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Statement of Faith of the Liebenzell Mission

 

I. We believe in God, the Father.


We believe that God created and sustains the world and humanity through his Word and has ordained and enabled us for fellowship with him and our fellow humans.

God has created every human being in his image (Genesis 1:26) and given them a dignity that can neither be lost nor damaged. This includes the unborn, weak, poor, displaced, disenfranchised, sick, disabled, old, dying.
We as human beings come to find and know ourselves in the encounter with our Creator. We cannot create ourselves, nor give ourselves meaning and purpose. God has created human beings as men and women (Genesis 1:27) and intended us for creative mutual care in life-long marriage in the relational polarity of male and female (Matthew 19:3-9). God can also call to a life of singleness (Matthew 19:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7).
God has created the world in a very good way, and has purposed us to cultivate and care for it in responsibility before God (Genesis 2:15). Since the Fall creation waits for its redemption on the Day of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:18-25), when God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21).

 

 

II. We believe in God, the Son.


We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whom the Father has sent into the world. In him he loved the world so that all who believe in him will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Every human being has been betrayed, deceived, and bound by the power of sin in its manifold expressions (Romans 3:9-18). Sin shows itself as culpable deed and tragic doom (Romans 5:12-21) in the lost relationship with God and the corrupted relations to other human beings, creation and oneself (Genesis 4:1-11; Romans 1:18-32). Human efforts for education and enablement as well as the renewal of societal structures cannot free human beings from their alienation and bondage to sin (Mark 8:36). This occurs only through redemption in Jesus Christ, our Lord. From this redemption follows the mandate to educate, to capacitate, and to assume societal, social, ecological and political responsibility (Jeremiah 29:7; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).

Jesus Christ, truly God and truly human being, is alone the salvation of the world for all human beings (Acts 4:12). He reconciled us with God through his substitutional atoning death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:18f), forgives our sin, sends us into the world (John 17:18; 20:21), and liberates us to live a life according to our divine calling. He is risen bodily from the dead and will call all people to resurrection on his Day, some to eternal life, others to judgement (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:11-15). Through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead God gives us, already now, a living hope in the life of God’s kingdom (1 Peter 1:3).

In Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, God has established the promised New Covenant with Israel, in which the Church, called from among the nations, is included (Jeremiah 31:31; 1 Corinthians 11:25). The election of the Church of Jews and non-Jews does not replace the permanent election of Israel (Romans 11:17f). God himself will let his people Israel see the consummation of salvation in Christ (cp. Romans 11:25ff).
At the end of time Jesus Christ will return and rule with his church for all eternity (Romans 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 22:5).


III. We believe in God, the Holy Spirit.


We believe that the Holy Spirit was sent to us through the Father and the Son, that he makes us God’s children by faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 8:14f), leads us into knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4), and sends us into the world to bear witness to this truth in word and deed.

God speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures and in them has revealed to us his  character, his will and his salvific deeds in history. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are, as a “living sermon of the Holy Spirit” (Confessio Virtembergica, art. 27), God’s true, inspired, reliable and trustworthy Word (Psalm 93:5; Isaiah 45:19; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16). They are the only standard for the faith, life, activity, and salvation of the church of Jesus and of every single person. In them God’s Word and human word is indivisibly bound together. The unity and diversity of their testimony find their centre in Jesus Christ. This Word possesses the power to create, orient, correct, and renew (John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12; 11:3; James 1:18; Matthew 8:8; Psalms 119:105).

The Church of Jesus Christ is the fellowship of those called forth by God within a yet unredeemed world (1 Peter 2:9). She is sent to live according to God’s will as salt of the earth and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16) and to praise and worship the triune God unitedly in cultural, ethnic, and national diversity (Romans 15:5f; Ephesians 1:12; Revelation 7:9f). The Holy Spirit calls each member of His Church to serve and enables every member with various gifts  for the edification of the Church (1 Corinthians 12).
The Holy Spirit also equips the Church in times of persecution and great distress with the strength to endure, persevere and cling to the confession of hope (Hebrews 10:23). The gates of hell will not overcome her (Matthew 16:18). He leads the Church to intercede and helps her in prayer.

The Holy Spirit makes the Church a participant in God’s mission. In this sending, the gospel is God’s power to save  all who believe in Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16). The Holy Spirit enables us to confess Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:3), to give account for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), and to go into all the world as his witnesses, in order to make people his disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
Through the Holy Spirit Jesus calls his worldwide Church to unity in collaborative service and complementary partnership. He guides her on her way through time to the consummation of history in God’s new creation.

 


Ratified by the General Assemby of the Liebenzell Mission on December 8, 2017.