Statement of Faith
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. We believe that God’s Word in its entirety is given to His Church in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and that it is the only rule and is completely sufficient for all of life and faith. (Matt 4:4, 2 Tim 3:16,)
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are three Persons but One God, the same in substance and equal in power and glory. (Deut 6:4, Isa 45:5; Gen 1:2, Psa 2, John 1:1; John 10:30, John 14:16-20)
We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the conception of His body by the Holy Spirit and His birth by the virgin Mary, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His death in our place and for our sins, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal and physical return in power and glory which will bring about the consummation of all things. (John 1:1, Matt 1:18-20, Heb 4:15, Acts 2:22, 1 Tim 1:15, 1 Corinthians 15:20, John 16:16, Acts 1:9, Revelation 1:7)
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, that He personally dwells within and guides those who are true believers, and empowers them for service, giving to them various gifts and producing within their lives the fruits of Christian character. We believe that the Holy Spirit simultaneously baptizes each believer into Christ, at the moment they are regenerated, and also at that moment He comes to dwell within the believer. The filling of the Holy Spirit should be a continuous and repeated action. (John 14:16-17, Philippians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Colossians 2:12-13, Ephesians 5:18)
Man, His Creation: We believe that the first man, Adam, was created directly by God and not by any process of evolution; particularly not by any process that involves death such as natural selection which is taught as the basis of Darwinian Evolution. We believe that he was created in the image and likeness of God, possessing personality and holiness, and that he was a free moral agent possessing the power of choice, and that the purpose of his creation was to glorify God. We believe that due to man’s will being marred by the Fall he is now in need of regeneration by the Holy Spirit in order to make the choice to trust in Christ for salvation. His will is free and yet bound by its fallen nature to chose what its nature dictates. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7, Ephesians 4:24, Jeremiah 13:23, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Ephesians 2:1-3, John 3:7-8)
We believe that salvation is by grace, that is, it is an undeserved kindness that God gives to His people. We believe that salvation is through faith, that is, that man has absolutely no merit in his salvation but when the Spirit of God impresses upon man’s conscience the wight of his sin and the holiness of his Creator man recognizes God’s right to punish him and comes under the true conviction of his sin, he then falls upon the mercy of God that is in Christ and rests in the promise of God to redeem those who put their trust in Him. (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 16:7-8, Romans 7:13-14, Acts 2:37-38, Ephesians 3:16-19, Romans 10:13)
We believe that God regenerates and justifies the sinner. That repentance and sanctification always flow out of true faith. Justification is a judicial act absolving from punishment and restoring to divine favor. Regeneration is the impartation of divine life effecting a change in the believer’s nature. By the operation of the Holy Spirit through the Word, we are given a disposition to obey God. The Holy Spirit who performs this also witnesses to this experience. (Romans 3:21-30, Ephesians 2:4-6, Romans 8:11-14, Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 3:1-5, John 3:6, Romans 8:16)
We believe sanctification is the work of grace begun by the Holy Spirit at the moment of regeneration and continues progressively until physical death. We believe it is not instantaneous nor is it a separate work after salvation (second work of grace). We believe the old nature is not eradicated until after death, but that we must constantly guard against its influence in our lives. (Romans 8:29, Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 3:10, Romans 12:2, Romans 7)
We believe in the oneness of the church of Christ, composed of all Spirit-regenerated believers, and that these believers both living and dead, shall be caught up together at His second coming. We believe that the One Church or Universal Church should be recognized by all believers as the Body of Christ, regardless of doctrinal differences; In Essentials, Unity. In Non-Essentials, Liberty. In all things, Charity. However, we also believe that among the Visible Church, which is comprised of all who profess faith in Christ, that there exists the Invisible Church or those who have been truly Born Again. We cannot always tell from outward profession, those who are truly saved but we know that “The Lord knows those who are His.”
