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Statement of Faith

SCRIPTURE, THE WORD OF GOD WRITTEN

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is the perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all scripture is authoritative, infallible and inerrant.

All Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It is 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. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

God’s intentions are revealed through the intentions of inspired human authors, even when the authors’ intention was to express divine meaning of which they were not fully aware, as, for example, in the case of some Old Testament prophecies or the numerous instances of typology in the Old Testament. Thus the meaning of Biblical texts is a fixed historical reality, rooted in the historical, unchangeable intentions of its divine and human authors. However, while meaning does not change, the application of that meaning may change in various situations. Nevertheless, it is not legitimate to infer a meaning from a Biblical text that is not demonstrably carried by the words which God inspired.

Therefore, the process of discovering the intention of God in the Bible is a humble and careful effort to find in the language of Scripture what the human authors intended to communicate. Limited abilities, traditional biases, personal sin, and cultural assumptions often obscure Biblical texts. The work of the Holy Spirit is therefore essential for right understanding of the Bible and prayer for His assistance belongs to a proper effort to understand and apply God’s Word.

The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself. Therefore, when there is a question about the meaning of a particular text, it must be understood in light of other passages that speak more clearly.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11-12, 18, 89, 105, 140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 4:6-7; 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44- 46; John 5:39; 11:51; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16-36.; 15:5-16; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; Ephesians 1:18; 2 Timothy 3:15- 17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:10-11, 25; 2 Peter 1:19-21;3:16

THE TRINITY, ONE GOD AS THREE PERSONS

God eternally exists 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 exhaustively 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.

God is all-sufficient, and all life, glory, goodness and blessedness are found in Him and in Him alone. He does not stand in need of any of the creatures that He has made, nor does He derive any part of His glory from them. On the contrary, He manifests His own glory in and by them. He is the fountainhead of all being, and the origin, channel and end of all things. Over all His creatures He is sovereign. He uses them as He pleases, and does for them or to them all that He wills. His sight penetrates to the heart of all things. His knowledge is infinite and infallible. No single thing is to Him at risk or uncertain, for He is not dependent upon created things. In all His decisions, doings and demands He is most holy. Angels and men owe to Him as their creator all worship, service, obedience and whatever else He may require at their hands.

Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 42:2; Psalm 115:3; 138:5; Proverbs 8:27-30; Daniel 4:25, 34-35; Matthew 1:23, 11:27; 16:16; 25:23; 28:19; John 1:1-3,8,14, 18; 5:18; 6:46; 10:30,38; 12:18, 45; 14:7,26; 15:11, 26; 16:13-14; 17:26; 20:17-31; Acts 2:33; 5:3-4; Romans 1:7; 8:27; 9:5; 15:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2:10-11; 8:6; 12:11; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 13:14; Ephesians 1:11; 4:30; Colossians 1:15-16; 2:9; 1 Timothy 1;11; 4:10; 3:12; Titus 2:13; Philemon 1:3; Hebrews 1:3, 5-6, 8; James 4:15; 1 Peter 1:3;

GOD’S CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE AND MAN

God created the universe, and everything in it, out of nothing, by the Word of His power. Having no deficiency in Himself, nor moved by any incompleteness in His joyful self-sufficiency, God was pleased in creation to display His glory for the everlasting joy of the redeemed, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

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. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and 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. 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, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.

Genesis 1:1,27, 31; 2:7, 18, 21-22; 9:6; Exodus 3:13-14; Psalm 24:1-2; 50:9-14; Isaiah 35:10; 43:7; Matthew 25:23; John 1:1-3; Acts 17:25; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; Romans 5:14; Ephesians 5:22-23; James 3:9; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3; Revelation 5:9, 7:9-10

MAN’S SIN AND FALL FROM FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

Although God created Adam and Eve without sin, they were led astray from God’s Word and wisdom by the subtlety of Satan’s deceit, and chose to take what was forbidden, and thus declare their independence from, distrust for, and disobedience toward their all-good and gracious Creator. Thus, our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original innocence and fellowship with God.

