Men and women are created in the image of God yet separated from Him by our rebellion against Him. In His unconditional love for us, God entered our world in the person of Jesus Christ – fully human and fully divine – to give a new life through the cross which reconciles us to God. Thereafter we begin a new life with Jesus as Lord which continues into eternity as He has conquered death through His resurrection.
The Apostles’ Creed affirms our belief in God as Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and that Christ was born to the Virgin Mary, died and rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will come again.
We have the privilege and opportunity to approach God in prayer and to receive His teaching through the Bible. The Ten Commandments teach our duty towards God and towards our neighbour, as affirmed by Jesus: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” In the Lord’s Prayer, we express our worship for God and our desire to see His kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.
The Church of Ireland has two sacraments – Baptism and Holy Communion (also known as the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist) – which are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace given to us by God, and also a means to receive that grace.
Baptism is administered by water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Infants are baptised on the understanding that they will be brought up in the fellowship of the Church, taught the Christian faith, and then confirmed by the Bishop and admitted to Holy Communion when they have publicly confessed the faith. Adults are also baptised, if they have not been baptised as infants, as they too place their faith in the promises of God.
In Holy Communion, Christians continually remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross through the taking and receiving of bread and wine. A variety of interpretations of the meaning and significance of the bread and wine exist within the Church of Ireland, although our doctrine would not include transubstantiation. Holy Communion strengthens and refreshes the souls of those who receive it by faith.
Further information is available through the Association for Promoting Christian Knowledge (APCK) Study leaflets, click here.