God: We believe there is only one true God. This God is one united being, yet we refer to him as the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are not claiming to worship three different Gods nor do we believe that God is sometimes Father, sometimes Son, or sometimes Spirit. God is always Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and we recognize God to be the sovereign Creator, the merciful Savior of all who believe, and the indwelling Spirit who sanctifies us, or continually works to make us into the redeemed human beings God created us to be. While hard to grasp, this Trinitarian God alone deserves our worship and praise, and all we do is for the glory of his kingdom.
Jesus: We believe Jesus was sent by the Father to live among us as one of us. In this he was fully human, but in perfection he was also fully divine. We believe him to be more than just a good person, a teacher, or a prophet, we believe that he came that whoever may believe in him will receive grace by which God washes us from all our sins. This gift of grace is undeserved, but won with the resurrection as he rose from death after being crucified and granted by faith alone.
Scripture: We believe Scripture, that is, the Bible, to be the infallible Word of God, in which is delivered his eternal message of truth through human authors. In the pages of the Bible we find the story of God’s covenant faithfulness to humanity through their sinfulness. Scripture also reveals the story of God’s Son, Jesus, who was born as a man, lived among us a perfect life, was crucified, died, and resurrected. We believe that through his death he took the punishment of us all, and through his resurrection he rises above the power of death and gives us eternal hope of a life to be spent with him.
Gospel message: The gospel, or good news, that we claim and proclaim as believers is spoken throughout the Bible, but is probably most well-known as coming from John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” The good news for the whole world is that Christ came to save sinners. We believe that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, but hold close the gift of faith that God offers by His grace alone, grace that is free and able to cover any wrongs we have ever committed, received when we believe in God and accept his forgiveness. We believe that God’s plan for the world and humanity has always been its redemption.
Sacraments: We believe there are two sacraments instituted by Jesus, which are a means of grace for the church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In baptism, we welcome children to the covenant family of God, bless them in the name of the Trinity, sprinkle them with water as a symbol of the cleansing work of God, and include vows by which the congregation and parents covenant to help raise them in the way of the Lord. In the Lord’s Supper, we remember the breaking of bread and pouring of wine that Jesus symbolically did with his disciples before going to the cross where his body was broken and blood was shed. We do this in remembrance of the sacrifice, surrendering to God our selfishness and shortcomings, and celebrating the gift of life which is promised in the resurrection. All who are baptized are welcomed to participate at the table.
If you wish to see what we further believe and confess as a denomination, feel free to check out the website of the Christian Reformed Church and our confessions, the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort. While these documents are over 400 years old, coming out of the Reformation, we believe they do well to articulate and summarize our beliefs as presented in Scripture. For more information on how Fourteenth Street CRC is living out our beliefs, check out our Vision and Mission statement.