Statement of Faith

of REFORMATION CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY

 

God

We believe that there is one true, living, and holy God, who is eternal, immortal, and immutable in all His attributes. He is infinitely existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these three being coequal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections. The Triune God in six days created the world and all things out of nothing, including mankind, for His own glory. The Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is true God and true man, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on a cross as the sacrifice for the sins of His people. He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Father, and as Lord, He is now interceding for His church and ruling all things on her behalf.

1 Corinthians 8:6-Yet for us there is only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
Jeremiah 10:10,12-But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide His indignation. …He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.
Leviticus 19:2-Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”
1 Timothy 1:17-Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Malachi 3:6-For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
1 John 5:6-7-This is He who came by water and blood— Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
1 Timothy 2:5-For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
Matthew 1:20-21-…”Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Romans 8:34-Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

The Church

We believe that there is one universal church of which Christ is the Head, made up of true believers, who are a called out and gathered people of God, which Scripture presents as the community and body of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The church consists of a people chosen and redeemed by God through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ and sealed, united, led, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:18-And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
1 Corinthians 12:12-For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:2-To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.
1 Peter 2:9-But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Church Purpose

We believe that the church is called to pray to God, and in serving Him, carry out His will in the earth. This is accomplished as God gathers His people into local assemblies, which are committed to:

2 Chronicles 7:14-If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Matthew 7:21-Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

gratefully come together to corporately worship God on a weekly basis;

Hebrews 10:25-Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

lovingly build up the body to conform to the image of Christ through exhortation, prayer, accountability, encouragement, and caring for each others’ needs;

Colossians 3:12-14-Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

faithfully preach the whole counsel of God and thus equip the saints;

Colossians 1:28-Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

boldly proclaim to the world the gospel of God’s Kingdom and make disciples;

Matthew 9:35-And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Matthew 28:19-20-Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

visibly bear the standard of God’s Law to the community and nation;

Romans 16:25-26-Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith.

zealously defend the faith and maintain pure doctrine (orthodoxy);

Titus 1:9-Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

actively apply the Word of God to every area of life (orthopraxy).

2 Corinthians 10:5-Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

 

Church Doctrine

1. The Bible

We hold to the Holy Scriptures, God’s infallible Word, given to us in the Old and New Testaments, as our supreme and final authority for life and godliness. While no statement of faith or confession can faultlessly systematize the immeasurable truths of God’s Word, we acknowledge the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) to reflect, to the best of our understanding, the truths set forth in the Scriptures, except where amended by this local body.

2 Peter 1:20-21-Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16-17-All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Romans 15:4-For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

2 Peter 1:3-As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.

Titus 2:1-But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.

2. Elders

In obedience to God’s holy commands, believers assemble themselves together under the government and ministry of the local church, which is led by men through a plurality of elders. The elders are nominated by the body using the qualifications set forth in the Scriptures as the standard. This is the recognition of the work of God already occurring in their lives. Covenanted members shall have a vote in the election of elders and deacons who shall first be presented as candidates to the congregation by the eldership. The leadership of the elders is to be characterized by humility and service to Christ’s church. The elders are therefore accountable to God for their leadership in accordance with His written will and also accountable to the local body of believers.

Acts 14:23-So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
1 Timothy 3:1-7-This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Titus 1:5-9-For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Matthew 20:25-28-But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

1 Peter 5:5-Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”


 

3. The Family

We believe that the family is the foundational structure in God’s order and, in great measure, the faithfulness of succeeding generations is shaped through the discipleship of children by their parents. We will strive to build up strong families within our church and promote family unity. We will worship together as families and, as God leads, teach and provide training for the family unit. We will also in our life together as God’s people honor the family structure by honoring the father as the head and addressing the family through him. We will seek to train men for leadership; to affirm women in their biblical roles as wives, mothers, and helpmeets; to advance the cause of distinctively biblical education; to promote a godly view of culture and family life; to seek the Lord for the turning of the hearts of fathers to their children, and children to their fathers; and to facilitate a multi-generational vision of faithfulness within our families.

 

Genesis 2:24-Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Malachi 2:14-15-…yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. …

Deuteronomy 6:6-7-And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Proverbs 22:6-Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart form it.

Numbers Chapter 30-Then Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded…”

1 Corinthians 11:3-But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Joshua 8:34-35-And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them.

Malachi 4:6-And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Psalm 78:3-7-Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments.

4. The Sacraments

There are two sacraments ordained by Christ for the church in the present age: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are not means of salvation, but are signs of the New Covenant and are properly administered according to Scripture to every member of the visible church.

Matthew 26:28-“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Matthew 28:18-20-Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”

1 Corinthians 11:23-26-For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Ephesians 1:13-14-In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Acts 2:38-Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 

5. Membership

A commitment to this local body of believers first requires that a person make a public confession of a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His command in baptism. Salvation is totally by God’s grace, an unmerited gift to the believer. This gift is received by faith alone, apart from any works of the believer. True faith is always accompanied by repentance and a determination to follow Jesus in a life of obedience and good works. Secondly, a commitment requires that a person covenant with this body of believers and submit to the leadership and government of the church, including the proper exercise of Biblical discipline. This covenant entitles them to both the privileges and the responsibilities incumbent with participation in the body of Christ within a local congregation. Privileges would include participation in a caring community of believers, regular times of worship around the Lord’s Table, oversight of a body of elders, discipline, and counsel. Those who make a commitment to this local body are to be responsible in exercising their God-given gifts in the areas of worship, edification, and ministry.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10-For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17-The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

1 Corinthians Chapter 12-Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant…

Hebrews 13:17-Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

1 Peter 4:10-As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Galatians 6:10-Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

 

6. The Local Body

In the context of worship, we expect our fathers to be leading their families in regular times of worship in their homes. Each family should come prepared in spirit and mind to participate in our times of corporate worship. In the area of edification, each member is called to care for one another spiritually as well as physically. This “other centeredness” will help us to be a people characterized by love for the Lord as well as one another, a bride without spot or wrinkle. As the Lord brings ministry opportunities for us, both individually and corporately, the body is available to confirm as well as support each opportunity with the use of our gifts. By God’s grace we will advance the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

 

Genesis 18:19-For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.

1 Corinthians 11:27-31-Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. Romans Chapter 12-I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service…

Ephesians Chapter 4-I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…

Ephesians 5:27-That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

 

7. The Extended Body

 

We encourage relationships with sister churches for mutual edification and when we have occasion to require the judgment and counsel of other elders. The elders of each church are responsible before the Lord for the church under their authority. There may be times when other elders may be called in to take a temporary role of leadership to help in situations of disciplining an elder or conflict resolution involving an elder.

 

1 Corinthians 16:19-The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

2 Corinthians 12:18-19-I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps? Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.

Acts 15:2,4,6-Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. …And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. …So the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.

1 Peter 5:1-4-The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not be constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

 

8. The Civil Sphere

 

In addition to the governments of self, family, and church, we recognize the God-ordained jurisdiction of the civil government. According to Scripture, we will strive to maintain the proper separation of church government from civil government, while encouraging Christians to take dominion in the “gates” of the city. We will also exercise our God-given role as a bearer of light to all jurisdictions.

 

Romans 13:1-7-Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

1 Peter 2:13-17-Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

John 19:11-Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

Matthew 22:21-They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Genesis 22:17-In blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Psalm 127:5-Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Matthew 5:14-16-You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.