Note: The word "catholic" in these creeds just means "universal." They are not referring to the Catholic Church as we know it today.
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
1l. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;
2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.
21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.
26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.
27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.
32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.
36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;
40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
42. and shall give account of their own works.
43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.
The Bible is the highest doctrinal authority for Center Church. The following biblical beliefs serve as our confession of faith. Other churches and ministries are welcome to also use this confession of faith if they desire.
1. Trinity: God Is
We believe there is only one true God, who eternally exists as a Trinity of equally divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.1 Each member of the Trinity thinks, acts, feels, speaks, and relates, because each is a person and not an impersonal force. Each member of the Trinity is equally God, sharing all the divine attributes.2 Because love and community flow from the Trinity to us through the Holy Spirit, we seek to live in loving community with God and others.
2. Revelation: God Speaks
We believe that God reveals Himself to everyone everywhere through general revelation.3 We believe it is only by special revelation that anyone comes to a saving knowledge of God.4 We believe God has supremely revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, the Son of God and his incarnate Word. We believe that all of the divinely Holy Spirit inspired, inerrant, authoritative, sixty-six canonical books of the Bible reveal to us Jesus Christ.5 Because God is a loving Father who speaks, we seek to hear from Him and test everything by the Word of God.
3. Creation: God Makes
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, and lovingly prepared them as a home in which to worship and enjoy Him.6 Everything in creation and history is dependent upon God and is only good when functioning according to his intentions. God, the author and subject of history, will bring history to an end and create a new heaven and a new earth.7 Because God is our Creator we worship Him alone and enjoy his creation gladly.
4. Image: God Loves
We believe that in love God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, as male and female, equal in dignity, value, and worth, in order to mirror and reflect God as an act of worship and obedience. We believe that human beings, as God’s sole image bearers, are under God and over lower creation, not to be pulled up like gods or pushed down like animals.8 We believe that human life begins at conception and that an unborn baby is an image-bearer of God.9 We believe that God created marriage solely for one man and one woman, and created sex only for married couples.10 Because God created human life and marriage, we value the sanctity of life and godly marriage.
5. Fall: God Judges
We believe that God created this world in a perfect state.11 In Eden, Satan tempted Eve to mistrust God’s word, and she was deceived.12 The sin committed by Adam, also called “original sin,” has been imputed to all human beings except Jesus Christ.13 All human beings are sinners by both nature and choice.14 All fallen people are by nature sinners, children of wrath, and destined to death.15 Because we are sinners in need of a Savior and new nature, we trust in Jesus Christ alone for new and eternal life and believe in the reality of spiritual warfare with Satan and demons.
6. Covenant: God Pursues
We believe that God makes and keeps his covenant promises.16 God’s covenants reveal his loving grace and mercy, because although people deserve nothing but condemnation, God gives gracious, covenantal salvation. Because God has welcomed us into eternal covenant relationship, we seek to live in gracious loving relationship with Him and others.
7. Incarnation: God Comes
We believe that the eternal Son of God and second person of the Trinity became flesh, adding humanity to his divinity, and entered into human history as the God-Man, Jesus Christ.17 Jesus alone is one person with two natures, fully God and fully man. Jesus Christ is the Word, or Logos, of God because he is the personal, eternally existing Creator of the universe, distinct from, yet equal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem to redeem sinful man as the only mediator between God and man.18 We believe that Jesus Christ, during the Incarnation, laid aside the continual exercise of his divine attributes and lived his sinless life by the power of the Holy Spirit.19 Because He is both our Savior and example, we deeply love Jesus Christ and seek to live with and like Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.
8. Cross: God Dies
We believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life, died in the place of sinners, fully absorbing the wrath of God, paying the just penalty for their sins and reconciling them to God.20 As our substitute, on the cross Jesus Christ suffered and died in our place to forgive us, love us, cleanse us, and embrace us as the punishment for our sins was diverted from us to Jesus.21 Because Jesus died for our sins we seek to humbly confess our sins to Jesus Christ and one another, put sin to death in our life, forgive one another, and happily invite others to do the same.
9. Resurrection: God Saves
We believe that Jesus Christ, after dying on the cross, arose bodily from the grave on the third day, appearing to many witnesses and proving that he was physically alive.22 Through faith we are united with the risen Christ, raised with Christ, and granted the same Holy Spirit power that raised Christ.23 The benefits of Jesus’ resurrection include the forgiveness of sins, justification, sanctification, and ultimately glorification.24 We believe that justification through the work of Jesus Christ is possible by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.25 His righteousness is imparted to us at the time of saving faith, simultaneous with our justification, and brings us new life by the Holy Spirit, who regenerates us with a new nature and begins sanctifying us to become increasingly more like Jesus.26 Because Jesus is alive forever, we confidently trust that one day we will likewise rise from our grave to live together as God’s people with Him forever.