As the head of the human race, Adam‘s fall became the fall of all his posterity, in such a way that corruption, guilt, death, and condemnation belong properly to every person. All persons are thus corrupt by nature, enslaved to sin, and morally unable to delight in God and overcome their own proud preference for the fleeting pleasures of self- rule.

Because of Adam’s sin God has subjected the creation to futility, and the entire human family is made justly liable to untold miseries of sickness, decay, calamity, and death. Thus all the adversity and suffering in the world is an echo and a witness of the exceedingly great evil of moral depravity in the heart of mankind.

Genesis 2:17; 3:1,6-8, 13; Deuteronomy 29:4; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 2:4; 5:12-19; 6:16, 20; 8:7-8, 20, 23, 35-36; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 15:21; 2 Corinthians 4:16; 11:3; Ephesians 2:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13

JESUS CHRIST, THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD

The Lord Jesus Christ is the one promised and prophesied of in the Old Testament and who brings fulfillment of all of God’s promises in the New Testament. He is the divine second person of the Trinity who made the world and upholds and governs all things He made. In the fullness of time, God the Father, sent forth His eternal Son as Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.

When the eternal Son became flesh He took on a fully human nature, so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one Person, without confusion or mixture. Thus the Person, Jesus Christ, was and is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ and the only Mediator between God and man.

Jesus Christ lived without sin, though He endured the common infirmities and temptations of human life. He preached and taught with truth and authority unparalleled in human history. He worked miracles, demonstrating His divine right and power over all creation: dispatching demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, stilling the storm, walking on water, multiplying loaves, and foreknowing what would befall Him and His disciples, including the betrayal of Judas and the denial, restoration, and eventual martyrdom of Peter.

Jesus’ life was governed by His Father‘s providence with a view to fulfilling all Old Testament prophecies concerning the One who was to come, such as the Seed of the woman, the Prophet like Moses, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek, the King, Son of David, and the Suffering Servant.

Jesus Christ suffered voluntarily in fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He died, was buried, and on the third day rose from the dead to vindicate the saving work of His life and death and to take His place as the invincible, everlasting Lord of glory. During forty days after His resurrection, He gave many compelling evidences of His bodily resurrection and then ascended bodily into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for His people on the basis of His all-sufficient sacrifice for sin, and reigning until He puts all His enemies under His feet.

Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:18; Psalm 110:4; Isaiah 9:7; 52:3; 53:3-6; Matthew 1:1, 23; 4:23; 11:4-6; 14:19-20, 25; 16:16; 21:18-19; 22:16, 42; 26:2; 28:6; Mark 1:27; 4:39; 10:45; Luke 1:34-35; 22:31-34, 69; 24:25-26; John 1:1-3, 14; 3:16-17, 19; 6:6; 7:46; 10:18; 19:30, 40-41; 13:21, 26-27; Acts 1:3, 9-11; 2:23;33; 3:20-23; 4:27-28; 5:31; 17:31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 25; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:16; 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:8 ; Hebrews 1:13; 2:17; 4:14-15; 5:5-6; 1 John 2:1

THE SAVING WORK OF CHRIST

By His perfect obedience to God and by His suffering and death as the immaculate Lamb of God, Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness of sins and the gift of perfect righteousness for all who trusted in God’s promise prior to the cross and all who would trust in Christ thereafter. Through living a perfect life and dying in our place, the just for the unjust, Christ absorbed our punishment, appeased the wrath of God against us, vindicated the righteousness of God in our justification, and removed the condemnation of the law against us.

The atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons, so that to every person it may be truly said, “God gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.” All who truly believe will be saved and Jesus shall never cast them out.

