Compelled by God’s amazing love, and guided by the Holy Spirit, First Church is called to live faithfully by building Christ-centered relationships that disciple and encourage all his people as we worship, serve, and grow in this place.
Our church is part of the Reformed faith tradition. It's hard to sum up everything we believe, but here are a few beliefs that are especially important to our church.
God made humans in his own image, inviting us to live in his garden and care for his world. But God did not force us to obey him. God wanted us to choose to love him and take care of his creation, just like he chooses to love and take care of us. He loved us so much that he let us choose, even though he knew we'd disobey if we were promised something tempting enough in return. When we turned away from God, we brought sin into God's world.
Jesus Christ, God's Son, came into the world to save us. He lived the perfect life we never could and died the painful death our sins earned. Three days later, he rose again from the dead. Through his sacrifice, Jesus invited us into resurrected life by his side, both now and for eternity.
Nothing is too broken for God to fix. Through the Holy Spirit, God is hard at work restoring and healing our broken world. When we allow the Holy Spirit into our hearts, the Holy Spirit enables us to contribute to this important restoring work. One day, Jesus will come again to fully restore the world to the way God intended it. And thanks to Jesus's sacrifice, we will be able live alongside him in this new earth.
We know God worked through the stories and the pens (or scrolls) of many people over the course of the Bible's composition. But we believe it was God who inspired the words that made their way into the book we read today. Spending time in Scripture reveals to us the ways of God, the redemptive work of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Through the living and dynamic Word of God, we grow closer to our creator and find the path to our Salvation in Christ. We also believe the story the Bible tells is still being written. We pray that God will work through our church to tell a small piece of this incredible story.
Sacraments are practices Jesus instituted during his life that we carry on today to signify important elements of our faith. We observe two sacraments: baptism and communion. We believe in infant and adult baptism as a sign and a seal of God’s gracious promises to us. And we partake in the Lord’s Supper as God’s sign and assurance of our forgiveness through the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Creeds and confessions draw from Scripture to articulate the core beliefs and practices of Christianity. They help us to understand our faith and the ways God speaks to us in the Bible better. Our church is part of a denomination (group or network of churches with shared beliefs) called the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA).
The creeds and confessions that we abide by in the CRCNA include:
- The Apostle’s Creed: an ecumenical summary of our core beliefs.
- The Athanasian Creed: a creed that helps us understand the Trinity (the three persons that make up our one God) and the two natures of Christ (both fully human and fully divine).
- The Nicene Creed: Written at the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), this creed emphasizes the Trinity and the belief that Jesus was begotten, not made .
- The Belgic Confession: A comprehensive confession that clearly explains the Reformed faith. The author, Guido de Bres, was executed for writing this confession in response to the Roman Catholic government’s oppression .
- The Canons of Dort: The canons articulate central theological beliefs that are associated with the Reformed faith tradition.
- The Heidelberg Catechism: A catechism in a question-and-answer format, divided in three sections, sin, salvation, and service.