THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
God has revealed Himself to man by two means: first, by general revelation through His creation, His providence, and man’s conscience; secondly, He makes Himself far more clearly and fully known by special revelation through His Word, the Old and New Testament of the Bible. (Romans 1:20; Romans 16:25-26). The Bible is the only essential, sufficient, inerrant and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind.
The Bible is God’s written revelation to man and the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the Word of God (1Corinthians 2:7-14; 2Peter 1:19-21).
The Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1Thessalonians 2:13; 1Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, God-breathed and revealing Christ from beginning to end.
The Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1Corinthians 2:13; 2Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2Peter 1:20-21). God’s intentions, revealed in the Bible, are the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and what is right. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture (2Timothy 3:15-17). It is of vital importance to maintain a literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture (the meaning which the writer expressed). The literal sense will take account of all figures of speech and literary forms found in the text, and for example, affirm the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).
There is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1Corinthians 8:4), an infinite (Isaiah 40:28), all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, eternal (Psalm 90:2), all-sufficient, (Genesis 17:1) everywhere present, (Psalm 139:1-13) most loving (1 John 4:8,16), just (Jeremiah 12:1; Isaiah 45:6,21) holy (Isaiah 6:3, 1 Peter 1:16) merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love (Exodus 34:6-7) one in essence, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal (Matthew 28:19; 2Corinthians 13:14)— deserving all worship and obedience.
God the Father. God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and executes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1Corinthians 8:6). He is the creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As creator, He is Father to all people (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He limit the accountability or responsibility of each human (1Peter 1:17).
God has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).
God the Son. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies; and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
God the Father created everything according to His own will. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).
In the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man (Philippians 2:5-8;Colossians 2:9). Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23;14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).
Our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35).
Our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1Peter 2:24). Christ’s definite atonement on the cross provides the effectual calling of the elect and enables and ensures their faith, repentance, justification, sanctification, perseverance, and glorification (John 17:6, 9, 19).
On the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2Corinthians 5:14-15; 1Peter 2:24; 3:18).
Justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, where He mediates as our advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1John 2:1).
In the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1Corinthians 15:20, 23).
God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26;1Corinthians 12:4-6; 2Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).
The Holy Spirit is sovereign in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2Corinthians 3:18;Ephesians 2:22).
The Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. It is the explicit work of the Holy Spirit to glorify the Son (John 16:13-14; 1Corinthians 12:4-13).
In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 1:2-3; Hebrews 1:2; Job 26:13), for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power (Romans 1:20), wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things in it, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six literal twenty-four hour days, and all was very good (Colossians 1:16; Genesis 1:31).
Man was directly and immediately created by God to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11). God directly created Adam from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and Eve from his side (Genesis 2:21-22). Adam and Eve were the historical parents of the entire human race (1Corinthians 15:22). The unborn child from conception is a human being in the image of God. Adam and Eve were created male and female equally in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and were appointed differing and complementary roles in marriage as a type of Christ and the church (Genesis 2:18) (Ephesians 5:22-33).
God has established marriage as an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman as long as they both shall live (Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2, 1Corinthians 7:10-11, 39). All intimate sexual desires and activities outside the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, are immoral and therefore sin (Genesis 2:24-25; Exodus 20:14, 17, 22:19; Leviticus 18:22-23, 20:13,15-16; Matthew 19:4-6, 9; Romans 1:18-31; 1Corinthians 6:9-10, 15-20; 1Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 7).
Man was created in God’s image and likeness free of sin and with moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9).
In Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. Man is hopelessly lost and spiritually dead in sin and unable and unwilling to do anything in word, thought, or action to bring about his own salvation. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1Timothy 2:13-14; 1John 1:8).
Through Adam, all men are thus sinners and totally depraved by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3; Psalm 53:2,3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
Salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1Peter 1:18-19).
Regeneration. Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:17; 2Peter 1:4; 1John 3:2-3).
Election. Election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2Thessalonians 2:13; 2Timothy 2:10; 1Peter 1:1-2).
Sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).
The unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is unconditional and is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Rom. 9:15-16; Titus 3:4-7; 1Peter 1:2).
Election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2Timothy 1:9).
Justification. Justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4;2Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1Corinthians 12:3; 2Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1Corinthians 1:30; 2Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
Sanctification. Every believer is sanctified unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1Peter 1:2).
There is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19;Romans 6:1-22; 2Corinthians 3:18; 1Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23). In this respect, every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1Peter 1:14-16; 1John 3:5-9).
Security. All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1Peter 1:5; Jude 24).
All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the invisible Church (1Corinthians 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).
The elect of all ages constitute the invisible church (Hebrews 11), while those persons throughout the whole world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience to God by Christ according to that gospel, constitute the visible Church (Acts 11:26; 14:23, Galatians 1:2).
The establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1Thessalonians 1:1; 2Thessalonians 1:1) and the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
The one supreme authority for the Church is Christ (1Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor/teachers ( Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11). God also provides the office of deacons for areas of service. Both elders and deacons must meet biblical qualifications (1Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Peter 5:1-5). Within each local assembly, God raises up men to serve in these designated offices of authoritative leadership, teaching, and service. The local assembly recognizes and affirms this divine calling. Women are not called by God into the roles of authoritative teaching, preaching, and leadership over the whole church (1Timothy 2:11–12), but are to use their gifts in other appropriate ways that build up the Church and spread the Gospel. (Acts 6:4; 14:23; 18:26, 20:28-31; Romans 16:1-6; Ephesians 4:11,12; 1Timothy 2:12, 5:17; Titus 1:5, 2:3-5; 1Peter 5:1-3).
The Lord gives all believers spiritual gifts for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, building up the body of Christ, and giving God glory in all things (Ephesians 4:7-12; Romans 12:5-8; 1Corinthians 12:4-31; 1Peter 4:10-11). God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and He will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, afflicted, and lost (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; 2Corinthians 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1John 5:14-15).
One of the marks of the true Church is Biblical discipline and correction. For believers to continue to grow up into Christ it is of vital importance that there be discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:11-14), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matthew 18:5-14), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1Corinthians 5:1-13; 2Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).
The purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the gospel (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42) and by rejoicing in suffering (Romans 5:3-5; 1Peter 4:12–19).
Baptism. Two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’upper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism is to the person baptized a sign of his fellowship with Christ, in His death, burial, and resurrection, of his being ingrafted into Him (Galatians 3:27), of remission of sins (Mark 1:4), and of his giving up himself to God through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-11). For an infant of believing parents, it is a sign of the covenant promises and is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ.
We believe that although infant baptism places us under the privileges of an external (non-saving) covenant relationship with God, we need the personal regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to bring us into the covenant of grace in an internal (saving) covenant relationship with God (Romans 2:28-29 John 3:3).
Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1Corinthians 11:28-32). Whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people (1Corinthians 10:16). The Lord’s Supper is the sign of the New Covenant (Luke 22:19-20; 1Corinthians 11:23-26; Hebrews 12:24).
Holy Angels. Angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. They are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9).
Fallen Angels. Satan is a created angel and he incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).
Satan (The Devil) is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-10); he is the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20); and he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). Until that time the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to destroy. The saved in Christ are to be sober-minded and watchful, resisting him firm in the faith and he will flee from them (1Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7).
Death. Physical death involves no loss of spiritual consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11), the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2Corinthians 5:8), there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21-24), and for the redeemed, such separation will continue until Christ returns (1Thessalonians 4:13-17) Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 5:8).
There will be a bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15).
The Bodily Return of Christ. We look forward to the personal, visible, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13; John 14:1-3), the resurrection of the dead, the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth (2Peter 3:4-13; Revelation 21:1-8). Those who are with Christ in heaven will be given new bodies first, and then living believers will be joined with Christ also receiving their new bodies (1Corinthians 15:51-53; 1Thessalonians 4:15-5:11).
