Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

Redeemer Church 2021 Statement of Faith

The following statements expand upon the core doctrinal convictions we hold as a church. It is important for us to point out that while we do hold and teach from these theological convictions, we want to do so with charity and humility. There are core elements of our doctrine that we share with the church in all times and places (the ancient creeds) and distinct theological convictions we hold within our own part of the Christian tradition. While all Christians should affirm the core of Christian doctrine, we realize there will be some finer points of theology that you may have not fully worked out or hold differing views on. Thus, by asking you to affirm the following document we are not saying that we only allow partners who 100% agree with everything in this statement. Rather, we want you to be aware that our leaders who teach, counsel, and preach will do so in alignment with this statement of faith. If there is any confusion about, or disagreement with this statement of faith the pastors would love to have a conversation with you to understand your perspective and clarify our position. We do ask that every partner honors Redeemer’s stated theological views and commits to not sow division within the church. Ultimately, our hope is that as we grow in theological clarity it would lead to a greater love of God, unity in our church, and love for our neighbors.
1. The Triune God. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternally good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.

2. Scripture. God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do (1 Adapted from City Life Church in Austin, Texas).Although we cannot know God’s truth exhaustively, we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.

3. Men and Women. We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.

We are deeply committed to the spiritual & moral equality of male & female and to men as responsible servant-leaders in both home and church. Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.

Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant-leadership and sacrificial love characterized by Jesus Christ. This principle of male headship should not be confused with, nor give any hint of, domineering control. Rather, it is to be the loving, tender and nurturing care of a godly man who is himself under the kind and gentle authority of Jesus Christ.

The Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men.

4. Our Fallen Condition. We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted his image and the subsequent image of all humanity—by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually), though not thoroughly, and condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself.

5. The Saving Plan of God. We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God saves and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen through Christ their Redeemer.

6. The Gospel. We believe that the gospel is the good and true story that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us. This good news is historical, centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if the message of Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central. This Gospel message is a biblical message as Christ comes as prophesied in the Old Testament and by Apostolic testimony in the new. The good news is personal (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God, which requires a personal response of repentance and faith.), and relational (it instructs and empowers us to relate in a new way), and societal(it leads to the renewal of all things).

7. The Redemption of Christ. We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate.

We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him.

8. Salvation. Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the Christian. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, atonement, justification, adoption, union with Christ, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

9. The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is fully divine, a full person of the Trinity. He inspired men to write the Scriptures, illuminates us to understand truth, convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment and exalts the person and work of Christ. He calls men to the Savior, and accomplishes regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, the Spirit baptizes every Christian into the Body of Christ. The Spirit also cultivates Christian character, comforts Christians, and bestows the spiritual gifts, all of which are valid today, for service to God through his church. The Spirit seals us unto the day of final redemption. His presence is the guarantee that God will bring us into the full stature of Christ. He also enlightens and empowers the church for worship, mission, and service.

10. The Church. We believe that God’s new covenant people have already been seated with Christ, and together form the universal church, which is manifested in local churches of which Christ is the only Head. Thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacraments, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world.

In the local church each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord and willingly submits to the instruction, care, and discipline of their elders. The church’s scriptural officers are elders (also called pastors) and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. Both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God.

Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: he has not only brought about peace with God, but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. The church serves as a sign of God’s future new world when its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for self- focus. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.

11. The Kingdom of God. We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace.

Living as light in a dark world, Christians should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, do good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is his in-breaking reign which inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under Christ.

12. The Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christ has given the church the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper. These are visible signs and seals, so that by our use of them we might understand more clearly the promise of the gospel and assure our hearts of these spiritual realities. The sacraments are given to the church and are thus intended to be observed within the worshipping life of local churches.

Holy Baptism is an outward, visible sign of an inward change. Baptism is a sign that in response to the inward regeneration of the Holy Spirit, a person has trusted in Christ for forgiveness of sins and received newness of life by the Spirit. This sacrament confers to us that as surely as we were immersed and cleansed by the baptismal waters, that we have died to sin and are cleansed from all unrighteousness. Emerging from the waters we are assured that we are forgiven of our sin and we are new creations in Christ. We are fully welcomed into God’s family, the church, and now within the church are committed to learn and live the way of Jesus.

