1) The Triune God
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 worthy to receive all glory and adoration.
2) The Scriptures
We believe that God has inspired the words of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. These writings alone constitute the Word of God, utterly authoritative, 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. We hold to the classical verbal plenary view of inspiration which leads to the conclusion that the Word of God is both infallible and inerrant.
3) The Sovereignty of God
We believe that the personal Triune God of the Bible owns and controls all things according to His will. We further believe that He is always in absolute control of His universe. While He often chooses to work in concurrence with second causes, He so preserves and governs His universe that His will is accomplished. While not believing that we understand everything surrounding the “Problem of Evil”, we do believe that our King so bounds, orders, and governs even sin so that He eventually causes all things to work for good for those who love Him and are called to according to His purposes.
4) The Creation
We believe that God alone has existed from eternity past and in His wisdom decided to create the universe using nothing which had preexisted. We further believe that mankind did not evolve but that God created human beings, male and female, in His own image. 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 significant engagement in family, church, and civic life. Men and women were created with dignity in the Image of God and also created in humility in that their aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
5) The Fall
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 falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being and condemned to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. After the Fall, we are all born into a state of sin and characterized by totally depravity; and thus no human being is capable in his own nature to please God, to merit God’s pleasure, or to save himself.
6) The Plan of God
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. This is due solely to His glorious mercy and has nothing to do with any merit within the sinful humans. In love, God commands and implores all people to repent and believe. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus Christ and that He will one day also glorify these His children.
7) The Centrality of Christ
We believe in the centrality of Jesus Christ in God’s gracious plan of salvation. He alone is the Mediator of this Covenant of Grace. As Mediator, He represents both God and mankind and thus fulfills three offices:
Prophet: He isGod’s spokesman to His Church. Even today, He still functions as prophet as He reveals to His Church (via Word and Spirit) the will of God for our salvation and life.
Priest: He is the Church’s representative to the throne of God. In His atonement, Christ was our representative—taking our sins upon Himself and offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and to reconcile us to God. In His intercession, He sits on the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us in prayer as our representative.
King: He is the Lord of the Church. He subdues us, rules over us as our Sovereign King, and defends us against the kingdom of darkness.
We believe in His Incarnation which testifies to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God—conceived through the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, only-begotten, both truly human and truly divine.
We believe in His Atonementwhich testifies to the fact that Jesus is the Savior. He a sinless man, died on the cross as a substitute for all those who would believe and follow Him. His death is the key to our redemption—the only way to the abundant life now and to eternal life forever.
We believe in His Resurrectionwhich testifies to the fact that Jesus is Lord. His historical resurrection ushered in His Kingdom which is already here but which is hidden to all those except God’s true children. By His resurrection, Christ Jesus was vindicated by His Father and is the sign of victory over death, Satan, and hell; His resurrection is the first-fruit and promise of our resurrection.
We believe in His Ascensionwhich testifies to the fact that Jesus is God. Jesus Christ sits on the throne of God at the right hand of the Father and prepares a place for us to be with Him.
We believe in His Uniqueness. Salvation is found in no one else.
8) The Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that this salvation 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 "another Helper," is present with and in believers.
Regeneration: God the Holy Spirit by His powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners and awakens them to the possibilities of a new life with God.
Effectual calling: God the Holy Spirit effectually calls us to Himself, convincing us of our sin, and persuading and enabling us to receive Christ by faith.
Conversion: He leads us into our conscious response to God’s effectual calling and regeneration. Conversion will always result in the same two manifestations of being “born again”. He will awaken in us faithbywhich we trust Christ and Christ alone for our eternal salvation. He will awaken in us our need for repentance which is a turning away from sin with remorse, redirection of life, and restitution (where possible).
Justification: He saves us from the penaltyof sin. Once converted, this justification is a past tense statement: We have been saved from the penalty of sin, have been given an instant new legal status before God, have had Christ’s righteousness imputed to us, and have been adopted into His family as children of God.
Sanctification: He saves us from the powerof sin. Once converted, this sanctification is a present tense statement: We are being saved from the power of sin; our condition is daily becoming like Christ; this is a new life before God—a lifetime pilgrimage of dying unto sin and living unto righteousness; the Holy Spirit uses the
Law to lead us deeper and deeper into repentance and a renewed sense of our need for grace; Christ’s righteousness is implanted in us on a daily basis.
Glorification: He saves us from the presenceof sin. Once converted, this glorification is a future tense statement: We shall be saved from the presence of sin; our expectation is to be like Christ; glorification will occur when we die or Jesus returns, whichever comes first; there will be no more struggle with sin whatsoever in the State of Glory.
9) The War of Christ
We believe that Christ is King over His Church and is leading His People in a war against the forces of darkness. We believe that we are called to follow the Warrior King, to storm the gates of hell, and to drive back the influence of darkness in ourselves, our homes, our workplaces, our community, our culture, our country, and ourworld.