The death of Christ, moreover, secured more than the bona fide offer of the gospel for all; it also secured the New Covenant’s promise of repentance and faith for God‘s elect. Christ died for all, but not for all in the same way. In His death, Christ expressed a special covenant love to His friends, His sheep, His bride. For them, through His death and resurrection, He obtained the infallible and effectual working of the Spirit to triumph over their resistance and bring them to saving faith.

Matthew 28:19; John 1:29; 3:16; 4:14; 6:37; 10:14-15; 11:51-52; 17:6, 9, 19; Luke 22:20; Acts 1:8; 13:38; Romans 3:21-22, 24-26, 28; 4:3; 5:6, 18-19; 8:1, 3, 32, 34; 14:9; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 21; Galatians 2:16, 21; 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:3-6; 5:25; 15:13; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 1:14, 23; 2:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; Hebrews 8:6; 13:20-21; Revelation 5:9; 22:17

THE SAVING WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of creation, awakening faith in the remnant of God’s people, performing signs and wonders, giving triumphs in battle, empowering the preaching of prophets and inspiring the writing of Scripture. Yet, when Christ had made atonement for sin, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, He inaugurated a new era of the Spirit by pouring out the promise of the New Covenant on His Church.

The newness of this era is marked by the unprecedented mission of the Spirit to glorify the crucified and risen Christ. This He does by giving the disciples of Jesus greater power to preach the gospel of the glory of Christ by opening the hearts of hearers that they might see Christ and believe, by revealing the beauty of Christ in His Word and transforming His people from glory to glory, by manifesting Himself in spiritual gifts (being sovereignly free to dispense, as He wills) for the upbuilding of the body of Christ and the confirmation of His Word, by calling all the nations into the sway of the gospel of Christ, and, in all this, thus fulfilling the New Covenant promise to create and preserve a purified people for the everlasting habitation of God.

Apart from the effectual work of the Spirit, no one would come to faith, because all are dead in trespasses and sins. All people are hostile to God and morally unable to submit to God or please Him because the pleasures of sin appear greater than the pleasures of God. Thus, for God’s elect, the Spirit triumphs over all resistance, wakens the dead, removes blindness, and manifests Christ in such a compellingly beautiful way through the Gospel that He becomes irresistibly attractive to the regenerate heart. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ and He Himself is the down payment of the promised inheritance. In this age He indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

The Holy Spirit does this saving work in connection with the presentation of the Gospel of the glory of Christ. Thus neither the work of the Father in election, nor the work of the Son in atonement, nor the work of the Spirit in regeneration is a hindrance or discouragement to the proclamation of the gospel to all peoples and persons everywhere. On the contrary, this divine saving work of the Trinity is the warrant and the ground of our hope that our evangelization is not in vain in the Lord. The Spirit binds His saving work to the gospel of Christ, because His aim is to glorify the Christ of the Gospel. Therefore we do not believe that there is salvation through any other means than through receiving the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 3:10; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Psalm 104:30; Jeremiah 31:33-34; 32:40; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Matthew 11:27; 16:17; 22:43; Mark 4:19; Luke 24:49; John 3:8; 6:44, 65; 7:39; 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 4:31; 11:18; 13:2, 48; 16:14; 17:30-31; Romans 6:17; 8:7-9; 12:3-8; 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-28; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 4:4-6; 6:16; Ephesians 2:4-6, 8-9, 11-16, 21; 3:6; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 2:24-25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 2:3-4; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 2 Peter 1:2

SAVING FAITH

The grace of faith by which the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls is the work of the Spirit in their hearts. Normally it is brought into being through the preaching of the Word. By the Word and its ministry, by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, by prayer, and also by other means appointed by God, faith is increased and strengthened.

