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What We Believe

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Core Beliefs


One God and creator of all things. God is one essence and three in distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

One Savior Jesus Christ. Who was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, died a horrible death, and was raised to new life. He is now in heaven interceding for sinners (Rom 8:34) and preparing an eternal home for his people (John 14:3)

One Holy Spirit who dwells in the hearts of believers today. He has sealed our hearts (Eph 1:13) for heaven, but even now guides us in life (Rom 8:26), and progressively works in our lives (Phil 1:6).

One Holy Church operating as the outpost of heaven today (Eph 4:3-6). The church is the gathering of God's people to be fed and nourished by God. It is a place where sinners and saints commune with God and fellowship with one another.

One Gospel by which all people are to be saved. Jesus says that no one comes to the Father, or heaven, except through him (John 6:35). The good news is that all who turn to Jesus alone as their king and savior will be saved: "Anyone who believes in Christ has eternal life" (John 6:47).

Universal Sin --is like spitting in the face of our Father God. We rebel against him in our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. At Covenant Reformed, we believe that humans are beautiful children of God, but we do not live as we were fashioned. Sin is against God (Psa 51:4) brings guilt and shame to our souls. We try to deny the weight, but it causes deep soul pain to us and everyone around us. Thanks are to the triune God, there is a solution, as the Apostle Paul explains, 'where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more' (Rom 5:20). We are a church that takes sin and damaged hearts seriously because we know that Christ is the solution and the one who heals the broken.


Gospel Centered in life and in death (Rom 14:8). We believe the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him. We do this by first receiving the grace of Christ with open hands and hearts. His grace empowers us to live transformed lives. From a grace-filled well of gratitude, we desire to know Christ more, the power of his resurrection, and being conformed to the power of his death and resurrection (Phil 3:10).

Put together, we confess that humans have fallen from their intended design. We are filled with guilt and shame. But instead of leaving us in such a sorry state, our heavenly Father carried out a plan to rescue and redeem us. Jesus Christ came to earth to pay for our sins and to merit great gifts for us. By believing and confessing Christ as Lord, we receive his grace which cleanses us from sin, makes us beautiful children of God, and protects us by the presence of the Holy Spirit today (Eph 1:3-14).

Consider some key verses we love:

John 3:16; Phil 2:5-11; Eph 2:8-10; Gal 3:26-28

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Confess with Heart and Mouth

Covenant Reformed in Ruston confesses with heart and mouth that Scripture alone is the word of God. It is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16) and inscriptured as our prescription for life. The Bible, contained in the first and second testaments (i.e., OT and NT), is the truth given by God for people to know God and enjoy him.

Furthermore, the Christianity we confess and live today is historically rooted. Building on the scripture, we believe the teaching of the Bible is faithfully and accurately summarized in the ecumenical creeds of the historic church: Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed. These creeds have been confessed by God's people around the world by every people and tongue for fifteen centuries.

We recognize that scripture is a divine text, and we are not infallible readers and interpreters (Deut 29:29; Isa 55:8). With that humility, we believe the Reformed Confessions accurately summarize the teaching of scripture to help us better know the triune God, how we are to live, and how we are to enjoy him. At Covenant Reformed we use the Westminster Confession, Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. We also cherish some of the older confessions too:The Belgic ConfessionHeidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort.

Pastor Chris always jokes that since seven is the 'holy' number, he holds to the seven-forms of unity. That is the six above plus the Second Helvetic Confession.

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Evangelism / Mission is of Great Importance


We desire to see all people saved by the grace and mercy of God in Jesus Christ. As Christ instructed, the church to spread his name and fame to the ends of the earth. In Matthew 28:18–20, Christ explains that because he has all authority, we are to disciple the nations, engraft them into the triune name by baptism, and teach them his word.

This charge is not a burden but our greatest joy. First, it is an outworking of our gratitude to Christ for his salvation. Second, it is our love to neighbors to share with them the greatness of Christ so they too may flourish in this life. Third, as Kingdom participants, we get to be active with the Holy Spirit and share in his blessings (1 Cor 9:22-23).


Reformed

We are Reformed in function, fellowship, and foundations. The PCA is a Reformed denomination, but it means more to us than just an affiliation. Put simply, do you bow to the Pope? If not, then you have the Reformed to thank. The Reformed believe there is no priest but Christ, and that he alone is the means to the father.

The Reformed approach to life is that we must always go back to the Scriptures for truth. No other source of knowledge or wisdom is authoritative. That means our traditions, 'gut' reaction, or personal preferences are insufficient to lead a life flourishing in God's hands. We love the Bible and want to grow in ever closer conformity to it.

Therefore, we hold up Five Pillars: 1. Salvation is by grace alone (sola gratia); 2. Salvation is by faith alone (sola fide); 3. Salvation is in Christ alone (solus Christus); 4. The Bible alone is the Word of God (sola Scriptura); 5. To God alone be the glory (soli Deo gloria).


Presbyterian


To be and practice Presbyterianism means that you take sin seriously and want to follow the Bible's instruction on leading the church. By practicing Presbyterianism at Covenant Reformed, we boldly say that no person on earth is infallible or sinless and we need a plurality of leadership to help curb sin.

In Exodus 18 and Numbers 11, God displays that a plurality of leadership is essential for the good and essence of the covenant community. Throughout the Old Testament, we find stories of good leadership during good times, and sinful leadership during bad times. In the New Testament, Paul displays the same importance of a plurality of leadership. For instance, Philippians 1:1 indicates the letters are sent to the saints, the elders, and deacons.

What are the benefits of a Presbyterian church? Many in a myriad of ways, but let me display one biblical scene of practical significance. While it is sad one does not have to look far to hear stories of abuse in a single local church. Without the checks and balances, a local pastor or elder can go rogue in doctrine, practice, or behavior. In Acts 15, we find the story of people teaching different theology than Paul. For the peace and purity of the church, and the benefits of the saints, the leadership gathered together to debate the matters with a biblical resolution.

Likewise, at Covenant Reformed, Pastor Chris is under the oversight of the local elders, who are all under the oversight of the Presbytery, which in turn is under the oversight of the international PCA. While the system does not create infallibility, it protects each local member and provides recourse in all matters. Such practice is consistent with the Bible and church history (hence the great councils that wrote the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasius Creed, Chalcedonian Definition, and etc.).

In sum, in a day when moral and theological oversight is rare or unAmerican, we believe Christ deserves as church desiring to be pure. We also believe that people should be protected from the abuses of sin.



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Denomination

At Covenant Reformed, we see that the church in the Old Testament and New Testament was intended to be a united church. While many Americans walk to the tune of my own personal Jesus, the Bible presents the churches as one body united around one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God (Eph 4:3). Also, when controversy or questions arise, the churches benefit from working together. We see this camaraderie in Acts 15 and many, many times in church history. Therefore, we believe it biblical and prudent to be part of a broader church denomination. Our denominational affiliation is the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).