All creation is subject to the authority of the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and sufficient Word of God alone.
The merit of Christ is credited to us by faith not works; therefore, we are made righteous by faith alone.
Our salvation depends and rests solely on God’s unmerited favor extended to us by God’s undeserved mercy.
By the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection alone are we redeemed.
Glory to God Alone
All creation was created and is sustained by God and for His glory alone. All fame be to God!
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, which contains 66 books in totality, to be the Bible and, in absolute truth, the Word of God (I Thessalonians 2:13, John 17:17). We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the original manuscripts, (II Thessalonians 3:17; II Peter 1:20-21) and the preservation of God's words to every age (Matthew 24:35, 4:4; I Peter 1:24-25; Isaiah 40:8). The Bible is our final authority for faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Also see the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and "2. Revelation" from The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement under "Additional Statements" on this page for more about inerrancy and revelation.
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections; and yet, the Godhead is one and indivisible; each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being (Isaiah 45:21-22; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24, 10:25-33, 14:23-27; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 9:14; Deuteronomy 6:4; II Corinthians 13:14).
Also see Articles V and VI in Together for the Gospel and also the Nicene Creed and the Chalcedonian Definition under "Additional Statements" regarding the doctrine of the Trinity.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6; 7:14; Philippians 2:5-8; Galatians 4:4-5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished redemption for all His people through His finished work on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice. (Romans 3:24-25; I Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5).
We believe in Christ's literal and physical resurrection from the dead. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Intercessor and Rightoues Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24, 7:25; Romans 8:34; I John 2:1-2).
See The Ligonier Statement on Christiology and Article VII from Together for the Gospel under "Additional Statements" on this page for more on our position concerning the diety of Christ.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Person who reproves the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; II Corinthians 3:6; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14).
We believe that humanity was created in the image and likeness of God and originally free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; by which his descendants inherit a corrupt nature, wholly opposed to God and His law, are under just condemnation, in bondage to sin and Satan, and utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27; John 6:44, 63, 65; Romans 3:22-23; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).
Also see "4. The Fall" The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement for more regarding hamartiology.
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.—The Gospel Coalition's Confessional Statement
Also see The Nashville Statement and Article XVI from Together for the Gospel under "Additional Statements" to read more regarding marriage, family, and gender.
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; that by the appointment of the Father, the Son would voluntarily suffer the just punishment of sin by a vicarious, substitutionary, and propitiatory death, thereby, redeeming fallen man to God (Acts 20:21; Matthew 24:24, 31; Mark 1:15, 13:22, 27; John 1:12, 4:23-24, 5:40; Romans 1:15-17, 8:28-32; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2). Jesus died for all without distinction, but not all without exception because not all will be saved (John 10:14-15; Matthew 20:28; Acts 13:48 cf. John 1:12-13; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Jesus' atonement has not and will not fail to secure the certain salvation of all who God effectually calls to believe (1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 7:22, 9:15; John 6:65, 15:16, 17:2, 6, 9; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-4). Before the foundation of the world, God graciously and mercifully ordained to save all who He has sovereignly chosen from every age, people, language, and nation (Genesis 12:3, 18:18; Matthew 8:11-12; Galatians 3:6, 13-14; Psalms 102:18; John 4:23, 10:16 cf. Isaiah 56:8, Ezekiel 34:11-13; Romans 15:6, 11-12; 8:31, 33, 15, 16-18; Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 1:4, 11, 3:5-6, 4:4; Acts 13:48; Revelation 5:9, 7:9). It is God Who regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and transforms sinners into glorified God worshipers. The Scripture teaches that election is in complete harmony with all of God's good, sovereign purposes (Matthew 24:14, 22, 24 cf. Mark 13:20, 22, 27, 31; John 17:2; Acts 13:48; Ephesians 1:4-6, 9-10, 11-12; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-4; 1 Timothy 5:21, 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:20-21; 1 John 2:25; Revelation 17:14). God's righteous decree in salvation is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man. Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own innate corruption and voluntary rejection of Christ (Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Romans 9:32; 1:15-17, 16:25-26; Matthew 11:20, 23:37; Mark 1:15, 16:16; Luke 10:27; John 5:40; Acts 22:16, 16:31, 2:38; 2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Also see Article 20 and 21 in The Ligonier Statement on Christiology and Articles VIII—XIII from Together for the Gospel under "Additional Statements" for more information about the our position on the doctrines of regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
We believe that the New Testament Church is a divine institution built and designed by Christ as an organized body of baptized believers covenanted together and claiming to carry out the same gospel once delivered to the saints. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons, and the office of a pastor is limited to biblically qualified men. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation (Revelation 7:9, 5:9; Ephesians 2:11-22; Jude 3; Matthew 16:18; 28:19-20; Acts 2:40-41; Ephesians 4:4-6, 13-14, 3:15-18; John 17:17).
