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C.R.C. IS . . .

What we believe

This following information is a summary of what we believe which is based on Scripture and reflected in the following documents: three catholic creeds: Apostles, Athanasian, and Nicean, and these doctrinal standards: Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and Canons of Dordt. For more information, please refer to these documents as a comprehensive statement of what we believe about what God has revealed through Scripture and creation. They are available upon request and can be easily found on the internet. (www.rca.org/aboutus/beliefs/index.html)

STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Bible

We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32.

The Trinity

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Ephesians 4:5, 6.

God The Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. Luke 10:21, 22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1, 2; 2:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6.

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people and personal visible return to earth. Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9, 10; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Timothy 3:16.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. John 14:16, 17, 26; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26.

Sin and Salvation

We believe that humans were created by God in His own image; that they sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God, that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. Salvation is a work of God. It is not a human work. Therefore, no one earns salvation. No one deserves salvation. Yet, in God’s gracious plan, he chose some to respond to his offer of salvation. No human being has the ability to turn away from sin and toward God. It is only possible if God first draws a person to himself by regeneration. Genesis 1:26; 5:2; 3; 2:17; Ecclesiastes 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelations 19:3, 20; 14:15; 21:18; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 9:13-16.

The Church

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world, the consistent and proper administration of the Sacraments, and church discipline. Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25.

Christian Conduct

We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of all people; a Christian’s conduct should be blameless before the world. Every believer should be a faithful steward of possessions and should seek to realize for self and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1, 2; John 14:15, 23, 24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9, 10.

The Sacraments

We believe the Sacraments are an important means by which believers are reminded of the work Jesus Christ has done on their behalf. They are external symbols of an inward reality. There are two Sacraments instituted by God: baptism and communion. Baptism is a sign of God’s promises (covenant). It reminds us that while we are by nature sinful and guilty before God, we are also saved from sin’s consequences, included in God’s family, and given the gift of eternal life by our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that Communion was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two sacraments should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Titus 3:4-7.

The Last Things

We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous and eternal separation from God for the wicked. Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15.

This information is a summary of what we believe which comes from our commitment to these three catholic creeds: Apostles, Athanasian, and Nicean and the following doctrinal standards: Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and Canons of Dordt. For more information, please refer to these documents as a comprehensive statement of what we believe about what God has revealed through Scripture and creation. They are available upon request and can be easily found on the internet.

A STATEMENT OF BELIEF AND PRACTICE

Approved March 2006

1.WE WILL SEEK TO PRAISE GOD AND HIM ALONE

a.With Christ-centered worship (leaders helpful, but not glorified).

b.Encouraging worshippers to prepare, repent, & concentrate, with “seekers” invited to watch believers worship and learn how to do it.

c.A celebration of God’s grace and the joy of our salvation; not feel-good entertainment, but not discouraging either!

(I Cor. 2:1-5)

2.WE WILL SEEK TO WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH

a.We expect the Spirit to lead us, including our planning. Not everything can be scripted or feel totally comfortable.

b.We will evaluate every aspect of our worship according to the scriptures, understanding that words, attitudes, and practices do have meaning.

(John 4:24)

3.WORD AND SACRAMENT WILL BE PART OF OUR WORSHIP

a. An exposition of scripture will be a major part of our worship. Preaching is both teaching and prophetic proclamation.

b.Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will be observed in the congregation.

(I Cor. 11:26; Matthew 28:19; Romans 10:14-17)

4.EACH WORSHIP SERVICE WILL HAVE SPECIFIC GOALS IN MIND

a.We will identify the attributes of God for which we offer our praise.

b.We will relate diverse worship forms and elements to the scripture test.

(Psalm 119; 150)

5.WE WILL ALLOW FREEDOM WITHIN A DEFINITE STRUCTURE

a.Our structure will include approaching God, praise, confession and the assurance of God’s pardon, God’s law, God’s Word, a response to the word, and prayer.

b.The way in which this structure is expressed will vary according to the biblical goals for the day and leading of the Spirit.

c.We will employ a variety of instruments and worship elements.

(Psalm 150; John 16: 12-15)

6.WE WILL WORSHIP INTER-GENERATIONALLY

a.With elements welcoming to children and young families;

b.With a commitment by youth and older adults to accept and love one another in spite of differences;

c.With respect for our elders and a concern to reach/retain our children.

(Mark 10:13-16)

7.WE WILL VALUE THE WORSHIP TRADITIONS OF OUR FAITH

a.We want to stay connected with our heritage, preserving and transferring it’s best aspects for our children and ourselves.

For example: classic hymns, ancient church creeds, biblical forms such as The Lord’s Prayer or doxologies.

(Mt. 6:9-13)

8.WE WILL WORSHIP AS COMMITTED BELIEVERS

a.We desire to apply the Bible to life today.

b.We will incorporate new Christian music.

c.We will make appropriate use of new resources and tools. For example: video, computer generated visual aides, new song books, drama.

d.We will allow for cultural changes which are not opposed by scripture. For example: the preference of air conditioning.

(I Cor. 9:22)

9.WE WILL INVOLVE THE CONGREGATION IN WORSHIP LEADERSHIP

a.Using lay persons to help lead every aspect of worship.

b.Encouraging youth to assist with worship leadership.

c.Congregational members preferred over outside hired help.

d.A desire for excellence tempered with a commitment to worship as a family of faith, not a professional production company.

(I Cor. 14:26)

10.WE WILL INCLUDE A MISSION COMPONENT IN OUR WORSHIP

a.Our worship should reflect our commitment to center our church life on obeying the great commission, not on worship alone. Worship’s function is to stir up one another to love and good works. The goal is not to “go to church,” but to be the church in mission to the world.

(Heb. 10:24,25)

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