TRIBE STATEMENT OF FAITH
God – God is the sovereign creator, ruler, and sustainer of all things visible and invisible. He is perfect and infinite in power, holiness, wisdom, and love. He reveals his existence and power in the created world so that all know there is a God who is worthy of worship and adoration. He ordains and knows all things from the beginning to the end and providentially brings about all that happens for his good purpose and pleasure. He has eternally existed as one divine essence in three distinct persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are always in perfect unity, forming one Triune God.
People and Sin – We are made in the image of God, to be like him in righteousness, knowledge and holiness. We are the centerpiece of God’s creation, but have since fallen from our original state and shattered God’s image. Our sin started with Adam and Eve and has continued ever since then in our nature and practice, making us spiritually dead in sins and trespasses. With sin now in the world, every part of humanity is affected, mind, body, and soul. As a result, although we have great capacity for good we are constantly messing things up and harming our relationship with God and other people. We cannot make ourselves right before God by our own good deeds and we all need the redemption that is found in Jesus.
God’s plan of Salvation – Despite the fall of our first ancestors, God never abandoned his creation but set in motion his eternal plan to redeem us. God began his promise to save immediately after the fall, stewarded his promise of salvation under types and shadows in the Old Testament, and brought his plan to complete fruition by the saving life, death, resurrection, and ascension of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus – Jesus is the Son of God, being co-equal with the Father. For our salvation, he descended from his heavenly throne to become God in the flesh, having both fully divine and fully human natures incarnated in one person. He ministered on the earth with grace and truth, speaking God’s word into the world, announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God, and performing signs and deeds to confirm his heavenly origin. As a man, he lived a perfectly righteous, sinless human life and offered himself as the once for all sacrifice for our sins by dying on a cross. He arose bodily from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over a redeemed world created anew.
Salvation – Salvation is a gracious gift to us from God, being the product of his sovereign election. By grace alone, Jesus has fully atoned for all the sins of those who confess him as savior. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works – only by trusting in Jesus Christ can we be forgiven of our sins and saved from the holy wrath of God. By the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, God effectually calls helpless sinners out of darkness and into his marvelous life, giving them new birth by the Holy Spirit. We thereby respond to this Gospel message with saving faith, which is believing and trusting in Jesus alone for salvation knowing that he has washed us clean of sin and fully obeyed God’s righteous requirements in our place. When we believe the Gospel, God declares us righteous before him since he sees us clothed in Jesus’ very righteousness as though it were our very own. The moment we trust in Jesus we are granted eternal life and are secure in the father’s sovereign hand by the presence of the Holy Spirit until he brings us home. Indeed, nothing can take us out of the grip of his grace and we are secure in salvation for eternity, having been predestined in love by him who works all things according to the council of his will. Though we may stumble and wander, God assures us that we will persevere unto the end, never leaving us nor forsaking us.
Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is the lord and giver of life. He also lives in every follower of Jesus from the moment of salvation, coming into their hearts to make them alive in Christ, sealing them for the day of redemption, and making them adopted children of God, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. He provides us as followers of Jesus with power for living godly lives, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right, and the power to accomplish good things in the name of Jesus throughout the world.
The Word of God/Scripture – The Bible is God’s word being directly inspired by him. Human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit wrote it. It is truth without any mixture of error and is the only infallible source for Christian beliefs and living. It is composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, which are the testimony of the Prophets and the Apostles to the saving work of God. Its central message is the Gospel of Jesus with all of its individual books and parts finding their fulfillment in him.
The Church – By the Holy Spirit, God is advancing the Gospel message of salvation through Christ to every tongue, tribe, and nation. As the gospel spreads, God brings redeemed followers of Jesus together into local, visible congregations to hear word proclaimed, observe the sacraments, pray mightily in his name, sing his praises, and fellowship, serve, and minister to one another’s needs. While the church is manifest in visible congregations, it indeed is composed of all Christians throughout the world, to whom we are all united by our confession under one head, Jesus Christ. To these churches, God has entrusted the ministry of keys of the kingdom of heaven, which are safeguarded through the ministry of her pastors, overseers, and deacons. Confessing Christians are called by God to be zealous and joyful about the church, attending to her worship, and vowing to submit to their leaders as members.
Sacraments – To help us on our pilgrimage towards his heavenly kingdom, God has given two signs and seals of his new covenant for all church members to observe. These sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are means by which God gives us the grace we need to follow Jesus. Baptism is the sign of entrance into God’s covenant of grace. It displays and proclaims our death to sin, our rising to new life with Jesus, and the complete washing away of all our sins. The Lord’s Supper is the sacrament of the New Covenant in which we remember Jesus and atoning work he accomplished for us on the cross. It proclaims that we are a community united together in fellowship around his table and will one day feast with him in his eternal kingdom.
Hope – The Gospel doesn’t just give us hope for life in this world but promises us a great hope and a future in the world to come. At an appointed time in the future, which no one knows, Jesus Christ will come again from heaven with his angels to bring those that belong to him into his glorious kingdom. He will come as judge of the living and the dead, with the unjust being raised bodily to eternal conscious punishment in Hell and the just raised bodily to everlasting and restored life in the new heavens and the new earth. In the New Creation, God will transform our bodies to be like that of the risen lord Jesus, incorruptible and immortal. He will wipe away every tear from our eye and death shall be no more. He will reign forever and of his government there will be no end. We will worship him in redeemed, sinless joy being made completely new and free in him. Until that day, we wait patiently, longingly and eagerly praying and waiting for his return, knowing that no kingdom on earth can ever compare. Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!