My faith is the product of my upbringing. No great revelation, such as what happened to Paul, has shaped my faith. I grew up in a family with deep roots in the Presbyterian Church. I am thankful that my parents gave me a sound basis for my beliefs. I was taught to use my mind and not to blindly accept the teachings of men. By the grace of God, I have been given the faith to accept the teachings of God as revealed through scripture.
God is the Creator of all things. Without God we would not exist. He exists as one entity manifested in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In creating us, He provided within us our desire to know and understand Him, but He also granted us free will which allows us to wander from His ways. We call this wandering sin and it creates a barrier between us and God. God sent us instructions through Moses and the prophets for how we could return to the pathway of God, but we have continually fallen short of finding it.
When the time was proper, Jesus Christ was sent to earth to instruct us and to intercede for us. He is fully God and fully human and His sacrifice on the cross provided atonement for our sin. His ministry was the signpost that showed us the way back to the true path. Two sacraments were given to us from Christ's ministry: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the outward sign of our dedication to God and our willingness to find and follow the true path. Through the Lord's Supper we are reminded of the great sacrifice of Christ to redeem us from our sins.
The Holy Spirit is with us always, helping us to find and keep to the true path. The Spirit is our helper and comforter. It is through the grace of the Holy Spirit that believers are united in Christ. With the help of the Spirit we gain faith and understanding of the will of God.
I believe in the reformed tradition of faith, in which we are encouraged to look deeper into the foundation of our understanding of God based on what we find as we study both scripture and how our ancestors in faith have understood and applied God's word in historical context. This continual examination of the fundamentals of our belief helps us to demonstrate God's presence and love for us in a changing world. Although our tradition guides us, we imperfectly attempt to prevent the forms of worship and governance stagnate, hindering us from spreading the Good News of God's love to the world. "The church reformed, always reforming!"