The church is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 16:18-19); therefore, we believe in personal and ecclesiastical separation from all apostasy and heresy (Galatians 1:8-9, 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 16:17-18; Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 11:4). We define heresy as the replacement, addition, or subtraction of key, essential truths with unscriptural, unbiblical, extra-biblical, post-canonical, human-made teachings or concepts (Mark 7:3, 6-9, 13 cf. Isaiah 29:13; Colossians 2:20-23, 3:1-3 cf. 1 Timothy 4:8). Furthermore, we believe that the definition of apostasy can extend to the elevation of non-essentials to the status of essentials (Mark 7:9, 13).
See Article XV and XIV from Together for the Gospel under "Additional Statements" regarding ecclesiology.
Baptism by water is an act of obedience demonstrating faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus (Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; John 4:12; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 8:12, 16:32-34, 18:8, 10:47-48; Galatians 3:26-28; Romans 6:4).
The Lord's Supper is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ for regenerate and repentant Christians. Through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, professing, baptized believers commemorate Christ's death and confirm the faith to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of their communion with God by faith in Christ alone and of their fellowship in the Body of Christ. (Matthew 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-26, Luke 22:19-20, 1 Corinthians 10:16,21, 11:23-29)
We believe in the imminent, personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth (1 Thessalonians 5:2; Hebrews 9:28, 10:24-25; Revelation 22:12; Matthew 24:29-31; Titus 2:13; Mark 13:32-33; 1 John 2:18).
We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.—The Gospel Coalition's Confessional Statement
We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.—The Gospel Coalition's Confessional Statement
It is clearly evident that God is seeking and saving a diverse, global cacophony of worshippers from every nation (Genesis 12:3, 18:18; Galatians 3:6, 13-14; Psalms 102:18; John 4:23; Romans 15:6, 12; Ephesians 3:5-6; Rev. 5:9, 7:9). No race is of superior worth or value in God's sight (Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Acts 10:34-35); and therefore, we emphatically deny all forms of racial prejudice and renounce discrimination, division, and injustice caused by sinful racism.
Also see Article XVII from Together for the Gospel and The Nashville Statement under "Additional Statements" regarding racism and human equality.
As Christ has spoken, the kingdom of God is already present (Matthew 12:28, cf. Luke 11:20; Mark 1:15; Luke 17:20-21); however, the kingdom of heaven has not yet been consummated, and we must await the return of King Jesus (Philippians. 2:9-11, Hebrews 9:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, cf. Luke 19:11ff; Mark 13:32-33). Whereas we affirm the wholistic, over-arching narrative of Scriptures from Creation to New Creation, we reject utopianism until Christ's triumphant return (Philippians 2:8-11; Isaiah 42:1-4, 53:7-8; Matthew 12:18-21; Acts 8:32-35).
God reigns supremely over all His creation, and His dominion knows no bounds (Psalms 24:1, 45:6, 93:2). The heavenly kingdom is spiritual (John 18:36; Ephesians 6:12; Romans 14:16-17; Philippians 3:3). Christians are like sheep and sojourners (Matthew 10:16-20; 1 Peter 2:11-12); Christians are not social revolutionists (1 Corinthians 7:20-22, 24, 1 Peter 2:13-15, 16-17, 18-19; Romans 12:16-17, 18-19, 21). Nonetheless, God’s kingdom is visibly seen through the existence of Christ's Church on earth and by those of the universal Body of Christ who are characterized by their love for God and neighbor.
