What We Believe and Teach at Christ Church
This is an overview of our doctrinal positions, which we may need to update, improve or clarify from time to time.
We do not require that a person agrees with all these points before we accept and welcome him or her as a fellow Christian.
For more information on some of the things we hold central and dear, please check here (the Vision page above). You can also email us with questions or requests.
(Last updated: September 9, 2016)
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We believe that the Bible is infallible and without error. We hold the Bible as the ultimate, highest and sufficient authority for all matters of faith and practice. We believe that the canon of the Bible is closed and that God’s revelation is completed with the books of the Old and New Testament. We don’t believe in continuous prophetic revelation today, and we deny that the concept of fallible prophecy is a biblical category.
We believe that there is only one true God, who has revealed Himself in the Bible as Triune, meaning one in essence yet existing in three persons. We believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are these three divine persons. We believe that God is transcendent, separated from the creation. We believe that God is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and almighty. We believe that God perfectly knows the future course of events in the world, including the outcome of Judgment Day. We believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in creation and in salvation, so that He is always in perfect and exhaustive control of all things, all things happen according to His plan, and nothing can frustrate His plan. We believe in God’s Providence and we believe that God can override the way things normally happen in nature to work miracles. We believe that God is loving and holy, just and merciful, wise and good.
3. JESUS CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God, true God and perfect man, fully worthy of our worship. He was born of the virgin Mary around the year one A.D. We believe that He is the promised Messiah, whose coming was foretold in Scripture, and He is the only Savior of mankind. We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of many, that He was buried, and that on the third day He rose bodily from the dead, so that His grave was left empty. We believe that Jesus Christ is alive forevermore and that death has no longer power on Him.
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person. We believe Him to be agent of creation, the source of biblical inspiration, the agent of regeneration and sanctification in the salvation of believers, and active in leading and equipping the church to mature and fulfill its mission to spread the Christian Gospel.
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, and all they contain, out of nothing, in six ordinary days. We deny that a careful study of natural phenomena necessarily invalidates the historicity of the biblical account of creation. We don’t believe that the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory for the origin and history of the universe are consistent with the biblical account of origins. We deny that these theories provide a correct interpretation of the observable universe, and we believe that they fail to provide the basis for a narrative that is historically accurate and reliable.
6. THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that there was a first man, Adam, and a first woman, Eve, from whom all mankind has derived. We believe that Adam and Eve were real human beings, that they did not have parents nor were they born as babies, but were created by God on the sixth day of creation, around six thousand years ago. We believe that Adam and Eve fell from a state of moral innocence into sin, by disobeying God’s commandment. We believe that through this act of rebellion the entire human race fell in Adam as its representative head, and physical death also entered the world. As a result of the Fall of man, every human being is born in bondage of sin and alienated from God. By his fallen nature man is unable to satisfy God’s holy requirements and to respond positively to God’s offer of salvation, and is under God’s curse and condemnation. We affirm that man is responsible for his sins. We affirm that sin is defined by Scripture alone.
7. THE ATONEMENT
We believe that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was a substitutionary atonement, by which the justice and the wrath of God were satisfied, and redemption from sin and reconciliation with God were secured for all those who trust in Christ alone for their salvation.
We believe that a person is saved from sin and from the condemnation of God, and will receive eternal life, only by God’s grace through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ and in His redeeming work, which includes His perfect, sinless life, and His death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. We believe that salvation is the work of God alone, to which man contributes nothing. We believe that saving faith and genuine repentance are the free gracious gift of God, given to all whom the Father has freely and unconditionally chosen to be recipients of His mercy before the foundation of the world, for whose sake Christ came to live and die, and whom the Holy Spirit regenerates from their state of death in sin. We believe that saving faith is a gift of God, and that only a person who has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit can exercise saving faith in Christ. By faith alone man is justified, or declared just by God, forgiven of all his sins, reconciled with God, and adopted in God’s family of the redeemed. We deny that man is justified through the works of the law, but we also deny that a fruitless faith of mere intellectual assent can justify. We affirm that the only kind of faith by which we can be justified is a faith that produces good works, as defined by Scripture. We believe that a regenerate person will certainly persevere in the faith and receive eternal life, but we deny that a believer in Christ can be saved regardless of his actions and conduct after his conversion. We believe that a process of progressive sanctification in the believer, manifested through the fruit of the Spirit, necessarily springs from regeneration. We believe that it is possible, legitimate and normal for a Christian to humbly experience assurance of salvation.
