“Systematic theology” means making summary statements about the collected teachings in the Bible. Normally, these systematic statements are called creeds, or confessions.
The idea of using a written creed to state beliefs is not a way to undermine the authority of the Scriptures — not any more than a sermon undermines the Bible. Creeds are simply another way of communicating teachings (for more on this, see Dorothy Sayers’ book, Creed or Chaos).
With that in mind, you will find the contours of our doctrine in the following historic creeds:
- We Believe what is stated in the Nicene Creed
- We confess what is confessed in The Abstract of Principles
- We Affirm what Christians Always Affirm
- We believe in the Five Solas (sola means “alone”)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
We we say, “we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins”, we do not mean, “removal of dirt from the body”, but something much greater, “an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, 1 Pe 3:21.
Our pastors doctrinally adhere to the historic, ABSTRACT OF PRINCIPLES, 1858.
We Believe in the Trinity, the physical, historical, factual and real bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the inerrancy of Scripture, the future return of Christ, the future physical bodily resurrection of the wicked and the righteous (the one for unending conscious punishment and the other for life everlasting in the new heavens and earth).
The five solas were formulated during the Protestant Reformation. They are as follows:
- Solus Christus (Christ alone)
- Sola Gratia (Grace alone)
- Sola Fide (Faith alone)
- Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone)
- Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)