Our Statement of Faith, like all doctrine and theology, is a declaration of truths about “The Truth.” It is an attempt to give us a handle on His Gospel, as we understand it.
This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Covenant Church's faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board is Covenant Church's final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application.
We Believe in One God who exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We believe there is only one God, revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, 2 Corinthians 13:14, John 1:1) In the New Testament, time and time again we see the expression of God the Father, Jesus the Son of God and God the Holy Spirit.
- God as Father, Jesus as Son and the Holy Spirit are in complete unity.
- All are a part of creation and vital to the salvation of the cosmos with specific functions.
- God as Father is the master architect of the entire plan of creation.
- Jesus is the expression of God’s bridge between Himself and man (the Chief Minister).
- The Holy Spirit is the Revealer of Truth and serves as a down payment for salvation for eternity (the gift).
- God is in Jesus and Jesus is in God with the Holy Spirit as the Divine Interpreter. They are equal in purpose, equal in power, and equal in authority; completely and totally unified.
- Therefore, we conclude that there is one God manifest in three persons.
We Believe in Jesus Christ
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was begotten, not created, very God of very God, truly God, truly Man. He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died a vicarious and atoning death for the sins of the world, resurrected bodily for our justification, and now reigns in glory until all things be put under His feet. (1 Timothy 3:16)
There are six things essential to our beliefs as a Christian:
- Jesus was both 100% God and 100% human. God was His Father, and Mary was his mother.
- Mary was a virgin as the scripture records. In order for her to conceive it had to be supernatural: beyond natural. This is no different than Abraham and Sarah believing God that they could have children after their time of life had passed.
- Jesus lived His life without sin. If He sinned in any way His blood would not have qualified to be poured on the mercy seat in heaven. The scripture says that there can be no remission of sin without the shedding of blood.
- Jesus' death was for the sins of the world. My sin and your sin caused His death.
- Jesus was raised from the dead. This signified His supreme Lordship over death. Death was the natural result of our separation from God through sin. Physical death was a shadow of spiritual death.
- Jesus now reigns as the immortal, invisible King who will one day establish His rule on earth at the appointed time.
We Believe in the Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally-challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are, therefore, called to defend, protect, and value all human life.
We believe that man was made in the image of God and is the crown of creation. He is now, by reason of the fall, spiritually depraved and alienated from his Creator. Apart from god’s grace, he has no ability to attain to his high calling. (Psalm 8, Ephesians 2: 8 - 9)
- Man is created in the image of God. Man is spirit, he has a soul (mind, will, emotions) and lives in a body (house or shell for the spirit).
- Man does not come from an animal or one cell amoeba.
- Man is not inherently good by nature; because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we are alienated from God and can never measure up to God’s standard of right standing with Him.
- This alienation is called “sin”. Sin means to miss or not come up to the established standard.
- We can never satisfy the established standard without intervention from God. No amount of good deeds on our part could satisfy His requirements to be just in His eyes.
We Believe in Justification by Faith
We believe that justification is by grace through faith in our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary. (Romans 3:21 - 24) The soul that sins shall surely die. This death is a spiritual death first and a natural death second.
- This alienation from God because of sin can only be corrected by grace through faith in what Jesus did in His death, burial and resurrection.
- Jesus Christ, through His death, satisfied the requirement, or standards, established by God. He becomes our substitution.
- God’s entire wrath against disobedience (sin) was taken out on Jesus on the cross. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
We Believe in Baptism
We believe that all of God’s people are to be buried with our Lord Jesus Christ in the waters of baptism, subsequent to conversion. (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:4)
- Baptism is a command. Everyone who confesses Christ should be baptized.
- Baptism comes from the word “baptize” which means to immerse.
- Baptism represents a burial of the old way of life and mindset.
- Baptism is not a prerequisite to salvation.
- Covenant Church does not baptize infants.
- Baptism is to be participated in when the concept it represents can be fully understood by the participant.
- We baptize in the name of Jesus Christ in accordance with the scriptural record.
- Jesus was baptized as a way of identifying with us as sinners.
We Believe in the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in all believers, conforming them to the image of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:16 - 17)
- The Holy Spirit sanctifies – sets us apart to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
- The Holy Spirit preserves – He keeps us until the day that Christ returns.
- The Holy Spirit comes within you when you accept Christ into your heart.
- The scriptures identify Him as “the one called alongside to help provide comfort, revelation regarding the will of God and teaching”.
We Believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an Endowment of Power
We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an endowment of power, subsequent to conversion, given by God to anoint the believer for sanctification and evangelism. It is our understanding that the supernatural charisma of the Holy Spirit is active within the Body of Christ until the coming of the Lord. Furthermore, we believe the development of the charismatic gifts ought to be encouraged under the guidance of local church authorities. (Acts 8:14-17, Acts 19:1-2, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a subsequent experience to salvation.
- Evidence of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated by speaking in tongues and boldness as recorded in the book of Acts.
- The Holy Spirit within produces fruit for an internal work.
- The Holy Spirit upon us produces power for external work.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a requirement of Salvation.
- We encourage you to ask Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
We Believe in the Holy Scriptures
We believe in the absolute inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, given by the Holy Spirit without error, as He moved upon holy men of old. Furthermore, we believe that the Church has no authority to establish doctrine or practice contrary to these same Scriptures, which were subsequently accepted as canon by the early Christian Church. (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Holy Bible is the word of God, written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
- All that we believe has its basis in the entirety of the scripture and the absolute truths that it contains. Absolutes are principles that stand alone.
