Statement of Faith

Daniel M. Saperstein, D.Min.
Statement of Faith

I believe in one God who is sovereign over all things, both of what we know and of what we have not yet imagined.  While God is transcendent and cannot be fully known, God has been revealed to us in three distinct persons, traditionally called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  These communicate God to us as Origin, Wholeness, and Presence, but uniformly and supremely as Love.
God chooses to act in and through human history.  The Reign of God may not be compartmentalized into a religious sphere as one sphere among others, but permeates all dimensions of human life with commands and promises.  No person, institution, or society is excluded from the reign of God, exempt from God's commands, or beyond God's ability to save.
I believe in God who creates.  In love, God created the cosmos as good, and humanity as male and female in God's image to worship, glorify, love, and serve God in perfect fellowship with God and with one another.  But humanity chose to follow a different path – one of sin and death – and lives in alienation and futility in need of God's redeeming grace.  The first sin was archetypal of all sin: inverting the order of creature and Creator, violating God’s commands and presuming to be or act as God.  Sin is individual and corporate; embedded in social institutions and ideologies, it can wield enormous powers of death and destruction.
But greater than the power of sin is the gracious love of God, concretely manifest to us in Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is the supreme revelation of God's nature, will, and activity.  To him the writers of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament bear witness by the Spirit in human words and contexts, which, responsibly interpreted, provide a sufficient, reliable, and authoritative foundation for the life of faith.
Jesus Christ, in his true humanity and true divinity, is the resounding "Yes" of God to humankind.  His earthly life and ministry demonstrated the liberating freedom of God's grace as he befriended sinners and outcasts, healed the afflicted, opposed powers of oppression and injustice, and called people to faith and righteousness.  His suffering and death reveal God's solidarity with all who suffer wrongly as a result of human sin and alienation, and displays the extent of God's reconciling love, through which our sin is forgiven.  His resurrection and ascension announce the certainty of God's victory over sin and death, and infuse our lives with an invincible hope.
I believe the Church, as the Body of Christ, is the community of persons called by God to exhibit the life of faith in Jesus Christ, which is marked by love, justice, freedom, and peace.  This shared fellowship, or koinonia, is infused, united, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, who enables the church to be a transformed and transforming leaven for individuals and society.  The church is also responsible for the orderly administration of the two sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.  These are active symbols of the present, creative power of God which recall God's saving acts in history and point to the reign of justice and peace which characterizes the final fulfillment of God's plans for all creation.  In this hope we pray, Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus.

September 2010