We believe in one God, Creator of all things, perfect in love and holiness, Who exists as three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and entered human form by the miracle of the Virgin Birth, that He lived a sinless life, and that He died for our sins. Christ is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed. We believe that He rose again on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God as our Advocate.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God. His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We believe that He brings about the new birth, indwells, baptizes, seals, anoints, and endows all who are regenerated with spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit also leads believers who daily surrender their life to Him by guiding, teaching, sanctifying, and filling them.
We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word and is the sole written revelation that rules the faith and practice for all Christians and alone can bind the conscience. We believe that God has preserved His Word and that by His power it has been kept from being lost, destroyed, or diluted with error.
We believe that all people are created in the image of God. At the same time, because of Adam’s sin, all people are sinful by nature and choice. Apart from forgiveness through Jesus Christ, all are lost and alienated from God.
We believe that salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us and in us. We are justified by grace through faith alone. Christ’s death is the only payment for sin that God will accept. Additionally, the righteousness of Christ is transferred to us by faith and is the only merit or righteousness that God will accept. We possess the righteousness of Christ in the sight of God. All who truly believe in Christ are born again and become the children of God. All true believers, once saved, are kept by God’s power, not our own, and are thus secure in Christ forever.
We believe in the resurrection of the body. At death the spirits of the saved go immediately to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven, and the unsaved descend immediately into Hell until the final Day of Judgment. At that time, their bodies shall be raised from the grave: the saved will return to be in Heaven with Christ, the lost will be judged and returned to Hell.
We believe that the Church consists of all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. The local church exists to exalt Christ, encourage believers, and evangelize the world. We believe that every local church is free to govern its own affairs under Christ and should seek to support the unity of all Christ-honoring churches and ministries.
The People Confess Their Sins
1 On October 31[a] the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads. 2 Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They remained standing in place for three hours[b] while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God.
Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
A Discussion about Fasting
14 One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast[a] like we do and the Pharisees do?”
15 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.