Put simply, we believe that all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). This is wonderful good news, and all true Christians share this same gospel.
To describe ourselves more specifically, we are a Reformed Baptist church. While we live in an era that eschews labels, we find this to be a helpful designation.
What is a Reformed Baptist?link
Our church is Reformed, meaning that we hold to the principles of the Protestant Reformation. This includes the Five Solas:
Sola gratia - We are saved by God’s grace alone (not by our own merit)
Sola fide - We are saved through faith alone (not through works)
Solus Christus - We are saved in Christ alone (not with the help of any other mediator)
Sola scriptura - The infallible guide to knowing and obeying God is Scripture alone
Soli deo gloria - All things are accomplished to the glory of God alone
It also includes the doctrine of salvation taught by the Reformers, often summarized by the acronym TULIP:
Total depravity - Apart from God, our actions and motivations are tainted by
sin, so that we cannot do anything pleasing to him, including seeking him.
Unconditional Election - God’s salvation of his people is not based on anything good in them or anything they have done. (Ephesians 1:4; 2:8-9)
Limited Atonement - Jesus died and rose again specifically for his followers, and this sacrifice saves all for whom it was made. (John 10:15; 17:9)
Irresistible Grace - When God effectually calls one to salvation, he transforms their will so they do not desire to reject him. (John 6:37)
Preservation of the Saints - God’s salvation of a person cannot be thwarted, and includes preserving believers in holiness. (John 10:28)
In addition to being Reformed, we are a Baptist church, meaning that we hold to several Baptist distinctives, including:
Regenerate church membership - While only God knows the heart, we believe
membership in a local church should be for those who have made a credible
profession of faith, and who have been baptized upon profession.
Congregational government - Decisions related to the integrity of the gospel should be made by the congregation, under the guidance of the elders.
We believe that the Bible has the ultimate authority to determine what we believe and we do.
That being said, many that affirm this same Bible arrive at different conclusions on what it teaches. In light of this reality, to promote clarity and transparency, we have adopted several written standards that express our understanding of the Bible’s vision for the church.
Our confession of faith (the Second London Baptist Confession) defines the official teaching of the church.
Our constitution governs the administration of the church.
Our membership covenant (contained within the constitution) conveys the practical holiness we strive for in the life of the church.
Additionally, while it is not an official standard of our church, we use the Baptist Catechism as a tool to teach the basics of the faith.