distinctives

 High View of God

 

Although God is immanent—accessible to us as Abba Father—Scripture also teaches He is transcendent—exalted far above us as our Sovereign King. Therefore, He must be treated with profound reverence and respect and never taken lightly. God’s transcendence is captured in the attribute we call His holiness. God is holy or transcendent in two related, but ultimately distinct ways: He is transcendent in His moral purity and also transcendent in His majesty. He is separate or distinct from and exalted above everything else in the universe. Our greatest prayer must always be that God’s transcendence is seen and known in the worship of this church and that He therefore is both loved and feared. It is our profound desire and chief concern that in our worship we treat God as separate, distinct, set apart, majestic, and transcendent. It is only in understanding His transcendence that we can truly see the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ through which we are reconciled and brought near to such a great and awesome God.

 

High View of Scripture

 

The inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God provides the foundation and contours of our beliefs. As such, the Scriptures inform every facet of life and practice (2 Tim. 3:16). Scripture provides the form and content for preaching, worship, and singing. The Bible is God’s self-revelation and states the purpose for which He created us. It also helps us to understand our own hearts of sin and the broken world in which we live because of man’s fall into sin. Through His Word, God has also revealed the way of salvation in Christ to restore sinful human beings into the image of Christ for His glory.

 

The Five Solas of the Reformation

 

We promote the five Reformation watchwords or battle cries, centered around the Latin word solus, meaning "alone". These watchwords capsulate Protestant teaching

 

Sola Scriptura (Scripture only) The Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God, and it is the only rule and authority for faith and practice. This means that we endeavor to submit unconditionally to everything the Bible teaches (2 Tim. 3:16).


Sola Gratia (Grace only) We can only be saved from sin and its consequences by the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. This manifestation of God's sovereign goodness to sinners, which excludes all human merit, the Bible calls the grace of God (Eph. 2:8). Our salvation is altogether of God; from beginning to end, it is only by God's free mercy and grace.


Sola Fide (Faith only) Salvation is not the result of our own accomplishments or works, but is obtained only by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atonement accomplished on Calvary's cross. By faith in the perfect obedience of Christ we become righteous before God, trusting only in the finished work of Christ (Heb. 4:2).


Solus Christus (Christ only) The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), who has made an effective, complete and final atonement for sin. Therefore He is the only One through whom we can be reconciled with our Creator, whom we have offended by our sins. Only Christ's perfect sacrifice and righteousness are acceptable to God (John 14:6), and through Him we have direct access to God.


Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God only) The primary purpose of our existence is to live to God's glory, which therefore is the primary purpose of our salvation. This means that all honor and glory for our salvation must be given to God alone (Rev. 7:12).

 

The Sovereignty of God's Grace in Salvation

 

Which is powerfully illustrated by the so-called "Five Points of Calvinism" succinctly summarized as follows:

 

Total depravity (sovereign grace needed) man is so depraved and corrupted by sin in every part of his being that he is by nature incapable of doing any spiritual good and cannot effect any part of his salvation (Gen. 6:5).

 

Unconditional election (sovereign grace conceived) from eternity past, God chose to save certain individuals irrevocably to everlasting life and glory in Christ Jesus without seeing any intrinsic goodness in them, and He ordained the means by which they would be saved (Rom. 9:15-16).

 

Limited atonement (sovereign grace merited) while the death of Christ is sufficient to cover the sins of the world, its saving efficacy is intentionally limited to His elect sheep whose sins He bore and for whom He fully satisfied the justice of God (John 17:9).

 

Irresistible grace (sovereign grace applied) God irresistibly calls the elect to saving faith and salvation in Christ with such sovereign power that they can no longer resist His grace, but are made willing in the day of His power (Ps. 110:3; John 6:44-45).

 

Perseverance (sovereign grace preserved) those whom God saves, He graciously preserves in the state of grace so that they will never be lost. They may be troubled by infirmities as they seek to make their calling and election sure, but they will persevere until the end, fighting the good fight of faith until the final victory shall be realized in the coming again of their Savior and Lord as Judge (John 10:28).