This statement of faith is derived from our understanding of the Holy Scriptures.
It is our standard for everything we believe and live.
The Triune God
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in His love and in His holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, He perfectly and completely knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about His eternal good purposes to redeem a people for Himself and restore His fallen creation, to the praise of His glorious grace.
Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 9:5; 2 Cor. 13:14
Revelation of the Word of God
God has graciously disclosed His existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed Himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by His Spirit has graciously disclosed Himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of His saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of His will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finite knowledge and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing God’s truth exhaustively, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.
2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 Peter 1:10-11; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 14:15, 21, 23; Psalm 1:1-6; Psalm 119:1-176
Creation of Humanity
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in His own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God Himself declared to be very good, serving as God's agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. We believe that in God’s creation He has ordained that life begins at conception. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam, created male, and Eve, created female, were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union, i.e. marriage, that establishes the only biblical pattern of sexual relations for born men and born women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God's wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. Children are a gracious gift of the Lord and parents are the principal educators of their children in all areas of knowledge, educating them in the knowledge of God as our Creator and Redeemer, thereby shaping their worldview for all of life. The responsibility of the local church is to equip and support the parents to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, the fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 2:7, 18-25; Isaiah 45:18; Matthew 19:4-6; Colossians 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 2:13
We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, forfeited his original sinless state by disobeying God thereby falling under the curse of sin. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself.
Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 3:10-18; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:21; 1 Timothy 2:14
The Plan of God
We believe that from eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end He foreknew (i.e. He set His love upon them) and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that He will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those He has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.
Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2
We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s perfect wisdom. This good news is Christological, centering on His death on the cross and His resurrection. The gospel is not proclaimed if the authentic Christ is not proclaimed. Furthermore Christ has not been proclaimed if His death and His resurrection are not central (the message is “Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised”).
1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18
This good news is
biblical (His death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), Isaiah 53:1-12
theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), Galatians 4:4-5
intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved), yet Acts 2:36-38
foolish to the world (even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved). 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
The Redemption of Christ
We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to His Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed His heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by His incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross He atoned for sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins (i.e. the wrath of God) reconciled to God the Father all those who believe. By His resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by His Father, broke the power of sin and death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all His people; by His ascension He has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with Him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever boast before him—Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
John 1:1-3; Matthew 1:20-25; 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 3:21-31; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Acts 4:10-12; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, 1 Corinthians 15:54
The Justification of Sinners
We believe that Christ, by His obedience and death, completely paid the debt of all those who are justified. By Christ’s perfect obedience He satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience, His righteousness, is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. By His sacrifice, He bore in our place the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf, declaring the guilty to be righteous. Christ was given by the Father for us, and His obedience and punishment were accepted in our place, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
Romans 3:21-31, Romans 4:24-25, Romans 5:1-21; Galatians 2:16-21, Galatians 3:24-29; Philippians 3:8-11
The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe that salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to His people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by His powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit’s ministry, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive His sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit is Himself the down payment of the promised inheritance, and in this age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
Ezekiel 36:25-27; Ezekiel 37:14; John 3:5-6; John 14:16-17, 26; Acts 2:1-4; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 8:1-39; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13
The Kingdom of God
We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works, resulting from the inward transformation, constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to do good works in our community, for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God. Recognizing whose created order this is, and because we are citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
Mark 1:14-15; John 18:36-37; Acts 8:12; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 2:10-22; Colossians 1:12-14; Matthew 22:36-40; 1 Thessalonians 2:12
God’s New People
We believe the Church is the community of all true believers for all time. God’s new covenant people are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This universal church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is the body of Christ and He has pledged himself to her forever. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world. Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: He has not only brought about peace with God, but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. The church serves as a sign of God’s future new world when its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for self-focus. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.
1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Ephesians 2:6-22; Galatians 6:9-10
The Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself as physically visible expressions and proclamations of the Gospel. Baptism is a picture of our life, death and resurrection with Christ as members of the new covenant community, and the Lord’s Supper is an ongoing covenant renewal celebration of our union with Christ. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of His return and of the consummation of all things.
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:2-11; Luke 22:15-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30
The Restoration of All Things
We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of Christ Jesus our Lord, when He will exercise His role as final Judge, and His kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord Himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the Church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and His people will be filled with wonder and delight by the immediacy of his inexpressible holiness, and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.
2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 14:7, 21:1-27; 22:1-21; Romans 8:18-22