What We Believe
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
A statement of faith describes doctrines that the church holds as true. These are not considered to be negotiable items or a matter of one’s convictions. Although we recognize that our understanding of the Holy Scriptures is flawed due to sin, we consider this to be our best understanding of what God has communicated to use through His Word.
Covenant Life Community Church’s statement of faith is based upon the New Hampshire Confession of Faith . Historic evangelicalism was confessional in that it embraced the essential truths of Christianity as these were defined by the great councils of the church. Today the light of the gospel has been significantly dimmed. Because of this crisis and because of our love for Christ, His gospel and His church, we are committed to the inerrancy, infallibility, sufficiency, and authority of the Scripture. We affirm the essential truths of historical evangelicalism because we believe that they are central to the Bible and commend ourselves to the propagation and defense of the Gospel articulated in our Confession believing that the Gospel is the ground on which the church stands or falls.
For biblical support of the following statements, please view the original text of the 1833 New Hampshire Statement of Faith.
We believe that God is the author of the Holy Bible and it was He who inspired men to write its contents. Since the author Himself is perfect, we conclude that the Bible has no error and is the perfect standard of truth and instruction. Showing mankind the only way of salvation and the principles by which God will judge us, the Bible is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God whose name is Jehovah, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth. He is an infinite, all-powerful Spirit whose glory and holiness are inexpressible and who is worthy of all honor confidence, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three, who we refer to as the Holy Trinity, are equal in every aspect and execute distinct yet unified purposes in the great work of redemption.
Man Created in God’s Image
We believe God created mankind in His own image and gave them dominion over the earth, setting mankind apart from the rest of creation in identity and responsibility. We believe God created mankind as male and female, two distinct genders, absolutely equal in essence, dignity, and value but differing in function and physical attributes by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different, yet complementary, roles and responsibilities in the family and church, especially with regard to teaching and authority. These role distinctions are God’s grace to all mankind and are to be protected, preserved and practiced for His glory and our joy.
We believe God instituted marriage and clearly defined it as the exclusive, covenantal union between one man and one woman; a lifelong relationship that reflects the union between Christ and the Church. Sexual intimacy is a gift from God and reserved as an expression of love, service, and commitment that should be practiced only within the marriage relationship. A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by this church only to the extent that it is consistent with this definition of marriage.
The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created holy and placed under the law of God. By his own decision man violated that law and thus fell from his state of holiness, an act from which all mankind are now sinners, not by force, but by choice. By nature man contains absolutely none of the holiness required by the law of God and can perform nothing good but only that which is evil in God’s sight. Therefore, man has no defense or excuse while under just condemnation to eternal punishment.
The Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is by grace alone and not by any work of man. This grace is provided through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself our nature with the exception of sin. In this form He perfectly obeyed the law of God and by His death on the cross paid the price in full for our sins thus satisfying the righteousness of God. After His death He was raised from the dead and is now enthroned in heaven where He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that the great blessing which Christ secures for those who believe in Him is Justification, which consists of the full pardon of sins and the promise of eternal life with God. Justification is not given according to any works of righteousness we have done, but only through faith in the blood of Jesus. It is by this faith that Christ’s perfect righteousness is freely transferred to us and thus brings us into a state of peace and favor with God.
Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it is required of all to accept them by a sincere, repentant, and obedient faith. There is nothing to prevent the salvation of the worst sinner on earth except his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel. It is by this rejection that he remains in a state of condemnation before God.
Grace of Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration is the process in which a person’s spirit is brought from a state of death to that of life. In this process, the Holy Spirit gives the mind a holy disposition and effects it in a way that is above our comprehension so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel. Evidence of a person who has been born again appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.
Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are holy and necessary acts of salvation. They are also inseparable gifts formed in the soul of a man by the regenerating Spirit of God. Once formed, a man is deeply convinced of his guilt, danger and helplessness and realizes the way of salvation by Christ, turning to God with true humility, confession and supplication for mercy. At the same time he heartily receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Prophet, Priest, and King, and relies on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient savior.
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. This election does not violate the free agency of man in any way but provides the means to God’s purposeful end and displays His sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. All boasting by man is, therefore, excluded and in its place comes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and the active imitation of His free mercy. Election is the foundation of Christian assurance and the understanding of it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
Sanctification and Transformation
We believe that God sanctifies unto Himself and transforms all those whom He saves. Transformation is the process by which we are made holy, according to the will of God, by the continual use of His appointed means – especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. This progressive work begins at the point of regeneration and is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, our sealer and comforter.
Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that only a real believer in Christ will endure until the end and that it is this perseverance which distinguishes them from superficial professors of the Christian faith. There exists a special providence which watches over and cares for these believers who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is holy, just, and good and that it is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government. The inability of fallen man to fulfill the requirements of the law arises entirely from his love of sin. The great purpose of the gospel is the deliverance and restoration of such men through a mediator whose obedience to the law was flawless and by whose grace the visible church is established.
A Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. These believers observe the ordinances of Christ, are governed by His laws, and exercise the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word.
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is one of two sacraments commanded by Christ for all believers. This ceremony is a solemn and beautiful symbol of our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior and our own death to sin and resurrection to a new life.
The Lord’s Supper
We believe in the observance of the Lord’s supper as commanded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This ceremony involves the sacred sharing of bread and wine between believers, preceded always by solemn self-examination, in which we commemorate together the dying love of Christ.
We believe that civil government is appointed by God for the interests and good order of human society. Those appointed are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed with the only exception being those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience and the King of all kings of the earth.
The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Those who are righteous in God’s sight have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus through faith alone and are sanctified by the Spirit of God. The continuation of unrepentance and unbelief mark those who are wicked in His sight and remain under the curse. This distinction holds true among men both in this life and the one to come.
The World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching and that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution. At this time, a solemn separation will take place in which the wicked will be judged and sentenced to endless punishment while the righteous go on to endless joy in the presence of God. This judgment is based upon the principles of righteousness and will set forever the final state of men in heaven or hell.