Connecting Class 3: Beliefs & Doctrinal Distinctives


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Connecting Class 3: Beliefs & Doctrinal Distinctives

  1. 1. Welcome! “Every church is different. Every true church is a thing of beauty in its own unique way.”
  2. 2. Class Material Available Online • INSTRUCTIONS: – Go online. Password is “grace4you” – Go to – In Search bar, type & enter “connecting” – Click on “Continue Reading” – Each session is listed & downloadable – HINT: At the back of each lesson, there is an Answer Key for all fill-in-blanks.
  3. 3. Overview • #1- Jesus & The Church • #2- The Gospel & The Christian • #3- Beliefs & Doctrinal Distinctives • #4- Roots, Relationships & Rule • #5- Mission & Ministries • #6- Church Membership
  4. 4. The Great House of Christianity: “[Christianity] is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall, I have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think preferable.” - from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity
  5. 5. Session #3: Beliefs & Doctrinal Distinctives • If Christianity itself is like a Great House… • Christian denominations are simply the various rooms in that Great House. • And individual churches are like cozy furniture in those various rooms. • The PCA is just one safe, cozy (but busy!) room in God’s Great House. God’s Church
  6. 6. We Believe Classic Christianity: • Christ Our Hope takes its stand on all the ancient truths of orthodox Christianity. • Like all evangelical churches, we hold to The Ancient Church’s classic creeds: – Apostles’ Creed (2nd Century) – Nicene Creed (325 AD) • We firmly hold to the essential truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  7. 7. We Believe Reformation Theology: • We believe in “Sola Scriptura!”… – The Bible is God’s Word. – The Bible is absolute truth. – The Bible is our ultimate authority in all matters. • We believe that salvation is by Christ alone through faith alone because of God’s grace alone.
  8. 8. We Are a “Confessional” Church: • Christ Our Hope has more than a simple Statement of Faith. • We affirm the timeless truths of the Bible that are explained in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF was drafted 1643-1647). • The purposes of the WCF are to: – summarize & organize the Bible’s teachings in a clear, coherent way – examination of all pastors/elders/deacons – maintain “standards” for church teachings – instruct & disciple all in Christian doctrine
  9. 9. The WCF is widely accepted as the Best Summary of Christian Doctrine: “One of the most important confessions of faith ever penned… is the Westminster Confession of Faith… though human confessions and creeds are penned by fallible people without the benefit of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I stand in awe at the profound level of theological and biblical precision manifest in the [WCF]. I would argue that the Westminster Standards are the most precise and accurate summaries of the content of biblical Christianity ever set forth in creedal form.” - R.C. Sproul in Truths We Confess
  10. 10. Christ Our Hope is both Evangelical AND Reformed By Evangelical, we mean… • We believe the Bible is truth. • We believe that one must be born again to become a true Christian. • We believe that all of life is to be lived under the lordship of Jesus Christ for the glory of God The Father. • We believe that believers are called to a missional lifestyle of active evangelism & self- less service for Jesus’ sake. By Reformed, we mean… • We aim to be God-centered in our worship. • We aim to be Christ-focused in our preaching & teaching. • We aim to be Gospel-driven in our motives and methods. • Therefore, we are grace- oriented in all things... • All while we remain theologically-grounded; our theology will always drive our ministry methodology.
  11. 11. Q: What are COHc’s Doctrinal Distinctives? • GOD’s SOVEREIGNTY- We have a high view of God’s total sovereignty in all things- creation, providence and salvation. (Rom 8.28-30) • GOD’s AMAZING GRACE- We believe in more than the necessity of grace, but the priority of that grace in order for anyone to be saved. This really is what makes grace so amazing! (Eph 2.1-10) • THE CENTRALITY of the GOSPEL- We believe the Gospel is the A- to-Z of the Christian life and must constantly be taught for the salvation of unbelievers and the spiritual health of Christians. (Rom 1.15-17, 15.20) • THE UNITY & CONTINUITY of OT & NT- We believe that the Bible tells one consistent story by way of a covenant of grace. (Gen 17.7 ~Gal 3.17) • GOD’s CHURCH & CHRIST’s SACRAMENTS- We are intentionally “connectional” with other like-minded churches & denominations. We have a high view of the Church’s sacraments or “ordinances”: (Rom 4.11) – We believe the infant baptism of believers’ children is a sacred “entrance” sign. – We also believe in the real spiritual presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.
  12. 12. Philosophy of Ministry: How do we apply our beliefs & distinctives? GOSPEL TRUTHS Secondary Christian DOCTRINES CONSCIENCE ISSUES & Concerns • We desire to always boldly proclaim the Gospel’s essential truths. – We aim to lead with Christ and emphasize the grace of His gospel. – We aim to major on the majors & minor on minors. • Yet we will teach all the Bible’s significant but secondary truths with true humility towards those who differ from us. • We practice freedom of conscience on all matters of Christian liberty. – Yet, for the glory of God, we do aim to be wise & winsome in all things.Our Teaching Priorities [1 Cor 15.3-5] [Mt 28.20] [Rom 14] # 1 # 2 # 3
  13. 13. Next time: SESSION # 4- Roots, Relationships & Rule