FAITH COVENANT CHURCH STATEMENT OF FAITH
Adapted from the New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833
We believe; Only the 66 books, consisting of the Old & New Testaments, in their original manuscripts, are the authoritative Words of God. Written by men divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21) Sufficient for all we need for faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3:15-17) It has God for it’s ultimate author. (2 Peter 1:21) Its theme is the glory of God in the person and work of Jesus Christ demonstrated through the plan of redemption as decreed by the triune God before the foundations of the world. (Luke 4:21) It’s content is only truth without any mixture of error in the original manuscripts. (2 Timothy 3:15-17) It reveals the principles by which God will judge mankind. (Matthew 5-7) It is eternal. (Isa. 40:8, John 1:1-5) It is the true center of Christianity; union with God and fellowship with the saints. (1 John 1:3) It is the highest authority by which all human; conduct, creeds, and opinions should be measured. (Heb. 4:12)
There is only one true, infinite, and supremely holy God. (Gen. 1:1, Deut. 6:4) He is an intelligent Spirit. (John 1:1) In the unity of the singular God-Head there are three distinct persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; co-existent, co-eternal, consubstantial and equal in every divine perfection. (Gen. 1:1, Matthew 3:13-17) God, in the person of Jesus Christ is the Creator, Sustainer, and supreme Ruler of the universe. (Colossians 1:16-17, Matthew 5,6, & 7, Heb. 1:1-2) He is equally transcendent in nature and majesty, but immanent and close at hand to all, especially to his children. (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 8:23 / John 1:14, Philippians 2:6, Romans 1:20) He is worthy of all love, from which flows; obedience, honor, trust, and praise. (Psalm 145:3, 1 John, Deut. 6, Micah 6:8, Hosea 6:6) All things are accomplished according to the council of His own will. (Ephesians 1:11-12) He does all things for the ultimate purpose of manifesting His own glory. (Isaiah 48:9-11) Each member of this Trinity executes distinct and harmonious offices in the work of redemption.
- Father: Designer / Director
- Son: Creator / Redeemer / Judge
- Spirit: Sealer / Teacher
Jesus is completely man and completely God. (John 1:14, Colossians 2:19) Jesus is the “Word” or “Logos” made flesh. (John 1:1-4) This Jesus is the long awaited Chosen One of God the Father to redeem His chosen people from their sin. (Hebrews 1:1-2) He is the “second-person” of the God-head. (Matthew 3:17) Jesus eternally proceeds from the Father, meaning that Jesus never “became” the Son or was every created to be the Son. Rather, eternally Jesus has been coming forth from the Father as the Son; thus choosing to be subordinate to the Father. (John 5:18) Although He chose to be subordinate to the Father He is in no way lesser in stature or glory. (Rom. 11:36) Jesus’ vicarious sinless and law-satisfying life won an eternally valuable righteousness that is imputed to those who repent and believe in Him alone. (2 Cor. 5:21) Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross propitiated the wrath of God, and provides expiation of guilt and shame for those who repent and believe in Him alone for their rescue. (2 Cor. 5:21) Jesus’ victorious resurrection from the dead, validates His person, His work, as well as His message. It furthermore promises to His children the reality of their ultimate resurrection and the sharing of the glory of God for all eternity with Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:17-19) He holds the offices of; Prophet, Priest, and King.
- Being our Prophet, He is the authoritative herald of the Words of God.
- Being our Priest, He is the one mediator that not only offers the sacrifice, but is the sacrifice for our transgression. He therefore intercedes for us with the Father, fulfilling the role of our High-Priest.
- Being the King, He rules and reigns currently and will continue to do so forevermore.
The Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God. The Spirit was present at the beginning, before the universe was made. He was the power that hovered over the watery chaos and the One who, through the agency of the Son and according to the Father’s plan, brought order and established all created things (John 1:3). Jesus promised to send to His people One distinct from both the Father and the Son. This One is “another Helper,” namely, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16) The Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son not because He possesses an inferior essence; rather, His distinction lies in His chosen procession from the Father and the Son. The Spirit brings conviction of sin and illumination to the eyes and hearts of those who are in need of salvation. (Phil. 1:6) The Spirit is the One who reveals Christ to the elect and seals them for the day of Judgement. (1 Cor. 2:10)
Humanity was created perfectly as male and female and in complete compliance to the law of God. (Gen. 1:31) God continues to create both men and women through procreation and by virtue of His sovereign will God has predetermined the biological gender of all peoples therefore revealing His perfect will for our lives in this area through this general revelation. Therefore no one has the right to alter their gender from what God has biologically determined through conception and birth. (Genesis 5:2) God’s great creation of mankind however, through voluntary transgression, fell from their original sinless condition in which He created them. (Gen. 3:1-7) Consequently, all of mankind are now dead in their trespasses and sins, not merely by constraint of their nature, but also by choice. (Genesis 3:7, Eph. 2:1, Rom. 5:14) Mankind’s nature being utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God and positively inclined to evil, is therefore under just condemnation of God. (John 3:18) All people from the time of the fall until the end of the world, are then subjected to eternal and perpetual ruin, without defense or excuse. (Rom. 3:23) Furthermore their natural state is that of being totally depraved, which is to say that every part of man is depraved, not that man is utterly depraved. (Rom. 5:12, 19, Mark 7:21-23, John 8:34)
Sin is; any action, intention, or thought, that is not done in faith and devoid of the motive of love for God and mankind. (Gal. 5:19-21) Sin is a driving force within mankind established at the fall when Adam and his wife Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen. 3:7) Those outside of Christ are slaves to sin, but when Jesus rescues a sinner, He releases them from the power of sin and frees them to walk in obedience through Christ’s strength. (Eph 2:1-3, 4) Sin, also understood in the Scriptures as the “flesh”, still abides with the Christian producing a war among the members. (Romans 7:21-25) Upon death or rapture, sin will be eradicated from the life of the believer leaving only the new man that God, through the new birth, created. (1 Cor. 15:26)
We believe that the salvation of sinners is all of grace, through the mediatorial offices of Christ Jesus the Lord. (Eph. 2:8) By the appointment of the Father, Jesus retained complete Deity while freely and fully taking upon himself human nature, yet without sin. (Phil. 2:5-8) He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full atonement for the sins of those who would believe. (2 Cor. 5:21) Having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven interceding on behalf of His people having both the tenderest sympathies and divine perfections. (Rom. 8:34) He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour to any who will turn in repentance from their sins and trust solely upon His personhood and work for their rescue from God’s just wrath. (Heb. 7:25-27, 2 Cor. 5:21)
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be first be regenerated, or born again. (John 3:3, Titus 3:5) Regeneration consists of God granting new spiritual life to a spiritually dead person. (Romans 7:18, Col. 2:13) God grants instantly a new holy disposition of the mind which is effected in a way far above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 5:17) This regenerate mind and life, in connection with divine truth, secures our voluntary obedience to the gospel. (John 3:16) The evidence of true regeneration and subsequent voluntary obedience to the gospel appears in the fruits of repentance, and faith which are both equally gifts of the Spirit. (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 2:4, 2 Tim. 2:25, Acts 11:18) The sinner is then granted from that time on a newness of life. (Rom. 6:4)
We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ secures for those who repent and believe in Him alone, forensic justification. Forensic justification is a judicial declaration of the sinner to be free from their guilt. (Rom. 4:3-4, Rom. 5:1-5) Justification by no way makes a sinner guiltless, but is rather the accounting of one who is truly guilty to no longer be so. (Rom. 3:21-26) It is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. (Titus 3:5) By virtue of the sovereign gift of faith, Christ’s perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by the Father. (2 Cor. 5:21) This grace brings us into a state of perfect peace and infinite favor with God. (Rom. 5:1) This judicial declaration is also what secures every other blessing needful for life today and eternity to come. (Eph. 1:3)
REPENTANCE & FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are necessary duties of the sinner in order to be saved. (Mark 1:15) They are also inseparable graces that cannot be experienced or expressed within man’s own ability. (Rom. 9:16) They are brought about in the soul by the regenerating Spirit of God, whereby being supernaturally convinced of our guilt, danger, helplessness, and of the way of salvation through Christ alone, we turn to God with contrition, confession, and fervent pleas for mercy. At the same time the sinner is empowered to joyfully recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. (John 6:44, Eph. 2:5, Col. 2:13, John 8:47)
GRACE & ELECTION
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God. (Rom. 9:11) His sovereign grace is that which regenerates, sanctifies, and saves the sinner, this however, being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man. (Acts 2:23, Gen. 50:20) God’s grace in election contains all the means in connection with that salvation; and is a glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness. It reveals God as totally free, perfectly wise, infinitely holy, and joyfully unchangeable. (Ps. 113) The teaching of sovereign grace in the election of sinners utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy by those objects of such grace. (1 Cor. 4:7) God’s election is completely devoid of human interaction or cooperation. It is ascertained by its effects alone in all who savingly believe the gospel. Furthermore, God’s sovereign grace in the election of sinners is the foundation of Christian assurance.
