Statement of Faith
We do affirm and declare our belief in the Historical and Biblical
Christian faith, and do set forth the following:
The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible is inerrant in the original manuscripts, and the supreme rule of faith and practice, sufficient for the Christian Church (2nd Timothy 3:16-17). As the unique and infallible word of God, it is the "ultimate authority" over all things, including history, faith, existence, theology, creation, chronology, law, purpose, science and life.
We believe that these 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, are divinely authored by God, who Spiritually inspired men to pen them (Psalms 12:6; 2nd Timothy 3:15). No other book ever written is so divinely authored and inspired that it is essential for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness (2nd Timothy 3:16-17).
We believe that as the source of authoritative instruction for the Church today, these scriptures must be studied circumspectly and systematicly with a sound hermeneutic. This is not something that is deemed adiaphora, but that which is essential to the Church holding to faithful doctrines (2nd Timothy 2:15) and practices. The scripture must not be personally or privately interpreted by men, but understood and exegeted as it were its own interpreter, and defined as it were its own dictionary (Genesis 40:8, 41:16, 1st Corinthians 2:13).
The Eternal Godhead
We believe in one God, eternally existing and revealed in the three personages of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This infinite triune Godhead is unique, indefinable by man and perfectly self-sufficient. As the incomparable and sovereign creator and ruler of the universe (Colossians 1:15-20), God sustains and governs all that He has brought into existence.
We believe that God is perfect, immutable, and that His very nature is such that He cannot lie or be unrighteous in any sense. There is nothing hid from His foreknowledge, and thus from His determination upon the world. There is nothing that can thwart or defeat the plan that He has ordained from before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). He is forever immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, and does all things according to His own sovereign good will and pleasure (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:9-10). We believe that God's control over all human affairs is without bounds, so that no act of man will stand that is contrary to his ultimate high purposes (Lamentations 3:27).
We believe in the co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal personage and deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miraculous power and His death as atonement for His people. We believe in His bodily resurrection, victorious ascension into heaven, and His present reign in Glory at the right hand of God the Father (John 20:17; Acts 2:33; 1st Corinthians 15:20).
We believe that the Holy Spirit God, is sovereign and is freely in the world convicting His people of their sin, and drawing them to be again conformed to the image of Christ (2nd Timothy 1:14; 1st Peter 1:12). This Spirit's presence is in all true believers, indwelling them and witnessing with their spirit that they are children of God. It is this Spirit of God that seals or secures them eternally unto the day of the redemption (2nd Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30).
The Fall of Man
We believe that mankind was created in the image of God, but was tempted of Satan to sin, wherein he became separated from God and subject to His wrath. As a result of that original sin, man from the womb produces seed that is stained with this sinful nature, and subject to the death pronounced by God upon it (Romans 3:22).
We believe that because of the sentence of death resulting from Adam's fall (Genesis 2:17), man is born in this lost estate, estranged from His creator God. This separation and nativity in sinful depravity makes necessary a Spiritual resurrection from the dead, that man might be made alive. Without this new birth, man will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Romans 6:23).
We believe that God requires a life of perfect obedience to His law. But because man, by his sinful nature, is unable to function before God in a lawful responsible way, he is unable to escape God's sentence of death (Romans 3:10-12). Thus God Himself became man's personal Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11) that He might reconcile His people to Himself by His own shed blood, in his substitutionary payment of death (Hebrews 13:20-21; Colossians 1:21-22).
Only One Saviour
We believe that God's saving Grace can be acquired through no other beside the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven that effectively addresses the dilemma of man's sin and its inevitable consequence of death (1st Corinthians 15:21-22). There is no other name, no other Saviour whereby mankind may be delivered (Acts 4:12) from the penalty of his sin.
The Doctrines Of Grace
We believe in the essential truths of orthodox Historical Christianity, as articulated in the Biblical system known as, "The Doctrines of Grace." This expressed in the Reformation credos of, Sola Scriptura (the Scriptures are the sole ultimate rule of faith and source of divine revelation today), Sola Gratia (Salvation is by God's grace alone), Sola Fide (coming through faith alone), Solus Christus (of Christ alone), Soli Deo Gloria (and to the Glory of God alone).
We believe in the Sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. We hold that God has chosen and predestinated His people unto salvation, appointing them to regeneration that they are enabled to live relatively Godly lives, and to profitably use the gifts which they have been given to fulfill His will. He is sovereign in all His purpose for mankind, and thus works "within us" both to will and to do (Philippians 2:13) of His own will and pleasure. We understand that Sovereignty in no way negates man's accountability, and these two truths in perfect balance are neither in conflict nor a contradiction to each other.
