and Christian life. In preparing this Statement, we naturally encountered the difficulty of describing the nature and actions of our infinite Creator God because as limited creatures, we simply cannot understand and describe an unlimited Godhead. Thus, any shortcomings are more human failures rather than being a limitation on the powerful attributes and love of God. Further, the use of any particular theological term should not be necessarily understood as an unqualified endorsement of a particular theology traditionally associated with that term. What is most important is to know that:
- In essential beliefs – we have unity.
- In non-essential beliefs – we have liberty.
- In all our beliefs – we show love.
- We believe there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality, each of whom are equally deserving of our worship and honor. In the beginning God created out of nothing the world and all the things therein, thus demonstrating the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation and by His providence He is operating in the course of history to fulfill His restorative purposes.
- The Father is the eternal first person of the Trinity. He is infinite, having no beginning or end. He knows all things, past, present, and future, yet He wants to interact with us on a personal level. The Father is perfect in every quality and virtue. He has the power and integrity to keep all of His promises and cannot be untrue to His perfection.
- Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity through Whom God has achieved His redemptive purpose of reconciling all creation with Himself. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for our sins by dying on the cross as our substitute. After His death, He arose from the dead, lived on earth forty days teaching His followers before ascending into Heaven. He is the only Mediator between God and man, continually making intercession for His own. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the restorative plan of God.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
- The Holy Spirit is the eternal third Person of the Trinity Who was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply the saving work of Christ to mankind. He enlightens our minds and awakens in us the recognition of our need of a Savior. At the point of our salvation, He regenerates us, permanently indwells us and becomes our source of assurance, strength and wisdom. He uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up the body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Spirit’s power is appropriated by faith, making it possible for us to lead a life of ever increasing Christ-like character, bearing fruit to the glory of the Father.
- The Bible has been given to us by God through the Church as the one absolutely trustworthy guide to understanding God’s character, God’s redeeming work through history fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and His desire for how we live our lives. By the Holy Spirit, God spoke through human writers and moved within the Church to create the Bible so that any person reading it may understand God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. The Bible has been faithfully preserved and translated for us today as the one wholly reliable source of knowing God. By reading the Bible attentively, we are positioned to be changed by God to become more like Christ.
- Every person has sinned and failed God’s standard of perfection. We have inherited a fallen nature so our salvation is wholly a work of God’s grace; salvation must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. The faith that saves is a belief that puts our trust in Jesus to rescue us from our pride and self-centeredness, and a trust that He will lead us moment by moment to live out His plan and purpose for our life. This faith starts with acknowledging the truths of God, and then accepting them as our own, and acting on them. When God begins a saving work in our heart, He assures us that He will continue it until the day Jesus returns.
- We are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character and purpose. We are designed to be His representatives, pointing the rest of creation back to Him. As such, we are the pinnacle of God’s creation. At salvation, God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, and we are secure in that salvation as it is maintained by the grace and power of God. We serve God gladly and diligently, not only because He loves us but also because doing this brings Him glory. Our good works don’t contribute to salvation, but we believe that our obedience pleases God and will be rewarded. Troubles will come into our lives but God has assured us that the future age will make all earthly difficulties fade in comparison. We see others as “eternal beings” and accord them due respect as everyone matters to God and deserves to be treated lovingly.
- The Church is comprised of all people who have experienced salvation by grace through faith. Followers of Jesus Christ come together to form local Churches that worship, serve and grow in relationship to God through the study and application of His Word, which leads us to increasingly love one another. Jesus is Head of the Church, whose task is to help others learn the Good News of forgiveness and life through Him. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every person to find a place of service and ministry.
- Therefore we expect ourselves to model a life-giving lifestyle, serving within and beyond our area of giftedness, telling others about Christ, being led by the Holy Spirit, following the teachings of the Bible, giving monetarily and submitting to Jesus Christ as Head of the Church and leader of our lives. We affirm the value of human life at all stages from conception to life’s end. We also affirm Biblical morality as our foundation for day to day living, particularly as that morality is amplified by the teachings of Jesus. This foundation includes the goodness of human sexuality when expressed within heterosexual marriage, living honestly, generously, life-affirming, non-covetously, sacrificially and with a heart to see the Kingdom of God spread to the ends of the earth. In short, we strive to live the entirely of our lives to the glory of God.