The Judgment. The souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the soul and the resurrection body are united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Judgment and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), committed to an eternal judgement of conscious torment, cut off from the love of God and experience the full wrath of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:13-15).
Eternal Life. The saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells and in this way we will always be with the Lord (Ephesians 5:5; 1Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21).
Anchor of Hope Church holds to the Five Solas of the Reformation
Scripture alone: The Bible is the inspired, sufficient, infallible and inerrant Word of God, and it is the only rule and authority for faith and practice. This means that we endeavor to submit unconditionally to everything the Bible teaches (2Timothy 3:16).
Grace alone: We can only be saved from sin and its consequences by the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. This manifestation of God’s sovereign goodness to sinners, which excludes all human merit, the Bible calls the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8). Our salvation is altogether of God; from beginning to end, it is only by God’s free mercy and grace.
Faith alone: Salvation is not the result of our own accomplishments or works, but is obtained only by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atonement accomplished on Calvary’s cross. By faith in the perfect obedience of Christ we become righteous before God, trusting only in the finished work of Christ (Hebrews 4:2).
Christ alone: The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5), who has made an effective, complete and final atonement for sin. Therefore, He is the only One through whom we can be reconciled with our Creator, whom we have offended by our sins. Only Christ’s perfect sacrifice of the cross and righteousness are acceptable to God (John 14:6), and through Him we have direct access to God.
Glory to God alone: The primary purpose of our existence is to live to God’s glory, which therefore is the primary purpose of our salvation. This means that all honor and glory for our salvation must be given to God alone (Revelation 7:12).
Anchor of Hope Church holds to the Five Doctrines of Grace
Anchor of Hope Church stresses the sovereignty of God’s grace in salvation, which is powerfully illustrated by the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism” as formulated by the Synod of Dort, now commonly known by their acronym, TULIP. These five points (the Five Doctrines of Grace) can be succinctly summarized as follows:
Total depravity (sovereign grace needed): man is so depraved and corrupted by sin in every part of his being that he is by nature incapable and unwilling of doing any spiritual good and cannot effect any part of his salvation (Genesis 6:5);
Genesis 6:5-6 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Psalm 53:2-3 God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. (3) They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Unconditional election (sovereign grace conceived): from eternity past, God chose to save certain individuals irrevocably to everlasting life and glory in Christ Jesus without seeing any intrinsic goodness in them, and He ordained the means by which they would be saved (Romans 9:15–16);
Romans 9:15-16 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (16) So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Limited atonement (sovereign grace merited): while the death of Christ is sufficient to cover the sins of the world, its saving efficacy is intentionally limited to His elect sheep whose sins He bore and for whom He fully satisfied the justice of God on the cross (John 17:9);
John 17:9-10 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. (10) All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Irresistible grace (sovereign grace applied): God irresistibly calls the elect to saving faith and salvation in Christ with such sovereign power that they can no longer resist His grace, but are made willing in the day of His power (Psalm 110:3; John 6:44-45); and,
John 6:44-47 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (45) It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me– (46) not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. (47) Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
Perseverance (sovereign grace preserved): those whom God saves, He graciously preserves in the state of grace so that they will never be lost. They may be troubled by infirmities as they seek to make their calling and election sure, but they will persevere until the end, fighting the good fight of faith until the final victory shall be realized in the coming again of their Savior and Lord as Judge (John 10:28). John 10:25-31 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, (26) but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (30) I and the Father are one.” (31) The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.
Though the five solas summarize major dimensions of doctrinal Calvinism and the five points summarize soteriological Calvinism, these ten teachings do not summarize all of Calvinism. That would leave us with a truncated view of the Reformed faith. To mention only a few additional areas, we believe that Calvinism also involves:
In short, the Reformed faith is passionately committed to bring every thought and area of life into captivity to the service of Christ. We believe that all these doctrines of grace give glory to God, strengthen believers, and earnestly and lovingly call unbelievers to come to Christ without delay.
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