Statement of Faith
(Revised February 23, 2012)
I. God. We believe in one (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5-6) eternal (I Tim. 1:17), knowable (Heb. 1:1-2), sovereign God (Dan. 4:34-35). He knows all things (Psa. 139:1-4), and providentially oversees all things (Mt. 10:29-31). He is merciful (Exod. 34:6), and just (Acts 17:31), loving (I Jn. 4:8), and holy (Rev. 4:8), great in power (Ps. 147:5) and good in purpose (Rom. 8:28). His glory is our chief concern (I Cor. 10:31).
II. Trinity. We believe in one God who exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). All three are uncreated, coeternal, and equal in power, glory, and honor. They are rightly worshiped as the one true God–three in one, and one in three (Rev. 22:13, Acts 5:3-4).
III. Scripture. We believe, that while God has revealed himself in his creation (Ps. 19:1-6, Rom. 1:18-20), he has spoken to us most clearly in his word (Jn. 14:25-26, Deut. 6:6-7). The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are breathed out by God, holy, complete, and entirely without error in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, Jn. 10:35, 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The Bible is our final authority in life, doctrine, and godliness (Mt. 4:4, 2 Pet. 1:3-4).
IV. Creation. We believe God created the entire universe out of nothing (Gen. 1:1, Heb. 11:3). Man and woman were the crown of God’s good creation, being created in his own image (Gen. 1:26-27). As image-bearers, we were created to worship God and reflect him in true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-10).
V. Fall. We believe that Adam and Eve, our first parents, rebelled against God and plunged themselves and all their offspring into ruin (Gen. 3:1-19). Because of Adam’s sin, we are all guilty sinners (Rom. 5:12-21). We come into the world with corrupt natures through and through (Ps. 51:5). We are spiritually dead until God makes us alive in Christ (Jn. 6:44, Rom. 3:10-18, Eph. 2:1-5).
VI. Person of Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. We believe he is also the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16). He is fully man and fully God (1 Tim. 2:5, Titus 2:13). He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died, and (bodily) rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-8).
VII. Work of Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a shameful death that we might be counted righteous and forgiven of our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). He was our sacrificial substitute (1 Pet. 3:18). He defeated the devil (Rev. 12:9), removed our guilt (Isa. 53:4-6), and became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), bearing the weight of God’s wrath (1 Jn. 1:8-2:2).
VIII. Salvation. We believe that we are justified–declared righteous before God–through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone (Gal. 2:16). The only way (Jn. 14:6) to be adopted into God’s family is through union with his Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3-6).
IX. Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit, working through the word, supernaturally converts (regenerates) the hearts of God’s people by making alive what was spiritually dead (Titus 3:5 / I Pet. 1:23). The Spirit convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), leads us to repentance (Eze. 36:26-27), causes us to grow in holiness (2 Cor. 3:18), seals us for the day of redemption that we might be assured of our salvation (Eph. 1:13-14), and equips us with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body (I Cor. 12:7).
X. Church. We believe the church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Eph. 2:11-12 / Rev. 5:9-10). This invisible body, of which Christ Jesus is the head, exists locally, and imperfectly, as the visible church. Jesus Christ has given his church two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 28:19-20 / I Cor. 11:23-26).
XI. Marks and Mission. We believe God’s people should be marked by Christlikeness (Eph. 5:1-2), prayerfulness (Rom. 12:12), joyful obedience (John 14:15), love of God and love of neighbor (Mt. 22:37-44). We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Mt. 28:37-40) . As salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16), we seek to save the lost (I Cor. 9:19-23), love others in word and deed (I Pet. 4:11), work for righteousness and justice (Amos 5:24), and care for the hurting and needy (Jn. 3:16-18).
XII. Last Things. We believe Jesus Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Acts 1:11). At his appearing the dead shall be raised and the living and the dead will be judged (1 Cor. 15:20-28). The wicked and unbelieving will be consigned to eternal punishment (Rev. 20:10 / Rev. 14:15). Those belonging to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth and live in ever-increasing joy to the glory of God (Mt. 25:21 / Rev. 21:1-5).
CREEDS AND CONFESSIONS
As a church we ascribe to the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed tradition:
The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Athanasian Creed, The Belgic Confession, The Heidelberg Catechism, The Canons of Dort
Though not an official statement for our church, the theology in the Danvers Statement is shared by our staff members and shapes their philosophy of ministry.