FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH OUR CHURCH STANDS
At the time of the Reformation, several important principles were affirmed.¬† As a church committed to Reformed theology, we hold these foundational principles to be crucial in the life and practice of our church:
Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone).¬† This phrase expresses the basic Reformation
belief that no source other than Scripture should be the authority in matters of faith and practice.¬† The church's only authority lies in the authority of Scripture.¬† The Scriptures are completely sufficient for all the Christian needs to know, believe, and practice in the Christian life.¬† It also affirms that what we believe and practice is based on a revelation from God in the Scriptures¬† (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).¬†
Sola Gratia (by grace alone).¬† This phrase affirms that we are saved from the wrath and justice of God by his grace alone.¬† The Bible states that man is dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) and has no moral ability, desire, or will to come to Christ on his own (John 6:44-45, 63-65; 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7-8).¬† Therefore, God is the sovereign initiator of our salvation (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:4-5; Romans 9:16).¬† Even faith and repentance are gifts from God (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:26).¬† Salvation, from beginning to end, is a matter of God's grace.¬† This gives us confidence in evangelism since it is God who makes the proclamation of the gospel effective.
Sola Fide (by faith alone).¬† We are saved by faith in Christ alone.¬† While good works flow from faith and demonstrate faith, they do not contribute to our salvation in any way (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Solus Christus (by Christ alone).¬† Salvation only comes from the accomplished work of Christ.¬† There is no way of salvation except through Christs perfect work (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).¬† Christ, as Prophet, Priest, and King, is the only mediator of God's covenant relationship with his people (1 Tim. 2:5).¬† No one can enter God's presence except through faith in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria (for God's glory alone).¬† Our Triune God alone receives all the glory for our salvation and anything we have or accomplish in our lives.¬† This idea is based on the other Reformation principles.¬† God, the Father elects us to salvation (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:9); God, the Son redeems his elect (Eph. 1:7; Matt. 1:21; Rev. 5:9-10; John 17:2); God, the Holy Spirit applies salvation to the elect of God (Eph. 1:13-14; Titus 3:5).¬† Since God, in his mercy and grace, is the initiator of our salvation, then God alone receives all the glory.¬† As a church, we do not exist for ourselves, but only to give glory to God.¬† This also means that we encourage the individual members of our church to cultivate in their lives an attitude of living for God's glory in all that they do (1 Cor. 10:31).