Statement of Faith—Summary
We believe in the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God has revealed himself to us through his Word, the Holy Bible, and that the Bible is divinely inspired and without error.
We believe that all human beings are terminally sinful and that only through the innocent life and death of Jesus Christ can anyone be saved.
We believe we are here on this earth to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.
Statement of Faith—Detailed
We believe that God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, existing from eternity. Though there is only one God, he is three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three persons are equal in power, authority, and majesty (Genesis 1:1,26,27; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19,20; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
About Our Heavenly Father
We believe that God the Father’s special work was to create the universe in which we live. He made us along with every creature, gave us our bodies and souls, as well as our gifts and abilities. He still daily preserves us by richly and daily providing all that we need for our bodies and lives (Genesis 1:1–2:3; Psalm 33:6-9; Job 10:10-12; 38:36; Psalm 36:6,7; 145:15,16).
About Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is equal with the Father in power, authority, and majesty. Jesus is both God and man. He had a miraculous birth. He lived a sinless life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days and demonstrated his power and victory over sin and death. He ascended to heaven to be beside the Father. From there he will one day return to earth to exercise judgment. Jesus lives and rules eternally as King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13).
About the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son in power, authority, and majesty. Since we cannot by our own thoughts or choices believe in Christ or come to him, the Holy Spirit calls us to faith through the good news of Jesus Christ. He makes us aware of our sin and deep need for Christ. He also draws us to Christ by working through the Word of God and Baptism. After drawing us to faith, the Holy Spirit then carries out the work of renewing us through Word and Sacrament—giving us power for Christian living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is pleasing to God. As Christians, we strive to live under his influence daily (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18).
About the Bible
We believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, but this was done under the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit, a process called inspiration. The Bible is the source of the message of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the source of all truth for Christian beliefs and living. Being inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bible is completely free of mistakes, errors, or contradictions (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6; 119:105,160; Proverbs 30:5).
About Human Beings
We believe people were originally created in the spiritual image of God and were sinless and holy. Since the fall of mankind into sin, this is no longer true. Now, all people are born sinful and are constantly inclined to sin by nature. We are spiritually lost and dead apart from Jesus Christ. However, through faith in Christ we are newly born and are given the ability to serve God, live for his purposes, and enjoy his blessings (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12-21; Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1-5; Luke 15; 19:10; John 3:1-21; Romans 12:1,2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15).
We believe that salvation is God’s free gift to us. It comes to us through no effort or decision on our part. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or a life of goodness and kindness. God won salvation for us by loving us and sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death as our substitute. It is through this act of Jesus that salvation became ours. Even faith is not to our credit, for there also God provides his Holy Spirit to create faith in our hearts and minds. Salvation comes to lost mankind by grace alone, through faith alone, in God’s Word alone (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6; 15:5-16, Romans 3:20-26; 10:17; Acts 16:31).
About Our Purpose in This Life
We believe that God’s children live to thank him for his acts of love and to magnify his name in the world. First and foremost, our purpose is to know the true God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ, and to understand his plan of salvation. Apart from God, there is no true purpose to our lives. Once God has called us to faith, we live to serve him and obey him, which brings great blessings into our lives. In short, once saved, our purpose is to love God foremost and to love our neighbors. Our mission is to tell as many others as we can, through our loving actions and speech, that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind (Acts 17:24-28; John 1:1-18; Psalm 148; 150; Romans 12:1-21; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Mark 12:28-34; Matthew 28:18,19; Acts 1:8).
About a Life Driven by God
We believe that the apostle Paul clearly tells us what a life driven by the love of God looks like: “Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).
Paul adds in his letter to the Galatians that a Christian’s spiritual life is fulfilling and joyful: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23).
Jesus wants us to have a full life and a fulfilling life, as he once told his disciples: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
About Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female and that these two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).
We believe that God created marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman and that intimate sexual activity is to occur exclusively within that union (Genesis 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,18; Hebrews 13:4).
About the Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in his image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).
About the Life to Come
We believe that people were created to exist forever. We will exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through the forgiveness and salvation won by Christ. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death, or hell. To be eternally united with him in the enjoyment of all his blessings is eternal life, or heaven. Heaven and hell are real places where all mankind will exist eternally. In eternity, our bodies and souls are reunited either to suffer the pains of hell or to enjoy the eternal blessings of heaven (John 3:16; 14:17; Romans 6:23; 8:17,18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9).
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
Time of Grace Ministry’s statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Time of Grace Ministry’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application is Time of Grace Ministry’s Lead Speaker in consultation with Time of Grace Ministry’s Board of Directors, which is the authoritative, governing body for the ministry.