Statement of Faith

24 abbreviated articles of Mennonite Faith which have been adopted by the Steinreich Gemeinde.

About God

We believe there is one God. We believe that He delights in all who draw near to Him in faith. We worship the holy and loving God, eternally existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that God created everything, the visible and the invisible. We believe that He has brought and continues to give people salvation and a new life through Jesus Christ. We believe that He continues to preserve the church and everything He created until the end of time.

About Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s word become flesh. He is the Savior of the world. He has delivered us from the power of sin and reconciled us with God through His death on the cross. By His resurrection from the dead, He was declared a Lord and Conqueror over life and death. Because of this He is the Head of the Church, the Exalted Lord, the Slain Lamb. He will return to reign with God in all eternity. 

About the Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God. He lives in Jesus Christ and fills the church with power and authority. He is the source of our life in Christ. He has been poured out upon those who believe and is the guarantor of their salvation. 

About the Bible

We believe that the whole Bible, the Holy Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, is from God. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and is meant for instruction and to be practiced by those who seek after salvation and righteousness. We accept the Scripture as the Word of God and as the highest standard of measurement. It is a reliable and trustworthy guideline for the Christian faith and life. It is our desire and endeavor to understand and interpret the Scripture in accordance with the words and works of Jesus Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

About Creation

We believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is therein. We believe that He preserves and restores His creation. All of creation has its origin outside of itself and belongs to its Creator. The world has been wonderfully created because God is good and has carefully considered everything that is necessary to sustain it.

About Mankind

We believe that God has created mankind in His image. He formed them out of dust and gave them a unique dignity above all other handiworks of His creation. We believe that man was created to be connected with God, to live in peace with each other and to care for the rest of creation.  

About Sin

We acknowledge that since the Fall, when sin entered the world humans have been disobedient towards God. They gave in to the tempter and therefor fell into sin. According to the creator’s plan we have all fallen short of His expectations. We ruined the image of God in which we were created. We destructively intervened in the order of this world and restricted the love for our fellow human beings. Because of sin mankind has become a slave to the powers of the evil one and become the property of death

About Redemption

We believe that God, through Jesus Christ, offers us redemption from sin and a new life in Him. We receive this redemption when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In Christ we become reconciled with God and a part of the redeemed group of God’s people. We put our trust in God so that we can become redeemed from our sins through the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Through this we can follow Christ in this life and, in the forthcoming time, can experience the abundance of salvation. 

About the Church

We believe that the church (congregation) is the assembly of those who respond and receive God’s offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the new community of disciples sent into the world to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to give a foretaste of the coming marvelous hope of the church. The congregation is established and sustained through the Holy Spirit.

About the Great Commission

We believe that the church is commissioned to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to be a symbol thereof. Christ commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to keep His commandments.  

About Baptism

We believe that water baptism is practiced by the believers as a statement of cleansing of sin. Baptism candidates ask for baptism out of personal conviction. Candidates are reviewed by church elders. To qualify for baptism a candidate is expected to be of a ripe age and personal maturity, and to demonstrate a willingness to be in obedience to Christ. Baptism, before the congregation is also a sealing of their union with God. Baptism is a vow to henceforth follow Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit believers are baptized into the body of Christ.

About Communion

We believe that communion is a symbol in which the congregation (church) gratefully remembers the new covenant which Jesus established through His death. During communion the members of the congregation renew their covenant with God and with each other. We have a part in the life and death of Christ and proclaim this “until His return”. 

About Footwashing

We believe that in washing the feet of His disciples, Jesus calls us to serve on another in love as He did. The practice of foot washing is meant as an acknowledgement of our need for daily cleansing. It is meant to renew our willingness to serve. In washing the feet, we are to let go of our personal pride and worldly power and put our life in the service of sacrificial love. 

About Congregational Discipline

We practice congregational discipline as a sign that God offers us His forgiveness and transforming grace. Congregational discipline is intended to help brothers and sisters who have gone astray, to be set free from sin and to guide them into a right relationship with God. It is also intended to lead them back into fellowship with believers. This kind of congregational discipline gives the testimony of the church credibility in the world. 

About Services in the Congregation

We believe that services in the congregation are a continuation of he works of Christ. He bestows, upon the believers, gifts from the Holy Spirit, through which He equips them to serve the church and the world. We also believe that God appoints individual members to perform special leadership duties and responsibilities. All those who minister are accountable to God and to the community of faith. 

About the Body of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ’s church is one body with many members found throughout the whole world. This arrangement allows for all believers, through one Spirit, to be spiritually built up into a dwelling place for God. 

About Discipleship

We believe that Jesus Christ has called us to discipleship, to take the cross upon ourselves, and to follow Him. Through God’s saving grace we are empowered to be disciples. Filled with His Spirit, we follow His teachings and proceed onto His path, through suffering, to a new life. If we faithfully remain on Christ’s path, we start to resemble Him and are separated from evil of this world. 

About being a Disciple

We believe that he who is a disciple of Jesus will live a life in His Spirit. In which measure Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection becomes valuable in us, we become more like Him and have a longing to be in God’s presence. Through personal devotions and during church services the Holy Spirit is present and at work, he leads us deeper into an experience with God. 

About Marriage and Family

We believe that, according to God’s plan of creation, holy matrimony is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. We believe that human life begins in the family and is blessed through the family. Furthermore, God desires for all people to become a part of the family of God, His church. As single and married members of the church family strengthen and heal each other, likewise families can grow in unity and in accordance to His will. We are called to live in purity and to practice loving loyalty in marriage. 

About taking an Oath

We commit ourselves to tell the truth. Our yes shall be a yes, and our no shall be a no. We avoid taking an oath. 

About Stewardship

We believe that God is Lord over everything. He calls His church to be trustworthy stewards of that which God has entrusted to them. The church will have, and now already has, a part of the promised life of peace, calmness and righteousness that God has promised through the coming of His kingdom. 

About Peace

We believe that peace is a requirement of God’s will. God created the world capable of having peace. Through Jesus Christ this peace has been perfected. He is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ on the path of peace through practicing what is just, seeking reconciliation, practicing nonresistance, and controlled power even when we face violence and warfare. 

About the Holy People

We believe that the church is a “holy people”. It is called to stand in unbreakable faithfulness to Christ, its head, and to proclaim God’s redeeming love to all peoples. 

About Hope

We place our hope in the kingdom of God which will be completed on that day when Christ, in His glory, will return to judge the living and the dead. He will gather His church, all people who live under the power of God. We await God’s final victory from this battle and quarrel filled time. We await the resurrection of the dead, the new heaven and the new earth. There the people of God, with Christ, will reign in righteousness and peace. This reign will have no end.