The Sending Place Statement of Belief
We believe, teach and confess:
- That there is only one divine essence, named God. But in that one essence are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, equally eternal and equally powerful.
- That Jesus the Christ is true God and true human being. He was born of the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, died for our sins, rose from the dead, and won the victory of life over death for all who trust in Him. He will come again in full view to "judge the living and the dead," as we say in the Apostles' Creed.
- That all human beings, born in the natural way, are sinful and selfish from conception, in need of God's forgiveness, and need to be born anew through the sacrament of baptism and the Holy Spirit.
- That we are justified by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Grace and faith are pure gifts of God which we cannot earn or choose on our own power--we can only accept the gifts as they are offered through the work of the Holy Spirit by hearing the Word of God from scripture. Our sins are forgiven and we become righteous in the eyes of God because of grace through faith for the sake of Christ.
- That we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, and we learn the truth of this through scripture alone.
- That the sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion, are gifts of God, and a necessary aspect of salvation, for grace is offered through them. At Baptism, the person receives forgiveness of sin, and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in that person. Whenever possible, Baptism should occur as early as possible in a person's life. In Holy Communion, the true body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the bread and the wine, and the forgiveness of sins is received by the repentant believer.
- That as justified sinners, our faith will move us to live in obedience to God, with faith active in love, as servants of one another, bearing good fruit and doing good works. But such good works are to be excluded from any questions of salvation or justification.
- That it is God's desire that all people be saved, and that all people groups be called, that is, that God wants to gather those who are ransomed "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation." (Revelation 5:9)
- That in the family of God we call the church, the Body of Christ, there are only two roles in the category of missions--those whom God calls to be sent as missionaries, and those who are senders of those mission workers. All Christians are to be actively going or preparing to go, or actively preparing others to go.