THE CALVARY CONFESSION
- We believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit. Our belief is not in an ideology, nor in a religious system, but in the person of the living triune God, His Son Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit. Through the triune God, we as mortal and sinful human beings can enjoy fellowship with the living God, through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
- By saying we believe, we do not merely mean we mentally assent to a set of specific truths about God, but rather we fully and wholeheartedly entrust our lives to God by faith, offered through the unmerited grace and favor of God, through the finished work of Christ’s atonement on the cross.
- We believe in Jesus Christ who is the eternal Son born of the virgin Mary, the Son of God and the Son of Man, fully divine and fully human. He is one in nature with the eternal Father and the eternal Spirit – the second person of the triune God. He is the creator, life-giver, and sustainer of the universe. His life on earth perfectly pleased God, and whose righteousness is given to all, who by grace through faith become one with Him.
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the only acceptable sacrifice for sin that pleases God, and whose death under divine judgment paid in full the penalty for the sins of the people, providing for them forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus is alive, having been physically raised from the dead by the Father, and whose resurrection was witnessed by over 500 people.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Triune God, fully divine and one with the Father and the Son. He physically indwells all who have come to faith in Christ and have been redeemed by the finished work of Christ on the Cross. He is the Spirit of God, the Comforter, the promise of the Father. The Holy Sprit’s presence convicts the world of sin and is the source of regeneration. He empowers believers with spiritual gifts, sanctifies believers in truth, and causes believers to become conformed to the image of Christ. He leads believers in truth and glorifies Christ.
- We believe in the universal church of Christ, composed solely of those who have been redeemed by the work of Christ and whose head is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The church’s mission is to spread the Gospel into all the world and make disciples for the Kingdom of God. The universal church is the longed for bride of Christ, for which He will return to gather the church to Himself.
- We believe in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, as the divinely inspired Word of God and the only authoritative truth and final authority of our faith. We believe that the Bible is inspired and that the Scriptures are “God breathed” as the actual words of God. We believe that the Bible is inerrant when it pertains to matters of history, science or salvation, and infallible in its ultimate purpose of revealing God and the way of salvation to mankind.
- We believe in the future return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church, unleash judgment on the wicked, and establish His millennial reign on earth. We believe in the literal future judgment of all people, “For all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ,” with the righteous going on to live in the presence of God and the unjust going on to eternal separation and judgment from God.
- We believe that God will create a new heaven and a new earth, that He will eliminate evil and sin, sickness and depravity, and that the all those who had placed their faith in trust in Christ, the redeemed of all generations, will dwell with Him in eternal bliss for all eternity.
7 PILLARS OF THE CHURCH
There are seven pillars that layout the foundations and precepts of Calvary Tabernacle. While they are not exhaustive in nature, their intended purpose is to outline the foundational corner stones that Calvary Tabernacle is built upon. It is these foundations that we will never compromise and upon which all of our ministries are built.
1. The Church is Built Upon Jesus Christ as Lord
- This is Christ’s Church, of which He will forever be the head. We exist to bring glory to His name and make the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ known!
- “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23
- “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord.” Ephesians 2:19-21
2. The Church is Built on the Word of God
- Everything the church espouses, teaches and expresses is based and borne forth from God’s Word. The Word of God is exalted above all thoughts, ideas and opinions and is the supreme authority within the church. All worship and teaching (children through adults) is based on God’s Word. Our preaching is expository in nature and is designed to cause believers to understand the authors intent, search the Word and respond in faith to God’s Word.
- We believe that the Bible is inerrant, without error when it pertains to matters of history, science or salvation, infallible, that the Bible will not fail in its ultimate purpose of revealing God and the way of salvation to humans, and we believe that the Bible is Inspired and that the scriptures are “God breathed.” They are the actual words of God.
- We believe that the scriptures are sufficient for all matters of life. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that the scriptures “are profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that that man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
3. The Church is Gospel Proclaiming
- We believe that the word of God teaches that true believers proclaim the gospel and are compelled by the love of Christ to share their faith. We believe it is our responsibility not simply to “witness,” but to make disciples for Christ. Hence, we are Gospel proclaiming as a result of the work that Christ has done in our lives. This is not a burden but a privilege that Christ gives to His believers.
