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Basics of the Faith

Basics of the Faith

Scripture

We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired, infallible, inerrant word of God. We believe that the Holy Spirit superintended the prophets and apostles when he had them write God's revelation of Himself to the church. We believe that the Scriptures are the only infallible standard by which the entirety of our lives is governed.

God

We believe that there is one true and living God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is one God in three Persons. We believe that He is the same God in the Old and New Testament. We believe that all three Persons of the Godhead are “equal in power and glory.” We believe that the Son is as much God as the Father is God. The Spirit is as much God as the Son is God. However, we do not believe that the Father is the Son, or that He becomes the Son.

Man

We believe that man was created in God's image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. We believe that man was given a will to exercise choices. We believe that in Adam we all sinned and are now thoroughly corrupt in our minds, hearts, and wills. We believe that men are spiritually dead apart from the regenerating work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Son of God, added a human nature to His Divine Person in order to be the only Mediator between God and Man. As the God-Man, Jesus Christ, obeyed the Law of God perfectly for His people and became a curse for them on the cross, because of their disobedience. Jesus' death on the cross was an atoning death. He died in the place of His people, as a substitute for them. His death was a real sacrifice and is effective unto salvation for all those for whom He died. The benefits of Christ's death are applied to people when they believe.

Salvation

We believe that salvation is by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. While we are called to walk in the good works prepared by God from eternity, we do not believe that men and women are justified by these Spirit-wrought works. We believe that good works are the necessary fruit of the faith that unites us to Christ and by which we are justified.

Justification

We believe that through the work of Christ our sins have been forgiven. Additonally, Christ's righteousness (i.e. His perfect record of law keeping) is imputed (i.e. accounted, credited, etc.) to those who believe. Just as our sins were imputed to Him, so His righteousness is imputed to us. It is the great exchange. This is what is called in Scripture "justification."

Sanctification

We believe that all who are justified will also be sanctified. Sanctification is a biblical term that means, "to be made holy." As we are accepted in God's sight as righteous because of the work of Jesus Christ, we are also renewed in our hearts so that we will put sin to death and live our lives in accordance of God's word. We learn to love the ways of the Lord as He sanctifies us by His word and Spirit.

The Church

We believe that the church, as the body of Christ, is made up of all who have saving faith in Him, together with their children. We believe that God enters into covenant with believers and their children. This covenant, which is carried out differently under the period of the law and the Gospel, is nevertheless, one and the same. It is called the “Covenant of Grace,” or the “Covenant of Redemption.” Covenant does not equal saving relationship with God, but is a bond by which God promises salvation by faith in Jesus Christ to those who fulfill the condition of the covenant. This condition is faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is a gift from God, it is not something that we naturally have the ability to produce. God also promises curses to all within the covenant community who do not believe. Jesus Christ is the One who keeps the legal demands of the covenant for His people. As they are united to Him, all the benefits of the covenant become theirs.

The Sacraments

The sign of the covenant in the Old Covenant was circumcision and baptism in the New. The only other sign and seal of God’s covenant is the Lord’s Supper. Besides baptism and the Lord’s Supper, as sacraments instituted by Christ, New Covenant Presbyterian does not practice any other. We do not believe that you are “converted,” “saved,” “regenerated,” or “redeemed” by water baptism. We believe that it is commanded by Christ to be a sign and seal of the covenant. We believe that Christ and the benefits of the New Covenant are signified and sealed by baptism. We believe that you must be baptized by the Holy Spirit, which is another way of saying you must be “converted,” “saved,” “regenerated,” or “redeemed.” We believe that Christ is spiritually present in the “worthy” partaking of the Lord’s Supper. In order for someone to partake in a worthy manner, you must be able to examine your heart, recognize your need for the saving blood of Christ, and exercise faith in Him. We do not believe that the bread and wine “literally” become the body and blood of Christ. We believe that they represent the body and the blood of Christ, and that He is spiritually present in the “worthy” partaking of the Supper.

The Last Things

We believe that there will be a day of judgment, in which all men will stand before the throne of God and will have to give an account of everything done in the body. We believe in a bodily resurrection of both believers and unbelievers. On the last day, when Christ returns, all those who have died prior to this coming will be raised up and will either go to heaven or hell for all eternity. All those who have trusted in Christ will go to be with Him in glory forever. All those who have not trusted in Him will perish eternally.