Christ has commanded His disciples to love others (John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:1), to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14; Mark 9:50), and to be ambassadors of the heavenly kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20; Philippians 2:15-16). Jesus has commissioned his Church with the task of global evangelism and making disciples among all nations by teaching them to honor His commandments (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 15:15-18; Luke 24:46-49, cf. Acts 1:8, 2:1, 4; 4:33; 13:47); therefore, delcaring, teaching, and living out biblical ethics in this world is an indispensable part of the Great Commission. Christ has given the Church the spiritual authority to function as an embassy of the heavenly kingdom (Matthew 16:19, 18:18; John 20:23; Revelation 1:18; 3:7 cf. Isaiah 22:22), and to exercise His authority on earth in the Church by the administration of the Word of God (1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9), the provision of the ordinances (1 Corinthians 11:27-31; Acts 2:41-42), and the practice of church discipline (Matthew 18:15–17; 1 Corinthians 5:1–13, 11:32; 2 Corinthians 2:5–8; Titus 3:10–11; Hebrews 12:5–11).
As citizens of the kingdom of God and ambassadors of Christ's embassy, we announce our unfailing allegiance to Christ (2 Timothy 2:12; Matthew 10:33; Acts 5:29; Mark 12:17, cf. Matthew 22:21; Luke 20:25), declare kingdom truths (Acts 20:25, 20, 27, 17:16-31, 24:24-25; Psalms 45:6-7; Matthew 12:18, 14:4; Luke 4:18; Ephesians 3:10), love and care for others (1 Corinthians 13:3; Galatians 6:9-10; 1 Peter 2:17; Matthew 25:35-40; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:25-37; John 13:34-35; Acts 20:35; Romans 12:3; Hebrews 13:2), live justly (1 Peter 2:15; Luke 11:42; Philippians 2:15-16; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 7:9-10; Leviticus 19:15), and do good (Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 2:10, 4:28; 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 5:9-10, 6:18; Titus 2:7, 14, 3:8, 14; Matthew 5:16; James 1:27; 2:14-16, 22; 1 Peter 2:12).
Also see the paragraph "10. The Kingdom of God" from The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement.
We also subscribe these statements which clearly define our adherence to the historic, orthodox Christian faith (Apostles’ Creed, Five Solas), our conservative stance regarding the authority of Scripture (CSBI), our emphatic defense of Christology (Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Definition, LSC), the gospel (T4G, TGC), and our position concerning human sexuality and biblical manhood/womanhood (NS).
- Apostles' Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead and buried.
On the third day, He rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy universal church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting.
- Nicene Creed (381)
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
- Chalcedonian Definition (451)
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [coessential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God (Theotokos—"[she] who gave birth to one who was God") according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence (Greek: "hypostasis"), not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God, the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has been handed down to us.
- Five Solas/Cambridge Declaration (1500/1996)
Preface: Evangelical churches today are increasingly dominated by the spirit of this age rather than by the Spirit of Christ. As evangelicals, we call ourselves to repent of this sin and to recover the historic Christian faith.
In the course of history words change. In our day this has happened to the word "evangelical." In the past it served as a bond of unity between Christians from a wide diversity of church traditions. Historic evangelicalism was confessional. It embraced the essential truths of Christianity as those were defined by the great ecumenical councils of the church. In addition, evangelicals also shared a common heritage in the "solas" of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation.
Today the light of the Reformation has been significantly dimmed. The consequence is that the word "evangelical" has become so inclusive as to have lost its meaning. We face the peril of losing the unity it has taken centuries to achieve. Because of this crisis and because of our love of Christ, his gospel and his church, we endeavor to assert anew our commitment to the central truths of the Reformation and of historic evangelicalism. These truths we affirm not because of their role in our traditions, but because we believe that they are central to the Bible.
Sola Scriptura: WE REAFFIRM 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 behavior must be measured. WE DENY that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.
Solus Christus: WE REAFFIRM that our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father. WE DENY that the gospel is preached if Christ's substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.
Sola Gratia: WE REAFFIRM 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. WE DENY that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.
Sola Fide: WE REAFFIRM that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice. We DENY that justification rests on any merit to be found in us, or upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ's righteousness in us, or that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church.
Soli Deo Gloria: WE REAFFIRM that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God's glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone. WE DENY that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self-fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.
- Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978)
Article I: WE AFFIRM that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God. WE DENY that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.
Article II: WE AFFIRM that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture. WE DENY that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
Article III: WE AFFIRM that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God. WE DENY that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.
Article IV: WE AFFIRM that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation. WE DENY that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God's work of inspiration.
