"What We Believe"
The core of our faith, the "what we believe" encompasses our basic convictions of what we understand the Scripture to teach. Our core beliefs can be summarized in five words: Christian, Evangelical, Reformational, Charismatic, and Apostolic. These describe five distinctive positions we hold regarding biblical doctrine. We will briefly review these individually.
We are "Christians" which distinguishes us from other world religions and cults. Therefore, we adhere to historical Christian orthodoxy as found in the Apostles' creed. We also embrace and adopt the historic Nicene and Chalcedon creeds (seen below in our statement of faith).
By "evangelical" we mean that we ascribe to the doctrinal conviction that the means God has chosen to save people is the proclamation of the gospel (in contrast to participation in sacraments such as baptism, or membership in a church). This term evangelical also communicates our conviction that Scripture commissions and instructs us regarding our individual and corporate evangelizing through a witness of both words and the way we live.
The Gospel Coalition
Pastor Chip Buhler and 20Twenty Vision are members of The Gospel Coalition
Statement of Faith
We adopt the statement of faith that is shared by millions of evangelical Christians throughout the world, which is also that of The National Association of Evangelicals in the US.
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
* - The word "catholic" refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And We believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Council of Chalcedon
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
The essential biblical truths that we teach are consistent with the fundamental teaching of the Protestant Reformation, which is why we identify ourselves as "Reformational". This is not to say that we wish to perpetuate the division or animosity aroused by some disputes of the Reformation. It is to say, however, that we are committed to the emphasis of the Reformation on salvation by grace and not by works. Moreover, we hold to the absolute and governing authority of the Bible (over individuals and ecclesiastical organizations). This means the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) are to have the final say on the truth or falsity of any doctrinal claim (in the Spirit of Christ).
There are five historic statements that come from the Reformation, known as the "Great Sola's" of the Protestant churches ("sola" is the Latin word for "only", and is often translated as "alone"). These five foundational statements are widely considered to express the biblical truths recovered and restored in the Reformation. The "Great Sola's" are as follows:
Sola Gratia, Sola Fida, Solo Christo, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria !
"Grace alone" This indicates that salvation is by grace alone. It is not by "works" (i.e. - our good deeds or efforts) but is solely by the unmerited favour of God.
"Faith alone" This indicates saving grace is gifted to believers by God through faith alone - and this itself is the gift of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
"Christ alone" This indicates that the salvation which is by grace is through a faith in the person and "finished work" of Christ in redemption.
"The Scriptures alone" This indicates that the believers faith is grounded in the Holy Scriptures - the revealed Word of God in the Bible. It is not based on Christian tradition or any other authority - nor any mixture of such.
Soli Deo Gloria
"The Glory of God alone" This indicates that all that we are and all that we do as believers is to be for God's glory alone - and this was and is His sovereign purpose in Creation and Redemption.
By "Charismatic" we mean that we are committed to the present day demonstration of the gifts, ministries, and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. This charismatic distinction is both seen in the life of Jesus Christ and outlined in the book of Acts and the first epistle to the Corinthians. Our posture is not just one of tolerating these giftings, but of actively encouraging the discovering, developing and exercising of such in our personal lives and public gatherings as the Holy Spirit inspires and directs their use.
By "Apostolic" we embrace the calling to not only win the lost, but to equip individuals, leaders and churches to reproduce themselves in other lives and locations. In accordance with the New Testament, and in agreement with the use and meaning of the term "apostolic", we believe in a responsibility as messengers of the gospel and representatives of the Kingdom of Heaven to open up new places to the purposes of God. This means we are committed to be influential witnesses wherever we are; and are committed to pioneering ministry initiatives, planting churches, doing cross cultural missions, itenerant preaching, and the training and releasing of leaders. The term "apostolic" also carries with it an understanding that God has given that ministry gift to the church body, and it is functional today.