This is the official Statement of Faith of Emmaus Christian Fellowship. For more detailed information concerning the beliefs of the leadership of Emmaus please see the London Baptist Confession of 1689. For information concerning how these beliefs shape ministry at Emmaus, please see our Theological Vision for Ministry. Both documents are contained within the Foundation Documents of Emmaus Christian Fellowship.
1.The Tri-une God We believe in one God(1), eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit(2), who know, love, and glorify one another(3). This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness(4). He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration(5). Immortal and eternal(6), he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things(7), and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself(8) and restore his fallen creation(9), to the praise of his glorious grace(10).
(1)Deut. 6:4, 1 Tim. 2:5, Is. 44:6 (2) Gen. 1:26, Gal. 1:1, Jn. 1:1,14, 5:8, Acts
2.Revelation God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order(1), and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word(2). Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words(3): we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures(4), the
3.Creation of Humanity We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image(1). Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good(2), serving as God's agents to care for, manage, and govern creation(3), living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker(4). Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus(5) and are both called to move beyond passive
4.The Fall We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original
5.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(1), and to this end foreknew them and chose them(2). We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus(3), and that he will one day glorify
(1)Rev. 5:9, Gen. 3:15, Gen.
6.The Gospel We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus
(1)Acts 8:12, Acts 20:24, Rom.
7.The Redemption of Christ We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father(1), the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures(2). The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary(3). 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(4). As the mediatorial King, 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(5). We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute(6). He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe(7). By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated 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(8); by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him(9). 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(10). Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever boast before
(1)Jn. 3:16, Matt.
8.The Justification of Sinners We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified(1). 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(2). 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(3). Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners(4). We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification(5).
(1)Heb. 10:14, Col.
9.The Power of the Holy Spirit We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit(1). Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ(2), and, as the other Paraclete, is present with and in believers(3). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners(4), 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(5). 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(6). 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
10.The Kingdom of God 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(1): 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(2). Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace(3). 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(4). The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized(5), is the exercise of God's sovereignty in the world toward the eventual 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(6). It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God(7).
(1)Matt. 3:2, 4:17, Jer. 31:31, Lk. 22:20 (2) Matt. 9:2, Col. 2:13, Rom.
11.God's New People We believe that God's new covenant people have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem; they are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies(1). 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(2). The church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever(3). The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members' love for one another and for the world(4). Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked(5). 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(6). The church serves as a sign of God's future new world when its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for
(1)Heb. 7:22, Heb.
12.Baptism and the Lord's Supper We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself(1). The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God's pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things(2).
13.The Restoration of All Things We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated(1). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the
(1)Acts 1:11, Rev.
This Statement of Faith was adopted with permission from The Gospel Coalition, Inc (http://thegospelcoalition.org/). The scripture references were added by the elders of Emmaus Christian Fellowship in the Spring of 2012.