Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have found it helpful to summarize essential beliefs and convictions through the use of creeds, confessions, and statements of faith. The purpose of the documents is to impart truth, defend against heresy, clarify doctrinal positions, and to protect from confusion. These documents make it easier for churches from various backgrounds to agree upon the essential beliefs and doctrines of the Christian faith.
These documents are merely a response to God’s revelation as found in Scripture. Scripture alone is authoritative, inspired and infallible. Therefore, this Statement of Faith is simply a summary of the doctrinal and theological beliefs of Redeemer Community Church. Though we believe this Statement of Faith to be true and concurrent with Scripture, we hold to Scripture as our final authority in all matters.
At Redeemer Community Church, we have three distinct but complementary statements summarizing our beliefs. The three statements are of varying degrees of detail and understanding of what we teach, preach and practice:
1. Statement of Essential Beliefs
This statement is the most simple and foundational beliefs of evangelical Christianity. These beliefs have been proven to be Christian orthodoxy from both biblical and historical perspectives. This statement captures the essential beliefs of Christian theology. Therefore, anyone desiring membership and/or baptism at Redeemer Community Church must agree with the statement.
2. Statement of Theological Distinctives
This statement summarizes our convictions on areas that are debated even among evangelical churches. Though complete agreement to this statement is not a requirement for membership, it should be understood that we will preach, teach, counsel, and practice on the basis of these distinctives.
3. Statement of Biblical Doctrine
This statement represents a more detailed summary of the convictions and beliefs found in the other statements. Again, this statement does not serve as a complete set of beliefs, but simply a summation of important doctrine. Though this statement is more detailed, it should be neither considered all-inclusive nor fully authoritative. Scripture alone is our final authority. The Statement of Biblical Doctrine is the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, which allows us to fellowship and cooperate with other churches in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Together, these statements form our Statement of Faith. The Statement of Faith communicates what we believe as a church. Therefore, it will be foundational for our teaching, preaching, instructing, disciplining and counseling.
Statement of Essential Beliefs
These are the essential beliefs of the Christian faith. The beliefs summarize the heart of the theological practices by evangelical Christianity and Redeemer Community Church. Therefore, full agreement of these essential beliefs is required for membership and/or baptism at Redeemer Community Church.
1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is without any mixture of error or contradiction; it is infallible, inerrant, and fully authoritative. The Word of God is entirely profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training of righteousness. Through the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is revealed and one’s life is transformed. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
2. There is one true, living God. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of all things. God is infinite in His holiness, power, presence, and knowledge. God reveals Himself through the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each are distinct in person, but are without division of nature, essence, or being. (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; John 1:1, 6:27; Acts 5:3-4)
3. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is eternal in nature. He was born of a virgin and lived a perfect and sinless life. On the cross, Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death and made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was buried in a borrowed tomb, but death could not hold Him; Jesus rose on the third day and appeared to many for forty days according to the Scriptures. Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father and now reigns as Lord over the universe. Jesus Christ will, one day, return in power and glory, to receive His Church and reign upon the earth as Kings of kings and Lord of lords. (Luke 1:26-28; John 1:1-14; Acts 1:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Philippians 2:9-11)
4. The Holy Spirit is fully divine and personal. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer from the moment of salvation, fully and completely, and His presence encourages, empowers and transforms. The presence of the Holy Spirit constitutes true Christianity. (John 16:5-15; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:4)
5. Humanity is the special creation of God, created in His image and according to His likeness. However, the Fall of Adam, has distorted this image and likeness. Humanity has inherited a sinful nature from Adam and is fully depraved without the Spirit of God. All humanity is sinful and falls short of the glory of God; therefore, all are in need of a Savior. (Genesis 1:26; Romans 3:23, 5:12-21, 6:23)
6. Because all humanity is in need of a Savior, God provided salvation through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. It is by God’s grace and mercy, through faith, repentance, and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ that man is saved. Jesus is the only source and way of eternal life. (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-10)
7. God has made provision for those who, by faith, accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior where they will live bodily and consciously in His presence forever. God also has prepared a place for those who reject Jesus; they will eternally endure the agony of separation from God in Hell. (Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-6)
8. Jesus Christ, and He alone, is the absolute and sovereign Lord and Savior. (Philippians 2:9-11)
9. All things exist for the glory of God. (Psalm 148; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:3-14)
Statement of Theological Distinctives
While the doctrines expressed in the Statement of Essential Beliefs are recognized to be Christian orthodoxy and universal within evangelical Christianity, there are a number of secondary beliefs that we passionately preach and teach. Though not all Christians hold these beliefs, at Redeemer Community Church, we believe they are important and true, as we understand Scripture. Complete agreement to these distinctives is not a requirement for membership, but it should be known that we preach, teach and counsel in accordance with these beliefs. Therefore, these distinctives are not to be the source of arguments or debate that would cause disunity, but rather as a description of the theology that makes us who we are as Redeemer Community Church.