We Believe that the Universal Church is made up of many Local Churches where the ministry of the Word and The Sacraments must be present and that individual members must pledge their committed support and fellowship in the mission and ministry of that local body. The Local Church is also the place for discipline and accountability of individual Christians who are committed to that ministry and through it to one another.
We believe the Christian sacraments are outward rites appointed by Christ to be administered in each church, not as means to salvation, but as visible signs of the facts and realities of salvation. (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Matthew 28:19, Romans 6:3, Colossians 2:11-12)
We believe in water baptism as Christ has commanded that it be done as a part of His “Great Commission” to the New Testament Church (Matthew 28:18-20) and that it is to be administered to believers only. We believe that immersion is the way described in the New Testament as the mode of baptism. (Acts 2:38, Acts 8:36-38)
The Lord’s Supper in an ordinance instituted by Christ, for observance by His followers until He returns. It consists in partaking of the consecrated emblems of bread and wine, and symbolizes the death and suffering of Christ for the remission of our sins and our continual dependence upon Him for our sustenance. The Lord’s table should be open to all that are in right relationship with God, regardless of denomination. (1 Corinthians 11:28)
WE believe both ordinances are means of grace given to the Church by God and are only effective from obedience in faith. God strengthens and encourages His people through them. [The means of grace are not intended to include every means by which God may edify Christians, but are the ordinary channels he has ordained for this purpose and are communicated to Christians supernaturally by the Holy Spirit – Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology]
We believe in the literal, physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the age when He will bring all of His people, living and dead, to Himself, judge the unbelieving world and consummating His work of Redemption and establishing His eternal kingdom, including the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth. Upon the return of Christ every person who ever lived will stand before Him in judgment and the Just (those who have trusted in Christ) will live forever in the presence of God with no more sickness, sorrow, suffering or shame. At that time, the bodies of the righteous dead will be raised and the living believers will be changed so that both will have literal, spiritual and immortal bodies like Christ’s own glorious body. The Unjust (those who have not believed) will be cast into the lake of fire where their torment will be eternal and they will be away from the Presence of the Lord and the glory of His power. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Ephesians 4:13-16, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:11-12, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, Revelation 20:13-15, 2 Thessalonians 1:9,)
We believe that marriage is a sacred institution ordained of God in the time of man’s innocence and that it is the mutual union of one biological man and one biological woman (Genesis 2:20-24) and morally binding so long as both shall live (Matthew 5:32, 19:9, ), and that therefore it cannot be dissolved by a decree of a civil tribunal, except on evidence that one party is guilty of adultery or in the case of desertion by an unbelieving spouse (Matthew 19:6, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11). In the case of either situation the innocent party is free from further matrimonial obligations and justly entitled to marry again, but the guilty party has no such right (1 Corinthians 7:15). We deny the right of marriage to both parties who have been divorced for causes other than adultery or abandonment (Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 7:15).
Additionally, Redeemer Covenant Church reserves the right to deny the solemnization of marriage to anyone who does not agree with and adhere to the general statements of Scripture indicating that it is God’s institution (Genesis 2:20-24, Matthew 19:4-6) That it is intended only for one man and one woman (Genesis 2:20-24, Matthew 19:4-6, Ephesians 5:22-33) and that it is a binding covenant between them in the presence of God who sanctifies it, making it a holy thing that is lifelong and to be regarded as precious and unchangeable by any human agency ( Genesis 2:20-24, Matthew 19:4-6, Ephesians 5:22-33). In addition, any one requesting the solemnization of marriage vows by a pastor or elder of Redeemer Covenant Church must willingly undergo the prescribed Premarital Counseling which teaches the nature of Marriage and how God sees it according to His Word, the Bible, and what He requires of those entering into it. Sexual sin (Adultery, Fornication, Use of Pornography and any other sexual act outside of the marriage bed) is a Scriptural reason to dissolve a marriage (Matthew 5:32, 19:9, Hebrews 13:4) as well as a reason for Redeemer Covenant Church to deny the service of solemnizing marriage vows between any prospective Bride and Groom).