The statement of faith below is one that I originally drafted in 2008, when I was in the process of my first call search. While it doesn’t fit within the constraints of the present PIF format, I still find it to be of great value. It was designed with guidance from a professor at Erskine Theological Seminary, who was serving on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry in Trinity Presbytery. This statement offers a point-by-point affirmation of Christian, Protestant, and Reformed theological beliefs.
I believe in One God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. My God relates to me through these three distinct persons while being of one essence. I affirm the truth that the Son was begotten of the Father, while the Holy Spirit proceeds forth from the Father and the Son.
My knowledge of God comes through the reading and hearing of God’s word in Holy Scripture. Scripture is the unique and authoritative means by which God is made known to me through the divinely inspired recording of God’s self-revelation. My ability to interpret God’s word is reliant on the Holy Spirit’s revelation of Scripture.
Through Scripture, I have come to know that the God who created me is the Creator of all that is. Like all of creation, I am a good creature. I was created so that my life might be one of service for the glorification of God. My existence is continually dependent on the sustained involvement of God in the act of creation.
I have also come to know that God is the judge of the whole world. While I am an inherently good creation of God, I also acknowledge that I am a member of the intrinsically sinful human race. I have a personal share in the guilt of all humans who have broken the covenant through which I have been called to be faithful to God. Because of my sin, God is just in condemning me to suffer death as a consequence of my guilt. Because of the magnitude of my guilt, there is nothing that I can do to achieve reconciliation between God and myself.
But in God’s mercy, the Father sent His Son to the world. The Son, who is the pre-incarnate Word of God, dwelt among us in the incarnate form of Jesus Christ. While Jesus lived without sin, he suffered the punishment of death on behalf of me and all of sinful humanity. I know that in taking this punishment upon himself, Jesus willingly served as the means of atonement between God and me. In this way, God and me. In this way, God achieved reconciliation when I was unable to do so.
In Christ’s act of salvation, I know that I have been justified by grace through faith. The faith which I possess is not my own. It has been brought about through the work of God’s Holy Spirit, which dwells within me. Through this faith, I have certain knowledge that I have been counted as righteous. I further know my justification serves as the footing for my sanctification.
The same Spirit, which forms my faith, calls me to live as a witness to the salvation which has been accomplished in Jesus Christ. In sanctification, the righteousness which has been imputed upon me continually shapes my life so that I am reoriented to pursue the will of God. This reorientation leads me to hope for the future fulfillment of God’s covenant promise. I look forward to the day when my transformation will culminate in my own bodily resurrection. Like the resurrected body of Christ, my body shall be made immortal by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I await the realization of God’s will, I know that God calls me to gather with other members of the body of Christ. The church is the community of believers throughout every time and place. We are charged with the mission of sharing the Gospel message with the whole world, until the time that Christ returns.
In gathering for worship, we continue Christ’s ministry through the reading and proclamation of Scripture, the offering of prayer, and the celebration of the sacraments. The sacraments serve as outward signs of God’s inward grace. In baptism, I was marked as a recipient of God’s grace and love. As a member of the new covenant, established in Christ, I was claimed as God’s own. In receiving the Lord’s Supper, I join in the communion of the whole church as we remember Christ’s sacrificial death and give thanks for the salvation that God provides to all who believe.
May all glory, praise, and honor be given to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.