Theological Statement of Christ Our Redeemer Community Church
Christ Our Redeemer is a community of faith, a people who believe that the words of Jesus to “Come, follow me” are still the central and primary call on our lives. We want to bow to Jesus not merely to believe in Him; to be committed to His mission, not merely converted to going to church. Our purpose is to respond to this call of Jesus, to follow Him, and be his hands, heart, and feet right here, in the Roanoke Valley.
We want to live out our faith in meaningful community here, not separating ourselves from others, but forming genuine relationships with others who are serving this community in Jesus’ name. We seek to live responsibly with our neighbors and our world.
We are Christians, anchored firmly in the central orthodoxy that sets Christians apart from other world religions and has stood the tests of time and inquiry and criticism. We confess the summaries of faith as set forth in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Primary Theological Convictions
We are Christians within the worldwide Christian church who embrace certain core convictions about the gospel, “the good news,” which make us evangelical in the historical sense of that word. We call these “primary” theological stances because we believe they are central to the Christian life and crucial to message and mission of Jesus:
“In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1:1).
We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit who is sovereign and gracious in all aspects of creation, providence, redemption, revelation and judgment.
“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:19).
God has given – and preserved for us – a revelation of Himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Being without error and entirely trustworthy, we, God’s people, choose to live our lives under its authority, not just in the doctrines of our faith but also in the conduct of our lives.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Men and women are created in the image and likeness of God. But in Adam’s disobedience in the Garden all men became sinners (Rom. 5:19). We are no longer in paradise – we all are sinners under the just condemnation of God: “there is no one righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10). Our hearts are corrupted by sin such that we can do nothing to merit salvation. This “total depravity” of man does not mean we are all as bad as we could be, but that there is no aspect of our person that is not touched by sin, no part still “unfallen” that can, of itself, reach out to God .
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory” (John 1:14).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God come in the flesh, that he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and worked many mighty miracles. We believe his death on the Cross and His bodily resurrection to be the victory of God over sin and death. The shed blood of this spotless Lamb of God is the only ground of our redemption from the guilt and power of sin. We believe in His ascension to the right hand of God which means He is currently reigning in power: bringing redemption to all things.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
We believe in an exclusive Christ in an inclusive age. No man comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6). We are not universalists – we do not believe that all men will be saved in the end. “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and few there are who find it” (Matt. 7:13,14).
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this, not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).
We believe that men and women will “perish” (John 3:16) apart from saving faith in Christ. Sinners are justified by the grace of God alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. But the faith that saves, is never alone; it always bears good fruit. Grace that saves our lives always transforms our lives.
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and we were all given of the one Spirit to drink” (I Cor. 12:13).
We believe in the personal work of the Holy Spirit in salvation: regenerating those who were dead in sin, indwelling them now with his presence and power and sanctifying them and equipping them to do the work of the ministry. Because we believe Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, we believe the saints will persevere, by His power, to the end.
“There is one body, and one Spirit…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4,5).
We believe in the unity and priesthood of all believers everywhere, who together make up the universal church, the Body of Christ, with Jesus Himself as our Head. AND we wholeheartedly embrace Christ’s vision that we be “one” (John 17:23) and our responsibility to make that visible among us “so that the world may know that You sent Me” (John 17:23).
“…as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 1:7).
We live in the expectation of the personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ when He will come in glory to judge all men: the unrepentant shall be resurrected onto damnation, eternal separation from God’s presence, but the righteous shall be raised to everlasting life, to live and reign with Him forever in His glorious kingdom.
The following positions may help to continue to clarify and distinguish who we are. These are not primary doctrinal stances, that is, beliefs necessary for salvation, but secondary formulations of belief in response to the many questions, issues and controversies that separate Christians today.
“As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
We are a missional Church, not merely an evangelistic one:
- Central to our understanding is that the Church exists for the world and in the world and therefore it cannot piously bash the culture around us, nor uncritically participate in it, nor self-righteously withdraw from it.
- We must formulate our life together: our worship, our discipleship to Jesus and our service to the world in ways that intentionally engage the non-Christian society around us. In other words, we must think and live like missionaries within a secular culture.
- Our purpose in being “missional” is to glorify God! We work and pray to bring men and women into vital union with Jesus Christ and into community with His people so that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea!” (Hab. 2:14)
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God…Who has known the mind of the Lord?” (Rom. 11:33, 34)
Faith, by definition means that our knowledge of the things of God is always going to be partial. Which is to say, we joyfully embrace the mystery and the wonder in our confession of Christ; we are not rationalists.
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father…therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matt. 24:36, 42).
We do not believe that we know the time of Jesus’ return or the exact details surrounding it.. We believe that dogmatic certainty on these details can be divisive and unprofitable speculation. When Jesus Himself said, “No one knows,” we should hesitate to claim that we do!
“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God” (I Cor. 11:3).
We are complementarians not egalitarians: men and women are equal before God (Gal. 3:28) but serve different roles in the family and in the church, and these relationships are founded in the relational dynamics of the Trinity. “Equality of worth does not mean identity of role” (John Howard Yoder). Men should “head” their homes (Eph. 5:23; I Cor. 11:3) and male elders (I Tim. 2:11 – 3:7) should lead their churches according to the pattern of Jesus’ sacrificial love for his bride, the Church.
“But our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
We do not believe it is our purpose to “return America to being a Christian nation.” Our posture towards the society we live in is to be one of humility and blessing. Fundamental to the gospel we proclaim in word and deed is that it is “foolishness and weakness” (I Cor. 1:17f) to the unrepentant. And we are members of a global church rich in cultural diversity and whose strength and courageous faith often far exceeds our own. Our posture towards our brothers and sisters around the world should be one of listening and learning from them.