Statement of Faith
What we believe at Community Church of Ephrata
Our Summary: We are a theologically conservative, orthodox, biblically faithful, gospel-centered church that is governed, as the New Testament prescribes, by a group of elders that are elected by the congregation.
Our Strengths: We are known for our deep biblical teaching and preaching that is accessible and attractive to both believers and unbelievers alike. We do NOT believe you need to “water-down” the message to be evangelistic. As a matter of fact, we believe that those who are investigating the validity of Christianity need to see the depth and coherence of the Bible’s message.
Our Statement of Faith: The Westminster Confession of Faith has been used, and modified, by all types of churches. The London Baptist Confession is an example of how the confession has been used. Dr. Warfield’s very personal summary of the confession of faith is found at the bottom of this page and is a good summary of what we believe.
Our Denomination: We are part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). There are a number of Presbyterian denominations, some of which do not hold to the gospel of Christ and clear biblical teaching. WE BELIEVE IN THE BIBLICAL TEACHINGS OF SCRIPTURE AND ARE COMMITTED TO NOT COMPROMISING THEM. Only a small minority of our church family were involved in a Presbyterian church before coming to Community Church. We reach a wide variety of people from many different church backgrounds. You don’t feel, at Community Church, that you must be a fully committed Presbyterian to be a part of our ministry.
Our Distinctives: We believe that God has spoken inerrantly in the 66 books of the Bible and that he has revealed the same method of salvation throughout the Scriptures, which is, through Christ alone, by faith alone, and by grace alone. This method of salvation is unfolded for us from the very first pages of the Bible to the end.
COMMUNITY CHURCH’S DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
Whereas most churches have a “short” summary of what they believe to be vital in Christian theology, Community Church has a somewhat “longer” and detailed statement of faith. The following is a good summary of what we believe ...
1. We believe that our one aim in life and death should be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever; and that God teaches us how to glorify and enjoy Him in His Holy Word, that is, the Bible, which He has given by the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that we may certainly know what we are to believe concerning Him and what duty He requires of us.
2. We believe that God is a Spirit, eternal and incomparable in all that He is; one God but three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; in whose power and wisdom, righteousness, goodness and truth we may safely put our trust.
3. We believe that the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, are the work of God’s hands; and that all that He has made He directs and governs in all their actions; so that they fulfill the end for which they were created, and we who trust in Him shall not be put to shame but may rest securely in the protection of His almighty love.
4. We believe that God created man after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, and entered into a covenant of life with him upon the sole condition of the obedience that was His due: so that it was by willfully sinning against God that man fell into the sin and misery in which we have been born.
5. We believe that, being fallen in Adam, our first father, we are by nature children of wrath, under the condemnation of God corrupted in body and soul, prone to evil and liable to eternal death; from which dreadful state we cannot be delivered except through the unmerited grace of God my Savior.
6. We believe that God has not left the world to perish in its sin, but out of great love wherewith He has loved it, has from all eternity graciously chosen unto Himself a multitude which no man can number, to deliver them out of their sin and misery, and of them to build up again in the world His kingdom of righteousness: in which kingdom we may be assured we have our part, if we hold fast to Christ the Lord.
7. We believe that God has redeemed His people unto Himself through Jesus Christ our Lord; who, though He was and ever continues to be the eternal Son of God, yet was born of a woman, born under the law, that He might redeem them that are under the law: We believe that He bore the penalty due to our sins in His own body upon the tree, and fulfilled in His own person the obedience we owe to the righteousness of God, and now presents us to His father as His purchased possession, to the praise of the glory of grace forever: wherefore renouncing all merit of our own, we put all trust only in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ my Redeemer.
8. We believe that Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who died for our offenses, was raised again for our justification, and ascended into the heavens, where He sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty, continually making intercession for His people, and governing the whole world as head over all things for His church: so that we need fear no evil and may surely know that nothing can snatch us out of His hands and nothing can separate us from His love.
9. We believe that the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ is effectually applied to all His people by the Holy Spirit, who works faith in us and thereby unites us to Christ, renews us in the whole man after the image of God, and enables us more and more to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness; until, this gracious work having been completed in us, we shall be received into His glory: in which great hope abiding, we must ever strive to perfect holiness in the fear of God.
10. We believe that God requires of us, under the gospel, first of all, that, out of a true sense of our sin and misery and apprehension of His mercy in Christ, we should turn with grief and hatred away from sin and receive and rest upon Jesus Christ alone for salvation: that, so being united to Him, we may receive pardon for our sins and be accepted as righteous in God’’s sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone: and thus and thus only do we believe we may be received into the number and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.
11. We believe that, having been pardoned and accepted for Christ’’s sake, it is further required of us that we walk in the Spirit whom He has purchased for us, and by whom love is shed abroad in our hearts; fulfilling the obedience we owe to Christ our King; faithfully performing all the duties laid upon us by the holy law of God our heavenly Father; and ever reflecting in our lives and conduct, the perfect example that has been set for us by Christ Jesus our Leader, who has died for us and granted to us His Holy Spirit just that we may do the good works which God has before prepared that we should walk in them.
12. We believe that God has established His church in the world and empowered it with the ministry of the Word and the holy ordinances of Baptism, the Lord’’s Supper and Prayer; in order that through these as means, the riches of His grace in the gospel may be made known to the world, and, by the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them, the benefits of redemption may be communicated to His people: wherefore also it is required of us that I attend on these means of grace with diligence, preparation, and prayer, so that through them we may be instructed and strengthened in faith, and in holiness of life and in love; and that we use our best endeavors to carry this gospel and convey these means of grace to the whole world.
13. We believe that as Jesus Christ has once come in grace, so also is He to come a second time in glory, to judge the world in righteousness and assign to each His eternal award: and we believe that if we die in Christ, our souls shall be at death made perfect in holiness and go home to the Lord; and when He shall return in His majesty we shall be raised in glory and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity: encouraged by which blessed hope it is required of us to willingly take our part in suffering hardship here as a good soldier of Christ Jesus, being assured that if we die with Him we shall also live with Him, if we endure, we shall also reign with Him. And to Him, our Redeemer, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, Three Persons, one God, be glory forever, world without end, Amen, and Amen.
(Taken from the great Benjamin Warfield’s own personal statement of faith, which is the best summary of the Westminster Confession of Faith, which we know and follow as our own)