By faith a Christian believes everything to be true that is made known in the Word, in which God speaks authoritatively. He also perceives in the Word a degree of excellence superior to all other writings, indeed to all things that the world contains. The Word shows the glory of God as seen in His various attributes, the excellence of Christ in His nature and in the offices He bears, and the power and perfection of the Holy Spirit in all the works in which He is engaged. In this way the Christian is enabled to trust himself implicitly to the truth thus believed, and to render service according to the different requirements of the various parts of Scripture. To the commands he yields obedience; when he hears threatenings he trembles; as for the divine promises concerning this life and that which is to come, he embraces them. But the principal acts of saving faith relate in the first instance to Christ as the believer accepts, receives and rests upon Him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, and all by virtue of the New Covenant.

Psalm 19:7-10; 119:72; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 6:30; Luke 17:5; John 1:12; 15:14; Acts 15:11; 16:31; 20:32; 24:14; Romans 4:19-20; 10:14-17; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:8; 6:16; Colossians 2:2; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 5:13-14; 6:11-12; 11:13; 12:2; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:4-5

LIVING GOD’S WORD BY MEDITATION AND PRAYER

Faith is awakened and sustained by God’s Spirit through His Word and prayer. The good fight of faith is fought mainly by meditating on the Scriptures and praying that God would apply them to our souls.

The promises of God recorded in the Scriptures are suited to save us from the deception of sin by displaying for us, and holding out to us, superior pleasures in the protection, provision, and presence of God. Therefore, reading, understanding, pondering, memorizing, and savoring the promises of all that God will be for us in Jesus are primary means of the Holy Spirit to break the power of sin’s deceitful promises in our lives. It is therefore needful that we give ourselves to such meditation, day and night.

God has ordained to bless and use His people for His glory through the means of prayer, offered in Jesus’ name by faith. All prayer should seek ultimately that God’s name be hallowed, that His kingdom come, and that His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. God’s sovereignty over all things is not a hindrance to prayer, but a reason for hope that our prayers will succeed.

Prayer is the indispensable handmaid of meditation, as we cry out to God for the inclination to turn from the world to the Word, for the spiritual ability to see the glory of God in His testimonies, for a soul-satisfying sight of the love of God, and for strength in the inner man to do the will of God. By prayer God sanctifies His people, sends gospel laborers into the world, and causes the Word of God to spread and triumph over Satan and unbelief.

Psalm 1:1-3; 34:8; 37:4; 86:11; 90:14; 119:11, 18, 36; Ezekiel 36:37-38; Matthew 6:9-10; 7:7-11; 9:38; Mark 9:24; Luke 22:31-32; John 14:13; 15:16, 30-31; 16:23-24, 26; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 1:18-19; 3:4, 14-36; 5:17; 6:17-19; Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 3:1; Hebrews 4:12; 10:34; 11:24-26; 13:13-14; 2 Peter 1:3-4; James 1:5-8; 1 John 3:21-22; 5:14-15

THE KINGDOM

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 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. 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.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10, 23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19;1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10, 16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6, 9; 5:10; 11:15; 21- 22

DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND THE COMING OF THE LORD

When Christians die they are made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, and are taken consciously into the presence of Christ, which is more glorious and more satisfying than any experience on earth.

At the end of this age the Lord Jesus Christ will return personally, gloriously and bodily with His holy angels. He will exercise his role as final Judge and his kingdom will be consummated. Both the just and the unjust will be raised bodily—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, the spotless Lamb, who sits on the throne. 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, His people will be enthralled by the immediacy of His ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness.

Psalm 16:11; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13:12; 9:29; 24:31; 25:23, 46; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 21:27; 22:28-30; 23:43; 24:39-43; John 3:16; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:18; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 13:12; 15:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9; 12:2-3; Ephesians 2:6-7; Philippians 1:23; 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 5:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13;Hebrews 12:22-23; Jude 24-25; Revelation 6:9-11; 14:11

The HOLY BEAUTIFUL statement of faith pulls from the Elder Affirmation of Faith for Christ Redeemer Church in McKinney, Texas (used by permission). The statement is modified for both length (ex. 3; 10; 11; 12; 16; etc. in the original document), as well as leaving out distinctives not held by all team members such as the relationship between Israel and the Church.