WHAT WE BELIEVE

Statement of Faith

Though having 46-years of vibrant ministry as a con gregation, the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation has never established a Statement of Faith. More and more visitors and potential members are asking — “What do you (as a household of faith) believe?

Our Intergenerational Christian Education Class ...hat meets each Sunday (9:45-10:30 a.m.) in the Chapel Fellowship Hall ... worked diligently last academic year (Sep 2012-May 2013) to draft a Chapel Foundation statement of the Christian faith. We gratefully ac knowledge the teaching leadership of Associate Chaplain Mike Wallman and the engaging participation of all the many students of God’s Word.
The purpose of this work is to provide God’s people with an effective way to share what we, as the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
,believe about the primary beliefs of our Christian faith. The goal is to define our faith for a 21st Century world — while staying connected to our twenty centuries of Christian history and service to our Savior.

We have completed eight (8) major doctrines:

I. Biblical Authority
II. The Godhead
III. Human Life
IV. The Person & Works of Jesus Christ
V. The Person & Works of the Holy Spirit
VI. The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation
VII. The People of God — The Church
VIII. The End Times

This document is intended to explain these doctrines in the pages to follow. It is not intended to exhaust all that could be said under these doctrinal headings.

I. Biblical Authority

Biblical Context

2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is
inspired of God....”

Background Reading:
Psalm 119:1-16
Psalm 19:7
Isaiah 55:10-11
Matthew 5:18
John 17:17
Romans 15:4
2 Peter 1:19-21
Revelation 22:19

Statement

We believe the historic Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be God’s truth revealed to humanity; these Divinely inspired words comprise God’s unchangeable and everlasting authority in all matters of Christian faith and morality.

Theologi cal Definition

The “historic Bible” means the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. These 66 books were not chosen by the Early Church, but recognized as from God and henceforth have ultimate authority in the Church. Revealed means that even though God has made the knowledge of Himself clear in every corner of Creation, humanity cannot know God intimately unless He reveals Himself and His plan. Without a revelation this knowledge would be beyond any human’s grasp.

II. The Godhead

Biblical Context

Genesis 1:1
Genesis 1:26
Matthew 28:19-20
Matthew 6:9
John 20:28
Acts 5:3-4

Statement

We believe in one God,
Creator of all;
eternally existing in
Three Persons –
Father,
Son, and
Holy Spirit.

Theologi cal Definition

Because the three persons of the
Trinity are all referred to as God
in the New Testament, and have
the same corresponding under-
standing in the Old Testament,
the Early Church accepted the
paradox of one God in three
persons.

III. Human Life

Biblical Context

Genesis 2:6-7
Genesis 2:18-25
Genesis 3:1-24
Romans 3:23
Romans 5:12
Ephesians 2:8-9

Statement

We believe God created
human life,
male and female,
in His image.
By deliberate choice
humanity disobeyed God
and fell into sin.
By the grace of God
redemption
is possible through faith
in Jesus Christ

Theologi cal Definition

Sin means three things in Scripture:
(1) It is a trespass on God’s
authority and position;
(2) It is a violation of the Law; and
(3) It is missing the mark of holy
perfection that God created the
human race to enjoy.
Grace is the unmerited favor given
to a sinner who cannot do anything
to save himself/herself, or other-
wise return to the holy perfection
that God created the human race to
enjoy.
Redemption is the fact that God
paid the price to restore the human
race ... from its slavery to sin ... to
its rightful place of freedom in Him-
self. The price paid was the blood
of His Son, Jesus Christ on the
cross of Calvary

IV. The Person and Works of Jesus Christ

Biblical Context

Matthew 1:18-25
John 1
Philippians 2:5-11
John 19 & 10
Acts 1:1-11
Hebrews 9 & 10
Isaiah 53
Leviticus 17:11

Statement

We believe that Jesus
Christ is true God
and true man.
He was conceived
by the Holy Spirit and
born of the Virgin Mary.
He died on the Cross a
blood sacrifice for our sins
according to the Scriptures.
He rose bodily from the
dead, ascended into
Heaven, where at the right
hand of God He is now our
High Priest and Advocate.

Theological Definition

Jesus is the New Testament
version of the Old Testament
Joshua, meaning “He who
saves.”
Christ means “anointed One”
(O.T. Messiah) referring to God’s
Chosen One who would establish
His Kingdom.
Blood sacrifice means that in
God’s Kingdom only blood can
reconcile a man’s soul to God
providing the basis for
forgiveness and cleansing.

V. The Person and Works of the Holy Spirit

Biblical Context

Matthew 16:17-18
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
Ephesians 4:1-16
1 Timothy 3

Statement

The Church is the living
manifestation of Jesus Christ
in the world.
She is comprised solely of
those who through faith in
Christ’s death on the Cross
for our sins and His
resurrection from the dead
are born again and
reconciled with God. Jesus
calls His Church together to
bear witness of Himself and
to make disciples who follow
Him, learning of Him and
loving as He loved.

Theological Definition

Church means simply those who
are called together by Christ.
There is a true Church that Jesus
calls “My Church.” And there is a
false church that is evident by its
rejection of Biblical, Apostolic
authority.
The word “disciple” means a
student who submits to the
authority of the Master, and
obeys His teaching by practicing
in daily life what the Lord Jesus
imparts.

VIII. The End Times

Biblical Context

Matthew 24:1
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
John 14:1-3
Revelation 19-22

Statement

We believe that God will
fulfill human history
according to His plan.
At the end, Christ will return;
He will call His faithful to
Himself and establish His
rule over Creation forever;
all the living and the dead
will be raised to face God’s
perfect justice. We believe
that this blessed hope has
a vital bearing on how the
Christian lives.

Theological Definition

End Times refers to a host of
Biblical prophecies that affirm
that God is in control of human
history and destiny.
To “call His Faithful to Himself”
is the promise of the Rapture.
“His rule over Creation forever,”
includes His Kingdom on earth
where He will provide a perfect
government, and the consummation
of physical reality when He
will transform the heavens and
the earth into a New Heaven
and New Earth.
Judgment will not be made on
the basis of what each person
felt was right or good, but on
what God has made plain to the
human heart and mind to be right
and good through nature and by
the revelation of His Word.