God, the sovereign Lord of all, created the heavens and the earth through his powerful word. God made huma ns, male and female, in the image of God to live in fellowship and to be stewards of creation. Humans abused their freedom by rebelling against God in disobedience, which resulted in alienation and death. In the rebellion against God’s rule, the evil powers of Satan, sin and death claimed control of the world.
God, the Deliverer, acted to establish a covenant people, beginning with Israel. God purposed to form the covenant community to live in relationship with God, to experience God’s blessing, and to serve as a light to all nations. Through the prophets God communicated his law and purposes, expressing that God is forever faithful, just, righteous, with a father’s tender mercies, and a mother’s compassion. God promised the hope of a new creation.
God the Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ, to the world born of the virgin Mary. Jesus inaugurated the reign of God, proclaiming repentance from sin, announcing the release of the oppressed and good news to the poor, and calling disciples to follow his way as a new community. Jesus responded to the violent evil powers by taking the cross in order to die for the sins of the world and reconcile creation to God. Jesus gained victory over sin, death, and Satan as God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him to God’s right hand where he intercedes for the saints and rules forever.
At Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit, who had acted in creation, in empowering the prophets, and in inspiring the Scriptures. Through the Spirit, God established the church, the body of Christ, to proclaim God’s reign and to give witness to the new creation. The Spirit is poured out on all who receive Christ, baptizing them and sealing them for redemption as God’s children. AII who believe and confess Jesus as Lord are born anew into Christ. Believers are baptized by water into the new covenant community in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. By grace they are saved through faith to live out God’s peace and love in the face of opposing circumstances.
The church is God’s new creation, agent of transformation, called to model God’s design for humanity. The people of God call everyone to repentance and conversion, seek to promete righteousness, are faithful in suffering, share generously with those in need. They act as agents of reconciliation to reverse the alienation brought on by sin. In the Lord’s Supper the church proclaims the Lord’s death and celebrates the new covenant.
The new creation will be completed when Christ returns. AII who belong to Christ will rise with a new body while Satan and those who have rejected Christ will face eternal condemnation. The new heaven and new earth will live under God’s rule in everlasting pea ce a nd joy.