The Christ Chapel Statement of Faith
As an evangelical church in Ithaca, NY with a Bible-centered ministry in an intergenerational, international, intentional context:
We believe the Scriptures (the 66 books of the protestant canon) to be the true Word of God, without error in their original autographs. We believe they should be appreciated in their diversity of authorship and genre; revered, studied, and obeyed. These Scriptures shall stand as the final authority in all matters of the life of the church.
We believe in one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who abide in eternal perfect fellowship.
We believe the Father is due all glory, who from love and for glory has willed creation and history, ordained the plan of salvation, and sovereignly rules His created order to perfection.
We believe that Jesus Christ, of one substance with the Father, was begotten of Mary, a virgin, by the Holy Spirit and was born man. He was in every respect as we are but without sin. Living a perfect and holy life, he conducted prophetic and practical ministry until he was betrayed by his people, judged under Pontius Pilate and the Roman system, crucified, died, and was buried. God raised Him from the dead on the third day.
We believe the Holy Spirit, who eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, inhabits the works of God from the dawn of creation through new spiritual birth and through eternity. Toward humanity, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, inspires in truth, regenerates, and making spiritually alive, establishes our relationship with God. He illumines the Scriptures and the person, and gives gifts to men.
We believe that man is created male and female. As a particular expression of His image and an exposition of His church, we believe that God has exclusively reserved marriage and the sexual relationship for exclusive heterosexual lifelong commitment.
Made in the image of God, man was given dominion over creation, to subdue it and rule it to the glory of God. Seduced by Satan, man and woman chose rebellion against God. As a consequence of their sin, they lost the place of intimate fellowship with Him, and were bound over to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual decay, and ultimately death, both physical and spiritual. Apart from Divine intervention, this is the state and fate of all humanity.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace. The Son of God, who was Himself completely without sin, voluntarily took upon Himself our sin in obedience to the will of the Father. By His death in the sinner’s place, the just for the unjust, He conquered sin, death, the grave, and the devil. He made a full and complete atonement. In raising Christ from the dead on the third day, God bore witness to the completion of His atoning work, establishing our justification, and affirming Him as the only mediator between God and mankind.
We believe that all persons are sinners and under condemnation, but that those who repent and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior become children of God through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
We believe there is a created unseen realm populated by spiritual beings: angels, who delight in God and are servants to His people; and demons, who hate God and wage war against all He loves and desires. Satan (the fallen archangel) and his demons were defeated by Christ at the cross, and the people of God share in the power of that victory, exercising that power in this contested present age until Jesus comes again and seals the defeat of evil.
We believe in the universal church, a spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and all regenerated persons are members.
We believe that the local church is to be a company of believers in Christ, ordained by God to be the visible presence of Jesus to a lost world. We are joined in voluntary covenant, exercising in holy love the sacred rites and sanctified expressions of congregational life; including baptism, the Lord’s Supper, worship, fellowship, discipleship, and acts of personal and corporate ministry and mission. Membership in a local church and/or participating in its programmed activities does not necessarily constitute membership in the body of Christ, which is by saving faith alone.
We believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection and ascension, and in the personal, visible return of Christ in judgment, power and glory. The dead in Christ will be raised and the living believers will be gathered with them in His presence, evil will be ended, the world made new, and all things brought under Jesus Christ, who will in turn gather them to the Father.
We believe that the final destiny of every person will be determined entirely by his/her relationship to Jesus Christ at the final judgment of all persons by Jesus Christ: eternal bliss for those who have been joined to God through Jesus Christ, and eternal torment for those who die separated from Him in their sin.
We believe in a biblically faithful Christian lifestyle, religious liberty and voluntary cooperation for the promotion of the cause of Christ, as solemnly expressed in the Membership Covenant.