Distinctives

We are Reformational

  • Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) – The Bible is the complete, closed and clear authority in all matters of faith.
  • Sola Fide (by faith alone) – We are declared righteous by God through faith alone 1.
  • Solus Christus (through Christ alone) – Our confidence is in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
  • Sola Gratia (by grace alone) – Grace secures redemption without regard to works.
  • Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone) – The goal of creation and redemption is God’s praise.

We are Calvinistic

  • Total Depravity – The fall of Adam affected the totality of man’s person. 2
  • Unconditional Election – Election is not based on foreseen faith or works. 3
  • Limited Atonement – Redemption was accomplished by Christ for elect. 4
  • Irresistible Grace – Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is efficacious for the elect.
  • Perseverance of the Saints – God will, by grace, complete what He began in regeneration of the elect.

We are Puritan

  • Godliness in Worship – The Regulative Principle of Worship 5, the Lord’s Day as a Christian Sabbath
  • Godliness in Preaching – Primacy of preaching, with both exposition and application
  • Godliness in Instruction – We are confessional, publishing what we believe the Bible teaches 6.
  • Godliness in Family – Parents are to instruct (catechize) and disciple their children in the Lord.
  • Godliness in Behavior – Maintaining a good conscience before God and man.

We are Covenantal

  • Unity of the Bible – Many parts, yet one message.
  • Christ-Centered Interpretation – Jesus’ person, work and kingdom is the theme of the Bible.
  • Law / Gospel Distinction – Law 7 commands and condemns. Gospelsaves 8.
  • One Way of Salvation – Christ has saved all the elect throughout all the ages in the same way.
  • Optimistic View of History – Jesus Christ is now King ruling over all. He will soon come again.

We are Baptistic

  • Biblical Church Practice – Ordinances are for believers only 9. Church discipline lovingly exercised.
  • Biblical Church Freedom – The state is not to intrude into matters of the church.
  • Biblical Church Government – Elders and deacons. The local congregation chooses its leaders 10.
  • Biblical Church Growth – Gospel proclamation to the world. Repentance and Faith demanded of all.
  • Biblical Church Ministry – Priesthood of all believers 11.

We are family integrated

  • All ages worship and are instructed together – We believe that every member and guest should have access to the ordinary means of grace, especially preaching, irrespective of age.
  • Parents, and especially Fathers, have an important job to do – We encourage parents to catechize and instruct their children in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” and set a godly example of faithful church membership and obedience to the commands of Christ and His Gospel.
  • Flows from a commitment to simplicity (1 Tim. 2:2) – We intentionally avoid an overemphasis on programs and ministries that detract from families discipling their children.
  • Honor the Biblical differences in roles and function of men and women – Both at home and in the church, we seek to call all men and women to embrace God’s created design and differentiation of roles, while joyfully affirming the equality of the sexes in their worth and standing before the Lord.
  • The term applies to our structure only, not our ecclesiology. – We are not part of any larger “movement” of family integrated churches.

Footnotes
1 This is an imputed alien righteousness. Justification is perfect, neither waxing nor waning.
2 We agree with Martin Luther that man’s “will comes from the devil and from Adam.”
3 A Calvinistic understanding of Salvation: We reject all man centered understanding of salvation.
4 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. John 10:11, John 10:14-18, John 10:24-29; Acts 20:28; Isaiah 53
5 Only those elements that are instituted or appointed by Biblical command or example or which can be deduced from Scripture are permissible in worship. As opposed to the “Normative principle” which states that what is not forbidden is allowed. Our worship service is built around the Scriptures read, preached and sang.
6 We hold to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689. Additionally the Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian and Chalcedonian creeds express our understanding of orthodoxy.
7 We recognize the “Three uses of the law.” First, the law serves as a guide to righteousness. Secondly, the law convicts sinners and drives them to Christ. Thirdly, the law directs Christians in holy living.
8 Law and Gospel are in both Old and New Testaments. The gospel is the promises of God to His elect.
9 Infant baptism is alien to the practice of the New Testament. Likewise, immersion is the proper mode of baptism.
10 “A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church.” We recognize no greater authority than the local church.
11 The local church is a spiritual family where relationships are to be open and honest. All matters are handled in charity and patience. Only through every-member participation can individuals grow in grace and love.
Content here is adapted with gratitude from Mariposa Reformed Baptist Church, Mariposa, CA.