Doctrinal Distinctives

Emmaus Road Reformed Baptist Church Statement of Faith

 

  1. God.We believe in God as revealed in Scripture, (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5-6) eternal (1 Tim. 1:17), knowable (Heb. 1:1-2), sovereign God (Dan. 4:34-35). He knows all things (Psa. 139:1-4), and providentially oversees all things (Mt. 10:29-31). He is merciful (Exod. 34:6), and just (Acts 17:31), loving (1 Jn. 4:8), and holy (Rev. 4:8), great in power (Ps. 147:5) and good in purpose (Rom. 8:28). His glory is our chief concern (1 Cor. 10:31). We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.

 

  1. Scripture.We believe, that while God has revealed himself in his creation (Ps. 19:1-6, Rom. 1:18-20), he has spoken to us most clearly in his word (Jn. 14:25-26, Deut. 6:6-7). The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are breathed out (inspired) by God, holy, complete, infallible, and entirely without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, Jn. 10:35, 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The Bible is our final authority in life, doctrine, and godliness (Mt. 4:4, 2 Pet. 1:3-4).

 

III. Creation. We believe God created the entire universe in 6 days out of nothing (Gen. 1:1, Heb. 11:3), and continues to sustain it by the word of his power (Col. 1:17). Man was the crown of God’s good creation, being created in his own image (Gen. 1:26-27). As image-bearers, we were created to worship God and reflect him in true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-10).

 

  1. Fall.We believe that Adam and Eve, our first parents, rebelled against God and plunged themselves and all their offspring into spiritual ruin (Gen. 3:1-19). Because of Adam’s sin, we are all guilty sinners (Rom. 5:12-21). We come into the world with corrupt natures (Ps. 51:5) and are totally unable to remedy our lost condition (Jer. 13:23, 17:9; John 6:44; Rom. 3:10-12). We are spiritually dead until God makes us alive in Christ (Jn. 6:44, Rom. 3:10-18, Eph. 2:1-5).
  2. Jesus Christ.We believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16). He is fully man and fully God (1 Tim. 2:5, Titus 2:13). He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, suffered, died, and (bodily) rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-8). We believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and paid the penalty for our sins in his death on the cross that we might be counted righteous and forgiven of our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). He was our sacrificial substitute (1 Pet. 3:18). By his death he defeated the devil (Rev. 12:9), removed our guilt (Isa. 53:4-6), and became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), bearing the weight of God’s wrath (1 Jn. 1:8-2:2). He is now seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, and ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25).  We await his personal and bodily return in power and glory (Titus 2:13), when we will be made like Him (1 John 3:2).
  3. The Holy Spirit.We believe the Holy Spirit, working through the word, supernaturally converts (regenerates) the hearts of God’s people by making alive what was spiritually dead (Titus 3:5, 1 Pet. 1:23). The Spirit convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), leads us to repentance (Eze. 36:26-27), causes us to grow in holiness (2 Cor. 3:18), seals us for the day of redemption that we might be assured of our salvation (Eph. 1:13-14), and equips us with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body (1 Cor. 12:7).

 

VII. The Gospel. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16).  The gospel is the good news that God saves sinners, and has procured salvation on the basis of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (1 Tim 1:15; Jn 2:2). It is the calling of every believer to faithfully proclaim Christ and Him crucified, to call sinners to repentance with the promise of forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe.

 

VIII. Salvation. We believe salvation is the sovereign and gracious act of God alone whereby he grants us eternal life by making us alive (regenerate) in Christ (John 1:13, Eph 2:5, Col. 3:13). We believe that we are justified–declared righteous before God–through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone (Gal. 2:16). The only way (Jn. 14:6) to be adopted into God’s family is through union with his Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3-6). We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.  (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:11-13)

 

VII. Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again (Jn 3:5).  We believe that 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 Holy Spirit makes the dead unbeliever alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-6).  This union results in man being made a new creation, and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.

VIII. Justification
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (Rom 4:5); that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (Gal 3:1-3).

 

 

 

  1. Repentance And Faith
    We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.
  2. God’s Purpose Of Grace
    We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God (Rom 8:29-30), according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
  3. Sanctification
    We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by regeneration 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; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2). We believe that 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, prayer, 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; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).

XII. The Perseverance Of Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Pet 1:5).

XIII. The Harmony Of The Law And The Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arises entirely from their love of sin: to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.

 

XIV. The Church. We believe the church is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Eph. 2:11-12, Rev. 5:9-10). Only those who are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone are truly apart of his church. This invisible body, of which Christ Jesus is the head, exists locally, and imperfectly, as the visible church. Jesus Christ has given his church two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 28:19-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-26).

  1. The Lord’s Day
    We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, for holy convocation of God’s people in commemoration of Christ’s resurrection, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God.

XVI. Baptism And The Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.

XVII. Civil Government
We believe that Civil Government is of Divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed (1 Timothy 2:1-2; Romans 13:1-6); except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.

XVIII. The Righteous And The Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.

XIX. The Last Things

We believe Jesus Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Acts 1:11). At his appearing the dead shall be raised and the living and the dead will be judged (1 Cor. 15:20-28). The wicked and unbelieving will be consigned to eternal punishment (Rev. 20:10Rev. 14:15). Those belonging to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth and live in ever-increasing joy to the glory of God (Mt. 25:21Rev. 21:1-5).