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
- “But you are a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, a people’s for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
4. The Church is Missional
- We define Missional within the context of Matthew 28:19-20. Specifically, we are called to make disciples that follow in the teaching of Christ.
- Being Gospel proclaiming, we believe that it is God’s will for the church to support the spread of the Gospel in all parts of the world. We are intentional regarding supporting the spread of the Gospel and making disciples across the world. Hence, the church we support ministries and missionaries that are making an impact with the gospel. Our missions focus is to support local, national and global ministries. We also believe that it is not enough simply to provide funding but also seek to actively engage in various mission projects designed to facilitate the spread of the gospel.
5. The Church is Focused on Godly Worship
- We believe that the worship of God is a paramount privilege of the saved. We get to worship God in spirit and in truth in response to who He is. Accordingly, our worship is God centered. Through worship we seek to exalt the God of the Word. God is the sole focus of our worship and there cannot be any other deviation from Him. *“God is not worshiped where He is not treasured and enjoyed. Praise is not an alternative to joy, but the expression of joy.” John Piper, Desiring God
- “The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God; the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit; the furnace made alive and warm by the flame of truth is our renewed spirit; that the resulting heat of our affections is powerful worship, pushing its way out in confessions, longings, acclamations, tears, songs, shouts, bowed heads, lifted hands and obedient lives.” John Piper, Desiring God
6. The Church is the Community of Believers
- The church is God’s divine plan for all believers in Jesus Christ. As believers, we come together for edification by the word of God, encouragement of the believers, and preparation for ministry. This is the community of the believers in Christ. While we welcome the unsaved and the un-churched into our services, our primary focus within the church is the edification of believers. We preach so that believers can be built up in their faith and do the work of the ministry making disciples in the world. This is Christ’s church whom He will return for later. That church is made up of believers.
- “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose, also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” Colossians 1:28-29
- “A church is a gathering of people who then make this common confession about Christ from the incarnation to the glorification of Christ and everything in between. We are known by the accuracy and the faithfulness of our Christology, of our belief in Christ.” John MacArthur
7. The Church is a Prayer Based Community
- Calvary Tabernacle emphasizes prayer and communion with God as a vital link in our lives. Prayer is not minimized but is emphasized. We diligently seek The Lord with all decisions and we elevate prayer in every aspect of spiritual life. We encourage fasting and prayer groups that focus not solely on our immediate needs but on the will of God in all things. We believe that all of our decisions and plans are to be bathed in prayer seeking to know the will of God. We are a praying community.
- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
THE FIVE DECLARATIONS OF THE REFORMERS
We hold to the Five Declarations of the Reformers as answers to the most essential questions regarding a relationship with God. These define for us at Calvary Tabernacle, what they did for the Reformers over 500 years ago and offer for us a summary view of the Gospel of Grace. They are;
What must I do to be saved? Faith Alone (Sola Fide) – No one is good enough to deserve salvation from God. You cannot do anything to be saved- rather, God saves you on the basis of your faith, which is itself on the basis of the work Christ on your behalf. It is a salvation by Faith and not of works.
What must I trust? Christ Alone (Solus Christus) – Salvation is not dispensed through a church, a denomination, a priest or sacraments. Instead, salvation is through Christ and Him alone.
What must I obey? Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) – In matters of faith, believers are compelled by no other authority than that of scripture. The believers only ultimate authority is the revealed word of God, the Holy Scriptures.
What must I earn? Grace Alone (Sola Gratia) – What can I do to earn my salvation? The answer is an emphatic NO, NOTHING. Salvation is of grace alone. It is not of works or merit. His salvation is based entirely upon His Grace.
What is the point? Only God gets glory (Solei Deo Gloria)– People were made for one reason and one reason only, to glorify God. The highest calling on a person’s life is that he would glorify God in all he or she does. Although we consistently fail to do this, God still saves the repentant sinner through His gospel.