Article V: WE AFFIRM that God's revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive. We deny that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. WE further DENY that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.
Article VI: WE AFFIRM that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration. WE DENY that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.
Article VII: WE AFFIRM that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us. WE DENY that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.
Article VIII: WE AFFIRM that God in His Work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared. WE DENY that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.
Article IX: WE AFFIRM that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write. WE DENY that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God's Word.
Article X: WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original. WE DENY that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.
Article XI: WE AFFIRM that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses. WE DENY that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated.
Article XII: WE AFFIRM that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit. WE DENY that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.
Article XIII: WE AFFIRM the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture. WE DENY that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations.
Article XIV: WE AFFIRM the unity and internal consistency of Scripture. WE DENY that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible.
Article XV: WE AFFIRM that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration. WE DENY that Jesus' teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity.
Article XVI: WE AFFIRM that the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to the Church's faith throughout its history. WE DENY that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by Scholastic Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism.
Article XVII: WE AFFIRM that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God's written Word. WE DENY that this witness of the Holy Spirit operates in isolation from or against Scripture.
Article XVIII: WE AFFIRM that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatical-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture. WE DENY the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.
Article XIX: WE AFFIRM that a confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ. WE DENY that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church.
- The Ligonier Statement on Christology (2016)
The Word Made Flesh: We confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person. He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment. For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things. Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever. Amen.
Article 1: WE AFFIRM that Jesus is the incarnation in history of the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is Christ, God’s promised Messiah. WE DENY that Jesus Christ is a mere man or was a fictional creation of the early Christian church.
Article 2: WE AFFIRM that in the unity of the Godhead the eternally begotten Son is consubstantial (homoousios), coequal, and coeternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. WE DENY that the Son is merely like God (homoiousios) or that He was simply adopted by the Father as His Son. We deny the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in the ontological Trinity.
Article 3: WE AFFIRM, with the Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds, that Jesus Christ is both truly God and truly man, two natures united in one person forever. WE DENY that the Son was created. We deny that there was ever a time when the Son was not divine. We deny that the human body and soul of Jesus Christ existed prior to the incarnation of the Son in history.
Article 4: WE AFFIRM the hypostatic union, that the two natures of Jesus Christ are united in His one person without mixture, confusion, division, or separation. WE DENY that to distinguish between the two natures is to separate them.
Article 5: WE AFFIRM that in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, His divine and human natures retain their own attributes. We affirm that the attributes of both natures belong to the one person Jesus Christ. WE DENY that the human nature of Jesus Christ has divine attributes or can contain the divine nature. We deny that the divine nature communicates divine attributes to the human nature. We deny that the Son laid aside or gave up any of His divine attributes in the incarnation.
Article 6: WE AFFIRM that Jesus Christ is the visible image of God, that He is the standard of true humanity, and that in our redemption we will be ultimately conformed to His image. WE DENY that Jesus Christ was less than truly human, that He merely appeared to be human, or that He lacked a reasonable human soul. We deny that in the hypostatic union the Son assumed a human person rather than a human nature.
Article 7: WE AFFIRM that as truly man, Jesus Christ possessed in His state of humiliation all the natural limitations and common infirmities of human nature. We affirm that He was made like us in all respects, yet He was without sin. WE DENY that Jesus Christ sinned. We deny that Jesus Christ did not truly experience suffering, temptation, or hardship. We deny that sin is inherent to true humanity or that the sinlessness of Jesus Christ is incompatible with His being truly human.
Article 8: WE AFFIRM that the historical Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, was miraculously conceived, and was born of the Virgin Mary. We affirm with the Chalcedonian Creed that she is rightly called mother of God (theotokos) in that the child she bore is the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. WE DENY that Jesus Christ received His divine nature from Mary or that His sinlessness was derived from her.
Article 9: WE AFFIRM that Jesus Christ is the last Adam who succeeded in His appointed task at every point where the first Adam failed, and that Jesus Christ is the head of His people, the body of Christ. WE DENY that Jesus Christ assumed a fallen human nature or inherited original sin.
Article 10: WE AFFIRM the active and passive obedience of Jesus Christ, that in His perfect life He completely fulfilled the righteous demands of the law on our behalf, and that He bore the penalty of our sin by His death on the cross. WE DENY that Jesus Christ at any point failed to obey or fulfill the law of God. We deny that He abolished the moral law.
