STATEMENT OF FAITH
SECTION 1. THE BIBLE.
We teach that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are God’s written revelation to man, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit are verbally inspired of God and inerrant in the original manuscripts. We teach their sole sufficiency and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Ps 119:89; Jn 17:17) We also teach that the meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We teach that there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, but there is only one true interpretation (John 7:17; 16:12 15; 1 Corinthians 2:7 15; 1 John 2:20).
SECTION 2. THE GODHEAD.
We teach the Holy Trinity, the one living and true God eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that these three Persons are identical in essence and equal in power and glory; they are sovereign and active in creation, providence, and redemption; they possess the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and are worthy of the same worship, confidence, and obedience. (Gen 1:26-27; Ps 103:19; Isa 45:5-7; 2 Cor 5:19; Mt 3:16-17, 28:19-20; Jn 1:1-4)
SECTION 3. JESUS CHRIST.
We teach the essential deity and perfect humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit; that He came to reveal God to mankind, lived a perfect life, and shed His blood for the sin of the world as the only acceptable, substitutionary sacrifice, satisfying God’s righteous judgments against sin; that He arose in the very body, though glorified, in which He had been crucified; that He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and that He now appears in the presence of God as the only mediator between God and man until He comes again. (Mt 1:18-23; Rom 1:3-4; Jn 1:14, 18, 20:19-21; Col 2:9; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Cor 15:20; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:3; 7:25)
SECTION 4. THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We teach that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person; that He enabled men to write the Scriptures; that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He regenerates those who believe, places them into the Body of Christ, and indwells them permanently, sealing them unto the day of
redemption; that as Christ's representative on earth, He calls out a people for God's service and empowers and directs them in that service.
We teach that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today; and that speaking in tongues (unlearned languages) and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed, their authority became
established, and the apostolic era passed. (Acts 5:3-4, 15:14; 1 Cor 6:19, 12:4-11, 13:8-13; 2 Cor 3:17; 2 Pet 1:21; Jn 16:7-11; Tit 3:5; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Heb 2:1-4)
SECTION 5. SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
We teach that there were two kind of gifts given to the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, which were given as temporary gifts during the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Heb. 2:3-4; II Cor 12:12), and ministering gifts which are given today in order to equip believers for edifying one another (Rom. 12:6-8). We teach that the miraculous gifts are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message because we have the complete Word of God, which is the sole test of authenticity (Rev. 22:18-19; II Tim. 3:16-17).
SECTION 6. SATAN.
We teach that the fallen angel known as Satan was originally perfect in his ways; that he rebelled and drew with him a large number of other angels; that he, together with his demons, is active in opposition to God and His work; that Satan and his emissaries were defeated at the cross of Christ; that they will be bound for a thousand years at the return of Christ to the earth; and that ultimately they will be cast into the lake of fire where they will be punished eternally. (Ezek 28:15, 17; Isa 14:12-16; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 20:10, 12; Jn 12:31-32; Mk 4:15; Eph 6:12)
SECTION 7. MAN CREATED AND FALLEN
We teach that the universe and all that is in it, including man, was created by God in six literal days; that man, originally created in the image of God, fell into sin by Adam’s voluntary act of disobedience; that as a consequence of his sin, he lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sin, and that he became subject to the power of the devil and physical death. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably evil and under God’s judgment apart from divine grace. (Gen 1:26, 2:17, 6:5; Ps 14:1-3, 51:5; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:6, 36, 5:40, 6:53; Rom 3:10-19, 8:6-7; Eph 2:1-3; 1 Tim 5:6; 1 Jn 3:8)
SECTION 8. SALVATION.
We teach that through faith alone in the crucified risen Christ, man is justified, regenerated, and made a child of God. It is a sovereign and gracious act of God, totally apart from the works of man. Man cannot gain it by his acts, nor can he lose it by his actions. There is but one way of salvation, namely, through the Person and work of Christ. All who so trust the Savior pass from death unto life, are forgiven of their sins, accepted by the Father, and adopted into His family by means of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. (Rom 5:1; Tit 3:5; Jn 1:12, 10:27-29, 14:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 4:12)
Regeneration. We teach that at the time of salvation the believer is instantly regenerated with the divine nature and divine life through the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; John 5:24). Regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitude and conduct (Ephesians 2:10).
Election. We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28 30; Ephesians 1:4 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1 2). All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37, 40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8). Sovereign election always exalts the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:5 28; 2 Timothy 1:9).
Justification. We teach that justification is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 2:4; 8:33; 10:9-10; I Corinthians 12:3; II Corinthians 7:10). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (Romans 3:26; II Corinthians 5:21).
Sanctification. We teach that as a result of justification, the believer is set apart to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (sanctification); to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. The believer’s sin nature is never eradicated, but he does have the power through the Holy Spirit to keep himself constantly in subjection to Christ, or his sin nature will manifest itself to the dishonor of our Lord. Christ has promised the believer spiritual growth by the work of the Holy Spirit in connection with study of and compliance with the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, fellowship, discipline, and prayer. (Romans 6:11-13; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 4:22-24; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 1:4-7)
Security. We teach that all who are saved by God’s grace will be kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; I Peter 1:5). This security is not to be abused through the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).
SECTION 9. MARRIAGE & SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary sexes together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, or use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18- 20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Calvary Community Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Calvary Community Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Calvary Community Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Calvary Community Church.
SECTION 10. THE CHURCH
The Universal Church. We teach that there is a universal church to which all believers belong. We believe that the church is a society of believers "born of the Spirit and baptized into the Body of Christ." It is a Body with Christ as its Head. Believers within the Body are dependent upon Christ, the Head, and interdependent in their relationship to one another, exhibiting faith, hope, and love. (1 Cor 12:12-13; Col 1:18)
The Local Church. We teach that there is a local church, which is a company of baptized believers in a geographical location banded together for the public preaching and teaching of God’s Word, corporate worship, personal edification, the promotion of personal and worldwide evangelism, and the celebration of the ordinances… the Lord’s Supper and Believer’s Baptism by immersion. The local church is committed to Christ as the Head and to work cooperatively with those whom He places in leadership as set forth in the New Testament. There are two Scriptural functions or offices in the local church today: Elder and Deacon. (1 Cor 1:2, 11:23-29; Mt 28:19-20; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Heb 10:24-25, 13:7)
SECTION 11. FUTURE THINGS.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again to raise the dead bodily, both righteous and unrighteous, and that the righteous shall enjoy everlasting life and the wicked endure everlasting punishment. (Rev 20:1; 1 Thess 4:16-17, 5:9; 1 Cor 15:51-53; Acts 1:11)