Coram Deo Assembly Statement of Faith
1. We believe that there is but one true and living God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all having the same attributes and qualities, yet so as there are not three gods, (one in essence; three in Person) yet distinct from one another so that the persons are not to be confused nor the substance divided.
2. We Believe that, among the revealed attributes and qualities of God, the bible reveals that God is invisible, personal, omnipresent, eternal, dependent on none, unchanging, truthful, trustworthy, almighty, sovereign, omniscient, righteous, holy, good, loving, merciful, long-suffering, and gracious.
3. We believe that God has revealed all that is necessary to life and salvation in the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture which are the written word of God; that all Scripture was given by the inspiration of God, is infallible and inerrant in the original autographs, and is the final arbiter in all disputes — its authority being derived from its Author and not from the opinions of men.
4. We believe that God, by His powerful word freely created the universe out of nothing in six days and continues to sustain and rule over it even now; that as the pinnacle of His creation, He made our first father Adam in His own image, sinless, and upright; that He appointed Adam head and representative of the whole human race; and that He thereby made all Adam’s offspring liable to the effects of Adam’s obedience or disobedience to His commandment.
5. We believe that Adam disobeyed God’s commandment, fell from his original righteousness into sin, and brought upon himself and all his offspring death, condemnation, and corruption.
6. We believe that it is, therefore, utterly beyond the power and the desire of fallen man to understand the things of God, to seek Him, to keep His commandments, to embrace the Gospel, to repent of sin, or to trust in Jesus; and that these are, nevertheless, the very things God justly requires of him.
7. We believe that God, in Christ, before the foundation of the world and for His own glory, did elect an innumerable host of men and women to eternal life as an act of His grace and an expression of His love<; and that this election was in no way dependent upon His foresight of their faith, decision, works, or merit.
8. We believe that Jesus was sent into the world by His heavenly Father; that He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin; that He lived a sinless life, perfectly fulfilling the law of God; that He was and is both fully man and fully God in two distinct natures, and one Person forever. Jesus as our High Priest before God represents us to God the Father; and that as God, He is the visible image of the invisible Father, representing God to us.
9. We believe that as Prophet and Teacher, Christ reveals to the elect, by His Word and Spirit, the will of God for their salvation.
10. We believe that as High Priest, Christ once and for all, offered Himself up to God on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the elect, thereby propitiating God’s wrath which was upon them, procuring their reconciliation with God, and redeeming them from the curse of the Law; and that He continually intercedes for them in the presence of His Father in Heaven, thereby assuring their perseverance in holiness unto the end.
11. We believe that as King, Jesus was declared the Son of God with power by His bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day; that, having in this way conquered sin and death, He ascended to the right hand of the Father and was enthroned in glory, thus inaugurating His Kingdom; that He poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost to carry forward His work on earth; that He rules in the hearts of His people, subduing their sin and enabling them to love and obey Him; and that He rules over all creation, visible and invisible, for their sake.
12. We believe that God the Son has sent forth the Holy Spirit to apply the sacrifice of Christ to the elect by convicting them of their sin and misery, enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing their wills, thus persuading and enabling them to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to them in the Gospel; and that this work of the Spirit, variously called regeneration, renewal, or rebirth is equivalent with that work of the Spirit designated in the Scriptures as baptism “with the Holy Spirit” and is thus the common experience of all believers.
13. We believe that the elect, having been brought to faith by the ministry of the Spirit, are justified (that is, pardoned of all their sins and declared righteous in the sight of God) on the sole basis of Christ’s righteousness imputed to them; that, although sin may interrupt the joy of their fellowship with God and bring upon them the loving discipline of their Heavenly Father, they are never more nor less justified than when they first believed; and that all the elect, both those before Christ’s first advent and those after, are justified in the same manner.
14. We believe that those who are thus justified are also adopted as God’s own children and made joint heirs with Christ; that they are given the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of
their redemption through Whom they cry out, “Abba! Father!”; and that they shall, therefore, bear the fruit of the Spirit throughout the remainder of their lives.
15. We believe that the Spirit indwells all true believers and works in them, by means of the Scriptures, that which is pleasing in His sight; that, having freed them from the power of sin, He conforms them into the image of Christ and enables them more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness; and that, nevertheless, due to their remaining corruption, this process is never perfected in this life but rather gives rise to a continual war (the flesh striving against the Spirit and the Spirit striving against the flesh), which shall continue until Christ takes them home in glory and frees them from the presence of sin.
16. We believe that those who profess faith yet exhibit a pattern of life governed by sin are self deceived and are still in a lost condition.
