THE CONFESSION OF FAITH OF CALVARY REFORMED EVANGELICAL CHURCH
The following Confession of Faith is a summary of the faith of this Church. References given are to chapters in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WC) and to the Second London Baptist Confession (LBC) where fuller statements on each topic may be found.
- 1. The Holy Scriptures. (See also WC 1; LBC 1) We believe that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, inspired, infallible, inerrant in their original manuscripts, and fully sufficient for that knowledge of God and His will that is necessary for our eternal welfare, and that they are the supreme and final authority for all Christian faith and conduct.
- 2. God. (WC 2; LBC 2) We believe in one true and living God, subsisting in three Persons – the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit – one in substance, equal in power and glory. He is the Almighty Creator of all things, eternal, dependent on no one, everywhere present, altogether righteous, holy, good, loving, merciful, long-suffering and gracious, and working all things according to His own sovereign will and purpose.
- 3. Jesus Christ. (WC 8; LBC 8) We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who became Man by taking to Himself a true body and a rational soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary and born of her, yet without sin. We believe that He was, and continues to be, both God and Man in two distinct natures, and one Person, for ever.
We believe that the Lord Jesus lived on earth a life of perfect obedience to the Father, that He died in the room and stead of sinners, that He arose bodily from the grave, that He ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father, as High Priest and Advocate for all His people. We believe that He will come again in power and glory.
- 4. The Holy Spirit. (WC 2.3, 10, 12, 13, 14.1, 17, 18; LBC 2.3, 10, 12, 13, 14.1, 17, 18) We believe in the personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity. We believe that He has been sent into the world to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and to apply to sinners His work of salvation. By Him, the dead in sin are brought to spiritual life, being enabled to respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith, and are sealed for the Day of Redemption. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers, gives assurance of salvation, and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church as the Body of Christ, and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
- 5. Man. (WC 4, 5, 6; LBC 4, 5, 6) We believe that God created man in His own image, dependent upon and accountable to Him. God also entered into a covenant of life with man, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil upon pain of death. By his disobedience the first man, Adam, fell from his state of moral perfection, losing his original righteousness and holiness, and came under the righteous condemnation of God. This one act of disobedience brought not only Adam but all his natural posterity into a state of condemnation and spiritual death, from which there is no deliverance except through Christ, the last Adam.
6. Salvation. (WC 8-18; LBC 8-18) We believe that God, in His sovereign grace and mercy, personally and unconditionally elected unto salvation in Christ a multitude which no man can number, without any foresight of faith or good works in them. We believe that for their sakes He sent His only begotten Son into the world to fulfill all righteousness on their behalf, and to bear their sin and judgment on the cross. We believe that, being raised from the dead and taken up into glory, He now through the Holy Spirit calls each one personally, individually and efficaciously by the Gospel. We believe that those whom God has elected unto salvation, redeemed through His Son and regenerated through the Holy Spirit shall finally persevere in faith and holiness, so that they shall never perish but have eternal life.
We believe that the sole ground of acceptance with God is the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is imputed to all who believe, and that this righteousness is received by faith alone.
We believe that this salvation is to be preached to all mankind, indiscriminately and without distinction, and that every sinner is to be assured that ‘whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- 7. The Church. We believe that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the universal company of God’s redeemed people, and is the Body of which He is the Head, the Bride whom He loves infinitely, and the Temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells.
We believe that each local church is to be a visible expression of this Body, and should be composed of those who profess repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and whose lives and doctrine are consistent with their profession.
We believe that Christ has given to each such church all necessary authority for the conduct of its worship, teaching, discipline and evangelism.
We believe that the principal responsibilities of the church are, to preach the Word of God to all, and to nurture believers in their holy faith. It is also the responsibility of the Church to remember the poor.
We believe that the Lord Jesus has instituted the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to be observed by the Church until He comes again.
- 8. The Christian Life. (WC 13, 19, 20, 21, 24; LBC 13, 19, 21, 22, 25) We believe that the goal of the Christian life is to be conformed to the image of Christ. To this end, those who have been united to Christ by faith must abide in Him, walk by the Holy Spirit, feed upon the Word of God, pray and use all the means of grace which God has provided and seek to bring every area of life under the Lordship of the Lord Jesus.
Although believers are not ‘under the law’ as a covenant of life, nor under the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament, yet the Moral Law summarized in the Ten Commandments continues to be a revelation of God’s will for all mankind, and is to be interpreted and applied according to the principles shown by Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount.
We believe that the Lord’s Day is a divine ordinance, being the New Testament outworking of the Sabbath principle, and that believers should strive to keep the day holy as a day of rest and worship.
- 9. The Future Life. (WC 32, 33; LBC 31, 32) We believe that at death the souls of believers go to be with Christ, while their bodies rest in their graves until the resurrection. We believe in the resurrection of the body, both of believers and unbelievers, in the judgment of the world in righteousness by our Lord Jesus Christ, in the eternal blessedness of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.