St John Beliefs

Pastor Scott NessNews Notes, Teachings

We believe in the Holy Trinity

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons of the Trinity are perfectly united in One God revealed in three persons. (Matthew 28:18-20)

We believe in God the Father

The Father is the Creator—the one who fashioned the entire universe from nothing. We believe that the Father is still in relationship with His created universe and that He sustains it still. God the Father, our creator, desires to know us both personally and collectively and chose to reveal Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ so that we might know God’s love. (Genesis 1:1, Matthew 3:16-17)

We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Fully God and fully human, Jesus came and lived among us. In His spotless life, Jesus became the sinless sacrifice for our sins. He hung on a cross to die to take away our sin. But God raised Jesus, in bodily form, from the dead to demonstrate His power and redemption. In Christ, and through His actions, God has conquered death and opened to us the way of life everlasting. We believe that Jesus Christ is alive still. He has ascended to heaven and He will come again, in glory, to judge, to reign, and to redeem. In Jesus we have been offered forgiveness and salvation and shown the gift of grace, mercy and love. (John 1:1-5, 14; Luke 24:1-9)

We believe in God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the advocate—the power of God that is active and alive in the life of the Church, the world, and all believers. The Holy Spirit entrusts us with gifts, convicts us of sin, strengthens our faith, and empowers our witness of all that God has done, is doing and promises yet to do. The Holy Spirit walks beside us every step of our lives supporting, equipping, teaching, and directing us. (John 14:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

We believe that the Bible is the living word of God

The Word of God is Jesus Christ as shared in the first chapter of John. The Bible is God’s written word to us that reveals the character and will of God. It is God’s love story to us. In its pages we see our own failings and fallings—but God’s love persists! We learn of this love by the story of Jesus Christ, his sacrifice, resurrection, and teachings. The Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and they are our authority in faith and life. Because the Bible is our authority and truth we use it as our teaching and our inspiration for life in God’s Kingdom. Within its pages we interpret using the two lenses of law and gospel. We recognize and interpret scripture using scripture. It is our norm and our measure in all walks of life and yet we also recognize that the Bible is not God—but that which points to the One we worship. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

Salvation

We believe Sin is that which keeps us from God

It is our shortcoming and our failing to live the way that God intends for us. We sin by the things we do and by the things we don’t do. All of us sin in thought, word, and deed. Martin Luther described sin as the process by which we cave in on ourselves and stare at our belly buttons—our self-centered nature. Sin infects us all—we are born sinful. (Jeremiah 3:25; Romans 3:23)
We believe that God’s Grace is the only way that we are healed from the disease of sin. Grace is God’s free gift. No one can earn God’s favor by what they do or don’t do. It is nothing that we do—it is what has been done by Jesus Christ. Our relationship to God is restored because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are saved from the disease of sin by the Grace of God shown to us in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16)

We believe in Forgiveness

God’s love is shown to us most clearly in the costly forgiveness found at the cross of Christ that reconciles a broken world. God, in infinite love, chose to forgive the unforgivable. We believe that we are called to embody forgiveness as we live forgiven and forgiving. (Psalm 130:3-4; Luke 1:76-79; Acts 13:38)

Sacraments

Sacraments are holy mysteries that reveal God’s grace and empower a person for Christian living in a real, tangible, and powerful ways

We believe Baptism is a holy bath

It is commanded by Jesus, where God cleanses, forgives, claims and adopts us into His family. It is nothing that we do—it is what God has done—that welcomes us into this Holy Family. Baptism is a sign of a new covenantal relationship. We, therefore, practice infant baptism as well as adult baptism. Also, because we are confident that the promises of God never wear out, we do not re-baptize. (Romans 6:4-6; Matthew 18:1-6; Acts 2:38-39)

We believe Communion is a meal of bread and wine where God comes to love and to forgive us

Instituted at the Last Supper, Jesus Christ is truly present at every communion celebration. In the bread and wine we receive the body and blood of Christ. It is a meal of forgiveness and it is a renewal of our relationship with God. At the Communion Altar we are united with every Christian of every time and every place. As such we celebrate our restored communion with God and the fellowship with all believers as often as we can. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 6:53-58)
Faith in Life and Relationships

We believe that Worship is at the heart of our relationship with God

It is in our shared celebration and praise of God that we are renewed and refreshed for our lives of service. In this communal gathering we hear the word proclaimed, we lift our voices in praise, we grow in faith through the sermon, we confess and hear the announcement of our forgiveness, we give of ourselves in the offering, we are fed at the table, and we are sent out in mission. (Psalm 150; Matthew 2:2; Exodus 20:1-11)

We believe the gift of Marriage between male and female is a relationship created and blessed by God

It is from within this relationship that God forms families and offers the building blocks of all humanity and community. The gift of sexual intimacy is intended for this special relationship and belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24-25; Mark 10:6-9)

We believe that the gift of Singleness is a unique relationship that God blesses and empowers

Paul urged all Christians to remain single in order that ones relationship to Christ might flourish and grow. We live in a time in which marriage is celebrated, but celibacy is held out as a radical sign of commitment to Christ and His body. The single life is not second to the married life—they are each callings of God to be honored and celebrated. (1 Corinthians 7:6-9)

We believe in the Priesthood of All Believers

In knowing God, all believers are called into the ministry of making Christ known. We make Christ known in our acts of charity, in our witness of God’s love, in our support to the downtrodden, in being Christ’s voice in our areas of influence. The Holy Spirit has given each of us a variety of Gifts. Our vocation is to utilize these gifts for the sake of God’s kingdom in all our walks of life. (1 Peter 2:9-10; Hebrews 12:1-2; John 3:16)