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What We Believe

Gibbsville Reformed Church Statement of Faith

 

Reformed Theology: We are a church rooted in the 16th century Protestant Reformation which forever changed the religious climate across Europe. Reformation was necessary because the Church had strayed far from a Biblical based foundation. Return to Biblical roots was desperately needed. Five revolutionary principles called the Sola’s (Latin for Alone) laid the foundation for renewal and reform. These principles are needed for continual health and reformation in the 21st century.

Scriptures Alone: The Scriptures, not the institutional Church, are the primary authority by which humanity must live and against which truth and error must be judged.

Grace Alone: Salvation is by grace alone; it is the free and unmerited gift of God to a sinful human world.

Faith Alone: The gift of salvation and the benefits of being in God’s eternal family come through personal faith in Christ as Savior, not by any personal good works, the merits of a human mediator, religious ceremonies, or institutional efforts.

Christ Alone: Christ is the only and exclusive one through whom salvation comes. He is the lone mediator between God and man.

To God Alone be the Glory: All was accomplished by God’s grace and for God’s glory. This is the goal of all the other Sola’s. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

God: We believe in a triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)

Sacraments: The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not a means of salvation but rather help us to grow in the grace of our Lord.

Baptism: We practice a covenantal view of infant and believer's baptism. We believe a child is baptized into the covenantal family and receives the blessings of growing up with a family of believers. This doesn’t mean that the child is saved but rather means that when this child comes to saving faith that God guarantees to save this child. We also baptize adults who come to saving faith at a later age.

Lord’s Supper: We believe the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance that Jesus died for our sins on the cross. We do not believe that the elements of bread and wine are turned into Jesus’ actual body (Catholic view) or that his actual body is in or around the elements (Lutheran view). We do believe the spiritual presence of Jesus is with us during communion.

Governance: We have a presbyterian (Greek word for elder) form of government. We have elders who teach and govern the church. (1 Timothy 3:2, 5:17) We have deacons who serve the church by caring for church needs and people. (1 Timothy 3:8-10) We make decisions through a plurality of elders.

Leadership Roles: We are complementarian in our view of gender roles. We believe men and woman are created equal in value and dignity before God but have different roles and functions in the home and in the church. (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Timothy 2:11-15, I Timothy 3:1-13)

Marriage: We believe marriage is only between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24)

Demominational Goals

 

We are looking for a denomination that is Reformed in its theology and active in its outreach.

Theology: We are looking for a denomination who embraces Reformed theology (see our theology statement). We believe that three marks of the church are the faithful preaching of God’s word, the faithful administration of the Lord’s Sacraments, and church discipline.

Accountability: We are looking for a denomination that has a functional structure of discipline within its seminaries and churches. This structure would ensure that if leaders including seminary professors, pastors, elders, deacons, and members deviate from the central teachings of the Bible that they will be graciously admonished and corrected to preserve the unity and purity of Christ’s church.

Networking: We are looking for a denomination that has a presence in Wisconsin to provide collaboration, camaraderie, and support for our church. We also want a denomination that has trusted seminaries and colleges that align with our Reformed theology.

Growth: We are looking for a denomination that has a philosophy of outreach and church planting.

Membership: We desire a denomination that admits members who have a personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Ownership: We are looking for a denomination that allows autonomy in church ownership of buildings and assets.

Character: We are looking for a denomination that is Grace-Centered in its approach to worship or outreach. We believe legalism is offensive to God and is a crippling barrier to those who are far from God.

Statement of Faith: We are looking for a denomination that aligns with our other “Statement of Faith” positions (Baptism, Lord’s Supper, Marriage etc.)