All of Life is All for Jesus

The Gospel is more than a ticket to heaven. It is the true story of the world. It defines everything.

Convictions

The following are practical issues that we have chosen to take positions on out of our conviction that Scripture gives clear guidance to each. All theology is practical, but because these issues deal more specifically with the nature, organization, and functioning of the church we have chosen to place them in their own section, distinct from the broad theology outlined in the Doctrine section.


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Distinctives

In this second section we focus on some of the specific things that make Redemption Church distinct. We will look at the values that drive us and the multi-congregational structure of our church. By entering the covenant relationship of membership, you are embracing the distinctives of Redemption Church and agreeing to be an integral part.


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Revelation

God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness inhibit the possibility of knowing God’s truth completely, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel. This Word yields to us the True Story of the whole world.

Trinity

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.

Humanity

We believe God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents and representatives to care for, manage, cultivate, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.

Singleness & Marriage

Not all persons are called to be married; singleness is a vocation of dignity, value, and worth with its own ways to serve the kingdom of God and contribute to the life of the world. In many ways, singleness can be a preferable calling in God’s Kingdom.

Marriage is an institution of creation. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other, as male and female, in a “one flesh” union with both a unitive dimension (the ability to unite two bodies as one), and a procreative dimension (the vehicle through which children are brought into the world).2 Marriage is thus the foundation for family, the sacred building block of society that builds up humanity, and designed to image God in a covenant of faithful love. Jesus affirms the “one flesh” union of male and female as the normative pattern for sex and marriage and highlights the sacred indissolubility of the bond.

Marriage is also an image of salvation, designed to display Christ and his Bride, in faithful love, mutual service, and an unbreakable union that brings life to the world. God ordains that spouses assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church: the husband taking initiative to love, care for, and serve his wife, while she lovingly and willfully follows his leadership as they partner to shape the culture of their home.

God intends sex to be only practiced within marriage and prohibits any sexual activity outside of this one-man and one-woman covenant (such as, pornography, adultery, pre-marital sex, same-sex sexual activity). As followers of Jesus, we give our bodies to God, pursuing sexual fidelity as an avenue of faithfulness.

Fall

We need to be reconciled with God. We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by rebelling against God through Satan’s temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, relationally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself. Humanity’s rebellion does not only affect humanity; it disintegrated the whole of creation and subjected it to futility. Sin now is contained within the mores and structures of both biology and society. While the creational structures of the world remain fundamentally good, the distorting power of sin means they have been radically misdirected.

Election

We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. This election is not only a privilege, it is a responsibility; in love, God commands and implores all people through the church to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.

Good News

We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news is:

Christ-Centered — centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central; the message is “Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised.”
Biblical — his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures
Saving — Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God.
Sanctifying — the grace of God applied by the Spirit trains us to renounce ungodliness.
Historical — if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and
we are to be pitied more than all others.
Apostolic — the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of
these saving events.
Personal — where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved.
Communal — God is saving a people, not just a smattering of individuals.
Political — Jesus is the True King, announcing that the Kingdom of God has come near.
Cosmic — Jesus is comprehensively restoring all of Creation.

Jesus

We believe that, in love for us and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah (Savior-King) of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As our Mediator, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, appeased God’s wrath, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was proved righteous by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. No human being can ever boast before him.

Justification

We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully released the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Christ was freely given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own. This justification is solely of grace in order that God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a passion for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification.

Holy Spirit

We believe that salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and, as the “other” Advocate, is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work gives new life to spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, and in him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance, and in this age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

Kingdom

We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world nor become indistinguishable from it. Rather, we are to do good to the city, for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God. Recognizing whose created order this is, and because we are citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world anticipating the redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.

Church

We believe that God’s new covenant people have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem; having been made new, they are reigning with Christ over the powers of sin and death. This universal church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each ”local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, her members’ love for one another, and for the world. Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace. He has not only brought about peace with God but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. The church serves as the presence of God’s inbreaking kingdom, and as a sign of God’s future new world when her members live for the service of one another and their neighbors rather than for self-focus. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.

Restoration

We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, at which time he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be finally and fully established. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. All evil will be wiped away, all brokenness healed, and all injustice rectified; the entire fabric of creation will be renewed having been healed in Christ. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all; his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his indescribable holiness and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.

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