The Holy Supper was instituted by Christ for baptized believers so they might regularly partake of the simple signs of the bread and the cup. We believe that the Supper is given as both a sign and a seal. It is a sign of remembrance because it visibly reminds us of the Gospel of grace and all that Christ accomplished for us. It is a seal of assurance as it assures us of Christ’s true spiritual presence within his Church. The Heidelberg catechism summarizes these two aspects of remembrance and assurance when it states, “As surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup shared with me, so surely his body was offered and broken for me and his blood poured out for me on the cross. As surely as I receive from the hand of the one who serves, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, given me as sure signs of Christ’s body and blood, so surely he nourishes and refreshes my soul for eternal life with his crucified body and poured-out blood.”

13. The Christian and the Social Order. All Christians are under obligation to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

14. Evangelism and Missions. We believe every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ is called to make disciples of all nations. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded the preaching of the Gospel to the peoples of all nations. Therefore, it is the exalted honor of every Christian to seek to share the Gospel by verbal witness to the risen Christ, supported by demonstration of the gospel through Christian conduct and other means.

15. The Restoration of All Things. We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal separation in hell, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.

Four Highlights for the Sake of Unity & Clarity

  1. Redeemer is not aligned with a particular denomination although we have been heavily influenced by the Reformed tradition (Statement #5,6,12) - We affirm the Sovereignty of God to save sinners. Redeemer’s soteriology and philosophy of worship is heavily influenced by the Reformed tradition. We have often drawn from Reformed resources such as Calvin’s Institutes, The Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, the Heidelberg Catechism, the New City Catechism, and many modern reformed authors. While we are influenced by the Reformed tradition we also recognize there is great value and worth in many streams of Christianity.

  2. Redeemer affirms the historic Christian view of gender, sexuality, and marriage (Statement #3) - While we hold to the historic Christian view on gender, sexuality, and marriage, we do so with compassion and grace. We believe that there will inevitably be cultural issues like this in which we find our convictions in contrast with the prevailing cultural norms. In spite of this difference we believe scripture calls us to hold this position with conviction and humility. We also believe that we are called to love our neighbor regardless of our neighbors view or practice of such things. For those in our church we will exhort and teach towards what we affirm to be the biblical view of gender, sexuality, and marriage. We will gently plead for repentance in any area that we believe to be contrary to God’s design.

  3. Redeemer affirms that there is a biblical imperative to pursue diversity and racial reconciliation as we seek to more accurately portray God’s multiethnic heart for the church (Statement #10, 13). In 2020 we formed a team to help us address the issue of racism both biblically and courageously (Multiethnic Advocacy Team). We recognize that if the church fails to step into this conversation that people would likely ignore it or be swept into secular voices on the issue. We want to be clear that we recognize all forms of racism as sin. Racism views another person as “less than” due to their skin color, appearance, or ethnicity and ignores a foundational truth of all humanity— all people were created in the image of God (Imago Dei), and therefore receive abundant dignity and worth.

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only solution to sin in our hearts and evil in our world. The Gospel is about both our individual reconciliation to God and God’s reconciling work through his church in the world. The local church has been commissioned by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel truth and also to demonstrate the coming kingdom in a contextualized and embodied way. Because we are a diverse, Gospel-centered family, we want to biblically address the sin of racism and pursue biblical diversity within our church family. Biblical reconciliation, justice and multiethnic unity won’t be fully realized until the coming of our Lord Jesus. Until then we work to display His kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven (Revelation 7:9, Revelation 21) and live sober-minded, prayerful lives of love that display the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 4:7-12).  

  4. Redeemer affirms that the church is a missionary people and thus we must have a Christ-like posture towards the culture around us. (Statement #11,13,14) This means resisting the temptations to run from (sectarian), into (syncretism), or rage against the culture we live within. We believe that God has called us to live as a witness to the Kingdom of God which has already taken root but has not yet been fully revealed. We do not expect the culture around us to fully reflect the Kingdom of God. In our current American context this means that there are aspects of left and right wing views that will be rejected, received, or redeemed. We believe that if we are to remain a faithful presence we will not fully align with any political party. This means that we must faithfully resist the lure of polarization that is running rampant in our culture. Our approach to the consumption of news, social media and various secular influences requires discernment and yielding to the true implications of the Gospel in our lives and the pastoral teaching of local elders.