Trinity Community Church Statement of Faith
I. The Scriptures.
We believe that the 66 books of the Bible are God’s word revealed to us, written by God’s apostles and prophets. In its original manuscripts it contains truth without error as it unfolds the story of God – his creation, our fall, his redemption and restoration; therefore it is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union. The Scriptures are the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
II. The Triune God.
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God. He is an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible worship, trust, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but complementary offices in the great work of redemption.
The Father is the first member of the Trinity, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all that come to Him through Jesus Christ. We believe that He orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace.
Jesus, the Son, is coequal, consubstantial (i.e., having the same substance, nature, or essence), and coeternal with the Father. He was with the Father in the beginning and all things were made through him. He was incarnated into our world by being born of a virgin, becoming human that he might succeed where Adam failed and save all those who put their trust in his substitutionary, propitiatory death. He was raised bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will make a personal, visible return to earth.
IIc. Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who is sent from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. We believe that he is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration; it is His work to indwell, sanctify, instruct, empower for service, and seal until the day of redemption all who believe on Jesus Christ. We believe he indwells every believer in Christ, and that he is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. In all the divine attributes, He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father and the Son.
III. The Fall Of Man.
We believe that man was created in holiness, in the image of God, and under the law of his Maker. But by rejecting God man fell from that state, and has ever since been under a curse. By nature we lack the holiness required by God; we are inclined to evil and justly condemned under God’s eternal wrath, without defense or excuse.
IV. The Way Of Salvation.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is all of grace, through the life and cross-work of Jesus Christ. By the Father’s design, Jesus freely took upon himself our nature, without sin, and honored the divine law by his personal obedience. By his vicarious, substitutionary death he made full atonement for our sins, breaking the curse. Having risen from the dead he is now enthroned in heaven, qualified to be our suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Savior in every way.
We believe God is “the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” When God justifies, the believer is declared righteous, not according to any works of righteousness which we have done, but only through faith in Jesus’ cross-work. His perfect righteousness – as demonstrated by his active and passive obedience to God – is freely imputed (credited) to our account, declaring us simultaneously not-guilty and righteous. This brings us into a state of peace and favor with God.
VI. The Freeness Of Salvation.
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel, and that it is necessary for all to accept them by obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of the most detestable sinner on earth, except his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel, which brings upon him just condemnation.
VII. Grace In Regeneration.
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration gives the mind and heart an inclination toward God by the power of the Holy Spirit, securing our voluntary and joyful obedience to the gospel. Its evidence appears in the fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.
VIII. Repentance And Faith.
We believe that repentance and faith are inseparable graces, accomplished in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God. Being deeply convinced of our guilt, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God in humility, confessing our sin and pleading for mercy. At the same time we gladly receive Jesus and rely on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.
We believe that election in Christ is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners. It is a glorious display of God’s sovereign grace, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable. It excludes all boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy. It is the foundation of Christian assurance, joy, and worship. All who truly believe the Gospel are of the elect.
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness. It is a progressive work begun in regeneration and carried on in the hearts of God’s people by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter. The Lord sanctifies us through the continual use of the word of God, the killing of sin, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
XI. The Perseverance Of Saints.
We believe that only those who endure to the end are the true people of God, having their persevering attachment to Christ as the mark which distinguishes them from those who emptily profess faith. God’s providence watches over their welfare, and they are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation.
XII. The Universal Church.
We believe that the universal church is made up of all true believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ, from the beginning of time until the end of time.
XIII. The Local Church.
We believe a local church is a community of believers in Jesus led by qualified elders, who have covenanted to be on mission with Jesus together, regularly gather for the right preaching of God’s word, participate in baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and practice loving, redemptive church discipline.
XIV. Baptism And The Lord’s Supper.
We believe that Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in display of faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. This symbolizes our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, and is required for membership. By the Lord’s Supper the members of the church, in eating the bread and wine, proclaim the gospel of Jesus’ death our behalf. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not believe these ordinances convey saving grace upon the recipient. However, they are means by which God reveals His gospel to his people and brings loving encouragement into their lives.
XV. The World To Come.
We believe that this world is fading away and the fullness of God’s kingdom is approaching. At the last day Christ will descend from heaven and raise the dead from the grave to final judgment. A solemn separation will then take place, the unrighteous facing God’s eternal wrath and punishment in hell, and the righteous endless joy with God. The world will be “put to rights” and God’s people will dwell with him on a restored earth for eternity.