What We Believe
A brief non-technical statement of our core beliefs: We believe the Bible is inspired by God and reveals God's truth for our lives. It tells us the story of how God has always existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and in this unique trinity of love and glory God created all that exists. God created mankind to live in an intimate relationship with Him. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were placed in a perfect garden but they defied God's authority and sinned against Him. Because of sins entrance into the world mankind became separated from God. Throughout history God continued to reveal Himself in many ways, especially in the Holy Scriptures. Then, at the time God had chosen, He took on human flesh and entered our world for our salvation. Jesus Christ was God in human flesh. He became one of us, lived a sinless life, and willingly gave Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins. He rose from the dead to demonstrate His victory and to offer Himself as Lord and Savior to anyone who will turn to Him and trust in Him. Everyone who turns to Christ as Lord and trusts in Him as Savior is given the gift of life. Through faith in Christ our sins are forgiven, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell, guide and transform us throughout this life, and we are promised eternity with God in a renewed and redeemed universe. The Scriptures are given to guide us as we follow Christ in this life. The church is the community of God's people called together by God to encourage and support each other, to work together for the cause of Christ and to glorify God through works of service and worship.
Statement of Faith
1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory. (Deut. 6:4, Jer. 10:10, Matt. 28:19.)
2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises. (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Romans 16:25-27, 1 Cor. 14: 37.)
The Human Condition
3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed. (Genesis 1:27, John 3:3-16, Ephesians 2:1-10.)
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus-Israel’s promised Messiah-was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate. (Galatians 4:4, Luke 2:40, John 1:1-3, John 10:30.)
The Work of Christ
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation. (John 1:12-13, 3:3-19, Romans 3:23-26, Ephesians 2:8-9.)
The Holy Spirit
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. (John 16:8-11, John 3:3-16, Ephesians 3:17-19, 5:18, Galatians 5:22-23.)
7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer. (1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 1:22-23)
8. We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
9. We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission. (Acts 1:11, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 John 3:2-3)
Response and Eternal Destiny
10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen. (Eph. l:l3, l Peter l:5)
Christ Community Church is a church with a significant Reformed dimension. Reformed Theology is theology that reflects and highly values the great biblical and theological themes recovered during the Protestant reformation. It especially highlights the grace and sovereignty of God in salvation.
Reformed Distinctives can be summarized in three essential doctrines:
Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, and Sola Fide.
Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, and Faith Alone.
Sola Scriptura: The Bible in its original writings is verbally and fully inspired by God and therefore the inerrant Word of God to the human race; it is therefore the supreme and final authority for belief and practice. Therefore human reason, human emotion, and human tradition must be subject to the authority of Holy Scripture.
Sola Gratia: Salvation is entirely by the grace of God. In Reformed Theology the implications of this statement are summed up in the so-called five points of reformed theology,
1. Radical Depravity: Sin affects every aspect of our humanity. This does not mean we are all as bad as we can be but it does mean that we are all equally under the just condemnation of God and unable to do anything to save ourselves.
- Rom. 8:7-8, "The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, it does not submit to God's law; indeed it cannot. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you."
- Eph. 2:1,5, "You were dead through your trespasses and sins."
2. Unconditional Election: Election mean choosing. Unconditional election means that God chooses individuals for salvation on the basis of His sovereign grace and not on the basis of any condition He finds or foresees in them. The eternal, unconditional love of God is the ultimate source for our salvation.
- Acts 13:48, "When the gentiles heard this they were glad and glorified the word of God. And as many as were for ordained to eternal life believed."
- John 6:37, "All that the Father gives to me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out."
- John 17:6, "I have manifested my name to them whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me." (John 6:44, 65).
3. Particular Redemption: The redemption (or atonement) Christ achieved on the cross was particularly intended for the salvation of His sheep, His church, His people. Although the sacrifice of Christ was sufficient to pay for the sins of the whole world it's particular purpose was to redeem those people whom he had chosen before the foundations of the world and who would in time come to him in faith and repentance.
- Eph. 5:25, "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
- John 10:15, "I lay down my life for the sheep."
- Rom. 8:32, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?"
4. Effective Grace: While God showers His common grace on all people He specifically and effectively calls His chosen people to Himself, convicting them of their sin and renewing their rebellious and indifferent hearts to genuine repentance and saving faith by His Holy Spirit.
- Acts 16:14, "The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul."
- John 6:65, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by my Father." (Matt. 16:17; Luke 10:21)
- 1 Cor. 1:23-24, "We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God."
5. Perseverance of the Saints: All believers are saints (to be a saint is simply to be set apart for God) and all believers will be kept by the power of God to the end. No one who has received salvation, new birth, and eternal life can ever be lost. True believers can fall into sin and experience the discipline of God but they can never finally fall away from faith and grace.
- Rom. 8:30, "Those whom he predestined, he also called and those whom he called he also justified and those whom he justified he also glorified."
- John 10:27-29, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me; and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand."
- Phil. 1:6, "I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus." (1 Cor. 1:8).
Sola Fide: In salvation we are justified by faith alone. To be justified is to be declared righteous by God. Justification by faith means that we are declared righteous, not by our works, nor by our faith plus our works, but through faith in Christ alone. Saving faith receives and rests on Christ alone for salvation as He is offered to us in the gospel.
The heritage of Reformed Theology at Christ Community Church has always been one that seeks to reflect the biblical balance between God's sovereign gracious election of a people for Himself and mankind's legitimate responsibility to freely choose Christ as Lord and Savior. We believe that both divine sovereignty and human responsibility are clearly taught in Scripture. We affirm that although the interaction of God's sovereignty and our responsibility may often be beyond our comprehension they are always absolutely compatible. We also believe that the biblical doctrine of predestination and election when properly understood does not in any way diminish the love of God or the free and legitimate offer of the gospel to all but on the contrary exalts and magnifies God's love, not only for His elect but for the whole world.
When those who teach at Christ Community Church touch on topics related to reformed theology, predestination, election, free will, divine providence, and human responsibility they are asked to be especially careful to reflect the biblical balance outlined above and to maintain a gracious winsome spirit toward those who differ.
Christ Community Church is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America (E.F.C.A.), one of the fastest growing denominations in America today. "Evangelical" comes from the word for "good news" or "gospel". It means that we believe in the good news that Christ died to pay for our sins and rose again from the dead. "Free" simply means we believe in the freedom of each church to govern its own affairs.