- The Holy Scripture is our highest authority for establishing doctrine, reproving, instructing, convicting of sin, correction of error, and training in righteousness.
- The canon of scripture was established prior to the universal church's fragmentation into denominations. At the same time the scriptures were written, the universal church was still an organic body, not an institutional one.
We Believe in Sanctification
We believe that those who are called by the name of Christ should depart from iniquity. Understanding that salvation from the penalty of sin only begins the process of redemption, we acknowledge that one work of the Holy Spirit is to create in us the character of Christ. (2 Timothy 2:19) In order to achieve this new character, we believe:
- your walk matches your talk,
- we can break free from the power of sin,
- in complete restoration, not just redemption,
- in a lifestyle change in every arena of life: mental, spiritual and physical.
- in a life that reflects the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
We Believe in the Priesthood of the Believer
We believe in the priesthood of the believer. That is to say, all people born of God have equal status before, and direct access to, their Lord. (1 Peter 2:5)
- You can have relationship with God without having a human mediator.
- Jesus is our mediator to God.
- We all have equal status and access to God through Jesus Christ.
- We have a responsibility as priests to minister to those who don’t have a relationship with the Lord and to fellow believers.
We Believe in the Equipping of the Saints for the Work of Ministry
We believe that the calling of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher are functional within the Body of Christ until the Lord’s return. Furthermore, these ministries are gifts to the Church for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, that the Body of Christ will be edified. (Ephesians 4:11-16) We believe that the ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4 are still in operation today (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher).
- The role of these gifts is the equipping of the believers for the work of the ministry.
- These gifts are expressed within the context of a local community of believers.
- We need to exercise balance and sensitivity in allowing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives.
- Gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be manifest decently and in order in a church service under the leading of the ministry oversight.
We Believe in Marriage
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female and that those two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. We believe that God created marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman and that intimate sexual activity is to occur exclusively within that union.
We Believe in One Holy Christian and Apostolic Church
We believe in the Holy Christian Church, imperfectly represented on earth, by the various Christian institutions. Her unity is spiritual, her culture diverse and transitional, her mission eternal. (Hebrews 12:18-23) There’s only one church body in the earth. There are many Christian institutions.
- Church can be referred to in two ways: (1) universal and (2) local.
- The universal church or “catholic” (which means universal) was birthed by Jesus Christ.
- The universal church cannot be institutionalized – it is a spiritual organism whose life and activity is under the authority and control of Jesus Christ.
- The universal church – the Body of Christ – is primarily perceived through the local church. The local church is faithful to its identity when it takes seriously its mission to represent the universal church to its community.
We Believe in the Unity of the Church
We believe in the spiritual unity of all who are born of God. We confess even those with whom we disagree, those who do not confess us, and others who we exclude because of our willful ignorance. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
- We do not disassociate from other churches that profess Jesus Christ but may have different doctrinal beliefs or cultural ways of worshiping the Lord.
- We don’t major on the minors.
- We want to build bridges not walls.
We Believe in Diversity
We believe in and are committed to diversity. We fervently pray against the spirits of racism, hatred, and prejudice that would seek to divide humanity. We acknowledge that there is more to be said and done to see our cities, our country, and our world healed, and for reconciliation to take place. It is our goal to be agents of change . Therefore, we commit to being a church that makes every effort to promote unity in the body of Christ and the world. We recognize that our voice and our response is vitally important. For this reason, we are committed to taking continual steps of learning, lamenting, and loving so we can be a bridge towards reconciliation.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
- Continue to take every opportunity to pray against the spirit of racism
- Build diverse leadership, staff and executive teams
- Ensure diversity in our communicators
- Provide education resources and diversity training for our staff
- Support + build relationships with local businesses from diverse backgrounds
- Incorporate new small group curriculum resources
We Believe in the Local Church
We believe the identity of the Body of Christ on the earth is primarily perceived through the local church. While encouraging the voluntary association of local churches, and recognizing the need of consensus on matters of fundamental doctrine and conduct, we strongly confess the local church to be sovereign and autonomous. (Revelation 2-3)
- Every individual who professes relationship with Jesus Christ should be involved in a local community of believers.
- The local church should represent Jesus Christ to the community.
- The local church is a place of accountability and covering.
We Believe that Local Churches Need Friends
We believe in the right of local churches and ministries to form temporal institutions to assist them in carrying out the work of God. At the same time, we reject sectarianism and divisiveness as great evils. Local churches should work with each other to establish the rule of God in the earth.
We Believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
We believe in the literal second coming of our Lord, the literal rule of Christ upon the earth, the resurrection of the regenerate to eternal life and the unregenerate to eternal damnation, and the ultimate victory of the eternal Kingdom of God.(Acts 1:9-11, Daniel 12:2, Revelation 22:1 -7)
- Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead, is still alive today.
- Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God and He is interceding on our behalf daily.
- John 3:16 says that God so loved the world. The word “world” is translated cosmos, which means the earth and the entire universe. God is not just in love with His highest creation called man, but He is in love with His creation.
- Jesus Christ’s rule (government) will literally be established in the earth.
- We await His literal return to the earth.