Article 11: WE AFFIRM that on the cross Jesus Christ offered Himself as a penal substitutionary atonement for the sins of His people, propitiating the wrath of God and satisfying the justice of God, and was victorious over sin, death, and Satan. WE DENY that the death of Jesus Christ was a payment of ransom to Satan. We deny that the death of Jesus Christ was merely an example, merely a victory over Satan, or merely a display of God’s moral government.
Article 12: WE AFFIRM the doctrine of double imputation, that our sin is imputed to Jesus Christ and His righteousness is imputed to us by faith. WE DENY that sin is overlooked without judgment. We deny that the active obedience of Jesus Christ is not imputed to us.
Article 13: WE AFFIRM that on the third day Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that He was seen in the flesh by many. WE DENY that Jesus Christ merely seemed to die, or that only His spirit survived, or that His resurrection took place merely in the hearts of His followers.
Article 14: WE AFFIRM that in His state of exaltation Jesus Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection, that He has conquered both sin and death, and that in union with Him we too will be resurrected. WE DENY that the glorified resurrected body of Jesus Christ was a wholly different body from the one that was laid in the garden tomb. We deny that our resurrection is merely a resurrection of our spirits apart from our bodies.
Article 15: WE AFFIRM that Jesus Christ ascended to His heavenly throne at the right hand of God the Father, that He is presently reigning as King, and that He will return visibly in power and glory. WE DENY that Jesus Christ was mistaken about the timing of His return.
Article 16: WE AFFIRM that Jesus Christ poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost and that in His present session He is reigning over all things, interceding for His people, and building His church, of which He is the only head. WE DENY that Jesus Christ appointed the bishop of Rome as His vicar, or that any person other than Jesus Christ can be the church’s head.
Article 17: WE AFFIRM that Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge all people and will finally vanquish all His enemies, destroy death, and usher in the new heaven and the new earth in which He will reign in righteousness. WE DENY that the final return of Jesus Christ took place in AD 70 and that His coming and its attendant events are to be viewed as symbolic.
Article 18: WE AFFIRM that those who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be welcomed into His eternal kingdom, but those who do not believe in Him will suffer eternal conscious punishment in hell. WE DENY that every person will be saved. We deny that those who die without faith in Jesus Christ will be annihilated.
Article 19: We AFFIRM that all who have been chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world and who are united to Him through faith enjoy communion with Him and with one another. We affirm that in Jesus Christ we enjoy every spiritual blessing, including justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. WE DENY that Jesus Christ and His saving work can be separated. We deny that we are able to partake of the saving work of Jesus Christ apart from Jesus Christ Himself. We deny that we can be united to Jesus Christ and not be united to His body, the church.
Article 20: WE AFFIRM the doctrine of justification by faith alone, that God declares us righteous by an act of His grace alone through our faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from our own personal merit or works. We affirm that to deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone is to deny the gospel. WE DENY that we are justified on the basis of any infusion of grace into us. We deny that we are justified only once we have become inherently righteous. We deny that this justification is now or ever will be based on our faithfulness.
Article 21: WE AFFIRM the doctrine of sanctification, that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, based on the work of Jesus Christ, delivers us from the reigning power of sin, sets us apart, and makes us holy by conforming us more and more to the image of His Son. We affirm that sanctification is a work of God’s grace and is inseparably joined with justification, although it is different from justification. We affirm that in this divine work of sanctification we are not merely passive, but we are responsible to apply ourselves to the appointed means of grace in our ongoing endeavor to die to sin and live in obedience to the Lord. WE DENY that a person is justified without immediately bearing the fruit of union with Jesus Christ in sanctification. We deny that our good works, while acceptable to God in Jesus Christ, merit justification. We deny that in this life our struggle with indwelling sin will cease, even though sin has no dominion over us.
Article 22: WE AFFIRM that Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and His people. We affirm the mediatorial role of Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King in both His state of humiliation and His state of exaltation. We affirm that He was anointed by the Holy Spirit in order to execute this mediatorial office to which He was called by the Father. WE DENY that God has had or will have any other incarnations or that there are or will be any mediators of redemption other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We deny salvation apart from Jesus Christ alone.
