The following statements of belief are taken from The Westminster Shorter Catechism, a 17th century document that is an excellent summary of biblical, historic Christianity.
- Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
- The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. They principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
- God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, and there is but one only, the living and true God, one God in three persons, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
- God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
- All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.
- God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.
- The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
- Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.
- Christ’s exaltation consisted in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.
- We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
- Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
- Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.
- Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
- At the resurrection, believers, being raised up to glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
- The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will, which is summed up in the ten commandments, the sum of which is, to love the Lord our God, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.
- Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.
- Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.
- The Sacraments of the New Testament are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.