United Church of Auburn 77 Metcalf Drive Auburn, New York 13021
The inspiration of Scripture
We believe that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...(2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV) We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that each and each part means exactly what God and its human author intended it to mean.
We believe that individual believers, with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and using responsible interpretive methods, are free to interpret the Scriptures. As a result, many of us agree to disagree over points of doctrine. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17, NKJV) This does not mean we tolerate heresy. We affirm, with Peter Meiderlin, "In essentials, unity. In nonessentials, liberty. And in all things, charity."
Salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone
Salvation (that is, the permanent and complete removal of all our sins, past, present and future) is accomplished solely by faith in Christ - not by works, church membership, baptism, or anything else. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31, NKJV)
Baptism is an outward and public display of what has already happened in a believer's heart (namely, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the death to sin, and new birth - 2 Corinthians 5:17). It is an ordinance for sincere believers of adequate age and capacity to understand what it is they are undertaking.
We worship one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), in three Persons - Father (1 Peter 1:2, and others), Son (John 20:28 and others), and Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost (Acts 5:3-4 and others). God being one and at the same time three is a nearly impossible concept for us to grasp, but, if we fully understood Him, He wouldn't be God (Isaiah 55:9).
The priesthood of all believers
Born again (that is, saved) persons have direct access to the Father through the Son with the assistance of the Spirit, so no human intercessor is needed. A sincere believer in Christ can pray directly to the Creator and King of the universe! ...you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5, NKJV)
Through His word, the Bible, God prescribed two ordinances for His church, believers' baptism, discussed above, and the Lord's supper, a symbolic, moving picture of Christ's body, which was broken for believers, and His blood, which was shed for believers. The Lord's supper is an ordinance for saved persons who are spiritually prepared (1 Corinthians 11:23-32).
Membership in our church is a privilege offered to those who profess salvation in Jesus Christ by their words and actions, including being baptized, as described above. Then, those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:41, 47b, NKJV)