Article 23: WE AFFIRM that as the supreme Prophet of God, Jesus Christ was both the subject and object of prophecy. We affirm that Jesus Christ revealed and proclaimed the will of God, prophesied future events, and is in Himself the fulfillment of God’s promises. WE DENY that Jesus Christ ever uttered a false prophecy or false word, or that He failed or will fail to fulfill all prophecies regarding Himself.
Article 25: WE AFFIRM that as King, Jesus Christ reigns supremely over all earthly and supernatural powers now and forever. WE DENY that the kingdom of Jesus Christ is merely a political kingdom of this world. We deny that earthly rulers are not accountable to Him.
Article 26: WE AFFIRM that when Jesus Christ has conquered all His enemies, He will hand over His kingdom to the Father. We affirm that in the new heaven and the new earth, God will be with His people, and that believers will see Jesus Christ face-to-face, will be made like Him, and will enjoy Him forever. WE DENY that there is any other hope for humanity or any name or way in which salvation may be found except in Jesus Christ alone.
- Nashville Statement (2017)
Article 1: WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church. WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.
Article 2: WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.
Article 3: WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female. WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.
Article 4: WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing. WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.
Article 5: WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female. WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.
Article 6: WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known. WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.
Article 7: WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture. WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.
Article 8: WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life. WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.
Article 9: WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality. WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.
Article 10: WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness. WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.
Article 11: WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female. WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image-bearers as male and female.
Article 12: WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.
Article 13: WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender self-conceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female. WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.
Article 14: WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure. WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.
- Together for the Gospel (2006)
We are brothers in Christ united in one great cause—to stand together for the Gospel.
We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many Churches and among many who claim the name of Christ. Compromise of the Gospel has led to the preaching of false gospels, the seduction of many minds and movements, and the weakening of the Church’s Gospel witness. As in previous moments of theological and spiritual crisis in the Church, we believe that the answer to this confusion and compromise lies in a comprehensive recovery and reaffirmation of the Gospel—and in Christians banding together in Gospel Churches that display God’s glory in this fallen world. We are also brothers united in deep concern for the Church and the Gospel. This concern is specifically addressed to certain trends within the Church today. We are concerned about the tendency of so many Churches to substitute technique for truth, therapy for theology, and management for ministry. We are also concerned that God’s glorious purpose for Christ’s Church is often eclipsed by so many other issues, programs, technologies, and priorities. Furthermore, confusion over crucial questions concerning the authority of the Bible, the meaning of the Gospel, and the nature of truth itself have gravely weakened the Church in terms of its witness, its work, and its identity. We stand together for the Gospel—and for a full and gladdening recovery of the Gospel in the Church. We are convinced that such a recovery will be evident in the form of faithful Gospel Churches, each bearing faithful witness to the glory of God and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Article I We affirm that the sole authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy. We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation, or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or the effects of human sinfulness.
Article II We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice. We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.
Article II We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice. We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.
Article III We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church, and that the Church must resist the allure of pragmatism and postmodern conceptions of truth as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture. We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of biblical events, and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the Church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques, or contemporary cultural fashions.
Article IV We affirm the centrality of expository preaching in the Church and the urgent need for a recovery of biblical exposition and the public reading of Scripture in worship. We deny that God-honoring worship can marginalize or neglect the ministry of the Word as manifested through exposition and public reading. We further deny that a Church devoid of true biblical preaching can survive as a Gospel Church.
Article V We affirm that the Bible reveals God to be infinite in all his perfections, and thus truly omniscient, omnipotent, timeless, and self-existent. We further affirm that God possesses perfect knowledge of all things, past, present, and future, including all human thoughts, acts, and decisions. We deny that the God of the Bible is in any way limited in terms of knowledge or power or any other perfection or attribute, or that God has in any way limited his own perfections.
Article VI We affirm that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Christian essential, bearing witness to the ontological reality of the one true God in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of the same substance and perfections. We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential doctrine, or that the Trinity can be understood in merely economic or functional categories.
Article VII We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, in perfect, undiluted, and unconfused union throughout his incarnation and now eternally. We also affirm that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, as a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of the wrath of God toward sinners. We affirm the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ as essential to the Gospel. We further affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord over His Church, and that Christ will reign over the entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father’s gracious purpose. We deny that the substitutionary character of Christ’s atonement for sin can be compromised without serious injury to the Gospel or denied without repudiating the Gospel. We further deny that Jesus Christ is visible only in weakness, rather than in power, Lordship, or royal reign, or, conversely, that Christ is visible only in power, and never in weakness.
