THE STORY OF UNITED

United is about a story, a story that God has been telling for thousands of years.  It is a story about beauty and betrayal, covenant and redemption. In it, the glory of God is revealed over and over again, and the ancient truths of the Creator are proven timeless across all creation.


Bible

God has communicated this grand narrative through the written word, inspiring some 40 authors over a period of some 1600 years to write the 66 books of the Protestant canon.  This library of history, poetry and prophecy, as originally written in its original languages, is trustworthy and without error.  

Every word is the result of divine inspiration and guidance (2 Tim. 3:16), expressed through human personalities and styles (2 Pet. 1:21).  Accordingly, the scriptures hold highest authority over other means of revelation and are not to be added to or detracted from (Deut. 4:2; Deut. 12:32; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18).

Creator

The story begins with the one and only true God, eternally existent and self-sufficient in a community of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:26, Gen. 11:7; Deut. 6:4; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1-2, 14, 18; Heb. 1:8-9; Rev. 22:3).  Within the godhead is submission and love and worship and friendship, such that God lacks nothing within Himself.

Creation

As an expression of divine love and glory, God chose to create the universe and all living things therein.  He made everything out of nothing by the power of His word – all of which was good (Gen. 1:1-31).

At the pinnacle of His creation, He fashioned humanity in His own image, male and female, and gave them dominion over all else that He had made (Genesis 1:26-30).  He placed the first man and woman in a garden, naked and unashamed, and charged them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:25).

Fall of Man

Despite possessing every needed provision for lives of joy and peace with God and creation, the first man and woman disobeyed God's command that they not eat from a tree in the centre of their garden paradise.  A fallen angel, masquerading as a serpent, tempted the woman with the false promise that she might become like God.  The woman, in turn, tempted the first man, and both ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-6).  

God consequently cursed the land, introducing pain and hardship into creation for the first time. The man and woman felt shame over their nakedness and experienced spiritual separation from God (Gen. 3:7-24).  All human offspring have since experienced that same separation and are born with a depraved nature prone to reject God and embrace sin (Rom. 3:10-18).

Redemption

From the moment of man's initial sin and the plunge of all creation into curse, God promised redemption through the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20).  He reiterated that promise to Abraham, telling him that blessing to all nations would come through his offspring, namely Jesus (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16). 

God foreshadowed the coming redemption in His covenant with the nation of Israel, instituting a sacrificial system for sin through which the people might come to reconciliation with God (Lev. 16).  The prophets of Israel then foretold of a new and better covenant in accordance with the promises made to Abraham which would be established by a messianic figure who would atone for all sin (Jer. 31:31-34; Isaiah 53:1-12).

Jesus proved to be that Christ, fulfilling the Old Testament prophesies.  He was God made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14), the second person of the Trinity, entering human history as a man to live without sin as a perfect example (Heb. 4:15), to die for sin as the propitiation from God's righteous wrath (Heb. 2:17), and to resurrect over sin, death, and Satan in victory (Col. 2:13-15).  Jesus then returned to His place of glory in heaven, where to this day He intercedes before the Father on behalf of all those who trust in His sacrifice (Heb. 7:25).

God adopts these people of faith as His children and unites them as His church.  He regenerates their dead hearts to new life and gives them the Holy Spirit to supernaturally empower them to continue Christ’s work of restoring shalom and incarnating the divine (Acts 1:8; Eph. 1:13; Titus 3:5; 1 John 4:12).

Restoration

These believers are invited to join and partake in God's kingdom, even as they await the kingdom's full consummation on the earth. Jesus has promised to return one day, not again as a humble peasant, but in glory to judge all nations.  

He will bring final justice and usher in a resurrection of all peoples, some to eternal torment, others to eternal peace (Rev. 11:18).  He will establish new heavens and a new earth in which the redeemed people of God will live in perfect, sinless harmony and worship forever (2 Pet. 3:13).

 

Join us this Sunday at one of our three locations.

UCC Leppävaara

A family-friendly service located in one of the fastest growing suburbs of the Nordics, with a full range of children and youth classes. Services are a mix of traditional and contemporary.

UCC Otaniemi

Located on the campus of Aalto University in south Espoo, UCC Otaniemi is a small family and student friendly service with a more traditional style of worship.

UCC Helsinki

Located in the heart of downtown Helsinki, near the university of Helsinki campus, UCC Helsinki draws a mix of university students and young adults with its contemporary style of worship.