At our church, you will hear the word “gospel” repeatedly because it is the most important truth that we can know and experience. The gospel is not merely a message that needs to be shared with non-Christians, but also with Christians. It is not something that mature Christians move on from, but rather something that they move deeper into. The gospel is the lens in which we should view theology, ministry, and all aspects of life.
The Apostle Paul defined the word “gospel” concisely in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 when he wrote, “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” Simply put, the gospel is all about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and the implications it has for us.
The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” It is the good news of God taking on flesh through the person Jesus Christ and rescuing mankind by His perfect life that we could never live, His substitutionary death that we deserved, and the resurrection that now gives us true life through His Spirit. While the gospel can be stated in a sentence, it is also the grand narrative that is told throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The gospel is the glorious story of how God is reconciling the whole world back to Himself through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. It is personal, yet cosmic. It is simple, yet infinite.
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. Perfectly equal in their divinity, however subordinate in responsibility; the Son submits to the will of the Father & the Holy Spirit is submitted to the will of the Father & the Son. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in His love and in His holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, He perfectly and completely knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about His eternal good purposes to redeem a people for Himself and restore His fallen creation, to the praise of His glorious grace. (Genesis 1:2, 26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17; John 1:1-5; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:16-21)
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, and is our supreme authority in our faith and life. In it God reveals Himself to be one God, eternally existing in three persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe all people are sinners, are thereby sentenced to eternal separation from God, and are in need of personal reconciliation through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for their salvation. Those who trust Christ as their Savior are indwelled by the Holy Spirit who enables them to live godly lives in obedience to Christ and demonstrating His love towards others.
We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen. (Jn. 5:24, 3:16; Mk. 9:43-50; 2 Thess. 1:9)
|We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth begotten of the Holy Spirit, His sinless life, His substitutionary death on the cross for our sins, His ascension into heaven, and His present intercession for those who follow Him.|
We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation and being made right with God. (Rom. 3:21-26; Eph. 1:27; Heb. 7:22-28)
We believe that salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, 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 is present with and in believers through the proclamation of the Gospel. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. By His powerful and mysterious work, He regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening and persuading them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus, so they are justified before God. By the Spirit’s working, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive His sovereignly distributed gifts. 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 Christ-like living and service. (Jn. 14:15-27, 16:7-15; Acts 16:14; Rom. 8:1-30; 1 Cor. 12:3; 12-14; 2 Cor. 3:4-18; Eph. 1:13-14, 2:4-5, 5:18; 1 Thes. 1:4-5)
We believe that we are not simply saved as individuals, but that we are saved “into” something called the Church. This is given many different names in Scripture but the primary one is that of a family or the “household of God” (Eph. 2-3). We are to relate to God as our Father and each other as brothers and sisters “in Christ.” This leads to a deep loving community that displays the power of the gospel to a watching world (John 13:35).
We believe that the local church is an autonomous group of believers who join their lives together by the Gospel. Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
The local church is governed by the scriptures and operates under the Lordship of Christ with Pastor-Elders leading the people toward faithfulness in Christ. The office of the Pastor-Elder is limited to men as qualified by the scriptures. (Acts 2:42-47; Eph. 1:22-23; 1 Pet. 2:9-10)
We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With the gospel, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed. We believe that all Christians are called to a life of godly character, devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and service to Him.
We believe that the gospel is not only the entry point into the Christian life, but is also the dynamic by which we relate to God. Growing in godliness happens by continually reflecting on the gospel, or “good news” of Jesus’ death and resurrection on our behalf. As we reflect on this, and God’s Word, we become aware of just how big the separation is between our sinfulness and God’s standard. This often happens simultaneously with growth in holiness. As we become more and more aware of just how big the separation is, the gospel becomes more and more important, the cross becomes more and more central, and, as a result, we are driven to worship, rather than pride or despair. (Eph. 5:18; 2 Cor. 6:14, 7:1, Rom. 12:1-2, Eph. 4:32, Col. 1:22-24)
|We believe in the imminent return of Christ, and in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost – the saved unto eternal life and the lost unto eternal judgment.|
We are therefore to go to all people, making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to love, serve, and obey Christ as their Lord and Savior.
For a more detailed expression of our church beliefs, please see the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Our church willingly affiliates with the Baptist Convention of New England, The Western Connecticut Baptist Association and The Great Commission Baptist Convention.