What We Believe
1. 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 love and in holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Being immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively plans and knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purpose to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.
2. Revelation (God’s revealing who He is, what duty He requires of us and what we are required to believe)
God has graciously disclosed his person, 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 the record and declaration of the means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and preserved without error in keeping with the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and ultimate in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing God’s truth perfectly or 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.
3. Creation of Humanity
We believe that in the space of six normal days, God created all things of nothing including human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belong to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and take dominion over creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, made in the image of God, in an order that prescribes roles and limits authority, enjoy access to God by faith in Jesus Christ and are called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. 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 fill essential complementary roles to each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that men assume a distinctive role which reflects 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 life and work of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential within the specific roles God authorizes for each gender. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified males is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
4. The Fall
We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. 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 sentenced finally and irrevocably to eternal condemnation after physical death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the true and holy 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.
5. The Plan of God
We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to forgive and save a great multitude from among all mankind who incurred guilt for their sin. Those saved will be taken from every tribe and language and people and nation. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have received the gift of repentance and 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.
6. The Gospel
We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—meaning his living a life of perfect merit and offering himself as a perfect and acceptable sacrifice that could be substituted for those who believe. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news is Christ centered, focusing on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central (the message is: "Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised”). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), 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), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved).
7. The Redemption of Christ
We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son took on human nature: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person with 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 and perpetually 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, walked among and ministered to men and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, Jesus 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 have the righteousness of God: on the cross he paid for sin, assuaged the wrath of God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ was demonstrated to be the Son of God by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people. By his ascension Jesus 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.
8. The Justification of Sinners
We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, 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. We believe that a zeal for knowledge of him along with zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification.
9. The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture and fully 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, as the other Paraclete, 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, and in him they are baptized 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 agency, 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.
10. 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 become members of 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 display indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should not withdraw into seclusion from the world, but are to be distinguishable from it by their fruits and by living lives that are being sanctified ongoingly. As believers we are to do good to our neighbor and the world. We are to worship in response to God’s goodness and glory for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God. Recognizing the created order is his, 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 faith. 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 the 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 evil kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
11. God’s New People
The universal church is manifest in local fellowships of believers of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is, in fact, part of the one true church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. We believe that the church is the bride of Christ and that Christ has a bride and not a harem. Jesus prayed in John 17 that his church would be one and we should seek to give him his desire. Denominations are an empirical proof of the sinfulness of man, and the Scriptures do not establish denominational churches or denominational heavens. One Lord, One faith, One baptism. The church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever. This one church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, 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 properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: he has not only accomplished and offered peace with God, but also offers means to 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 all substance of 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. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.
12. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is the sign of membership in the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Both sacraments 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.
13. The Restoration of All Things
We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the justified and the unjustified—the unjustified to face judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the justified to be openly acknowledged and acquitted of all their sin and enter 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 those declared righteous through Christ. 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 enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.
Our Confession of Faith is adapted in part from the Confessional Statement from the Gospel Coalition. and the Westminister Confession of Faith