What We Believe
Proposed Doctrinal Statement for Legacy Church
(On the agenda to be discussed in the Family Meeting on 7/12/20 and to be voted on in the Family Meeting on 9/13/20.)
From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have laid out doctrine (beliefs) in brief, definitive statements. We believe it necessary to set forth in a concise fashion the cornerstone truths of our church as guided by Scripture. Our Statement of Faith summarizes essential Christian beliefs, shows unity in Christ, and guards the church from error.
Since the forming of Legacy Church in 2016 we have used the New Hampshire Confession of Faith as our Statement of Faith. We did this for several reasons:
- This statement registers our belief in historic Christianity, evangelical Christianity, and believer’s baptism.
- Using a historic confession aligned the church with historic Christian doctrine and served to guard our young church plant theologically.
Even though our theology has not changed, the elders now believe it beneficial to update our Statement of Faith in order to:
- Be a more effective discipleship tool, specifically in the context of our Legacy Explored class.
- More accurately and with greater contextual clarity communicate the essential beliefs of our church in our own words.
Statement of Faith
I. We Believe in the Holy Trinity. The one true God in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All of whom are eternally existent and equal in every way. God created absolutely everything out of nothing. God is the source of all life. He sovereignly rules over all things, lovingly orchestrating all of his creation by his gracious design.
II. We Believe in God the Father. God the Father is the Sovereign Lord who upholds all of creation and directs all things according to his purposes. The Father has sent his Son Jesus into the world at the perfect time by his preordained purposes to redeem all of creation and the Church to himself. There is nothing outside of his knowledge or authority.
III. We Believe in Jesus Christ. God the Son, Jesus the Messiah is eternal God entered into human history fully God, fully human to live the righteous life humans were supposed to live, to die the death every human deserves for sin, and to rise from the dead. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He lived a human life, yet free from sin. Jesus died on the Cross, punished as a substitute for sinful humanity for the atonement of sin. Jesus rose from the dead conquering Satan, sin, and death. After appearing to many witnesses, Jesus ascended to heaven. Jesus is ruling at the right hand of God the Father and will return in power and glory to vindicate the righteous, judge the world, and restore God’s creation bringing about the New Heavens and the New Earth. Jesus is God’s Messiah, the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the center of human history.
IV. We Believe in the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit is the presence of God with his Church. As the Spirit indwelt Christ and empowered his life and ministry, the Spirit indwells the Church and empowers believers to Christian life and godliness. Through the New Covenant, every Christian is inhabited and empowered by the Holy Spirit to the Glory of God. The Holy Spirit is personal; he leads, guides, convicts, directs, and moves supernaturally in the life of the believer.
V. We believe in the Word of God. We believe God has made Himself known to all people. Beginning with creation and culminating in Jesus Christ, God has revealed Himself in the Old and New Testaments which are divinely inspired and entirely trustworthy. The Bible, the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments is the word of God and God’s self-disclosure to humanity. The Bible is sufficient and cannot be added to or replaced by any other doctrinal formation. The Holy Spirit superintended the Bible, while human beings wrote it in their context and historical setting. Written over hundreds of years and by numerous authors, the Bible consistently reveals God's program for redemptive history, which centers on the person of Jesus. The canonical books of the Bible, in their original manuscripts, are inerrant and infallible. Jesus is the central interpretive key to the Scriptures, and without the Holy Spirit, a person cannot rightly understand them. The Bible is clear, authoritative, and governs everything Christian people believe and do. The Bible is our final arbiter of truth and serves as our supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
VI. We believe that God made Humanity. God created all humans, both male and female in his very image. God created humans, male and female utterly equal in worth and value, and intentionally distinct in a way designed to complement each other. This distinction includes complementary roles and God-given responsibilities unique to men and women.
VII. We believe in sin. God made all things good, but Adam and Eve rebelled against God, and with that rebellion brought sin and death. As a result, all humanity is born into sin and as soon as are able, actively participate in this cosmic rebellion against God. The effects of sin are pervasive, touching both human actions as well as inward motivations. Sin is not only the wrong things we chose to do, but the right things we do for the wrong reasons, and the right things we decided not to do. All sin is rebellion against God, and while some sins are more grievous than others, all sin is worthy of eternal punishment. Sin has alienated humanity from the Creator and creation, but God offers redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ. Only Jesus and his gospel can save a sinner from death to life.
VIII. We believe the Gospel. The good news of the gospel is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. His sinless life, his atoning sacrifice on the Cross, and his victorious resurrection and current rule. God’s Messiah came at the perfect moment in time to save sinners from death to life. God saves all people who put their faith in Jesus Christ. By His obedient life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection, Jesus delivers people from the tyranny of sin and death and redeems them for eternal life. The application of the gospel and the salvation of the sinner is exclusively an act of God. Salvation is a sovereign gift of grace, sufficient for all but only applied to the chosen people as an act of mercy.
IX. We believe in the Church. The Universal Church is the covenant community called by God through Jesus Christ and signified by baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It is comprised of all those who have been chosen by God and atoned for by the cross of Jesus, across the ages. A local church is a tangible expression of this universal reality. A local church is its members, those who have professed Christ and committed to each other in a particular time and place in history. The local church gathers regularly for worship and fellowship, and is empowered by the Holy Spirit to engage the culture with a life of discipleship and witness.
X. We Believe in the Sacraments. The Lord Jesus instituted the sacraments of baptism by immersion and communion for his Church. Baptism is a public association with Jesus where the one who has trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of his or her sin and made a credible profession of faith is symbolically buried and raised with Jesus as a sign of repentance and remission of sins. Likewise, communion is a collective celebration of Jesus’ body broken and blood shed for the atonement of sins for those who have repented and turned to him.
XI. We Believe in Heaven and Hell. The Christian upon death immediately appears before Jesus, where he or she awaits the restoration of God's creation, the resurrection from the dead, and the return of Christ on earth. Likewise, those who have rejected Christ will immediately appear in hell, a place of eternal conscious torment, where the justice of God is poured out, and they pay the eternal consequences for his or her infinite offense against God.
XII. We Believe in the New Creation. We await the literal, visible, physical return of Christ, who will triumphantly at the end of this age destroy all evil powers, resurrect all humanity, condemn all who have rejected Him to eternal punishment, and unite all believers to reign forever with God in glory. After his return, Jesus will bring about the New Heavens and the New Earth where Jesus will live with his people forever, and Satan, sin, and death will be no more. Jesus will restore all things to the way they ought to be in God’s peace and wholistic flourishing.