This means that we affirm the ancient creeds of the church (The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Chalcedon Creed, and the Athanasian Creed) and we are in general agreement with the major Confessions of the Protestant Reformation (Westminster Standards, The Three Forms of Unity, etc.). We further believe that the creeds, while not the ultimate authority, provide an interpretive authority for our understanding of the Bible. If we come to a different perspective on a particular matter that goes against the general teaching of the ancient creeds and the Reformation confessions, we need to do our interpretive homework very thoroughly. In this regard innovation in Bible interpretation needs to be viewed with at least a great deal of caution!
The “whosesoever will” promises of the Bible are made to sinners without exception or distinction, while affirming the complete sovereignty of God in election and predestination. The Gospel proclaims the necessary truths for one to know to be saved and contains the genuine and sincere promise from God that Christ is offered freely to all sinners and issues even the call, pleading, invitation, and command to believe on Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and justification with God. Jesus even now offers himself to you as Savior and the only qualification you need to meet is that you are a sinner. So the Gospel promise is for you – believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Election and predestination are not the Gospel but give wonderful and gracious assurance to those who come to faith in the Gospel. With this said we nevertheless hold to the five points of Calvinism: Total depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited or Particular Redemption, Irresistible Grace, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
Therefore, for the sake of the truth of the Gospel we affirm the Solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (the Bible is our ultimate authority for faith and practice), Solus Christus (salvation is through Christ alone), Sola Gratia (salvation from the wrath of God is by grace alone, so that salvation from start to finish is not a human work), Sola Fide (salvation is by the means of faith alone and not mixed with works, which are the fruit of saving faith), Soli Deo Gloria (salvation and the life that it produces and all things in all creation are for the worship and glory of God alone).
This means that men and women are both created in the image of God but with different roles in marriage and in the church. Thus, we believe that men are called to leadership in the marriage/home and in the church without abusing God-given authority or being passive in the call to be leaders. So within marriage the husband is responsible lovingly to lead his wife and the wife is called lovingly to follow him as her husband. Likewise in the church the office of elder is to be filled only by men whom God calls. Leadership in the church is not opened to every man as a man but only to those men whom God calls to be servant-leaders, i.e., elder-shepherds.
Therefore, we affirm that compassionate application of the essentials and our church’s important distinguishing theological commitments is the only way to nurture and build up the body of Christ. Doctrine and love go hand in hand and are not to be separated or seen as being at odds with one another. Truth and grace are never separated in the Bible. Of faith, hope, and love the greatest is love. Yet this love is the love that flows from genuine faith in the God of the Gospel and the Gospel of the Living God. It is not generated by the natural or unconverted person. Therefore, our love in Christ for one another must also follow the lines given in the Word of God for its expressions. At the core of the essentials and our distinctive theological commitments is the Gospel of a loving and compassionate God, who is also light and who did not withhold from us His only Son. We are to enter into his love and his light and live out what this means in our fellowship with one another, with other churches who hold to the Gospel essentials, and toward a lost and dying world – so we might indeed practice unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials, and true charity toward all.