We believe that following the Lordship of Christ in our lives is the key dynamic by which we participate in this war of our King. We are called to learn the truths of His Kingdom, to pick up His cross, and to follow Him as disciples.
In relationship to other persons: We are called to minister, to love, to care for, to forgive, to accept, and to be reconciled with other human beings. We are to serve others. The greatest act of love which a believer can do for a non-believer is to share the Gospel with him.
In relationship to our homes: We are called to establish His biblical principles to be the fundamental fabric governing the life of our families. Husbands and fathers are to be the spiritual heads of their homes. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves His Church. Wives and mothers are called to follow their husbands with respect for his calling. Children are to be raised up in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord. The family is the indispensable arena where the war must be fought and won—where the light must drive back the darkness. Christ must be the King of our covenantal families.
In relationship to our workplaces: We are called to do our work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that it is Christ whom we serve and Christ who will reward us (Col. 3: 23-24). Our workplaces are not only the places where we earn the livelihood with which we provide for our families but our workplaces are also our “stage of influence” upon which we witness to our co-workers, employers, and employees as to the Glory of the Warrior King whom we follow.
In relationship to our community and culture: We are called to live as salt in a decaying world and as light in a world of shadows and confusion. We are called to be God’s agents for mercy and justicein the world which consistently facilitates the bruising and discouragement of the “have-nots” of society. Furthermore, it is our calling to be the voice of truth (His truths) in a world of relativism and compromise whereby each one does what is right is his own eyes.
In relationship to Our Church: We are called to be active, growing, gifted parts of the Family of God here at Covenant Grace.
In relationship to the world: We are given the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our Jerusalem, to our Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of earth (Acts 1:8). We do this primarily by going, by giving, and by praying for the evangelical mandate to go to the world.
10) The Priority of the Church
The Church is the Body of Christ and the Family of God. It is the true community of faith which serves as the chief sphere of God’s activity in the world. We are not called to operate as “lone ranger” Christians, but are called to serve Him together.
We feel called to serve Him as a local autonomous congregation and are not presently called to identify with any particular denomination. We feel called to initially function as an autonomous biblical evangelical church which has her roots in both reformed and covenantal theology. As a local autonomous church, we wish to serve and to follow Him. We believe that there are many other healthy branches of the Visible Church in the Piedmont Triad who are doing great works for the Lord. Covenant Grace wishes to serve Christ alongside and hopefully in conjunction with these other parts of Christ’s Church.
We believe that the Visible Church consists of all those persons, together with their children, who profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and promise submission to His laws. Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church. Covenant Grace is part of the Visible Church. The Visible Church is the visible manifestation of the Invisible Church and is the ordinary means of the spread of the Gospel and the building up of the saints. The Visible Church uses the Word, the sacraments and prayer to accomplish Christ’s mission.
We believe that the Invisible Churchis made up of all God’s true people of all times.
11) The Sacraments of the Church
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself and are the sign and seals of His Covenant of Grace.
Baptismis the sacrament connected with entrance into the Covenant People of God. We believe that Jesus did not instruct upon a specific method of baptism; therefore, we both recognize and practice all three of the biblically valid modes of baptism: immersion which signifies death to sin and resurrection with Christ; sprinkling which signifies the cleansing or purification from sin; and pouring which signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, we believe that the Word of God gives us a biblical basis for holding to both believer’s baptism and covenant baptism. Therefore, in terms of the proper object of baptism, we feel a freedom to have in our church family a broader view on who may be baptized than may be found in other biblical evangelical churches. We have members who hold to “believer baptism” only as their personal conviction. We also have members who hold to “covenant baptism” which calls for baptism to be administered to adult believers and their covenantal children. We agree to hold our views of baptism loosely and to disagree agreeably with respect for others who understand the teachings of Scripture on this subject differently.
The Lord’s Supper is the sacrament whereby God’s Children are spiritually nourished within the covenant faith. Christ is spiritually present, but not physically present, in the elements of this sacrament.
12) The Restoration of All Things
We believe in the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to eternal conscious punishment in hell and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb. On that day the Church will be presented faultless before God by Christ, and His people will be enthralled by the immediacy of His ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.
We acknowledge that there are a variety of theories concerning the events of the final restoration (tribulation, rapture, millennium, resurrection, final judgment, etc.) which grow out of different interpretations of Scripture. We encourage a diligent sifting of all these positions through a faithful examination of God’s Word.
We recognize that earnest bible-believing members of Covenant Grace may disagree upon the specifics in their beliefs concerning the final or last things such as the Intermediate State, the Second Coming, the Millennium, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Resurrection, or the Last Judgment (eschatological views). We agree to hold our eschatological views loosely and to disagree agreeably with respect for others who understand the teachings of Scripture on this subject differently.