What We Believe
The Word of God (Bibliology)
We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, free from error in the originals and completely accurate in every way. The 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament have been inspired by the Holy Spirit and are the one and only standard of faith and practice (Psalm 119:128; 2 Timothy 3:14-16; 2 Peter 1:21).
The Doctrine of God (Theology)
We believe in the triune God. He is one God, eternally existing as three persons who are equally unchangeable, omnipotent, infinite, holy, just, good, true, and all wise. The same in essence and glory, the three persons are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:1-2; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-14; Hebrews 1:1-4). God created all things from nothing. The LORD formed all things in six days and declared them very good. Living things on earth procreate according to kind (Genesis 1:1-2:3; Exodus 20:11; Hebrews 11:3).
The Doctrine of Jesus Christ (Christology)
We believe in the absolute deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He, born miraculously of Mary while she was still a virgin, was fully God and fully man. Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life and then became the substitutionary and redemptive sacrifice for the sin of the world, “the Lamb of God.” Christ literally died, was buried, arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:23; John 1:1-14; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-4; I Corinthians 15:1-57).
The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth of the gospel and is the agent of the new birth (regeneration). He seals, baptizes, empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies, and helps the believer (John 16:8-15; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; I Peter 1:2). The Holy Spirit distributes gifts to the believer as He chooses. While many gifts mentioned in the Bible continue to be granted in our time, we believe that certain gifts and offices of the first century church are no longer in effect today(ex. –tongues, apostle). (I Corinthians 13:8-10; cf. Acts 1:21-22 and I Corinthians 15:5-8; cf. Acts 5:12 and 2 Corinthians 12:12).
The Doctrine of Man (Anthropology)
We believe that God created man in his own image. Although created in innocence, Adam, the first man, by free choice, transgressed the specific directions given to him by the Lord, resulting in death (both spiritual and physical). Each of Adam’s descendants has inherited a sinful and depraved nature, causing all men to be afflicted with both spiritual and physical death. Due to the original sin of Adam and the actual sin in thought, word, and deed enacted by every human being, all people are without excuse under the just condemnation and wrath of God (Genesis 1:27-31; Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 3:9-23; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3; James 2:10).
The Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology)
We believe that forgiveness of sin is only possible through faith in the gracious provision of God on the basis of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is God, the Son. There is no hope of salvation outside of personal faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is a free gift for which humans can add no meritorious works. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was spilled on the cross in order to satisfy the justice of God with regard to human sinfulness. The Spirit of God effectually calls sinners to repentant faith, allowing no room for believers to boast. The gift of eternal life through our Lord Jesus is irrevocable, each believer being kept securely by the power of God (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:28-39; I Peter 1:3-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; John 1:10-13; Romans 6:23; cf. Leviticus 17:11 with Ephesians 1:7 and Hebrews 9:22).
Believers in Jesus Christ are justified. Justification involves the imputation of the believer’s transgressions to the record of Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the record of the believer. Believers are sanctified in Christ. Sanctification involves (a) authorization to enter the holy presence of the Lord in worship and (b) the life long process of being conformed to the image of God’s Son (Romans 4:1-5:11; I Corinthians 1:2; 6:11; I Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Doctrine of the Church (Ecclesiology)
We believe in the church of Jesus Christ, universal and invisible as well as local and visible. Jesus is building his church. He is the head of his body and the believers are the various members of his body. Local churches are autonomous in governmental structure and consist of regenerated, water baptized membership. The members of the local church willingly submit to the authority of the biblically established leadership of elders/bishops/pastors and deacons (Matthew 16:18; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1; I Corinthians 12:1-28; 2 Corinthians1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-15).
We believe that two ordinances are to be observed by local churches: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The ordinances having been (a) commanded by the Lord Jesus; (b) taught and administered by the apostles; (c) enacted by the churches described in the New Testament – are symbolic in nature. Baptism (immersion in water) is a one-time act of obedience by a believer which communicates his/her new birth in Christ and personal identification with His church. The Lord’s Supper is a repeated act of obedience by the believer which symbolizes his faith in, and thanksgiving for, the sacrifice lovingly made by Jesus Christ. The bread represents the body and the cup represents the blood of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 10:47-48; Acts 20:7; Romans 6:1-6; I Corinthians 11:17-34; Colossians 2:12).
The Doctrine of Last Things (Eschatology)
We believe in the imminent, personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the blessed hope of the church. The believers who are alive at the moment of his coming will be “caught up” to be with him while those who have died in Christ will be raised up to meet him in the air. All regenerated individuals will be changed to dwell in an incorruptible body at his coming. They will have an imperishable body, like Christ’s glorious body, for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:20-57; Philippians 3:20-21; I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11).
The unregenerate will be raised to face the judgment and subsequent damnation in the lake of fire, which is conscious torment forever (John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15).
God will replace the heavens and the earth with a new heaven and a new earth, containing the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. The believers of all human history will dwell in this city forever with God. It will be a perfect existence in which no evil or remnants of the curse will ever enter. The first heaven and earth will have passed away (Mark 13:31; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation chapters 21-22).
Having been led, by the Holy Spirit, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we solemnly and joyfully covenant with one another in the presence of God and this congregation.
We commit to live together in unity as one body in Christ.
We commit to promote our church’s health and to support its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the church’s ministries and expenses and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We commit to maintain personal and family devotions, to nurture and instruct those under our care to treasure Christ, to seek the salvation of our family and friends, and to live carefully in this world, remembering that, because we have been symbolically buried by baptism and raised again from the grave, we have a special obligation to live a holy life.
We also commit, in Christian love, to look after, encourage, correct, and pray for one another; to bear one another’s burdens and to rejoice with one another’s happiness; to regard one another as more important than ourselves; and when the occasion arises, to be quick to reconcile with each other with sincere forgiveness and love.
Furthermore, when we move from this congregation, we will make every effort to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
999 Horseshoe Pike, Downingtown, PA 19335