10. Church: God Sends
We believe that the local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and that the universal church is comprised of all God’s people in all times and places.27 In obedience to Scripture, Christians organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the sacraments of baptism and Communion, are unified by the Spirit in love, are corrected for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the great commandment and the great commission as missionaries to the world.28 Because we are members of God’s universal church, we partner with other Christian local churches and ministries for Kingdom ministry and are devoted to building up our local church family.
11. Worship: God Transforms
We believe that human beings, made in the image of God the Trinity (who is Himself a worshiping community), are unceasing worshipers created to continually outpour all they are, all they do, and all they can ever become to God. Worship includes praise, proclamation, service, participation, sacrifice, and submission.29 We believe that the corporate worship of a local church is to be God-centered.30 We believe that the corporate church worship should include Bible preaching, the sacraments, prayer, Scripture reading, financial giving, and singing and music.31 Because we are worshippers, we embrace all of life, including our corporate church gatherings, as an opportunity to passionately worship God in practical ways.
12. Stewardship: God Gives
We believe that Christians are to be stewards who gladly acknowledge that they belong to the Lord, that everything they have belongs to the Lord, and that everything ultimately belongs to the Lord.32 Stewards should value both work and Sabbath so that their time and energy are well managed.33 We believe that all spiritual gifts are a special grace of the Holy Spirit, given to us at our new birth to serve the mission of Jesus, and continue to the present age.34 Because God has been generous to us, we seek to love and serve others as generous and wise stewards for God.
13. Kingdom: God Reigns
We believe that God created humans with a spirit and body tightly joined together.35 Death is not normal or natural, but an enemy, the consequence of sin.36 Death is the tearing apart of these two intertwined parts and the cessation of life on this earth. The body goes to the grave and the spirit goes to face judgment before God.37 Upon Jesus’ second coming, there will be a bodily resurrection for everyone, to either eternal salvation or condemnation.38 The time between Jesus’ resurrection and our resurrection is a lengthy ministry season of love, grace, and mercy as news of the gospel goes forth, inviting sinners to repent of sin and enjoy the present and future salvation of Jesus Christ.39 Because our eternal home is in the Kingdom of God, as we journey home our mission is to joyfully invite others to join us while we throw parties, have fun, and make friends to practice for eternity.
1 One God: see Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; 6:4-5; 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 7:22; 22:32; 1 Kings 8:59-60; 2 Chronicles 15:3; Psalm 86:8-10; Isaiah 37:20; 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5, 14, 21-22; 46:9; Jeremiah 10:10; John 5:44; 17:3; Romans 3:30; 16:27; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; 1 John 5:20-21; Jude 1:25. Father: see John 6:27; 17:1; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3. Son: see Matthew 28:9; John 1:1-4, 14; 5:17-18; 8:58-59; 10:30-39; 12:37-41; see also Isaiah 6:9-11; 20:28-29; Matthew 26:63-65; John 5:17-23; 19:7; Romans 1:3-4; 9:5; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:10-11; Colossians 1:16-17; 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 1:8, 17-18; 17:14; 19:16; 22:13-16. Holy Spirit: see Genesis 1:2; Psalm 104:30; Micah 3:8; Hebrews 9:14; see also Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13, 19; Isaiah 40:13-14; see also John 14:16; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18.
2 Eternality: see Psalm 90:2; 93:2; 102:12; Ephesians 3:21. Omniscience: see Job 42:2; Psalm 139:1-6; 147:5, Isaiah 40:12-14; 46:10; Hebrews 4:13. Omnipotence: see Job 42:2; Psalm 147:5; Matthew 19:26; Ephesians 3:20. Omnipresence: see Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 139:7-12; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24; Colossians 1:17.
3 Creation: see Psalm 8:3-4; 19:1, 4; 139:13-16; Romans 1:19-20. Common grace: see Exodus 31:2-11; 35:30-35; Psalm 65:9; 104:14; Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17. Conscience: see Romans 2:14-15.
4 See Acts 10:1-7; Romans 2:7, 10; 10:15-18.
5 Jesus is God’s final Word to us: see John 1:1; Hebrews 1:1-2. The Bible is divinely inspired: see 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21. Inerrant: see Numbers 23:19; 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 12:6; 19:7; 119:140, 160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 55:11; John 17:17; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 4:12; 6:18. Authoritative and written: see Matthew 4:4; 5:18; 1 John 1:1-3. Reveals Jesus Christ: see John 1:1. The entire Bible reveals Jesus Christ: see Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:27; Romans 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15.
