A brief statement as approved by the United Free Church General Assembly in 1921. What follows is a brief expression, in terms of present-day thought of the great Christian certainties and of the Christian ideal of human life.
I. CONCERNING GOD
We believe in one Almighty God, Creator of all things, Father of all men, only Ruler and Judge of the world, holy and wise and loving. We believe it is His will that men should know Him; and through the life, death and victory of the Lord Jesus Christ we have learned that God loves men, seeks their good, bears all their sorrows, suffers for their sins, and will triumph in His glorous purpose over all evil at the last.
II. CONCERNING THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe that God so loved the world that He gave His Son to be the Saviour of mankind. We believe that this very Son of God, for us men and for our salvation, became man in Jesus Christ, Who, having lived on earth the perfect human life, devoted wholly to the will of God and the service of man, died for our sins, rose again from the dead, and is now exalted Lord over all. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Revealer of the Father, and that the mind of God towards the world must in all things be interpreted by the mind of Christ. We believe that when in our experience we are brought face to face with Jesus Christ we are in the presence of the eternal and Holy God.
Therefore, with the Church of all ages, we worship Him together with the Father.
III. CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that God through His Spirit is ever present in the lives of men, seeking them for Himself, rebuking, their sinfulness, inspiring every right desire, and every effort after truth. We believe that all who seek God through Jesus Christ may in the Spirit have communion with Him by obedience, by prayer, and by the fellowship and Sacraments of the Church; and that by the same Spirit, power is granted to all who ask it, giving them victory over sin, and transforming them into the likeness of Chirst.
IV. CONCERNING THE HOLY TRINITY
Thus knowing God through Jesus Christ His Son, and through the working of His Spirit in our lives, we acknowledge and adore one God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
V. CONCERNING PROVIDENCE
We believe, in face of the mysteries of an unfinished world, that God orders all things for perfectly wise and loving ends, that He has every human life in His gracious and holy keeping, and will never forsake the work of His own hands. In as much as He has given to men freedom of wil, He is not responsible for their sins for the miseries that come of these. Yet He is not defeated by our evil doings, but overrules all events for the furtherrance of His supreme designs of good.
VI. CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
We believe that the unchanaageable purpose of God is the establishing and perfecting of His Kingdom a society ruled in all its parts by love and righteousness, a society of which Christ is King, and to which all belong who are themselves animated by His Spirit. We believe that the Kingdom of God is already among us, and that the appointed task of all good men is to advance it, and to bring every relation of human life under the dominion of Christ. We believe that Christ is the true and only Lord of all mankind, and that those who confess Him are bound to make Him known till all the world acknowledge Him as Lord and King.
We believe that the Kingdom of God will finally dominate the life of man, and that in the world to come God will complete and perfect it, the Lord Jesus Christ being manifested in power and great glory.
VII. CONCERNING THE CHURCH
We believe that, as Jesus Christ gathered and still gathers round Him a fellowship of faith and love, it is His will that those who through Him believe in God should unite in a visible Church. We believe it to be His purpose that, through their common life of worship and service, they may learn to be like Him in faith, hope, and love, further the ends of His Kingdom, proclaim His Gospel to all mankind, and be His fellow-workers in combating ignorance, pride and covetousness, vice and disease, and every social injustice and public wrong.
We believe that the Catholic or Universal Church is the whole company of the redeemed, and we recognise as belonging to this fellowship all who are united to God through faith in Christ. Of the visible Church, and every branch thereof, the only Head is the Lord Jesus Christ; and in its faith, order, discipline, and duty, it must be free to obey His holy will.
We receive, as Divine gifts to the Church, the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments of the New Testament. We believe that through these Sacraments-Baptism an the Lord’s Supper-received with faith, there are conveyed to men the blessings of salvation.
VIII. CONCERNING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that God has revealed Himself in nature, conscience, and history, so that never in any nation has He left Himself without witness. Yet the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments record a clear and ever-growing revelation of God a faithful and unchangeable Redeemer, which is made complete in Christ; they therefore contain, in a supreme sense, the Word of God, and are needful for the full understanding of His purpose, for reconciliation with Him, and for life according to His will. Of this we are convinced by the witness of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men to and with the Word; and the spirit of God, thus speaking from the Scriptures to believers and to the Church, is the supreme authority by which all opinions in religion are finally to be judged.
IX. CONCERNING SIN
We believe that the sin of man was not part of the purpose of God; yet all men are sinful, and that each of us has been guilty of wilful and repeated sin. We acknowledge that sin separates men from God, and brings them under His condemnation and punishment: and that without His forgiveness and His patient and mighty help no man can deliver himself from either the guilt or the power of his sin.
X. CONCERNING THE SAVING LOVE OF GOD
We believe that from the beginning God has been patiently seeking the redemption of His children, and that through prophet and psalmist He made it clear that there is forgiveness with Him. But we believe that His eternal purpose to redeem has been fully made known in Jesus Christ, in Whom God Himself came among men to seek and to save that which is lost, and that in the death on the Cross He has shown us the malignity of sin and His antagonism thereto, but, above all, His love in putting away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Therefore, with thankful devotion, we find in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ the assurance of God’s forgiving grace, and learn that His holy love can only be satisfied with a holy life in those whom He forgives.
We believe that we are received into sonship and peace with God, not because of any good work or holiness on our part, as though we could deserve so great salvation, but only and altogether because of His infinite mercy, freely granted to all who repent and turn from their sins, and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
XI. CONCERNING CHRISTIAN SONSHIP
We believe that all who receive the Gospel are called and enabled to live in fellowship with God as His children, to keep His commandments, to grow in knowledge of His love, and to trust His fatherly care in every trial and perplexity, thereby in their whole life showing themselves thankful to God for all His gifts.
XII. CONCERNING THE LIFE TO COME
We believe that after death the soul continues to live in the just and merciful keeping of Almighty God, who will give to it a body as it pleases Him.
We believe that He, Who alone can read the heart, will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, and that wickedness will not go unpunished.
We believe that those who accept the mercy of God will in His fellowship go on towards perfect holiness and blessedness. And, with glad and solemn hearts, we look for consummation and bliss of the life everlasting, wherein the people of God, freed for ever from sin and sorrow, shall serve him in the perfect communion of saints. These things, as all else in our Christian faith, we ho,d in reverent submission to the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit who is truth, and we shall ever seek of Him enlightenment and grace both to unlearn our errors and also more fully to learn the mind and will of God, to Whom be glory for ever and ever.