WHAT WE BELIEVE
What is your only comfort, in life and in death?
That I belong “body and soul, in life and in death” not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
How many things must you know that you may live and die in the blessedness of this comfort?
Three. First, the greatness of my sin and wretchedness. Second, how I am freed from all my sins and their wretched consequences. Third, what gratitude I owe to God for such redemption.
With these words and others we have taught our children and ourselves the Faith of the Church. First, we consider our need of a Savior, acknowledging that our sins are so great that we can not save ourselves. Then, we trust in God’s great provision of a beautiful and perfect Savior Jesus Christ who for us and for our salvation lived, died, rose, ascended, and is coming for us. Now, we live lives of great gratitude for what God has done. We join the apostle Paul who exclaimed “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Honoring the Savior we obey his word thankfully and joyfully. And together.
As one people of God, we seek to fulfill what is required of us as God’s people in covenant with the Creator of all things who is also the Redeemer of the world. We work that our lives may be an amen to the teaching of the prophet Micah. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” When we err from the mission and become again self-centered, we ask for God’s mercy to save us from what we deserve, and we ask for God’s grace to give us what we have not earned. We pray constantly to grow in grace always. We believe Faith leads to Duty, and Truth to Practice. We are committed to learn what it means to love the Lord our God with all our minds, that we may love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And our neighbors as ourselves. We believe God has uniquely formed and placed us to serve the city with passion and excellence. We gladly engage this mission that we may show our gratitude for this sovereign and loving God, that the city and its citizens may, in every way, flourish, so that God may be glorified.
-- (from the The Heidelberg Catechism, 1562)