Beliefs

Emmaus Church is a Reformed church, affirming the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation. We endorse the beliefs articulated in the Cambridge Declaration and the Abstract of Principles.

Statement of Faith

Article One: Scripture -The Word of God Recorded

The Bible is the living, breathing Word of God. Every word of sacred Scripture is divinely inspired and was recorded perfectly by human authors guided by the Holy Spirit. It is the absolute rule of faith and practice in the Christian life.

The sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible, as originally written, are without error and wholly sufficient for the Christian life. The Bible does not tell us everything that can be known but what it does tell us is exactly what God intended to reveal and can be trusted completely. Because it is the source of truth, it is by Scripture that we make sense of our world and how we are to relate to it. Though there are varying opinions on the application and meaning of some of Scripture, all that is necessary for salvation and sanctification is revealed clearly in Scripture.

The Bible is central to Christian maturity. It reveals who God is, who man is and what is required of man by the Creator God. Through the Bible, we are conformed to the image of the Son, grow in knowledge and discernment, and in love for both God and man. Therefore, the Bible is the source of a Christian’s growth.

For further reading on the reliability of the Bible, we recommend the following books.

Article Two: God

There is but one God, eternal, perfect in all ways, without change and completely sovereign over all of creation. He is the creator of all things, yet himself without beginning or end. God is unlimited in his knowledge, perfectly knowing the past, present and future. Nothing that has happened or will happen can occur outside of the providence and decree of God.

God is the source of all good; of grace, mercy, and love. He is perfectly holy, completely righteous and the sole judge and justifier. He is free from all impurities and imperfections.

God exists eternally in three persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian nature of God is part of God’s essence; not manifestations in different time periods but three persons uncreated, distinct, and yet harmonious in the Godhead.

For further reading on the doctrine of God, we recommend the following books.

Article Three: God the Son

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, fully God and fully human. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born in the flesh by the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, was crucified on the cross for our sins and rose bodily from the grave on the third day. He is now seated in Heaven, ascended to the right hand of God the Father, and intercedes for His body, the church. He is the sole mediator between God and man.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will one day return to the earth and will reign eternally in the New Heavens and New Earth. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The person of Jesus Christ is the central theme of the entire Bible. All of the narratives lead to Him. The prophets looked forward to Him. And all of the promises of God are fulfilled in God the Son.

For further reading on the doctrine of the Son of God, we recommend the following books.

Article Four: God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the eternal, Spirit of God. He has been sent into the world to convict it of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit regenerates the heart of fallen man, brings rebirth, and reveals Jesus Christ as Savior. Upon rebirth, the Spirit indwells the believer enabling and empowering them with gifts for ministry and drawing them into closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit guides the believer into understanding of the character and the will of God through the reading and hearing of the Word of God. The singular purpose of the Holy Spirit’s mission is to reveal, proclaim and conform those that are saved to the image of the Son of God.

For further reading on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, we recommend the following books.

Article Five: Anthropology – Doctrine of Man

Man was created in the image of God. The first man, Adam, was created from the ground, and the first woman, Eve, was created from the side of man. Man was created by God for the express purpose of glorifying God through the multiplication of his kind and the spreading over the entire earth of offspring that imaged their Creator God.

Both Adam and Eve rebelled against the revealed word of God and were exiled from his presence. The consequence of their fall included death – spiritual and physical. All humanity, descended from the first couple, has likewise rebelled against their Creator, being sinners by nature and choice. They are justly guilty from birth before God and incapable and even unwilling to please God.

Outside of the gracious work of God, man will die in his sin and receive his just punishment of eternal torment.

For further reading on the doctrine of man, we recommend the following books.

Article Six: Soteriology – Doctrine of Salvation

Salvation from sin and its consequences and access to God is possible only through the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross, his substitutionary death and propitiation of the wrath of God. Sinners are saved by no work of their own but solely by faith in Jesus Christ alone. This faith itself is a gracious gift of God.

When a sinner believes in Christ for salvation, he is immediately declared righteous before God. This righteousness is the righteousness of Christ imputed to the believer. The sinner is justified, completely rescued from the penalty of sin, through faith in Christ alone.

Acknowledgement of Christ’s saving work on behalf of the sinner necessarily leads to repentance of sin and a turning to God. A believer is a new creation, dead to sin and alive to Christ, reconciled to God through the blood of the Son. The believer is transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The cross of Christ is absolutely sufficient for the salvation of all who believe. There is nothing else that can be added to salvation.

For further reading on the doctrine of salvation, we recommend the following books.

Article Seven: Sanctification – Doctrine of Holiness

At the moment of salvation, the believer is transferred into the kingdom of God and declared righteous through the cross of Jesus Christ. He is set apart for God. In this sense, the believer’s position before God is settled and he is adopted as a son and co-heir with Christ.

However, there is another side of sanctification. It is the ongoing process of the maturation of the believer as he/she dies to sin and conforms to the image of the Son. This transition is what we call growing in Christ. It is a lifelong process whereby the believer becomes more Christ-like in their life and less like the world. The ultimate in Christ-likeness is not attainable in this life. There is no possibility of reaching a point of perfection. Instead, the Christian continues to grow in Christ and battle against the flesh throughout their life.

A true believer’s life will be marked by growth in the Lord even while struggling with sin and temptation. The escalation of holiness in the life of the believer is a sign of assurance and produces a love for the things that God loves, specifically a desire to evangelize the lost, a life of prayer and a devotion to the Word of God. Where maturation in Christ is absent, there is no compelling reason to feel assured of salvation.

The process of sanctification is a fruit of the gospel. It does not and cannot produce salvation. It is the evidence of the Spirit’s work in the life of the believer.

For further reading on the doctrine of sanctification, we recommend the following books.

Article Eight: Ecclesiology – Doctrine of the Church

Jesus Christ is the head of the church and the sole mediator between man and God. The church – which means “called out ones” – consists of all the saints of all time in all places. The church also consists of local, particular bodies of disciples that gather regularly for worship to the Lord, the preaching and teaching of Scriptures and exhortations to live in obedience to the gospel of Christ.

The church recognizes two ordinances. These are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the washing of the believer in water as a visible representation of the death of a believer to his old life and the rising of a new life in Christ. The Lord’s Supper is done in remembrance of Christ’s atoning death on behalf of the body of the church. The Lord’s Supper also looks forward to the day of Christ’s return where he will again partake of the cup of wine with his disciples. Both ordinances, while mandated by the Lord Jesus himself, are representative in nature – visualizing a spiritual truth – and do not confer salvation on an individual.

For further reading on the doctrine of the church, we recommend the following books.

Article Nine: Eschatology – Doctrine of Last Things

Jesus Christ will return to the earth physically, visibly to all, and suddenly at a time that no one knows nor expects. The return of Christ will signal the end of this age, the final judgment, and usher in the new heaven and the new earth. All those who have been saved since the dawn of time will live bodily and eternally with the Lord Jesus Christ.

For further reading on the doctrine of eschatology, we recommend the following books.