We believe in one God (Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6 & 8; James 2:19), Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 44:24; Colossians 1:16-17), holy, infinitely perfect (Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4:8; 16:7), and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons (Deuteronomy 33:27a; Micah 5:2; Hebrews 9:14; I John 4:7-8; Matthew 3:16-17): the Father (2 Peter 1:17), the Son (Hebrews 1:8) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power (Isaiah 46:9-10; Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 139:1-6; John 6:64; I Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16), needing nothing (Acts 17:24-25), God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory (Ephesians 1:3-12).
We believe that God has spoken in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17) through the words of human authors (1 Peter 1:10-11; 2 Peter 1:21; 3:15-16). As the verbally inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), the Bible is without error in the original writings (Psalm 119:89; I Peter 1:23-25; John 10:34-35; Matthew 5:17-18), the complete revelation of His will for salvation (2 Timothy 3:15-17), 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 (Acts 17:10-11).
We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate (John 1:1,14), fully God (Hebrews 1:8) and fully Man (I Timothy 2:5), one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6-7)—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18). He lived a sinless life (I Peter 1:18-20; I Peter 2:22), in perfect obedience to the Father (John 6:38-39; Philippians 2:5-11), was crucified under Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:24-26), arose bodily from the Dead (Matthew 28:5-9), ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father (Psalm 110:1; Romans 8:34) as our High Priest and Advocate (Hebrews 4:14-16; I John 2:1).
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God (Hebrews 9:14; Acts 5: 3-4). In all that He does, he glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14). He convicts the world of its guilt (John 16:7-8). He regenerates sinners (John 3:5-8), and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-13) and adopted as heirs in the family of God (Romans 8:15-17). He also indwells (Romans 8:9), Illuminates (I Corinthians 2:14), guides (John 16:13), equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service (I Corinthians 12:4-31).
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve were created to serve as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation (Genesis 1:26-31), while living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker (Psalms 100:3-5; Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 2:10). Humanity is unique in the created order as God did not speak man into existence as he did the rest of his creation but shaped the man from the dust of the ground and breathed his Spirit into him to bring him to life. From this man God made a woman so that the woman was both distinct from the man and one with him in substance and in spirit (Genesis 2:7, 21-23). Adam and Eve were truly “One Flesh” made to complement each other in order to fulfill the first command of God (Genesis 1:28) to join with their Creator and continue creation through the conception and nurturing of children. The child conceived in the womb possesses that same sacred life breathed into Adam and Eve and is fully a distinct human being from the moment of conception and cannot be treated as a commodity to be disposed of at will (Psalm 139:13-16). This procreative purpose establishes the only normative pattern of marriage and sexual relations for men and women (Matthew 19:8-9; Leviticus 18:20), such that marriage not only reflects the original creation but ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:22-23). In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable (Leviticus 18:22), but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways (I Corinthians 11:13). God ordains that they assume distinctive roles within the family; with the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord (Ephesians 5:22-25; Titus 2:1-5).
The Human Condition
We believe that, although created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), Adam and Eve sinned when tempted by Satan (Genesis 3:1-6). In union with Adam, all human beings are sinners by nature and by choice (Romans 3:23; I Corinthians 15:21-22), alienated from God, and under His wrath (Ephesians 2:2-3). Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed (Ephesians 2:1, 4-10; Colossians 1:20-21).
We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute (I Peter 3:18), shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins (I Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 17). His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). In an age when many profess that there are many paths to God, we affirm that genuine faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only means of salvation and eternal life (Acts 4:12; John 14:6).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church he founded (Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:18). The true Church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 3:24; 5:1; 1:7). They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). The true Church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers (I Corinthians 1:2). The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-5), which visibly and tangibly express the gospel (I Corinthians 11:23-26). Though they are not the means of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 5:1), when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer (Romans 6:3-6; I Corinthians 11:26, 28). As the Father disciplines the ones he loves (Hebrews 12:5-7), so the true church also disciplines as led by Scripture (I Corinthians 5:1-13). In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God (I Corinthians 12:12-14; 18-25). The distinctive leadership role within the church – the Family of God – given to men of mature Christian character and experience (I Timothy 3:1-2; 4-5) is grounded in Creation, the Fall, and Christ’s work of redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments (I Timothy 2:11-14).
We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose (Romans 6:17-18; 22-23; Galatians 5:13-14). God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially (Matthew 22:35-40; John 13:34-35), and to live out our faith with care for one another (Ephesians 2:8-10), compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed (I John 3:16-18; Hosea 12:6; Matthew 7:12). With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12-18). In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed (Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 3:16-17).
We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ as triumphant King (Matthew 24: 29-30; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 19:11-16). The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God (Matthew 24:36), demands constant expectancy. The promise of his return is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13), and motivates the believer to seek holiness in godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission (I John 3:2-3; Mark 13: 32-37) .
Response and Eternal Destiny
We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ in faith (Acts 17:30-31; John 1:12-13). We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world (John 5:28-29), assigning the unbeliever to condemnation (Revelation 21:8) and eternal punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness (Revelation 21:1-7) and indescribable joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace (Ephesians 1:4-6). Amen.
“This Statement of Faith is an amalgamation of 1) The Evangelical Free Church of America Statement of Faith, (which can be found at https://www.efca.org/about/what-we-believe) used by permission, 2) The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement (which can be found at https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/about/foundation-documents/#confessional-statement ) used by permission, 3) the editorial efforts of the Elder Board of Graham Covenant Church.”
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