Our church is built specific biblical truths that we believe are defining and vision-giving
1. Radical Inability. Humankind is corrupted by sin from birth. Every thought, emotion, word, and action is corrupted by this sin nature. Therefore, we are unable to do any spiritual good--such as obey God, repent, or save ourselves.
“What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”” (Romans 3:9–12 ESV).
2. Sovereign Choice. We are only saved by God having mercy on us. Good chooses to have mercy on some and not others. This sovereign choice is not based on anything good that could ever do. Also, his choice to give justice rather than mercy to others is not based on anything bad that they would do either.
“For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9:15–16 ESV).
3. Definite Atonement. For those whom God has mercy, God provides a substitionary atonement for the penalty of their sin. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dies for sins of the church. The church, made up of all God's people from creation to Christ's return, are those whose sins are covered. Christ died to remove the wrath of God from the church, God's sheep.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11 ESV).
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28 ESV).
4. Overcoming Grace. God's mercy is seen practically in the life of the church. God overcomes our radical inability to repent and believe the gospel. He does this by regenerating the elect--making them spiritually alive. The regenerate are granted the ability to repent, or turn, from their sins and believe the promise of the gospel to cleanse them from sin and its penalty. This grace in the lives of God's people causes them to obey God's commandments.
“When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life”” (Acts 11:18 ESV).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV).
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit”” (John 3:5–8 ESV).
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:25–27 ESV).
5. Persevering Faith. The power that God uses to overcome our sin of unbelief is the same grace that God uses to keep us believing and repenting until we die or Christ returns. This persevering faith that God uses to justify us is the same faith that God uses to sanctify us. We do not expect to be perfect in this life, but we do expect to manifest a life of faith, repentance, obedience, and increasing Christ-likeness.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 ESV).
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13 ESV).
“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2–3 ESV).
6. Christian Hedonism. Christian Hedonism is best summarized in John Piper's statement, "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him." God's desire to be glorified and our desire to be happy are not at odds. God has made us to be happy in him. So, when the Westminster divines answered what the chief end of man, they said, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." Christian Hedonism makes it explicit that we glorify God BY enjoying him.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 ESV).
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ESV).
“It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:20–23 ESV).