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We believe that God exists and is pleased
with all who draw near by faith.1 We worship
the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally.2
We believe that God has created all things visible and invisible, has
brought salvation and new life to humanity through Jesus Christ, and continues
to sustain the church and all things until the end of the age.
Beginning with Abraham and Sarah, God has called forth a people of faith
to worship God alone, to witness to the divine purposes for human beings
and all of creation, and to love their neighbors as themselves.3
We have been joined to this people through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ
and by confessing him to be Savior and Lord as the Holy Spirit has moved
We humbly recognize that God far surpasses human comprehension and understanding.5
We also gratefully acknowledge that God has spoken to humanity and related
to us in many and various ways. We believe that God has spoken above all
in the only Son, the Word who became flesh and revealed the divine being
God's awesome glory and enduring compassion are perfect in holy love.
God's sovereign power and unending mercy are perfect in almighty love.
God's knowledge of all things and care for creation are perfect in preserving
love. God's abounding grace and wrath against sinfulness are perfect in
righteous love. God's readiness to forgive and power to transform are
perfect in redemptive love. God's unlimited justice and continuing patience
with humankind are perfect in suffering love. God's infinite freedom and
constant self-giving are perfect in faithful love.7
To the one holy and ever-loving triune God be glory for ever and ever!
We believe that what we know of God through revelation fits with
who God really is. To confess that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
is to confess that the Son and the Holy Spirit are fully divine. It
is also to confess that God is one and that God's oneness is the unity
of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (for example, John 10:30; 14:18-20;
16:12-15; 20:21-22 ). In this confession, the word God can refer to
the God who is triune or to the first person of the trinity. (On God
as the first person of the trinity, compare Matthew 28:19 with 2 Corinthians
13:13 and numerous other passages.)
Confessing God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit also emphasizes the
shared work of creation, salvation, and the final consummation. This
trinitarian understanding of God has implications for ethics. The
ethical standards we receive from God as Creator are not contrary
to those which are revealed by God as Redeemer. For example, we cannot
claim that God as Creator justifies Christian participation in violence,
while God as Redeemer calls us to make peace without violence. What
the Creator intends for human conduct has been most fully revealed
in Jesus Christ.
Some early Christian creeds express a trinitarian understanding of
God with the terms essence, substance, or person. Early Anabaptist
writers such as Menno Simons and Pilgram Marpeck used mainly biblical
language to refer to the triune God. They also used some concepts
from the early creeds. Some Mennonite confessions of faith have used
only biblical terminology to refer to God; others have used both biblical
and creedal language. This confession assumes basic agreement with
traditional confessions of faith, though it remains with biblical
terminology for the most part. The article uses the word triune, which
is not found in Scripture. Yet, it is an apt term for the God revealed
in Scripture and helps maintain a biblically based theological and
The relation between God and the people of faith is the context
within which we have received God's revelation and which provides
the basis for our understanding of God. Our knowledge of God comes
mainly from this relationship and its history, which began with God
calling out the household of Abraham and Sarah. (See Hebrews 11:8-12
and note the oldest texts for verse 11: "By faith Sarah . . . received
power to conceive . . . because she considered him faithful who had
promised.") At the same time, we believe that the God whom we confess
is the one and only true God of all creation and of all humanity.
Even before calling a particular people, God was revealed through
creation and spoke to humanity.
God both surpasses human understanding and is truly knowable through
revelation. Our knowledge of God rests in this tension. Further, God's
characteristics (or "attributes") sometimes appear contradictory to
us. For example, how can God be both just and merciful, characteristics
which in human experience often seem opposed? Yet we confess that
in the divine being these attributes are perfectly united. Finally,
according to Scripture, the love of God has a certain priority in
relation to other divine attributes. The article reflects this emphasis
by such phrases as "righteous love" rather than by playing "righteousness"
off against "love" or by focusing on one without the other.
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2. Jesus Christ
- Exodus 3:13-14; Hebrews 11:6.
- Exodus 20:1-6; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:13
- Genesis 12:2-3; Leviticus 19:18; Romans 4:11-25; 1 Peter 3:9-11.
- Galatians 2:20; Romans 3:22.
- Exodus 3:13-14; Job 37; Isaiah 40:18-25; Romans 11:33-36.
- John 1:14, 18; Hebrews 1:1-4.
- Exodus 20:4-6; 34:5-7; Psalms 25:4-10; Isaiah 6; 54:10; Matthew 5:48;
Romans 2:5-11; 3:21-26; 1 John 4:8, 16.