6 God the Father’s role in Creation: see Genesis 1:1; Psalm 33:6, 9; Hebrews 11:3. God the Son’s role in Creation: see John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:13-16. God the Holy Spirit’s role in Creation: see Genesis 1:2; Job. 33:4; Psalm 104:30. The earth was created out of nothing: see Hebrews 11:3. The earth was lovingly created: see Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26. The earth is a good gift to humanity: see Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31. The earth is a home in which people can worship and enjoy God: see Psalm 19:1-2; Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 10:12; Revelation 4:11.
7 See Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1.
8 See Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; 5:1-3; 9:6; Romans 1:25; 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9.
9 See Psalm 51:5-6; 139:13-16; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:15.
10 See Genesis 2:18-25; Proverbs 5:18-19; Matthew 5:32; 19:9, 18; Mark 7:21-23; Galatians 5:16-24.
11 See Genesis 1:31; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9; 32:14-20; 43:1-12; 60:1-22; 65:17-25; Joel 2:24-29; 3:17-18.
12 See John 8:42-47; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14.
13 See Romans 5:19.
14 See Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Isaiah 53:6; 64:6; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8.
15 See Romans 5:12, 19; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, respectively.
16 See Genesis 26:28. The covenants of Abraham: see Genesis 15:18. Moses: see Exodus 24:8; Deuteronomy 5:2. David: see 2 Chronicles 21:7; Psalm 89:3. The New Covenant: see Jeremiah 31:31; Ezekiel 37:26.
17 See Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:30-38.
18 See Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:18-23; 1 Timothy 2:5.
19 See Matthew 3:16; 4:1-10; Mark 2:1-7; Luke 4:1-2, 14-21; 10:21; Hebrews 4:14-16.
20 See Isaiah 53:5, 12; Romans 3:23-25; 4:25; 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2.
21 Jesus substituted Himself for sinners: See Isaiah 53:6; John 1:29; 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Timothy 2:1-6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:14; Revelation 5:9. Sins were propitiated: See Romans 3:23-25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10. Jesus accomplished this by giving his blood: See Isaiah 59:2; Hosea 5:6; John 3:16; 15:13; Romans 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; Titus 3:4-5; 1 John 4:9-10.
22 See Isaiah 53:8-12; Matthew 12:38-40; 27:57-60; 28:9; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34; Luke 24:36-43; John 2:18-22; 19:34-35; 20:17, 20-28; 21:7, 12; Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-6.
23 See Romans 6:5; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Colossians 2:12; 3:1.
24 See 1 Corinthians 15:3-58; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:20, respectively.
25 See Acts 13:38; Romans 4:3-5; 5:1, 16-17; Titus 3:7.
26 See 2 Corinthians 5:21.
27 See Acts 2:36-41; Matthew 16:18, respectively.
28 Believers organize under qualified leadership, gather for preaching, and observe baptism and Communion: Acts 2:42. Gather for worship: Matthew 2:11; 4:9; 8:2; 28:9; Acts 2:47; Romans 1:9; 12:1; Revelation 7:15; 19:10. Are unified by the Spirit: Ephesians 4:4. Are disciplined for holiness: Proverbs 19:11; Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 20:25–31; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 6:1-8; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 11:3-4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9; 5:7-15; 6:1-5; Philippians 3:2-3; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11, 14-15; 1 Timothy 1:4-7, 18-20; 4:1-8; 5:19-21; 2 Timothy 2:14-26; 4:1-5; Titus 3:10-11; Hebrews 10:24-25; 13:17; James 3:1; 1 John 2:19; 3 John 1:9-10. Fulfill the Great Commandment: Matthew 5:43-45; 6:24; 22:39; Luke 6:32; 10:30-37; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; Ephesians 5:25; 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 2:4; Hebrews 13:2, 17; James 2:8; 1 John 3:14. Fulfill the Great Commission: Matt. 28; Acts 1:8; 2:47; Acts 13:43; 17:4, 17; 18:4; 19:4, 26; 26:1–28; 28:23–24; 2 Cor. 5:11, 20; Col. 1:28–29. Act as missionaries for God’s glory and their joy: Acts 2:41-47.
29 See Hebrews 13:15-17.
30 See Matthew 4:8-10.
31 See Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 2 Corinthians 8–9; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:1; 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:2.
32 See Haggai 2:8; Malachi 3:8; Romans 1:6; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Ephesians 2:10.
33 See Genesis 2:2, 15; Exodus 20:8-11; Proverbs 18:9; 21:25; Ecclesiastes 3:22; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Colossians 3:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
34 See Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:11.
35 See Genesis 2:7.
36 See Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12.
37 See Ecclesiastes 3:20-21; 12:7; Psalm 104:29; 146:4; Hebrews 9:27; James 2:26.
38 See Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; John 14:3.
39 See John 14:3; Acts 17:30-31.