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What we believe

Every person is informed by and driven by what he or she believes.

At Faith, we believe that people are created and, consequently, they owe fundamental allegiance to the only Creator.

God the Creator determines what we are to believe about Himself, but also what we believe about ourselves, and others, and the world.

 

We are Orthodox

This is to say that we believe those things that the Christian church has always believed.

These include the tri-unity of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The humanity and divinity of Jesus in one person. The Holy Spirit as the agent of salvation. The original holiness of Creation and humanity, and the guilt and pollution of that holiness in the rebellion of Adam and Eve, our first parents. The divine plan for the restoration of all creation through the Son's perfect life and perfect sacrifice as the Second Adam.

Summary statements of these orthodox beliefs are captured by historic documents like The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.

 

We are Protestant

To say that our beliefs are Protestant is to say that we affirm the realignment of Christianity that took place in Europe during the Sixteenth Century, commonly called the Protestant Reformation. This was truly a multinational event. It involved a variety of languages, touched many nations, and encompassed more than a century.

While it can be difficult to summarize what it means to be “Protestant,” one way is to consider five mottos that grew out of this period. These mottos are sometimes calld the Five Solas (sola is Latin for, "alone"):

  • God is not moved or compelled or motivated to save by anything other than His own will and character of grace (sola gratia). See Ephesians 3.1-8.

  • Knowledge of God and self rests on the authority of the Bible, directing us what to believe and what to do (sola Scriputura). See 2 Timothy 3.14-17, Psalm 119.18 and 138.2.

  • Our human efforts, as good as they may be, are never good enough to earn God's salvation, which is only offered to us through faith (sola fide). See Galatians 3.6-11.

  • The climactic revelation of God's plan for salvation is the person, Jesus Christ, particularly at His real sacrifice on the cross (solus Christus). See Colossians 1.13-18 and 1 Timothy 2.5-6.

  • The direction and goal of all of God's creation is focused upon His own glory (soli Deo gloria). See 1 Corinthians 10.31; Romans 11.36, Ephesians 3.21; 1 Peter 4.11; 2 Peter 3.1; Revelation 1.6 and 7.12.


We are Reformed

To say that our beliefs are Reformed is to say that we affirm four commitments that were valuable to many congregations of the Protestant Reformation.

During the Reformation, these congregations were distinguished from Lutheran congregations on the one side and Anabaptist congregations on the other side. Due to the influence of John Calvin, these Reformed congregations were sometimes (after 1618) called, Calvinist congregations.

  • We emphasize the eternal sovereignty of God, that He is the Mighty Ruler over all things and deserves the worship and adoration of all creation. We emphasize that God's sovereignty reaches even into individual conversion, graciously operating in our hearts, through the Holy Spirit, even before we profess faith with our lips.

  • We emphasize that the Old and New Testaments are not in competition, but actually fit together as a single story of God's plan for redemption in Jesus Christ. This is clearly seen in the many covenants between God and mankind that unify this story of redemption.

  • We emphasize that the Ten Commandments embody God's moral will for our lives. More than just highlighting our need for redemption as sinners (and inspiring our thanks), God's moral will directs that thankfulness to Him so that we know how to live holy lives.

  • We emphasize that worship (private and corporate) is a means of real spiritual nourishment from God, particularly experienced in the two sacraments that Jesus gave to His church: Baptism and the Lord’s Table.

There are numerous historic statements that summarize these Reformed commitments. We ask the elders and deacons of our church to affirm these commitments as they are written in the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism (we do not ask this commitment from church members).

For parents, there is an introductory catechism for smaller children called, The First Catechism, and one for slightly older children called, The Catechism for Young Children. There is also a musical catechism available for families from Songs for Saplings. Finally, Redeemer PCA (New York) has produced a helpful New City Catechism (based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism).