Christ Covenant Church Statement of Faith
From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have articulated doctrinal beliefs in brief, definitive statements. As those who know God, we believe it necessary to set forth in a concise fashion the fundamental truths that the Members of Christ Covenant Church believe. Christ Covenant Church’s Statement of Faith summarizes these essential Christian beliefs, demonstrates our unity with other believers in Christ, and guards our church from error.
Section 1 – We are a “Christian People”
We are a Christ-centered church that is fully committed to the core teachings of the Old and New Testament Scriptures that Christians, in all places and at all times, have confessed throughout the ages. We believe that the Nicene Creed faithfully articulates many of these central truths of the Christian faith and, by affirming this creed, we demonstrate our unity through the Spirit with fellow saints through history and around the world.
The Nicene Creed
(As affirmed by the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Section 2 – We are a “Local Church of Baptized Believers”
We are a local body of believers endeavoring to faithfully live out the truths of the gospel for the glory of God. To that end, the following statements explain how we understand and teach the Scriptures in the context of our local church.
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, are verbally inspired of God and without error (inerrant) as originally written by their human authors, and this inerrancy extends equally and fully to all parts of the Scriptures. In addition, because the Bible is God’s Word, it is both authoritative and sufficient in the life of the church and for individual believers and whatever it teaches is to be trusted and relied upon as being true and of supreme and final authority. All the Scriptures are a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work at His first and second coming and, therefore, no portion of it, even in the Old Testament, is properly read or understood until it leads to Him (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Heb. 4:12; Luke 24:27).
B. The Triune God
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and his perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience (Gen. 1:1; Deut. 6:4; Is. 46:9-10; 1 John 3:20)
Within the unity of this Godhead, there are three persons–God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit each of whom have distinct personal attributes, are co-eternal and of equal dignity and power, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence and obedience. The eternal God freely exists and lives in the community of love expressed within this triune relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit (Gen. 1:26; Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1-3, 16:4-15; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 John 1:2).
C. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. And yet, in His incarnation, Jesus Christ took upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identified Himself with mankind in every way except he was without sin. Accordingly, we believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man in indivisible oneness (John 1:1-4, 14-18; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-20, 2:9; Heb. 4:15).
The Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s Son and Messiah, accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross, a death that was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiary and redemptive. Having risen from the dead, he ascended and is now enthroned in heaven at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God and fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He is now our High Priest and Advocate and dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission (Is. 53:11-12; John 1:29; Rom. 3:21-26; 1 Cor.15:3-8; 21-28; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 1 John 2:1-2, 4:10).
D. Humanity and Sin
We believe that humanity was created by God in His image and likeness and for the purpose of bringing Him glory. We believe man sinned and, as a consequence, died. This death is spiritual separation from God and subjection to mortality and evil in this world. We further believe that this spiritual death and total depravity of human nature has been transmitted to the entire human race of mankind, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born in the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad and inclined to evil apart from divine grace. In addition to this inherited guilt and corruption from Adam, we also believe that all men are culpable for committing actual sins in failing to conform to the character and moral law of God in attitude and acts of omission or commission. In this state, all humanity is under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse (Gen. 1:26-27; Is. 43:7; Rom. 1:18-32; 3:9-20, 23; 5:12-19; 6:23; Eph. 2:1–3).
E. God’s Gracious Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly a work of God’s grace through the mediatorial work of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again, and we believe that this regeneration consists in God giving a holy disposition to a person’s mind and heart, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure that individual’s voluntary obedience to the gospel. The evidence of this regeneration appears in the inseparable and holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. All who are born again become children of God and heirs of eternal life. This is a relationship which provides eternal security (Matt. 7:16-23; John 3:5-8; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:13).
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted 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 (Phil. 1:6, 2:12-13; Heb. 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5, 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19).
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility (Eph. 1:3-14, 2:1-10; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 2:10,19; 1 Pet. 1:2).
We believe that sinners are justified before God by faith alone, forgiven, and declared righteous in God’s sight as God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer. The sole ground of our justification is the merit of Jesus, which is given to us, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. Though good works flow necessarily from all justified persons, these works are not the meritorious grounds of our justification (Rom. 3:21-31, 5:1-2; Eph. 2:4-10; Titus 3:4-7; James 2:14-26).
F. The Holy Spirit and Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, the Holy Spirit makes us partakers of His holiness. We believe that it is a progressive work begun in regeneration and, though distinct from justification, is ultimately inseparable from justification. It is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer, Counselor and Comforter, through the continual use of the appointed means of grace, especially, the Word of God, the sacraments, prayer, and self-denial, all expressed in love among the Spirit-filled community of saints. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed (Rom. 8:9-17, 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 2 Peter 1:3-11).
G. 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 will be consigned to Hell, 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 (Acts 10:42-57; 1 Cor. 15:42-57; Heb. 9:27).
H. The Church and the Sacraments/Ordinances
A local church is a community of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, who faithfully observe the sacraments/ordinances of Christ, are governed by His laws, and enjoy and exercise the gifts, rights, responsibilities and privileges invested in them by God’s Word. Baptism and the Lord’s Table demonstrate this unity in the Christian church (Acts 2:38-47; Eph. 2:11-22, 4:3-6).
We believe baptism is a sign and seal of God’s grace, of the individual’s engrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his or her commitment, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life. In baptism, we not only fulfill the Lord’s command, but we outwardly demonstrate the inner reality of God’s grace in our lives as we come to Christ in repentance and faith. We practice baptism of a believer in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, believing that the New Testament teaches by both precept and example that baptism follows conversion. Accordingly, Christ Covenant Church does not baptize infants. Baptism is by immersion except in cases where immersion is not possible (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:1-4; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 3:18-22).
We believe that the Lord’s Table is the regular remembrance of Christ’s life, death and resurrection on our behalf and that it encourages, nourishes, and sustains the community of believers. We further believe that Christ is present with us as we participate in the Lord’s Table in faith. Through this sacrament our covenant relationship with God is affirmed and renewed in forgiveness and love, and we are strengthened by His grace to share this love and forgiveness with one another and as witnesses to the world (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-34).
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 (Gen. 1:26-28; 1 Tim. 5:8).
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 (Gen. 2:20-25; Exod. 20:14; Matt. 5:31-32, 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Heb. 13:4).
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 has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation (Gen. 1:26-28; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:3-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to teach their children the Christian faith and lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to follow Christ in all their ways. Children are to honor and obey their parents in the Lord (Exod. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Psalm 78:1-8; Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:20-21).