We are a congregation that holds to the Reformed Baptist tradition. Our core belief is anchored in the grace of God, affirming that salvation is bestowed solely by grace alone, through faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ alone to the glory of God alone, according to scriptures alone —this is the heart of Calvinistic soteriology, which we embrace with conviction. we also typically affirm the Baptist distinctive of believer's baptism by immersion.
Being Reformed means...
- We are Calvinistic
- We believe in the doctrines of grace commonly summarized by the acronym TULIP.
- T - Total Depravity: (Man is spiritually dead and thus unable to turn to God in faith and repentance prior to being born again. Each man is a free agent but does not possess free will, because it is not within his nature to trust in Christ.)
- U - Unconditional Election (God chose to save us of His own free will and not based on our foreseen faith or good works.)
- L - Limited Atonement (Christ’s work to atone for our sins was effectual and objective and therefore was only accomplished for the elect, though all mankind benefits in some manner from His redemptive work for His church. He atoned for the sins of all men without distinction, but not all men without exception. He saved the whole world from their sins in that His elect come from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.)
- I - Irresistible Grace (God regenerates us in order to make us willing followers of Christ and not vice versa. Grace will always be resisted until God choses to cause us to be born again, after which we joyfully comply with grace. In other words, regeneration precedes faith. The grace of regeneration does not require our acceptance, but rather creates it.)
- P - Perseverance/Preservation of the saints (All those whom God elects and regenerates are also caused to persevere in the faith by the work of the Holy Spirit. Though there are those that once proclaimed the faith but now reject it, they are understood to never have been born again (1 John 2:19). Jesus does not lose any of His sheep.)
- We are ConfessionalWe believe that the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 (Also known as the Second London Confession) is the best summary of what the Scriptures teach about the Christian faith. We recognize that it is not an exhaustive document on Christianity, but that it clearly summarizes the main doctrines (or teachings) found in Scripture and relating to basic Christian faith and practice. We also recognize that it is a document written by fallible men and not inspired by God, therefore it is fully subject to the Scriptures and finds its authority only in its faithfulness to the Scriptures. The Word of God is the ultimate authority in all matters pertaining to the Christian faith and practice, but we affirm the usefulness of having a document that summarizes what we believe. Download a copy of the confessionhere.
- We are Covenantal or hold to Covenant TheologyWe believe the covenants in Scripture are the framework in which redemptive history transpired. We believe that before creation God made a Covenant of Redemption among the persons of the Trinity that formalized the work and role of each person in God’s decree to allow sin and to redeem a people for Himself. We believe Adam was under a Covenant of Works in the garden to obey and live. We believe the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic Covenants are not salvific in and of themselves, but provided the context and groundwork for Christ to enter into creation and merit salvation for fallen men. We believe the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace which is made with the true church in the New Testament. It is unbreakable and retroactive to Old Testament saints who received New Covenant benefits via the Old Covenant economy (the summation of the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic Covenants). We believe the church is a reconstituted Israel with no racial or ethnic boundaries. All those with true saving faith have been saved by the work accomplished by Christ in the New Covenant. Though the promise of salvation by the Messiah was prevalent and progressively revealed in greater detail in the Old Covenant, no one has ever been saved by their obedience to the command “do this and live” that was operative in the Old Covenant context.
- We Practice The Regulative principle of worshipWe only implement into formal public worship the elements of worship which are explicitly prescribed in God’s Word. We do not believe that whatever is not explicitly condemned is allowable (i.e., the Normative Principle). Therefore, the church is limited to practicing only the elements of worship given to us— the public reading and preaching of Scripture, prayer, singing, and the two ordinances or sacraments of the New Covenant (baptism and the Lord’s Supper). We further believe that the Regulative Principle of Worship restricts baptism and the Lord’s Supper to professing believers that have given evidence of true conversion.
- We believe in the Moral Law of GodThe Moral Law of God is based in God’s character and is therefore always true and applicable. In the context of God’s covenants there is additional Positive Law for each covenant that likewise must be obeyed at the time that each covenant is in place. from the beginning of creation into eternity the Moral Law of God has been in place. It is known to all men by virtue of being made in the image and likeness of God (though men do indeed seek to suppress it). It is summarized in the Ten Commandments which are therefore still applicable for believers today. And it was further summarized by Jesus when He said the greatest commandments was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the 2nd greatest commandment is the love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commands.
Being Baptist means...
- We are Credobaptist: We only baptize those that give a credible profession faith and evidence that accompanies their sincerity. We also only baptize by the method of immersion to accurately capture the symbolism of putting the old man to death and rising again in Christ. We do not practice infant baptism. Our stance on credobaptism by immersion is confirmed by a correct reading of Scripture, a correct application of the Regulative Principle of Worship, a complete application of Reformed hermeneutics, and by correct Covenant Theology. Both baptism and the Lord’s Supper are fenced (restricted) by the same principle— to be given to professing believers only.
- We are Congregational: We affirm congregational governance, where the local congregation is self-governing under the headship of Christ. There is no authoritative structure above the local church. Each local church is governed by a plurality of elders and deacons. However, it is the gathered assembly that elects its own elders and deacons and voices its decision on matters of worship, doctrine, and discipline. This means we are not part of any denomination.