Renaissance Church Statement of Faith
In essential beliefs we have unity
“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” -Ephesians 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs we have freedom
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand…So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” -(Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22)
In all our beliefs we show love
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:34-35
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power.
All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
God exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three have distinct personalities and yet are of the same substance, one God.
(Gen. 1:1, John 10:30, John 4:24; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)
The eternal Son of God became incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ, being born of a virgin and is fully God and fully man. He died physically on the cross and was bodily and literally resurrected three days later.
(John 1:1, 14, 18; Heb. 1:1-9, 5:8; 1 John 5:20; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Cor. 15:1-5)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He regenerates, indwells, baptizes, and seals all believers in Christ and empowers those yielded to God.
(Matt. 28:19; John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:19; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:12, 12:13; Eph. 4:30; Col. 3:14)
Humanity – male and female – are created in the image and likeness of God. In Adam and Eve, all humanity fell into sin with the result that all people are sinful and separated from relationship with God. People are justly condemned to eternal judgement and can do nothing to merit salvation.
(Rom. 2:2,3,5; Eph. 2:8,9; Gen 1:27, 9:6; Rom. 5:12, 3:23; Eph. 2:1)
THE GOSPEL and SALVATION
The Gospel is the good news of the redemptive plan of God the Father, accomplished through God the Son and applied by God the Spirit. The good news is revealed in Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, His resurrection is the power of the gospel and His ascension is the glory of the gospel.
Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man.
There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.
The work of salvation in any person is begun by God, and salvation is only found in Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. The only means to salvation is belief in Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection and repentance of sin.
(Acts 4:12, 13:38,39; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 4:4-5, 5:1; John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 16:31; Eph. 1:4-5; Rom. 8:29-30)
Every believer is promised positional, progressive, and ultimate sanctification.
(Heb. 10:10, 14; John 17:15-17; Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 6:11)
All who are born of the Spirit through faith in Christ can have assurance of salvation and are eternally secure in Christ.
(Rom. 5:1; 1 John 5:13; John 10:27-29, 17:12; 2 Tim. 1:12; Eph. 4:30; John 6:37)
The church is composed of all believers. It is the body and bride of Christ, formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit and existing in two aspects, universal and local. The universal church is an elect company of believers, baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body. Its mission is to witness to its head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations. At the Rapture of the church, it will be caught up to meet the Lord, after which He will return to set up His Kingdom. The local church is a group of believers voluntarily joined together in love to worship God with praise and thanksgiving, and to glorify Jesus Christ through an intentional effort to disciple others by the preaching of the gospel and the exercising spiritual gifts.
We believe in a biblical form of church government consisting of godly male elders, under the headship of Christ, who are tasked with the responsibility of shepherding the church. Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are distinct by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church. As it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to lead; however, the office of elder is reserved for qualified men.
(Eph. 1:22-23, 5:24-30; 1 Cor. 12:4-13, 27, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9, Titus 2:1-8)
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.
Marriage is the uniting of one man (“husband”) and one woman (“wife”) in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide 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.
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 lead and protect 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 and help her husband and to serve with him in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
(Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Sam. 1:26-28 ; Psalms 51:5, 78 :1-8, 127, 128, 139:13-16 ; Proverbs 1:8, 5:15-20, 12 :4, 13:24, 14:1, 17:6, 18:22, 22:6, 23:13-14, 24:3, 29: 15-17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 9 :9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matt. 5:31-32, 18:2-5, 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Tim. 5:8, 14; 2 Tim. 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Heb. 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
Spiritual gifts are God-given abilities for service, i.e., “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up the body of Christ.”
(Eph. 4:1-16; 1 Cor. 12:7, 11; 1 Peter 4:10; Rom. 12:1-6)
Christians are called to a holy life of service and testimony in the power of the Holy Spirit. This service includes the spreading of the gospel message to the whole world. All believers are promised heavenly reward for their faithfulness in service.
(1 Pet. 1:15, 16; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 3:12-17; John 14:1-3)
Tithing in the Old Testament is a picture of proper worship, honoring and acknowledgement of our stewardship of God’s wealth concerning everything He has given us. We believe this example guides us but is not a mandate for the New Testament church. Followers of Christ are called to give financially to their local church, not by meeting some obligatory percentage, but gladly sacrificing for the sake of the gospel because Jesus sacrificed for us, and all we have is His.
We believe giving should be motivated by love, given willingly and generously (2 Cor. 8:3-5; 10-11, 9:7; Gal. 6:9), given our of the first fruits (1 Cor 16:2a), strategic (2 Cor. 9:12-15; 1 Tim. 3:15b; 5:17, 18), regular/systematic (1 Cor. 16:2), and proportionate and sacrificial (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:11-12).
The Bible sets forth two ordinances to be observed by the church, communion and water baptism after conversion. Communion is to be celebrated regularly in remembrance of Christ’s death on the cross and in expectation of His return. Water baptism after conversion is an outward expression of a person’s belief in Christ. Immersion is the ideal means set for in Scripture.
(Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:12, 36-38, 9:18, 10:47; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
This doctrinal statement is in harmony with the Baptist Faith and Message