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Our Beliefs

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."
(Hebrews 10:23)

Thank you for taking the time to check out what we believe.  The following statement of faith summarizes foundational doctrines we firmly believe.  We also embrace the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed tradition.

As you read the statement of faith, creeds and confessions, we hope you will be amazed at and believe what is called, “The Gospel.”  The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived a perfect life fulfilling the law, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy.  It is our constant aim to proclaim the Gospel through all of our ministries.

Statement of Faith


God
We believe in one (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5-6) eternal (1 Tim. 1:17), knowable (Heb. 1:1-2), sovereign God (Dan. 4:34-35). He knows all things (Psa. 139:1-4), and providentially oversees all things (Mt. 10:29-31). He is merciful (Exod. 34:6), and just (Acts 17:31), loving (1 Jn. 4:8), and holy (Rev. 4:8), great in power (Ps. 147:5) and good in purpose (Rom. 8:28). His glory is our chief concern (1 Cor. 10:31).

Trinity
We believe in one God who exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). All three are uncreated, coeternal, and equal in power, glory, and honor. They are rightly worshiped as the one true God–three in one, and one in three (Rev. 22:13, Acts 5:3-4).

Scripture
We believe, that while God has revealed himself in his creation (Ps. 19:1-6, Rom. 1:18-20), he has spoken to us most clearly in his word (Jn. 14:25-26, Deut. 6:6-7). The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are breathed out by God, holy, complete, and entirely without error in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, Jn. 10:35, 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The Bible is our final authority in life, doctrine, and godliness (Mt. 4:4, 2 Pet. 1:3-4).

Creation
We believe God created the entire universe out of nothing (Gen. 1:1, Heb. 11:3). Man and woman were the crown of God’s good creation, being created in his own image (Gen. 1:26-27). As image-bearers, we were created to worship God and reflect him in true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-10).

Fall
We believe that Adam and Eve, our first parents, rebelled against God and plunged themselves and all their offspring into ruin (Gen. 3:1-19). Because of Adam’s sin, we are all guilty sinners (Rom. 5:12-21). We come into the world with corrupt natures through and through (Ps. 51:5). We are spiritually dead until God makes us alive in Christ (Jn. 6:44, Rom. 3:10-18, Eph. 2:1-5).

Person of Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. We believe he is also the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16). He is fully man and fully God (1 Tim. 2:5, Titus 2:13). He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died, and (bodily) rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-8).

Work of Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a shameful death that we might be counted righteous and forgiven of our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). He was our sacrificial substitute (1 Pet. 3:18). He defeated the devil (Rev. 12:9), removed our guilt (Isa. 53:4-6), and became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), bearing the weight of God’s wrath (1 Jn. 1:8-2:2).

Salvation
We believe that we are justified–declared righteous before God–through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone (Gal. 2:16). The only way (Jn. 14:6) to be adopted into God’s family is through union with his Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3-6).

Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit, working through the word, supernaturally converts (regenerates) the hearts of God’s people by making alive what was spiritually dead (Titus 3:5, 1 Pet. 1:23). The Spirit convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), leads us to repentance (Eze. 36:26-27), causes us to grow in holiness (2 Cor. 3:18), seals us for the day of redemption that we might be assured of our salvation (Eph. 1:13-14), and equips us with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body (1 Cor. 12:7).

Church
We believe the church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Eph. 2:11-12, Rev. 5:9-10). This invisible body, of which Christ Jesus is the head, exists locally, and imperfectly, as the visible church. Jesus Christ has given his church two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 28:19-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-26).

Marks and Mission
We believe God’s people should be marked by Christlikeness (Eph. 5:1-2), prayerfulness (Rom. 12:12), joyful obedience (John 14:15), love of God and love of neighbor (Mt. 22:37-44). We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Mt. 28:19-20). As salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16), we seek to save the lost (1 Cor. 9:19-23), love others in word and deed (1 Pet. 4:11), work for righteousness and justice (Amos 5:24), and care for the hurting and needy (1 Jn. 3:16-18).

Last Things
We believe Jesus Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Acts 1:11). At his appearing the dead shall be raised and the living and the dead will be judged (1 Cor. 15:20-28). The wicked and unbelieving will be consigned to eternal punishment (Rev. 20:10, Rev. 14:15). Those belonging to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth and live in ever-increasing joy to the glory of God (Mt. 25:21, Rev. 21:1-5).

Historic Creeds and Confessions


One might ask: If God's Word is the foundation of our faith, why do we have the creeds and confessions? That's a good question. We embrace creeds and confessions as helpful summaries of the Bible to provide unified leadership (our Elders and Deacons sign that they agree with them before serving) and to be used as teaching devices for both children and adults. We recognize that they are not inspired by God but have been crafted by humans, and they are always subject to the Word of God as the final authority.  As a church and denomination we subscribe to three creeds and three confessions.  The links below will not only take you to the documents, but also to a short history explaining them.

The Apostles’ Creed 
The Nicene Creed
The Athanasian Creed
The Belgic Confession
The Heidelberg Catechism
The Canons of Dort

And finally, while we do not officially subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith, we do greatly appreciate and utilize it.  The following link will take you to articles from the confession that explain well the covenant theology we hold to.

Westminster Confession of Faith: God’s Covenant with Man

OUR BELIEFS


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First Christian Reformed Church
305 Boesch Drive, 95366 Ripon, CA
209-599-3225

    
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