Article VIII We affirm that salvation is all of grace, and that the Gospel is revealed to us in doctrines that most faithfully exalt God’s sovereign purpose to save sinners and in His determination to save his redeemed people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to His glory alone. We deny that any teaching, theological system, or means of presenting the Gospel that denies the centrality of God’s grace as His gift of unmerited favor to sinners in Christ can be considered true doctrine.
Article IX We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s means of bringing salvation to His people, that sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel, and that the Church is commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all nations. We deny that evangelism can be reduced to any program, technique, or marketing approach. We further deny that salvation can be separated from repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Article X We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.
Article XI We affirm the continuity of God’s saving purpose and the Christological unity of the covenants. We further affirm a basic distinction between law and grace, and that the true Gospel exalts Christ’s atoning work as the consummate and perfect fulfillment of the law. We deny that the Bible presents any other means of salvation than God’s gracious acceptance of sinners in Christ.
Article XII We affirm that sinners are justified only through faith in Christ, and that justification by faith alone is both essential and central to the Gospel. We deny that any teaching that minimizes, denies, or confuses justification by faith alone can be considered true to the Gospel. We further deny that any teaching that separates regeneration and faith is a true rendering of the Gospel.
Article XIII We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers by God’s decree alone, and that this righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith alone, is the only righteousness that justifies. We deny that such righteousness is earned or deserved in any manner, is infused within the believer to any degree, or is realized in the believer through anything other than faith alone.
Article XIV We affirm that the shape of Christian discipleship is congregational, and that God’s purpose is evident in faithful Gospel congregations, each displaying God’s glory in the marks of authentic ecclesiology. We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful disciple apart from the teaching, discipline, fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of fellow disciples, organized as a Gospel Church. We further deny that the Lord’s Supper can faithfully be administered apart from the right practice of Church discipline.
Article XV We affirm that evangelical congregations are to work together in humble and voluntary cooperation and that the spiritual fellowship of Gospel congregations bears witness to the unity of the Church and the glory of God. We deny that loyalty to any denomination or fellowship of Churches can take precedence over the claims of truth and faithfulness to the Gospel.
Article XVI We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the Church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the Church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God. We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.
Article XVII We affirm that God calls his people to display his glory in the reconciliation of the nations within the Church, and that God’s pleasure in this reconciliation is evident in the gathering of believers from every tongue and tribe and people and nation. We acknowledge that the staggering magnitude of injustice against African-Americans in the name of the Gospel presents a special opportunity for displaying the repentance, forgiveness, and restoration promised in the Gospel. We further affirm that evangelical Christianity in America bears a unique responsibility to demonstrate this reconciliation with our African-American brothers and sisters. We deny that any Church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.
Article XVIII We affirm that our only sure and confident hope is in the sure and certain promises of God. Thus, our hope is an eschatological hope, grounded in our confidence that God will bring all things to consummation in a manner that will bring greatest glory to his own name, greatest preeminence to his Son, and greatest joy for his redeemed people. We deny that we are to find ultimate fulfillment or happiness in this world, or that God’s ultimate purpose is for us to find merely a more meaningful and fulfilling life in this fallen world. We further deny that any teaching that offers health and wealth as God’s assured promises in this life can be considered a true gospel.
- The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement (2007)
1. The Tri-une God We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.
2. Revelation God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing God’s truth exhaustively, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.
3. Creation of Humanity We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
4. The Fall We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself.
5. The Plan of God We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.
6. The Gospel We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news is christological, centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central (the message is: “Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised”). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved).
7. The Redemption of Christ We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever boast before him—Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
8. The Justification of Sinners We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification.
9. The Power of the Holy Spirit We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as the other Paraclete, is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, and in him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance, and in this age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
10. The Kingdom of God We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to do good to the city, for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God. Recognizing whose created order this is, and because we are citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
11. God’s New People We believe that God’s new covenant people have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem; they are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This universal church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world. Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: he has not only brought about peace with God, but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. The church serves as a sign of God’s future new world when its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for self-focus. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.
12. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things.
13. The Restoration of All Things We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.