Faith, Practice And The Gospel
We believe that Jesus Christ is the gospel, the Living Word, the good news revealed in the flesh (John 1:14), in His life, His death, and His preeminence as the First Resurrection from the dead (Acts 26:23).
We believe in the "faith of Christ," which moves us to believe and commit not only to sound and biblical doctrines, but also to earnest worship and diligent evangelism. We believe that our will to obey God, and our desire to spread the gospel truth, is grounded in God's first love for us (1st John 4:19), and the faith of Christ, wherein He uses us as vessels unto this service. We believe in expository preaching of Christ from the word of God.
The Spirit Satan
We recognize the spirit of evil, the personality of Satan, and his present rule and control as a slave master over unregenerate man. We recognize his working (Ephesians 2:2) in unregenerated man unto disobedience and enmity against God, and our present spiritual warfare against his trickery.
The Kingdom Of Christ
We believe that Christ has already established His Kingdom by His substitutionary death (1st Peter 3:18), resurrection (Acts 2:30-31), and the binding of Satan (Matthew 12:28-29). His reign and Kingdom was established (Colossians 1:13) that His people (held captive in Satan's spiritual prison) could be set free (Isaiah 42:6-7, 61:1; Luke 4:18; Matthew 12:28-29), and the nations of the world enlightened (Revelation 20:3).
We believe that Christ dealt Satan a death blow by His sacrifice, and that He destroyed the total subjugating power over the nations, so that His people could come out of spiritual bondage wherein they were held (Hebrews 2:14-15), to serve their God. Christ accomplished this by His death and resurrection, thereby extending His kingdom, that many might live and reign with Him (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 1:13) in power.
We believe that the Kingdom and reign of Christ is spiritual (Luke 17:20-21; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 1:9). That is to say, not a physical earthly Kingdom (John 18:36) as the world defines Kingdoms, but one far more substantive, righteous and eternal, as God defines it. A Kingdom where in the Spirit we sit reigning together with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), rather than earthly ones.
We believe in Water Baptism as a Covenant Church outward sign of the inward work of Spiritual Baptism or cleansing (Titus 3:5), whereby the elect are regenerated or born from above (1st Peter 1:22) a new creation unto the service of God (Matthew 3:11). We do not believe that the amount of water, the style of it, nor the manner or mode of application, in any way affects either one's salvation or their Spiritual position with God.
We believe that Christ is sole head of the one true holy universal Church (Colossians 1:18), which is the indivisible assembly and camp of the saints. In its unadulterated spiritual form, it is one unified body consisting of only those truly in Christ, who through spiritual rebirth have been bound together by one Spirit. Christ now makes intercession for this "eternal" Church in Heaven, and shall come again to catch it away (1st Thessalonians 4:17) in due time.
We believe in the external, corporate or local Church, wherein the elect may be found among those who may profess Christ, but may not truly be elect. God only knows. It is this external, local or corporate body that Christ warned of the consequences of unfaithfulness and apostasy (Revelations chapters 2-3). Christ has given spiritual gifts to those in the local Churches, some blessed to be prophets, some evangelists, some teachers, and some deacons and ministers. Each in his own way is equipped of God to edify the Church that it might grow in grace.
We believe that faithful Church marriage is a lifelong Covenant relationship between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others. Marriage is a joining of two, as if they are one flesh, signifying an unbreakable union before God until death do them part. We believe that a marriage Covenant is an oath or solemn promise between a man and a woman before God, that they remain yoked together as one, in unmerited love and faithfulness. The Husband is to love His spouse unconditionally, as Christ loves the eternal Church.
The Second Coming
We believe in a literal, visible, coming of the person of Christ, which will bring His kingdom on earth to its consummation (Acts 1:11). It is at this time, the last day, when He will stand in judgment over all the world unto their just and eternal punishment (Revelation 20:12). And He will reward His chosen people, fulfilling the promise of their eternal inheritance (1st Peter 1:4).
The Purpose Of Man
We believe that the chief end of man is to glorify God in obedience and love (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The greater purpose of those who believe (1st Corinthians 6:19-20) is to fulfill the great commission that Christ gave to the Church, to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing and teaching those who will hear. The meaning of life is not to serve and pleasure ourselves, but to serve God and be pleasing to God.
Copyright © 2007 The Mountain Retreat
Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology