We believe that it is the nature of God to make Himself known. God reveals Himself to humanity in various ways, most clearly in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We accept these divinely inspired writings as the authoritative Word of God.
Revelation in Nature, History, and the Son
The world of nature and God’s sustaining care of it speak of His existence and power. In addition, God has placed a sense of right and wrong in human hearts. The revelation through nature and conscience is partial and incomplete.
Therefore God has acted in history to reveal Himself to humanity. Through Abraham, God began to form a covenant community that would reveal God and His will to all humanity. Through His words, acts, and relationship with the people of Israel, God has made His person and purposes known in order to provide salvation to all who respond in faith and obedience.
In all of this, God was preparing for the time when He would reveal Himself preeminently through His Son, Jesus Christ—the “Word made flesh.”
Scripture, the Record of Revelation
The Christian Scriptures complete the revelation of God. They recount and interpret God’s action in creation, in human events, in God’s saving acts for Israel, in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in the life of the New Testament church.
The Scriptures are God’s message, written by people in their own language and settings, as inspired by the Holy Spirit. This same Spirit guided the processes of selection and transcription through which the Scriptures were passed on to us. Therefore the Bible is the authoritative and reliable Word of God.
We believe that the Bible, composed of the Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books), is God’s written Word. The Old Testament is the record of God’s saving acts for Israel and of His redemptive purpose for all people. It contains numerous prophecies, many of which are fulfilled in the New Testament. The New Testament clearly reveals God in the person and work of Jesus Christ, whom God sent to be the Savior of the world and to establish His church.
The Old Testament prepares the way for the New, while the New Testament fulfills and clarifies the Old. They complement each other in a unified message.
Scripture and the Church
We believe that the Bible is God’s message of salvation for all people. As believers, we accept the Bible as the final authority for faith and practice.
The Holy Spirit continues to work in the church today in teaching us how to understand, interpret, and apply the Scriptures through faith and diligent study. As believers open the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit helps them to discern God’s truth and will from the Word. As the church gathers around the Word, the Holy Spirit leads God’s people into all truth.
The Scriptures themselves are the primary standard for understanding and interpreting the Bible. The person, teaching, and work of Jesus Christ best clarify God’s written revelation.
Christians are called to read and obey the Bible. Therefore the church needs to provide faithful preaching and teaching of the Scriptures. Individuals and families should practice Bible reading and study. As we read and respond obediently to the counsel of God’s Word, our statements of belief have integrity.