STATEMENT OF FAITH
REFORMED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
I. The Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain, and infallible standard of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. The light of nature and the works of creation and providence so clearly demonstrate the goodness, wisdom, and power of God that people are left without excuse; however, these demonstrations are not sufficient to give the knowledge of God and his will that is necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are absolutely necessary, because God’s former ways of revealing his will to his people have now ceased.
The Holy Scriptures, or the Word of God written, consist of 66 books, all of these are given by the inspiration of God to be the standard of faith and life.
The authority of the Holy Scriptures obligates belief in them. This authority does not depend on the testimony of any person or church but on God the author alone, who is truth itself. Therefore, the Scriptures are to be received because they are the Word of God.
The whole counsel of God concerning everything essential for his own glory and man’s salvation, faith, and life is either explicitly stated or by necessary inference contained in the Holy Scriptures. Nothing is ever to be added to the Scriptures, either by new revelation of the Spirit or by human traditions.
2 Timothy 3:15–17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19–21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalm 19:1–3; 2 Peter 1:19–21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:9; Galatians 1:8,9. Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25.
There is one true and eternal God, unchanging, unchangeable. God is the Creator of all that exists in heaven and in earth. The God who is described in the Bible is unique; He is unlike anyone or anything else in the entire universe. God has all power, all knowledge, all wisdom, and is due all glory, honour and praise. All that comes to pass does so at the decree of God. All things will, in the end, result in the glory of God.
The Bible teaches that there is but one being of God, yet there are three Persons who share this one being of God: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Each Person is fully and completely God, each is described in Scripture as possessing the attributes of God. The Father, Son, and Spirit have eternally existed in the relationship described by the term “Trinity.”
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7; Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16. Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17
Man was created in the image of God. Man rebelled against His Creator, and fell into sin. By this sin our first parents fell from their original righteousness and communion with God. We fell in them, and through this, death came upon all. As a result, man became spiritually dead, totally unwilling and indeed incapable of desiring or seeking after God. The guilt of their sin was accounted, and their corrupt nature passed on, to all their offspring who descended from them by ordinary procreation. Their descendants are now conceived in sin and are by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, and partakers of death and all other miseries—spiritual, temporal, and eternal—unless the Lord Jesus sets them free.
God, from eternity past, having foreordained all things, joined a certain people to Christ Jesus, so that He might redeem them from their sin and in so doing bring glory to Himself. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died in the place of this elect people, providing full and complete forgiveness of sins by His death upon the cross of Calvary. No other work can provide for forgiveness of sins, and no addition can be made to the completed and finished work of Christ.
Genesis 2:16, 17; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12ff; Titus 1:15; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10–19; Romans 5:12–19; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 45, 49; Psalms 51:5; Job 14:4; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 6:20; 5:12; Hebrews 2:14, 15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10 Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Ephesians 2:1–6
God, in His sovereign grace and mercy, regenerates sinful men by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by any action of their own, bringing them to new life. God grants to them the gifts of faith and repentance, which they then exercise by believing in Christ and turning from their sins in love for God. As a result of this faith, based upon the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, God justifies or makes righteous the one who believes. God’s gift of faith, and the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the elect, results in good works. These good works flow from true, saving faith; they are a necessary result of faith, but are not to be considered necessary to the gaining of justification, which is by God’s grace through faith alone, so that no man can boast.
God also sanctifies believers really and personally, through the same power, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them. The dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the various evil desires that arise from it are more and more weakened and put to death. At the same time, those called and regenerated are more and more enlivened and strengthened in all saving graces so that they practice true holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has justified in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; John 1:12; Romans 5:17; Philippians 3:8, 9; Ephesians 2:8–10; Romans 4:5–8; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:28; Colossians 1:21, 22; Titus 3:4–7; John 15:4, 5; James 2:18, 22; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 6:22; John 17:17; Ephesians 3:16–19; 1 Thessalonians 5:21–23; Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 1:11. 62 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; John 10:28, 29; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 2:19; Psalms 89:31, 32; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 26:70, 72, 74; Isaiah 64:5, 9; Ephesians 4:30; Psalms 51:10, 12; Psalms 32:3, 4. 132 Samuel 12:14; Luke 22:32, 61, 62.
V. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local body of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each church operates under the Lordship of Christ. In such a church, each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are elders and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder or pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Hebrews 12:23; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:10, 22, 23; Ephesians 5:23, 27, 32; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 11:26; Romans 1:7; Ephesians 1:20–22; Romans. 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 5:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Acts 20:17, 28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14.
VI. The Ordinances
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, and are to be continued in his church to the end of the age.
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ. To those baptized it is a sign of their fellowship with him in his death and resurrection, of their being grafted into him, of remission of sins, and of submitting themselves to God through Jesus Christ to live and walk in newness of life. Those who personally profess repentance toward God and faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, in which the individual is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary for this ordinance to be administered properly.
The Lord’s Supper, instituted by the Lord Jesus himself on the same night he was betrayed, is to be observed in his churches to the end of the age as a perpetual remembrance and display of the sacrifice of himself in his death. It is given for the confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits of Christ’s death, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, and their further engagement in and to all the duties they owe him. The supper is to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Christ and each other.
Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:26; Romans 6:3–5; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27; Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:4; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36, 37; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8; Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 8:38; Matthew 3:16; John 3:23.
VII. The Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honour and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
VIII. the Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous in their resurrected bodies will be consigned to the Lake of Fire, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the LORD.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22- 37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27- 28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.