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Our Statement
of
Faith

The Christian faith

The Christian faith is unique. All other religions of the world require that man does good works, then God accepts or rejects them; if accepted, man gets the credit. Christianity is just the opposite: God does the supreme good work through Jesus Christ, man accepts or rejects it, and God gets the credit.

Many call themselves Christians, but there is no end to the different (and often conflicting) beliefs – and even "gods" – they promote. Self-identifying as a Christian does not make us one. God defines who He is, not man, so to find the truth we must go to the source. God is revealed in His Word, the Bible, and its meaning is most clearly defined by those who were present at the time of writing. This is why the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, took decades to define the essential principles of the faith (the Creeds), and centuries to determine the canon of Scripture (which books were to be included in the Bible).

We believe the catholic faith: that which has been believed in all places (geographically), in totality (adding nothing new, subtracting nothing old), by all people (regardless of race, culture, sex, social status, economic class), at all times (since the beginning). Doctrine is not just a mental agreement, but a living relationship with Almighty God and His Church.

We believe the Church is the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18), and that Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper will be fulfilled: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You" (John 17:20-21)

The ICCEC: The faith delivered to the Apostles

We hold:

  • The sixty-six universally accepted books of the Old and New Testament are the written Word of God containing all things necessary for salvation, the chief witness to apostolic teaching, and the source of the Church's nourishment and strength

  • Bible translations of the original Greek and Hebrew are valid for church reading and study; versions that add to, subtract from, or change the meaning of the original text are not

  • The Holy Scriptures to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God, the final authority on all matters of faith and practice

  • Scripture is to be understood in light of apostolic tradition and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; where Scripture does not speak, we defer to apostolic tradition

 

We hold:

  • The Apostles' Creed as the Baptismal Symbol, and the Nicene Creed (without the filioque clause) as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith

  • The seven Sacraments of the Church: Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, Confession (Rite of Reconciliation), Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders (Ordination), and Healing (Final Unction)

  • The historic episcopate in Apostolic Succession: the gift of Christ’s authority to the Church and the trustee of the Church’s fidelity to apostolic teaching

 

We hold:

  • That all human life is sacred from the moment of its conception until its natural death

  • That Holy Matrimony is between a man and a woman, and is a covenantal relationship between them and God

  • That Holy Matrimony is a divine picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church

  • That all children are a blessing from God

 

We accept the statements of the first seven ecumenical councils of the Church:

  1. The First Council of Nicaea (325)

  2. The First Council of Constantinople (381)

  3. The Council of Ephesus (431)

  4. The Council of Chalcedon (451)

  5. The Second Council of Constantinople (553)

  6. The Third Council of Constantinople (680–681)

  7. The Second Council of Nicaea (787)

The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) Affirmation of faith

  1. There is one living and true God, infinitely perfect in glory, wisdom, holiness, justice, power, and love, one in his essence

    but eternally existing in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God sovereignly created

    the world out of nothing, so that his creation, while wholly dependent upon him, neither comprises part of God, nor

    conditions his essential perfection.

  2. The books which form the canon of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God, inerrant in the original

    writings, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

  3. God created man in his own image, in a state of original righteousness, from which man subsequently fell by a

    voluntary revolt, and consequently is guilty, inherently corrupt and subject to divine wrath.

  4. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, became man without ceasing to be God by uniting to his divine nature a true human

    nature in his incarnation, and so continues to be both God and man, in two distinct natures and one person, forever. He

    was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, exhibited his deity by manifold miracles, fulfilled the

    requirements of the Law by his sinless life, shed his blood as a vicarious and propitiatory atonement for man’s sin, was

    resurrected from the dead in the same body, now glorified. He ascended into heaven and now intercedes in glory for his

    redeemed as our great High Priest and Advocate, and as the head of the Church and Lord of the individual believer.

  5. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, through the ministry of regeneration and

    sanctification applies salvation and places believers into the Church, guides and comforts God’s children, indwells,

    directs, gifts, and empowers the Church in godly living and service in order to fulfill the Great Commission, and seals

    and keeps the believer until Christ returns.

  6. Every man, regardless of race or rank, who receives the Lord Jesus Christ by faith is born into the family of God and

    receives eternal life. This occurs solely because of the grace of God and has no ground in human merit.

  7. The Holy Church is the one institution specifically ordained by God to function in the furthering of the Kingdom until

    Christ comes again. It consists of all those regenerated by the Spirit of God, in mystical union and communion both with

    Christ, the head of the body, and with fellow believers. Neighborhood congregations are the local manifestation of the

    Church universal. In obedience to the command of Christ, these congregations preach the Word of God, equip God’s

    people for the work of ministry, and administer the Lord’s Supper and baptism.

  8. The Lord Jesus Christ will return bodily, visibly, and personally to receive his own, to conform believers to his own

    image, and to establish his millennial Kingdom. He will judge the quick and the dead and will effect a final separation

    of the redeemed and the lost, assigning unbelievers to eternal punishment and believers to eternal glory, enjoying

    conscious fellowship with him.

  9. Man’s chief end in life is to honor and glorify Almighty God. Personal salvation is a means to this end.

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