God exists and has revealed Himself to humanity. He has rescued and redeemed a people for Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. This good news is to be preached to all nations for God’s glory and our joy.
From its inception, the Church has always found it helpful to summarize its core convictions in rather short and succinct statements such as hymns, creeds and confessions to impart truth, clarify and prevent confusion, protect from false teaching and otherwise hold fast to the historic landmarks of our heritage.
The Christian confession is merely a response to God’s revelation. Thus, the confessions of a church and its individual members should correspond to the boundaries and contours of biblical truth that God has revealed to us. All Christians everywhere say they believe the Bible, but creeds, confessions and statements help to clarify what it is that we believe about the Bible.
At Reality, we have three distinct but complementary statements summarizing our beliefs to varying degrees of comprehensiveness.
Statement of Basic Beliefs
This statement represents the most simple and foundational beliefs of Christian orthodoxy from a biblical and historical perspective. It captures the basic contours of Christian theology. Anyone pursuing covenant membership and/or baptism at Reality must agree with the statement.
Statement of Theological Distinctives
This statement captures our convictions on areas that are debated even among Bible-believing, gospel-centered churches. Though agreement with this statement isn’t necessary to be a member, we will preach, teach and counsel on the basis of these distinctives.
Statement of Faith
This statement, adapted from the Lausanne Statement of Faith, represents a more comprehensive summary of the various convictions articulated in the other statements.
Together, these statements communicate what we believe as a church and will therefore be foundational for our teaching, preaching, praying, instructing, apprenticing and counseling.
Statement of Basic Beliefs // adapted from the BCMB statement of faith
- We believe in God as eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created and sustains the universe. The eternal purpose of God the Father is to create a people who will bring glory to God forever. God alone is worthy of worship.
- We believe that God became human in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to restore the world because humans have rejected God in disobedience. Jesus taught and modeled the way of God’s kingdom. He died on the cross, making it possible for us to accept a renewed relationship with God. He rose from the dead, broke the power of sin and death, and frees us to live in obedience to God’s will.
- We believe that God the Holy Spirit invites all people to be reconciled with God and to join the global family of faith. Believers confess their faith, are baptized, and join in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and guided by the Bible, members of the church seek to live as followers of Christ and invite others to experience this new life.
As Christians, we are called to turn:
- from ignorance of God to a personal relationship with God
- from bondage of sin and past mistakes to freedom, forgiveness, and healing
- from individualism to interdependence with others in the local church
- from lifestyle choices that harm us, others, and the earth to choices that nurture wholeness, healing, joy, and peace
- from hating enemies and ignoring neighbours to showing love and justice to all
- from loving possessions to sharing with all in need
- from aimless existence to a mission of representing and proclaiming God’s kingdom on earth
As Christians, we look forward to the day when God will once again send Jesus to bring all things under God’s eternal rule.
Statement of Theological Distinctives
While the doctrines expressed in the Statement of Basic Beliefs are recognized to be universal and primary within the Church, there are a number of secondary beliefs that we are passionate to proclaim. Not all Christians hold these beliefs, but they are nonetheless important and true as we understand the Scriptures. Complete agreement is not required for the sake of membership, but it should be known that we will preach, teach and counsel in accordance with these convictions.
These distinctives represent six areas of doctrine and practice:
Below are summaries of our convictions on these topics.
God is sovereign over all things such that there is no aspect of reality outside of His ultimate control. Though God’s rule extends to all things, it is particularly His sovereignty over the work of salvation that is a theological distinctive. We believe that it is exceedingly good and glorious news that salvation is not dependent on the desires and deeds of man, but is grounded instead in God’s eternal decree of election. Though man is responsible for his sin, God is ultimately and entirely responsible for drawing those He would save unto Himself and overcoming their natural resistance to the gospel (Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Ephesians 1:3-14, Romans 8:26-9:23; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see exercised in the Scriptures have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the closing of the New Testament canon. They are available today and are to be eagerly desired and practiced in submission to the Spirit speaking through the Scriptures (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16).
The Complementary Role of Men and Women
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are different by divine design. Husbands and wives together are responsible for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, while God has given the man responsibility to lead with the servant-heart and sacrificial love characterised by Jesus. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, men and women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilise their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with God's created order and His establishment of church leadership as revealed through His Word.
These role distinctions are God’s grace to man and woman and are to be protected, preserved and practiced for His glory and our joy (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 11:2-12).
Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and can give sufficient testimony to the basics of Christian beliefs. We also baptize by immersion because it is the original meaning of the word and best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points: our death and resurrection in Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-11).
The Relationship of God’s Glory to Man’s Joy
We believe that man’s greatest joy is found only in faithful obedience to God and that our enjoyment of Him is one of the chief means by which He is glorified (Psalm 16:11; 37:4; Matthew 13:44; John 15:11; Philippians 3:8; Hebrews 11:6).
The Missionary Role of the Church
The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church.
We are called to make Christ known through the gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring his lordship to bear on every dimension of life.
The primary ways we fulfill this mission are through disciplemaking, church plantiing and the equipping of servant-leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of these individuals, families, community groups and churches.
We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the gospel, to engage it courageously as we seek its transformation, renewal & flourishing under the lordship of Christ.
(Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5-25; 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19; 24:46-47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10; 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)
Statement of Faith // adopted from the Lausanne Covenant
In the light of this, our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace and for his glory to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!