We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ and that this good news centers on His cross and resurrection. The gospel is proclaimed when Christ is proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has been proclaimed when His death and resurrection are central. This good news is biblical: His death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures; this good news is theological and salvific:
Christ died for our sins to reconcile us to God; this good news is historical: if the saving events did not happen our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others; this good news is apostolic: the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events; finally, this good news is personal: where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved.
(Luke 24:44-48; Acts 2:22-39; Romans 10:5-13; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 15:3-18; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
The Redemptive Plan of God
We believe that from all eternity, God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end He foreknew and chose them. God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and He will one day glorify them — all to the praise of His glorious grace. In love, God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set His saving love on those He has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.
(Isaiah 53:4-6; Acts 4:27-28, 17:29-31; Romans 5:1-11; 8:28-39; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:1-5; Revelation 13:8)
The Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to God’s people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and is present with and in believers. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and powerfully and mysteriously regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive His sovereignly distributed gifts.
The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our promised inheritance, and in this present age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
(John 3:1-8; 6:63; 14:15-17; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9-27; 1 Corinthians 2:3-5; 12:4-11; Ephesians 1:13- 14; 5:18-21; Titus 3:4-7)
Worship is a way of life. Whatever we do and say, we do it all to the glory of God. The high point in this life of worship occurs each week when we assemble as a congregation for the privilege of uniting our voices in a planned service to worship God corporately. As a result, our corporate worship is guided by the following principles:
1) We are God‐ward in focus: We gather for the purpose of worshipping the one and only God — our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Friend. Consequently, nearly everything we do is focused on acknowledging and celebrating His greatness — especially His gracious display of love to us in the gospel. He alone is the audience for whom we perform.
2) We are congregational in orientation: We gather for the purpose of worshipping corporately — just as God Himself desires. This is why our prayers, confessions, and singing are most frequently offered to Him in the first person plural: “Our Father,” “We believe,” “We confess,” etc.
3) We are passionate in expression: We gather for the purpose of worshipping passionately, actively engaging our intellect, emotions, and bodies. Moreover, given the life‐transforming implications of the gospel, joy is the primary quality that distinguishes our congregational praise.
4) We are Gospel‐centered in structure: We gather for the purpose of worshipping in a manner that rehearses the gospel, employing a format shaped by the contours of Christ’s redeeming work. Since worship is our response to His loving provision, nothing is more honoring of His grace than making its themes our own.
5) We are classical and contemporary in style: We borrow from the church’s worship in the past — employing ancient creeds, historic confessions, and time‐honored music — while affirming our own distinct culture: 21st-century Portland, Oregon. Our worship is an indigenous and contemporary expression of our ancient faith.
6) We are biblical in boundary: We gather for the purpose of worshipping “by the book,” putting to use various components of worship found in the Scriptures. These principal elements include: prayer, singing, reading and preaching the Bible, the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and the giving of offerings.
(Psalm 87:1-2; Psalm 100; Matthew 6:9-13; John 4:23-24; 1 Corinthians 14:26-33; 2 Corinthians 4:4-5; Revelation 4:8-11; 5:9-10)
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. Baptism is the initiatory rite of the church, in which a believer openly identifies with Jesus Christ and His people. The Lord’s Supper is the ongoing rite of the church and is opened to all baptized followers of Jesus Christ. Together, these ordinances are
simultaneously God’s pledge to us, a divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of His return and of the consummation of all things.
(Matthew 26:26-29; 28:19; Acts 2:38-39, 42; 8:34-38; 10:44-48; 16:14-15; 20:7; Romans 6:1-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:17-34)
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in His own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God Himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women enjoy equal access to God by faith in Jesus Christ and are both called to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a “one flesh” union between a man and a woman that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for humankind, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and His church.
In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not interchangeable, but rather complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles that reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are to be encouraged to serve Christ and be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. While the office of deacon is open to both men and women, the distinctive leadership role within the church — namely, the office of elder — is reserved for qualified men.
(Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15-25; Acts 2:17-18; 21:9; Romans 16:1-16; 1 Timothy 2:12—3:13; Galatians 3:23-29; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that marriage was established by God as the first human institution. The Scriptures teach that a man should leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become “one flesh.” When this “one flesh” design has been violated, divorce is allowable but not mandated. This violation would include marital unfaithfulness (extramarital sexual intercourse) or the abandonment of the Christian by the non-Christian spouse.
Remarriage, consequently, is allowable but not mandated, when it becomes evident that the “one flesh” relationship has been violated in a manner such as described above and will not be restored. We believe that even when divorce and remarriage occur outside biblical boundaries, they are not unpardonable offenses but, because of the gospel, can be forgiven. Consequently, divorce and remarriage do not disqualify an individual from church membership and its privileges (including holding the office of elder or deacon/deaconess in the church).
(Genesis 2:24; Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-12; Mark 10:1-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 7:8-16)
The Kingdom of God and Social Responsibility
We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to obey God, and the prospect of glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying, and light in a world that is dark, believers should never withdraw from the world; nor should they become indistinguishable from it.
We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world that will culminate in the eventual redemption of all creation. It is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates the lives of individuals rescued from that realm. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
(Matthew 5:13-16; Luke 10:25-37; John 17:15, 17-18; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 3:16-18; Revelation 21:1-8)