9. THE CHURCH
We believe that all the redeemed through all the ages have been, are, and will be saved through faith in God’s salvation as promised or as provided in Jesus Christ. We believe that all the saved belong to a covenantal body called the Church. We believe that the local organized fellowship of Christian believers, also called church, has a duty to ensure that its practices and structure are in conformity with the Bible’s requirements, from its confession of faith and the preaching of the Bible, to the administration of baptism, the observance of the Lord’s Supper, the qualifying criteria for leadership, the practice of church discipline, and more. We believe that women are not allowed by Scripture to take a position of authority or leadership over men in the structure of the church and in the way the worship service is actually carried out. We don’t believe that membership or regular association with a local church necessarily indicates that a person is regenerated or saved. We believe that the central mission of the Church is to advance the kingdom of God in the world through the faithful preaching of the Gospel, or the Good News about Jesus Christ, and through teaching the nations to trust and obey all the things which God has revealed. We believe that under the New Covenant inaugurated by Christ, all individuals and all nations are under obligation to repent and believe the Christian Gospel. We believe in the separation between church and state insofar as areas of authority and competence are concerned, but we deny the autonomy and alleged neutrality of the state, since both the church and the state are servants of God, and are accountable to Him, in their different roles and competences, and so are both under obligation to submit to the authority of His revealed Word.
10. CHURCH ORDINANCES
We gather for worship and Bible study on Sundays. We strive to celebrate the Lord’s Supper at every Sunday worship with bread and wine. Although we are tolerant of certain forms of baby baptism, we discourage the practice, and we believe that the Bible teaches that believers should be baptized upon their profession of faith. We deny that the mere administration of baptism saves or contributes to save a person from sin.
11. CHRIST’S KINGDOM
We believe that after His resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and sat at the right hand of God the Father, enthroned as King of Kings. We believe that all power and authority has been given to Him, and that He is presently ruling and subduing the nations of the world, which He has received from God the Father as His inheritance and possession. Although there is much evil and sin in the world, we believe that God’s grace is far stronger, and that through the preaching of the Gospel, the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, and God’s judgments in history, Christ’s kingdom has been, and will be, gradually advancing, growing, and changing the world. We believe that the nature of Christ’s kingdom and of His rule is not only spiritual or heavenly, but that as the Gospel is faithfully taught and believed, and Christ’s legitimate rule is made to bear as a present reality on all spheres of life, the kingdom necessarily manifests itself on earth, since the Gospel changes people’s hearts, and so its overall spreading in the long run unavoidably impacts and shapes culture and social life in practical ways as well. We believe that God is Lord of history, and that it is God’s plan for the history of the world that Jesus Christ will continue to reign, rule, and expand His kingdom on earth through the preaching of the Gospel in this way, until the nations are converted and all His enemies are defeated, the last one being death at His Second Coming.
12. THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the future bodily return to earth of Jesus Christ.
We believe in the future resurrection of the bodies of all the dead, at Christ’s return.
14. FINAL JUDGMENT
We believe that there will be a Final Day of Judgment following the general resurrection of the dead, and that on that Day the eternal fate of every human being will be forever sealed by God. Each human being will be then either confined to everlasting punishment for his or her sins; or welcomed to live forever in glorious happiness in the new heavens and new earth which God will make, where there will be no curse, no sin, no sorrow, and no death.
Historical Roots of Our Beliefs
While we look at the Bible as the authoritative foundation for our beliefs, we see ourselves as standing in a long line of churches sharing the same positions. We love the theology of the Protestant Reformation, and we stand by the reformational principles of Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria: Scripture Alone, By Grace Alone, By Faith Alone, Through Christ Alone, and To God Alone Be the Glory.
For a fuller and more detailed account of our beliefs, we refer you to the classic Creeds of the Christian Church and the historical Reformed Confessions of Faith, all of them easily available online: the Apostles’ Creed; the Nicene Creed; the Definition of Chalcedon; the Athanasian Creed; the 39 Articles of Faith of the Anglican Church; the Belgic Confession of Faith; the Heidelberg Catechism; the Canons of Dordt; the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms; the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.
It is this last confession, the London Baptist Confession of 1689, which perhaps best captures our doctrinal positions as we summarized them above. However, we are in basic agreement with all the above listed documents, and see all of them as dependable, helpful and edifying summaries of the faith which was delivered to the saints, and as generally useful and reliable formulations of what the Scriptures teach.
The London Baptist Confession of 1689
Soli Deo Gloria,