The Sovereignty of God
God is sovereign over all things. There is nothing outside of His ultimate control and rule. There is nothing that surprises God or forces Him to respond in ways He first did not choose. God has complete foreknowledge and sovereignty. It is His sovereignty over the work of salvation that is a theological distinction. We believe that the free will of man always leads man to choose rebellion and sin. Therefore, we believe it is exceedingly glorious and good that salvation is not dependent on the work and will of man, but is dependent of the grace and mercy of God’s eternal decree of election. Though man is responsible for his sin, God is ultimately responsible for overcoming man’s natural resistance to the Gospel and drawing the elect to Himself. Left to his own choosing apart of the work of God, man would always choose rebellion and rejection. Therefore, salvation, from beginning to end, is the complete work of God. Therefore, the glory of the Gospel and salvation is rightfully God’s alone that man should never boast. (Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Romans 8:26-9:23; Ephesians 1:3-14)
The Security of the Believer
With salvation being completely the work of God and not of man, we believe that the security of salvation rests in God and not with man. We believe that God saves to the uttermost. In other words, the salvation found in the person and work of Jesus through the Gospel is complete and eternal; it cannot neither be lost nor refused. Those who through faith in Jesus, repentance of sin, and obedience to the Gospel will never fall away from the salvation provided to them by the grace of God; they shall persevere to the end. (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:26-9:23; Ephesians 1:3-14)
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in Scripture have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the closing of the New Testament canon. These gifts are available today and are to be eagerly desired and practiced in submission to the Holy Spirit and Scripture. These gifts are spiritual in nature; therefore, the gifts are only available to those who are born of the Spirit through salvation provided by the grace of God and faith in Jesus. As with all things, these gifts are to be practiced and used in accordance with Scripture and in an orderly manner as dictated by the Elders. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16)
The Complementary Roles of Men and Women
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity, and value but are different by divine design. As a part of God’s created order and design, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and the church, especially in matters of teaching and authority. Therefore, at Redeemer Community Church, the role of elder is limited to men. These roles are a reflection of God’s design and grace. They are to be protected, preserved, and practiced for His glory and our joy. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:33-35; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
Our Delight in God’s Glory
We believe that our greatest joy and satisfaction in found only in an obedient relationship with God through Jesus. Our enjoyment of God being God is the chief means by which He is glorified. Our satisfaction in pursuing and knowing God is our ultimate act of worship and the greatest means of bringing Him the glory He richly deserves. (Psalm 16:11; 37:4; Matthew 13:44; John 15:11; Philippians 3:8)
The Duty of Personal Holiness and Self-Denial
Though most evangelical Christians would agree that we must pursue holiness in our lives, few actively pursue personal holiness with radical urgency and passion. As a part of our redemption and sanctification through Jesus, we should “be holy in all your conduct.” Personal holiness requires us to daily evaluate our lives and how we seek to honor God through purity, integrity, and Christlikeness. Personal holiness is not a list of requirements, but an attitude of self-denial that allows for the rule and reign of Jesus in our lives. Personal holiness should never push us toward legalistic and religious slavery; it allows for perfect freedom provided by Jesus. Personal holiness and self-denial allows us to fully serve Jesus without the fear of death, suffering, rejection or failure. (Luke 9:23-27; 14:25-33; Colossians 3:1-17; 1 Peter 1:13-25)
Prayer and Fasting
Prayer is essential to the spiritual growth of every follower of Jesus; this is hardly debated among Christian evangelicals. However, the extent in which prayer is practiced and implemented throughout the life of the church is a distinctive at Redeemer Community Church. Prayer reminds us of our complete dependence on God for every aspect of life in our homes and in our church. Also, prayer is the manner in which we connect to the awesome power and supernatural work of God. In the same sense, fasting is a spiritual discipline that we must practice in order to reduce our worldly appetites and increase our hunger for God. Understanding our limited ability to accomplish any work or ministry without the help and empowerment of God, Redeemer Community Church will passionately and intensely practice the disciplines of prayer and fasting. (Matthew 6:5-24; Acts 13:1-3; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:13-14)