The only thing we contribute to our own salvation is our sinfulness.
Many of you who are visiting this page already know Jesus, and are familiar with the precepts of Christianity. Click here to immediately find the specific Christian affirmations that define our beliefs at CGS.
If, however, the language of formal “doctrinal creeds” seems a bit strange or foreign to you, please be reassured: your uncertainty, doubt and skepticism are openly received here at CGS! As an expression of that welcome, we have outlined below some of the core concepts of our faith, in order to provide you with some simple reference points as you visit among us. We hope these will be “conversation starters”:
The “jargon” of Christianity often talks about the Gospel as the Good News. But the sobering Truth is that the phrase “good news” is a comparative term, set over and against “bad news.” And we at CGS are grieved to admit that we are a representative cause of that bad news:
God exists. And He is utterly Holy. But we at CGS – like all people everywhere – are by nature utterly unholy.
We are sinners: broken, fallen, fallible, selfish, hurting, and desperately helpless. We didn’t merely become sinners by committing our “first” sin: rather, we committed that initial sin — and all of the others that have followed — because we are sinners by nature. We are unable to save ourselves, much less to assist the dying world around us.
The above is grievous bad news – for us, for our friends, for all people everywhere.
But there is – Praise God! – also Good News: Christ saves sinners.
God – being rich in mercy and compassion – chooses to make sinners alive through faith in His Son, Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
God does so by transferring the sins and guilt of believers to God’s own account, in the person of Jesus Christ. And God simultaneously assigns to believers the Righteousness of that same Jesus. By virtue of this eternally profound two-way exchange, God has declared Himself willing to look upon sinners who possess faith in Jesus as if God were looking instead at the righteous obedience and selfless sacrificial death of His Son. (Isaiah 53: 5-6; 1 John 4:10)
Simply put: Christ in our place! God made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Thus by the grace of God the Father we have been saved, through faith in God the Son. And even this saving faith was not of our own doing: the very ability to exercise faith was itself a gift of God the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:8)
We at CGS all still struggle with our own fallenness – daily – despite God’s redemptive mercy through Christ. We have been delivered by God’s grace from the ultimate penalty of Sin (eternal death), but the scars persist. And we are still sinners – albeit redeemed by God’s mercy, and freed from condemnation. (Romans 7:19; Romans 8:33-34)
So as you come among us, expect to encounter brokenness and sin still on display, and grant us a measure of grace. By God’s redeeming mercy we are being gradually drawn towards healing, and we invite you to join us in that journey.
If you desire greater detail regarding the specifics of CGS’s doctrinal and denominational alignment, we would direct you to the tenants of the Protestant Reformation:
We believe that the Bible teaches that people are saved by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, because of the person and work of Christ Alone, as explained in Holy Scripture Alone, and all of this as a praise to the Glory of God Alone.
We believe that the Westminster Confession and its Larger and Shorter Catechisms effectively and faithfully organize and describe the teaching of Scripture.
Church of the Good Shepherd is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America.