27. ARTICLE OF FAITH: UUMISSION AND BREAD UNIVERSITY
Article 1: The Bible, The Foundation of Faith
We believe that the Bible, consisting of 66 books that comprise the Old and New Testaments, was given by divine inspiration and is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13), the special revelation of the Lord, who loves the world so much. The Bible constitutes the only perfect law and final authority in all matters pertaining to Christian faith and practice (Acts 17:11; Isaiah 8:20).
Article 2: The Godhead
We believe there is only one living and true God, the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the Universe (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3; Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:2-3; Psalm 103:19; Ephesians 1:11). He is perfect, infinite, and eternal (Matthew 5:48: 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 90:2). He is unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, love, and truth (Malachi 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; Genesis 17:1; Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 19:9; Exodus 34:6; John 3:16). We believe God eternally exists in three Persons, namely as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are equal in their divine perfection and harmonious in the execution of their distinct offices (Matthew 28:19; John 5:17; John 14:16-17; John 15:26; Ephesians 2:18).
Article 3: The Father
We believe in God the Father, who is Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He is Father to His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ, whom He raised from the dead, by and for His glory (Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:3; Romans 6:4; Philippians 2:9-11). He is also Father to all who are adopted as His sons and daughters through faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:5-6; Ephesians 1:5). He has made himself known to us through His Son, His Spirit, and the Scriptures; and He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing (1 Corinthians 2:10; Ephesians 1:3; 3:5; Hebrews 1:1-3). He has sovereignty over us, affection toward us, and glory for us (1 Corinthians 15:27-28; John 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; 1 John 3:1). To Him belong all glory and honor (1 Peter 4:11; Galatians 1:5).
Article 4: The Son
We believe that, in the fullness of time, the eternally pre-existent Son humbled himself and assumed human form by being born of the Virgin Mary, thus uniting organically and indissolubly the divine and human natures in their totality in the unique person of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14). We believe God has provided redemption for humanity through the mediation work of Jesus His Son, who voluntarily offered himself on the Cross of Calvary as a perfect sacrifice for sin, the just suffering for the unjust, bearing sin’s curse, and tasting death for everyone (Matthew 20:28: Hebrews 9:11-12; 1 Peter 3:18; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6). We believe that on the third day, He rose bodily from the dead after being laid in the tomb. He ascended into Heaven, where He reigns at the right hand of the Father, performs the ministry of intercession, and remains until all things are in full submission to His lordship. He shall come again, personally and visibly, to complete His saving work and consummate the eternal plan of God.
Article 5: The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26). His principal ministry since His advent at Pentecost is to reprove or convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11); to restrain the progress of evil until God’s purposes are accomplished (2 Thessalonians 2:7); to bear witness to the truth preached (Acts 5:30-32); to regenerate those who repent of their sins and exercise faith in Christ (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5); to instruct, comfort, and guide God’s children (John 14:16-18, 26; 16:13); to sanctify them (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:1-3); to empower believers for life and service (Romans 8:2; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5); and to give life to their mortal bodies (Romans 8:11).
Article 6: Humanity
(a) Our Creation
We believe human beings were created by a special act of God; that we were created in His image and likeness, possessing personality and innocence; that we were endowed with the power of rational and responsible choice in view of moral ends; and that the purpose of our creation was to glorify God (Genesis 1:27; Colossians 3:10; Acts 17:24-28).
(b) Our Fall
We believe Adam and Eve were subject to trial in the Garden of Eden to test their loyalty to their Maker (Genesis 2:15-17). By voluntarily transgressing God’s positive command and yielding to the enticement of Satan, they lost their holy estate, were alienated from God, and became depraved physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually. In consequence of their disobedience, the entire human race is born in sin and guilt. Therefore, every human heart is, by nature, evil in disposition, which leads to irresponsible acts of sin and a just condemnation (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12, 18; 3:10-12, 23; 1:19-31; Ephesians 4:18; 1 John 1:8-10).
Article 7: Salvation
We believe that salvation is wholly of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5); being planned by the Father, executed by the blood of the Son, and applied and revealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:1-3; John 3:3-5). In justification, the believer is absolved of guilt and declared righteous in the sight of God (Romans 5:1, 9; 4:4, 5; Acts 13:39). In adoption, the believer is constituted a member of the household of God (Romans 8). In regeneration, the principle of new life is implanted in their heart (John 3:3; Titus 2:14). In sanctification, the principle of new life is strengthened and developed increasingly (Romans 6:8). In glorification, this work will come to its perfect culmination in an ultimate and complete renewal of human nature (1 Corinthians 13:8-12; 1 John 5:11-13). Repentance and faith are essential attitudes to be found in any person who rightly claims the blessing of salvation. They emphasize the fact that it is not through human merit of any kind but the grace of God that redemption is achieved.
Article 8: The Church
We believe the Church invisible and universal is a body composed of the redeemed of all ages. We believe the Church is manifest locally and visibly through companies of believers in Christ, voluntarily joined together and meeting at stated times for worship and to observe the ordinances (Acts 2:46-47; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 6:1-6; 14:23). It is the duty of the Church to preach the Gospel and to be a witness to all people (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), to build herself up in her most holy faith (Jude 20-21; Ephesians 4:11-12, 16; Acts 20:32), and to glorify God (1 Peter 4:11).
Article 9: Ordinances
We believe that Christian ordinances are outward rites appointed by Christ not as a means of salvation but as visible signs of the reality of salvation.
(a) Water Baptism
We believe that baptism by water is the public confession of Christ as Savior and Lord. It is a symbol of one’s union, by faith, with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; and therefore, it is to be administered to those who have given evidence of faith in Christ as their personal Savior and Lord (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; Acts 8:36-39).
(b) The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper should be observed by all believers in obedience to the command: “This do in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). It consists of partaking of the consecrated emblems of bread and wine and symbolizes the death of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins and our continual dependence upon Him for our spiritual and physical sustenance. It witnesses the mystical union of the believer with Christ (John 15). The union of believers around the Lord’s table should be open to all who are in right relationship with the Lord and one another (Matthew 26: 26-30; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10; 11:23-26).
Article 10: Last Things
We believe that at the end of the age, Christ will descend from Heaven, the dead shall be raised bodily, they shall be judged by God, and the redeemed will enter into full possession of eternal bliss in the presence of God. The wicked shall be condemned to eternal death (1 Peter 4:7; 1 Corinthians 7:29-32; Hebrews 1:10-12; Acts 1:11; Acts 24:15; Matthew 25:31-46).
Adopted on May 29, 2018
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