GRACE & LAW
We believe that the Law of God as understood as the ten commandments or any of the other 613 commands of the Old Covenant, were the documents or contract of the Old Covenant. It was intended to bring about the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20) and was never intended to be the means by which man pleased God. (Rom. 8:3; Micah 6:8) The law then was a standard of righteousness prescribed by God that man was ordained never to have the ability to keep so as to increase understanding of the great need for The Righteous One, who would satisfy the just demands of the law on the sinner’s behalf. (Rom. 5:20) The law remains a means of driving sinners toward their need for a savior (Gal. 3:24), but is not the means by which Christians please God. Grace, properly understood from the Scriptures, teaches that in Christ the Father is joyfully and completely pleased with the Christian throughout the rest of their lives. (Rom. 8:1) The law of the kingdom is the law instituted by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, explained by the apostles teaching, and is binding upon the conscience of the New Testament believer. It is a means of growth in sanctification and holiness, not Divine approval. (2 Peter 3:18)
We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of true believers alone. (1 Cor. 1:1-3) They are associated by covenant in faith and fellowship around the gospel. (Acts 4:32) Local expressions of the universal church are to routinely; celebrate the ordinances of Christ; exercise the gifts of the spirit; and share, by means of fellowship, in the rights and privileges invested in them by His Word. The church’s only scriptural officers are Elders and Deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in the letters to Timothy and Titus. Each local congregation, although a portion of the universal church, is autonomous from all other assembled congregations.
We believe that there are only two ordinances commanded of the Church to observe; Baptism and the Lord’s supper.
1. Baptism –
- Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Baptism is an act of obedience that expresses, in a beautiful picture, a believer’s faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior.
- Although Baptism is a command to the church to perform, and is an expression of obedience for the Christian, no mandate has been given to the church to exclude anyone from it’s membership based on their failure to be baptized.
- Because we believe in the “Priesthood of the Believer” any Christian in the church has the right and privilege of baptizing another.
2. The Lord’s Supper –
- The Lord’s supper is a commanded expression of the church, as often as they do it, in which only true Christians present, by the use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ and the establishment of the New Covenant in His blood.
- It is to be preceded always by self-examination and celebrated as a proclamation of the Lord’s soon return.
- Because we believe in the “Priesthood of the Believer” any Christian in the church has the right and privilege of leading the congregation in this observance.
We believe that there are only two offices in the local church as ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ and exhibited throughout the New Testament; Elders and Deacons. We further believe that these offices were given to the Church to be held by men only as Paul appeals to the order of creation and the exchange between Eve and the Serpent. (1 Timothy 2:12-14)
- Elders – Elders are to be men that meet the qualifications that are set forth in Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7. The spiritual and doctrinal rule of the Church is entrusted to the Elders. This rule is afforded to the Elders by the congregation. The congregation calls the elders from among themselves and is tasked with equally submitting to the Elders as it pertains to their servant leadership and guidance in doctrine and devotion. The main objective as set forth in the Scriptures of the Elders is found in Acts 20:28
- Deacons – The office of Deacon is held by a man who meets the qualification of a deacon as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. They are ordained servants of the church, carrying out tasks and duties to care for the physical needs of the people, thereby reducing the burden of the Elders that they may devote themselves to the ministry of prayer and the preaching of the Word.
PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that all those who are truly in Christ have been afforded every blessing from the Father and are in no way hindered in maintaining any office or role in the Church but by direct exclusion by the Scriptures. (1 Peter 2:5) Any man may desire and achieve the office of an elder or deacon as long as they have demonstrated a level of proficiency in the moral conduct as prescribed in the letters to Timothy and Titus. (1 Tim 3:1) No hindrance to any true believer will be regarded concerning any position or task based on gender but those roles that the Scriptures have clearly ruled are only to be held by men. (1 Tim. 2:12-14)
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society. (Rom. 13:1, 4) Governments and their officials of all levels are to be prayed for and conscientiously obeyed. (1 Tim 2:2, Rom 13:2-3) The only exception to this being when these magistrates command of their citizenry a direct opposition to the revealed will of God as expressed in His Holy Scripture. Christ is the Christian’s only Lord of the conscience, and is the ultimate authority over all governments and their rule.
We believe that Jesus will bodily return for His Bride, the Church, before the full weight of the Father’s wrath is leveled against the remainder of humanity. (1 These 4:16-17, Rev. 1:7) We believe in a bodily resurrection from the dead for all those Christians who have died before the great second coming of Jesus. (John 5:25-29) We also believe that those who are alive when Christ returns, although will not proceed those who have been buried, but will however be taken up in the twinkling of an eye immediately following that resurrection. (1 These. 4:13-18)