What we believe
1. We worship one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
There is only one true and living God, who exists in love from all eternity in the unity of the Godhead, one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This God we know as our heavenly Father in Jesus Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the awesome sovereign Creator of all things: the source of all life, the object of all true faith, the ground of all hope, and the fountain of all love. God is abundantly gracious and merciful towards his creatures, full of compassion, while also wonderfully pure and perfectly just.
2. We delight in the good creation (of the sovereign Creator God)
God the almighty Creator brought all things into existence. He continues to sustain all things by his power, and sovereignly rules over the entire creation and all human history, working all things in accordance with his perfect will. The creation is good and real, while also utterly dependent on God. Human beings are created in God’s own image: he made us male and female — of equal dignity but with differing roles — and called us to share with him in ruling, ordering, and filling the creation. We were made to live with him and each other in loving community.
3. We mourn the presence of evil in God’s good creation and in our own lives
The first human beings disastrously asserted their independence from God: they sought life apart from him, and turned from the worship of the Creator to his creation. This first sin resulted in the rupture of human relations with God, the enslavement of humanity to evil, the breakdown of human community, and the entry of death and corruption into God’s good creation. Outside Christ we are all dead in our sins: we are guilty before God and enslaved to the power of evil; we stand under God’s just condemnation, and we are utterly unable to save ourselves.
4. We rejoice in the love of God and the redemption won by Christ Jesus
On account of his great love, God acted decisively to renew his damaged creation and to redeem humanity. God began this work in the nation of Israel and completed it in his one and only Son. This one and only Son of God, who participates from all eternity in the fulness of God, took human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is one person, both fully God and fully human. By Jesus’ life of perfect obedience and perfect love, God inaugurated his kingdom. By Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, God reconciled all things to himself: Jesus willingly bore our sin and died our death, suffering the wrath of God for us in our place. By Jesus’ powerful bodily resurrection, God defeated death and began the work of renewing the entire creation. By Jesus’ ascension, God enthroned his Son as Lord of all things. Jesus now sits at God’s right hand, ruling over all things and waiting for his enemies to be made his footstool.
5. We rely on the power of God’s Holy Spirit for life and mission
The Lord Jesus, enthroned at the right hand of the Father, has poured out the Holy Spirit on his people. This Holy Spirit of God, existing eternally in the unity of God, now unites us to Christ and dwells in us: he brings God’s life-giving power to his people. This same Holy Spirit inspired and illuminates the Scriptures, convicts of sin and enables faith in Christ, regenerates believers and produces the fruit of Christ-likeness in us, gifts and enables God’s people to serve in love, empowers gospel mission to the ends of the earth, and guarantees eternal life and bodily resurrection to those in Christ.
6. We look for the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the judgement, and the renewal of all things
By God’s promise, Jesus will come again in glory. As we wait for this great day, when God will send his Son from heaven, we do not mourn as those who have no hope. We are confident that those who have died in Christ are with him, and when Jesus comes, he will bring with him those who have died. On that great day, when Jesus is revealed as Lord, he will raise the dead in their bodies, transform those who are still alive, and execute just judgment on all. Those who have turned to God in Christ will be welcomed into the fulness of life in the kingdom of God. Those who have continued to assert independence from God will receive just condemnation, being excluded from the presence of the Lord for all eternity. Jesus will thereby fully consummate God’s kingdom over the creation, subject all things to himself, destroy all that is evil, and make all things new, before submitting even himself to the Father so that God will be all in all for all eternity.
7. We confess that God alone is able to save
We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for God’s glory alone. Before the foundation of the world, God chose in Christ those whom he would save. In time, God calls us through the gospel, and by the Spirit enables us who were dead in our sins to turn from sin and trust in him alone for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God forgives the guilt of our sin, sets us free from the power of evil, transfers us into his kingdom, justifies us, fills us with his Spirit, incorporates us into his church, adopts us as his children, and promises us eternal life. All this is pure grace, utterly unmerited and wonderfully free: God redeems us to the praise of his glory.
8. We embrace the challenge of the Christian life
God calls us whom he has saved to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, willingly responding to the work of his Spirit in us, as he transforms us together into Christ-likeness for his glory. In Christ God has saved us from the guilt, penalty, and power of sin; when Jesus comes again we will finally be set free also from its presence. Until that day, we count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, putting sin to death by the Spirit through repentance and faith, walking in new life by the Spirit as he bears fruit in us, and longing for the redemption of our bodies at the return of Christ.
9. We treasure God’s Church, the bride of Christ
There is one holy, universal, and apostolic church, the bride of Christ, the family of God, ransomed by the blood of Christ from the whole world, and made to be a kingdom and priests serving God and reigning on the earth. This one church is united in Christ alone, shares fellowship by the Holy Spirit, and is built upon the foundation of the prophets and the apostles. Each local church is a manifestation of this universal body of Christ, and a living testimony to the grace of God. We gather, therefore, in Christ’s name, anticipating the kingdom of God in life and deed, and looking forward to the day when God will finally gather all of his people to himself. As we wait for Christ, we worship the God who has saved us, and we live together as God’s people in the world, a witness and servant by the power of the Spirit. God has gathered us by his Word, and we grow more like Christ as that same Word dwells in us richly. We participate in the signs of his grace (namely, baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and we are marked out by our love for God, his people, and his world. We serve each other as the Spirit enables, speaking the truth in love as each part works to build up the body to maturity in Christ. And we serve the world as we proclaim and live out the gospel of the Lord Jesus. By all possible means we share the love of God with our community and with our world, and call on all people everywhere to trust in Christ alone for salvation.
10. We cherish the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in which we hear the voice of God
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God, in which we hear the voice of God, and through which Christ rules us. The Scriptures are the infallible self-revelation of God, the very words of God, sharing in the faithfulness and authority of God himself, being true and reliable in all the matters they address, and containing all things necessary for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We therefore receive the Scriptures with grateful hearts, submitting ourselves to God and gladly accepting his written Word as the sufficient and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. These same Scriptures were authorized by the Lord Jesus and written by human authors through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit made full use of the historical context and distinctive personalities of the human authors of Scripture, and so they must be understood by taking into account their historical and literary characteristics. The sure guide to the understanding of the Scriptures is the Scriptures themselves. We pray, therefore, that God’s Spirit would write his Word on our hearts to nourish our faith in Christ, train us in righteousness, and equip us for every good work, so that — strengthened by the Spirit — we might live for his glory.
The Groundwork Directors and all Groundwork writers are committed to this statement of belief. Within this framework, however, the views expressed in Groundwork resources are those of the named authors and not necessarily those of Groundwork or its Directors.