17. We believe that God has maintained one eternal purpose in Christ which has been expressed through a multiplicity of distinct historical covenants; that prominent among these are those designated the Old Covenant (also known as the Mosaic or First Covenant) and the New Covenant; that the former, confined to the people of Israel alone, was established while that nation was assembled before Mt. Sinai and was later made obsolete through its fulfillment by the life and death of Jesus the Messiah; that it was comprised wholly of shadows pointing ultimately to Jesus and His body, the Church; and that, therefore, the age in which it remained operative was at all times a period of immaturity as compared to the age of fulfillment which was inaugurated with Christ’s first advent.
18. We believe that the Old Covenant, containing a single, unified law codea, was a legal, conditional covenantb requiring perfect and complete obedience of all those under itc; that, on the one hand, it promised life to all who obeyed itd, and, on the other hand, it pronounced a curse upon all its transgressorse; that it, therefore, inescapably brought death to all who sought to be justified by itf – not because of a deficiency in the law (itself “holy, just, and good”g), but because of the sinful inability of those under its chargeh; and that, for this reason, it is variously described as a “killing letter,”i a “ministry of death,”j and a “ministry of condemnation”k– its distinct purpose being to illumine sinl so as to make manifest the Israelites’ and, by implication, all men’s need for a redeemerm.
19. We believe that, in contrast to the Old Covenanta, the New Covenant (by virtue of Christ’s perfect obedience to the lawb, as well as His bearing of its cursec) promises only blessing to all those who belong to itd; and that this second covenant, the “everlasting covenant”e enacted upon better promisesf, has thus brought to realization all that was anticipated in the covenants made with Abrahamg, Mosesh, and Davidi.
20. We believe that, under the New Covenant, God’s people, having entered the age of fulfillmenta, now stand as maturing sons and daughtersb ; that having been set freec from the tutelage and bondage of the law coded written upon tablets of stonee, they have subsequently been placed under the Spirit’s managementf — having the new and greater Lawgiver’sg own lawh now written upon their heartsi.
21. We believe that, as a result, though many of the individual commandments given in the decalogue and the eternal principles upon which the Mosaic Covenant was founded still apply to those under the New Covenanta, God’s people are now totally free from the Old Covenant as a covenantb; that the usefulness of the Mosaic commands is not therefore to be denied, only that these are now understood to come to us through Christc, the mediator of the New Covenantd; and that, in particular, with the obsolescence of the Old Covenant, the fourth commandment, the seventh day Sabbath observance, is no longer obligatorye — its relevance now pointing to that rest enjoyed by all those in Christf.
22. We believe that the universal Church is the continuationa and fulfillmentb of the historical people of God whom, in Abrahamc, God chose to Himself from all peoplesd and to whom He bound Himself by making the covenants and the promisese; that it, therefore, consists only of those who have been
justified by faithf; that it alone is rightfully designated the body of Christg, a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and a people for God’s own possessionh; and that it shall flourishi despite persecution and strife unto the end of the agej.
23. We believe that the local church is ultimately under the authority of Christ alonea; that its purpose is to glorify Godb and enjoy Him forever through the pure preaching of the Wordc, the proper administration of the gospel ordinancesd, and the diligent exercise of church disciplinee; that it has been commissioned by Christ to proclaim theGospel to all menf, being assured that God will not cast out anyg who come to Him in true faith and repentanceh; that its membership is to be composed only of those who have professed faith in Christi and who live lives in accordance with that professionj; that it is to be governed by a plurality of eldersk (when possible) who share an equality of authorityl; and that it is, consistent with the communion of the saintsm, to recognize and fellowship with all members of Christ’s Bodyn.
24. We believe that, though there are many gifts in the Body of Christa, there is only one Spirit who bestows them allb, and that they are therefore to be used for the building up of the Churchc and not for personal gratificationd; that the Church, having been built upon the foundation ofthe apostles and prophetse, is no longer dependent upon the miraculous and revelatory gifts which were present at its inceptionf; that, though God is capable of intervening today with a miraculous eventg, the miraculous gifts, as gifts, have passed awayh, their significancei having now ceased; that, with the completion of the New
Testament canon, revelatory gifts have also ceasedj; and that, of these, tongues (known languages foreign to their speakerk) signaled the fulfillment of Old Testament propheciesl foretelling the divine judgment against Israelm in the transition from the Old era to the New.
25. We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are gospel ordinances properly belonging to believers alonea; that they are external signs of internal, spiritual, and historical realities; that baptism signifies the recipient’s cleansing from sinb but that it neither guarantees nor accomplishes such cleansingc; and that the Lord’s Supper is a memoriald, wherein the death of Christ for His people is proclaimed visually as a comfort to the elect until His return in glorye.
26. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come againa at the end of this ageb in order to consummate His Kingdomc and execute judgment on all mend; that the living and the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, shall be raised togethere; that the righteous will be raised up to immortalityf in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection bodyg and will dwell forever in His presence, enjoying everlasting communion with their God, to the glory of His graceh; that the unrighteous will be raised to suffer God’s wrath in hell, consciously cast into the lake of fire, as judgment, were they will perish.