Protestant in Foundation
Covenant OPC is a Church that holds joyfully and fervently to the truths of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. We believe in the sole authority of God’s Word (sola Scripturua). God alone is the Lord of the conscience and His Word alone is the final authority of faith and practice. All the opinions, doctrines and traditions of men must be scrutinized against God’s Word.
We also believe that Jesus Christ saves alone (solus Christus). “There is no other name under heaven that has been given by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). Only Jesus can save sinful man from the wrath of almighty God by enduring that wrath Himself. Only Jesus can reconcile us to God. Only Jesus can make us sons of God, heirs with Him. Only Jesus Christ can deliver us from the guilt and power of sin by giving Himself a perfect and spotless sacrifice to God.
We are saved by grace alone (sola gratitia). We are not saved by our works nor do our works contribute to, or are they taken into account in, our justification. We are saved by grace unto good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:8 – 10). God’s love is unconditional and His grace is sovereignly and freely given to those whom He has chosen.
The grace of God and Jesus Christ himself are received by faith alone (sola fide). We are justified by grace alone through faith alone. By faith, the sinner trusts in and rests upon the Lord Jesus Christ as He is offered in the Gospel. By faith, the sinner receives the atoning power of Christ’s blood, the righteousness and merits of Christ on the basis of which the sinner is forgiven and pronounced as righteous in the eyes of God (Romans 3:21 – 26). This faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8) and is the alone instrument in justification. Nevertheless, it is never alone in the one who believes but is accompanied by all other saving graces (Gal. 5:6, James 2:14 – 26).
All things, including our salvation, are accomplished for the glory of God alone (soli Deo Gloria). God is in need of nothing but has created all things in order to manifest His glory. In the works of creation, providence and redemption, God does all things for the demonstration of His glory. God’s glory is also that chief end unto which man was created and whether we eat or drink, we eat or drink to the glory of God, that His name might be honored and revered.
Gospel in Focus
Covenant OPC is a Church which is passionate about the Gospel. Jesus Christ is our life and it is in the Gospel that He is given to us. We seek to believe the gospel and to rest in Jesus Christ alone. We seek to live the gospel as Christ comes to expression in us. We seek to share the gospel with one another and with those outside the church. We do this not only in our words but in our actions as we seek to demonstrate the love and mercy of Christ to a dying world.
Reformed in Substance
Covenant OPC is a Reformed and Presbyterian Church. Our doctrine, our worship and our lives are governed by this distinctive commitment. In addition to the solas given above, we hold firmly to the distinctive doctrines of total depravity, unconditional election, particular redemption, irresistible grace and the perseverance of the saints. We believe that in terms of salvation, God has established one covenant of grace differently administered in history. We believe that because our children are part of the covenant, they receive the sign of the covenant which is baptism. We baptize our children not to say they are infallibly saved but to say the covenant is made with us and our children. They are the heirs of the promises of the covenant. We are also Reformed in our worship. Our worship is simple as we seek to do only those things laid down by God’s Word. We are Reformed in our piety or our Christian life. God alone is Lord of the conscience and in those matters God has not specifically addressed in His Word we allow a great deal of liberty and freedom. All things are to be done to the glory of God and nothing is to be done devoid of love towards our neighbor.
Covenantal in Perspective
Covenant OPC is a Church which is covenantal in perspective. We are not dispensational. God has dealt with man through a series of covenants. The first covenant was made with Adam before his fall into sin and misery. This covenant was a covenant of works wherein God promised Adam and all his posterity eternal life in glory upon the condition of and on the basis of his perfect, personal and perpetual obedience.
Adam broke this covenant and God, out of His mere free grace and good pleasure, established a second covenant, a covenant of grace. By this covenant, God freely offers to sinners eternal life in glory through Jesus Christ, the second and last Adam. Though there is one covenant of grace, it has been variously administered throughout history beginning in Genesis 3:15 and coming to its full expression in the New Covenant established in Christ’s death and resurrection.
From beginning to end, all sinners have been saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Whether He was seen in promise and shadow (as in the Old Testament) or whether He is clearly seen in the preaching of Gospel (as in the New Testament) salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone.
This covenantal perspective also determines how we read and hear God’s Word. We are not distant from it but we are made participants in the drama of the Bible. We are in the New Covenant and are members of Christ. Our life is in the Bible because Jesus Christ, who is our life, is the content and goal of the whole of Scripture.