Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

Our Statement of Faith puts forth a concise and clear declaration of what we believe as a church based on God’s revelation to us in the Scriptures. This document is not an exhaustive explanation of our beliefs, but it highlights and summarizes beliefs we deem as essential to membership of this local body and faithfulness to our Lord. We also acknowledge the New Hampshire Confession (1833), and the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) as helpful expositions of God’s Word.

Of the Scriptures – We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired. HavingGod as its author, it is truth without any mixture of error. The Bible reveals the principles by which God judges us and therefore is the center of Christian union and supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions are to be measured. All scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Of the True God – We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is YAHWEH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. The eternal, triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes but without division in nature, essence, or being.

Of the Fall of Man – We believe man was created innocent and pure in the image of God and that our forefather Adam fell as a result of the willful sin of disobedience. In consequence, all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but by choice, and are by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, inclined toward evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

Of the Way of Salvation – We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, offered freely to all who accept as Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our human nature, yet without sin; fulfilled the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full atonement for our sins; having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven, a compassionate and all- sufficient Savior.

Of Justification – We believe that justification, secured by Christ for all sinners who repent and believe in Him, is God’s gracious and full acquittal based upon His righteousness, without consideration of any works we have done. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.

Of the Freeness of Salvation – We believe that the blessings of salvation are offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is the immediate duty of all to receive them by a loving, contrite, and obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel.

Of Grace in Regeneration – We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is a work wholly of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Of Repentance and Faith – We believe that repentance and faith are the duty of all men. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God, asking for His mercy. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and all-sufficient Savior.

Of God’s Purpose of Grace – We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners. It is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man and it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy. Election is the foundation of Christian assurance.

Of Sanctification – We believe sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.

Of the Perseverance of the Saints – We believe all true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Of the Local Church – We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word. Its only scriptural offices are Elders or Pastors and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

Of Believers Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – We believe Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.

Of the Family and Human Sexuality – We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of society. Families are composed of people related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. God Himself has established marriage as the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in an exclusive covenant commitment for a lifetime. Husband and wife are both made in God’s image and have equal value before God, while at the same time possessing distinct but complementary roles in the marriage. The husband is to gently lead and sacrificially love his wife as Christ loved the church, and the wife is to respect and graciously submit herself to her husband as the church willingly submits to Christ. God structured marriage in this way so that it would reflect the Gospel and bring glory to Himself by revealing the joyful permanent union between Jesus and His bride, the church.

We believe that God has established marriage as His intended channel for human sexual expression and procreation, and God calls all unmarried people to celibacy and to devotion to Himself. The Bible teaches that departures from God’s design for human sexuality, including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, and other forms of sexual immorality as defined by Scripture, are sinful. God offers forgiveness and restoration for sin through His Son Jesus Christ, and Christians should always act in the spirit of love toward all people, without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local body of Christ and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church or who serve as volunteers should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly (1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Peter 1:14-15; 2:11-12).

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are not acceptable and are not in accord with Scripture or the doctrines of the church and will never be tolerated at ECC.

We believe that children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to patiently lead their children in the ways of Christ by intentional instruction, gracious discipline, and consistent example based on biblical truth.

Of the Righteous and the Wicked – We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; the righteous consisting wholly of those who through faith are justified by the Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of God. All those who continue in sin and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse.

Of the World to Come – We believe that God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth, the dead will be raised, and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.