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distinctives

Our church is a gathered assembly of believers in Jesus Christ committed to and characterized by the following four distinctives:

 

WE ARE EVANGELICAL

 

The term evangelical derives from the Greek word euangelion meaning “Gospel” or “good news.”

 

This good news is the heart of our faith: Jesus lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead. This is not a message we believe just one time in order to be saved, but a foundational truth that impacts all that we do and all that we are.   

 

Therefore, as people of the evangel, that is, the Gospel, we are rightly called Evangelicals. Our heritage bears this name out as we celebrate the proclamation and the mission of the Evangelical Revivals of earlier centuries.

 

Tethered to the message of the cross of Christ, revealed to us in the Bible, we eagerly support the heralding of this cross-shaped, Christ-centered Gospel both in local and global contexts, looking forward to the multilingual celebration of Christ’s worshippers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Revelation 7:9).

 

WE ARE REFORMATIONAL

 

Tracing our roots to the recovery of biblical truth during the Protestant Reformation, we identify with its chief principles expressed in the following Latin slogans: Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (God’s Glory Alone).

 

Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)

 

We affirm that in salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.

 

Sola Fide (Faith Alone)

 

We affirm that justification is realized when we place our faith in Christ alone to save us from our sins. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice.

 

Solus Christus (Christ Alone)

 

We affirm that our salvation is accomplished by the work of Christ on our behalf. His sinless life and substitutionary death are alone sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father. There is no other Saviour.

 

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)

 

We affirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behaviour must be measured.

 

Soli Deo Gloria (God's Glory Alone)

 

We affirm that because our salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, God alone gets all the glory. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God, and for His glory alone.

 

By the power of the Holy Spirit, we will always endeavor to live in light of these truths…

 

Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as He is revealed in the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone.

 

WE ARE REGULATIVE 

 

We believe that what we do in the church is to be regulated by the Scriptures, and this principle is especially applicable in the area of our corporate worship. 

 

We aren’t free to worship God however we feel like worshipping Him, but only in line with how He says we ought to worship Him. By implication, we seek to worship God in keeping with Scriptural prescriptions and precepts. We read the Word (1 Tim. 4:13), preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2), sing the Word (Col. 3:16), pray in accordance with the Word (Matt. 21:13), and see the truths of the Word displayed in the two sacraments of the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38-39, 1 Cor. 11:23-26, Col. 2:11-12). 

 

We come to worship on God’s terms, not ours; governed by the Bible, not our preferences; doing what He wants, not what we want. Simple as that.

 

WE ARE CONFESSIONAL

 

Our faith is not new, but ancient. We do not stand alone, but confess the Christian faith passed down throughout the whole history of the Church of Jesus Christ.

 

Our word creed comes from the Latin word credo, “I believe.” A creed is typically a short statement of faith. The creeds of the early church, including the Apostles’ Creed (developed during the first four centuries AD), the Nicene Creed (AD 325), and the Athanasian Creed (around AD 428), have been widely accepted across the ages by multiple church traditions. In them, the ancient church responded to some of the great heresies of the Christian religion, and clarified confessional Christian orthodoxy.

 

Our noun confession comes from the Latin verb confiteor, “to confess.” The greatest confessions came out of the Protestant Reformation.

 

For those congregations and denominations that still believe God’s Word as it was understood in the ancient church and in the Reformation, the creeds and confessions are the living voice of the church’s understanding of God’s Word on the most important issues of Christian doctrine and living. They are never to be seen as a substitute for Scripture or as having authority over Scripture. Rather, they help Christians make sense of the Bible by highlighting what is important and summarizing its essential message.

 

In an age of individualistic faith and skeletal creeds where doctrine is watered down to the lowest common denominator, the rich tradition of corporate creeds and confessions helps to keep us grounded in the truth, and provides us with a vital link to the church of ages past and the saints throughout the centuries. 

Here are some doctrinal standards that we affirm:

 

  1. Apostles’ Creed

  2. Nicene Creed

  3. Athanasian Creed

  4. 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

  5. Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978)

  6. The Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (1996)

  7. The Frankfurt Declaration of Christian and Civil Liberties (2022)

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