REACH Church is a part of the Willow Street - Strasburg District of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. We submit to the district leaders for accountability and insight. As a member of the conference we have adopted the Confession of Faith In a Mennonite Perspective. We highlighted the four most requested professions of faith.
We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally. 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. 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 us.
We humbly recognize that God far surpasses human comprehension and understanding. 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 and character.
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 in Jesus Christ, the Word of God become flesh. He is the Savior of the world, who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and reconciled us to God by humbling himself and becoming obedient unto death on a cross. He was declared to be Son of God with power by his resurrection from the dead.2 He is the head of the church, the exalted Lord, the Lamb who was slain, coming again to reign with God in glory. “No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
We confess Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, through whom God has prepared the new covenant for all peoples. Born of the seed of David, Jesus Christ fulfills the messianic promises given through Israel.4 As prophet, he has proclaimed the coming of God’s kingdom and called everyone to repent. As teacher of divine wisdom, he has made known God’s will for human conduct. As faithful high priest, he has made the final atonement for sin and now intercedes for us. As king who chose the way of the cross, he has revealed the servant character of divine power.
We accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. In his ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing, he proclaimed forgiveness of sins and peace to those near at hand and those far off. In calling disciples to follow him, he began the new community of faith. In his suffering, he loved his enemies and did not resist them with violence, thus giving us an example to follow.9 In the shedding of his blood on the cross, Jesus offered up his life to the Father, bore the sins of all, and reconciled us to God.10 God then raised him from the dead, thereby conquering death and disarming the powers of sin and evil.
We acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Son of God, the Word of God incarnate. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. As fully human and tempted as we are, yet without sin, he is the model human being. As fully divine, he is the one in whom the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. During his earthly life, Jesus had an intimate relationship with his heavenly Abba and taught his disciples to pray “Abba, Father.” He is the image of the invisible God, and “all things have been created through him and for him, for he is before all things.”
We recognize Jesus Christ as the head of the church, his body. A s members of his body, we are in Christ, and Christ dwells in us. Empowered by this intimate relationship with Christ, the church continues his ministry of mercy, justice, and peace in a broken world.
We worship Jesus Christ as the one whom God has exalted and made Lord over all. He is our Lord and the not-yet-recognized Lord of the world. We live in the assurance of his coming again as the one by whom all humanity will be judged. He is the one who shall be acknowledged Lord of all, and the Lamb who will reign forever and ever.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God, who dwelled in Jesus Christ, who empowers the church, who is the source of our life in Christ, and who is poured out on those who believe as the guarantee of our redemption and of the redemption of creation.
Through the Spirit of God, the world was created, prophets and writers of Scripture were inspired, the people were enabled to follow God’s law, Mary conceived, and Jesus was anointed at his baptism.1 By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus proclaimed the good news of the reign of God, healed the sick, accepted death on the cross, and was raised from the dead.
At Pentecost, God began to pour out the Spirit on all flesh and to gather the church from among many nations. As a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, the church praises and worships God and brings forth the fruit of the Spirit. By the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all Christians are called to carry out their particular ministries. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the church comes to unity in doctrine and action. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the church preaches, teaches, testifies, heals, loves, and suffers, following the example of Jesus its Lord.
The Holy Spirit calls people to repentance, convicts them of sin, and leads into the way of righteousness all those who open themselves to the working of the Spirit. Scripture urges us to yield to the Spirit, and not to resist or quench the Spirit. By water and the Spirit, we are born anew into the family of God. The Spirit dwells in each child of God, bringing us into relationship with God. Through the indwelling of the Spirit, we are made heirs together with Christ, if we suffer with him, so that we may also be glorified with him. The Spirit teaches us, reminds us of Jesus’ word, guides us into all truth, and empowers us to speak the word of God with boldness.
The Holy Spirit enables our life in Christian community, comforts us in suffering, is present with us in time of persecution, intercedes for us in our weakness, guarantees the redemption of our bodies, and assures the future redemption of creation.
We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and life. We seek to understand and interpret Scripture in harmony with Jesus Christ as we are led by the Holy Spirit in the church.
We believe that God was at work through the centuries in the process by which the books of the Old and New Testaments were inspired and written. Through the Holy Spirit, God moved human witnesses to write what is needed for salvation, for guidance in faith and life, and for devotion to God.
We accept the Bible as the Word of God written. God has spoken in many and various ways through the prophets and apostles. God has spoken above all in the living Word who became flesh and revealed the truth of God faithfully and without deception. We also acknowledge the Scripture as the fully reliable and trustworthy Word of God written in human language. We believe that God continues to speak through the living and written Word.6 Because Jesus Christ is the Word become flesh, Scripture as a whole has its center and fulfillment in him.
We acknowledge the Scripture as the authoritative source and standard for preaching and teaching about faith and life, for distinguishing truth from error, for discerning between good and evil, and for guiding prayer and worship. Other claims on our understanding of Christian faith and life, such as tradition, culture, experience, reason, and political powers, need to be tested and corrected by the light of Holy Scripture.
The Bible is the essential book of the church. Through the Bible, the Holy Spirit nurtures the obedience of faith to Jesus Christ and guides the church in shaping its teaching, witnessing, and worship. We commit ourselves to persist and delight in reading, studying, and meditating on the Scriptures. We participate in the church’s task of interpreting the Bible and of discerning what God is saying in our time by examining all things in the light of Scripture. Insights and understandings which we bring to the interpretation of the Scripture are to be tested in the faith community.