Members of Crossway Fellowship believe, confess, and teach…
ABOUT THE BIBLE
…that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word. Therein, God the Father reveals Himself to lost mankind as Creator, Lord, Redeemer, and Judge in the face of His Son, Jesus Christ. Scripture makes wise unto salvation, strengthens believers’ faith, and is eminently trustworthy concerning all matters to which it speaks. Thus, in all that it affirms, it should be believed as God’s instruction; in all that it requires, it should be obeyed as God’s command; and in all that it promises, it should be trusted as God’s pledge. Scripture constitutes the only infallible and normative rule for Christian faith and practice. It should be handled with care, interpreted literally in dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s illumination. It should be consulted often, allowed to inform and saturate a life of worship. Devotion to the Bible, God’s written Word, is devotion to Christ, God’s incarnate Word.
...that there is but one living and true God—an infinite and perfect spiritual being who is the sole Creator, Sustainer, and sovereign Lord of the universe. God in His Word has progressively and definitively revealed Himself to be triune—a singular essence, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Son eternally begotten of and the Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father. Thus is there only one God and that God is one.
God the Father is the primary source of all existence and redemption. He is called Father because of the paternal relation He maintains to the Second Person of the Trinity by way of generation, to the redeemed by way of adoption, and to all humanity by way of creation. God the Son, whom we now identify as Jesus Christ by virtue of His incarnation, is the agent and mediator of both the creative and re-creative orders. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully Man, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died a vicarious sacrifice, rose from the dead, and ascended our sympathetic High Priest into heaven, whence He shall return in judgment to further establish His kingdom. God the Holy Spirit, among other things, executes and applies the divine will in relation to creation and salvation. Presently His Holiness convicts the world of sin and judgment and sanctifies and gifts the believer. Thus is the Father the source, the Son the mediator, and the Spirit the executor of creation and redemption, life and eternal life.
...that it was this God’s good pleasure—from times eternal and in accordance with a comprehensive, immutable plan to reveal Himself and manifest His glory—to create ex nihilo and aged to perfection the universe and all it contains, things visible and invisible, in six literal days. God now sustains by the power of His word the worlds He once spoke into existence, and such providence will continue until from Him, through Him, and ultimately to Him are all things.
...that while all of creation bears God’s mark, only mankind bears God’s image. This God-breathed existence comes with a spiritual capacity that differentiates him from the rest of brute creation and encourages him to find his identity and purpose in the Most High. Although God designed our first parents innocent and good natured that they might glorify and enjoy Him forever, almost immediately they succumbed to satanic temptation, transgressed the revealed will of God for their lives, and incurred the wrath of their heavenly Father. The fallout from this primal sin was devastating: death followed sin like a shadow and creation was cursed in its wake. Man became a sinner by divine declaration, by a corrupt nature, and by many a choice, his depravity so total as to render him irrevocably lost apart from God’s gracious intervention.
ABOUT THE GOSPEL
...that the person and work of Jesus Christ, known also as the gospel, is this gracious intervention. Planned from eternity, promised from the beginning, anticipated by the Law, and foreseen by the prophets, in the fullness of time God sent His only begotten Son to become man, live a sinless life, die a vicarious sacrifice, and rise again for the justification of all who would trust in Him for their salvation. Such a costly redemption and full reconciliation is found only in the Lord, Jesus Christ; there is salvation in no other.
So great a salvation is individually appropriated as it is divinely applied to whomever God has from eternity past chosen and predestined unto glory. God draws the elect to Himself such that they begin to seek His face. He calls and regenerates the elect through the free proclamation of the gospel such that they repent and believe. God then forgives, justifies, adopts, and indwells the elect such that they rejoice at His salvation. With everything pertaining to a life of godliness and Christian service now at their disposal, the elect are exhorted to engage the means of grace so as to become in practice what they already are positionally in Christ. They are to work out with fear and trembling the salvation God is so graciously working in them, and to prove the vitality of their faith in the performance of good works, until they all attain to the perseverance of the saints through Christ’s coming or their passing. Perseverance in this upward call, while not without its difficulties, is all but assured to God’s elect, to the praise of His sovereign will and matchless grace.
ABOUT THE CHURCH
…that the administration of this great mystery of salvation creates the church, which is Christ’s body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Christ’s church is the redemptive-historical people of God now come of age under the New Covenant. She is that reflection of eternity, whose but silhouette graced the shadow lands of the past. As the community of Christ’s redeemed, she incorporates all Old Testament saints, includes a faithful remnant from Israel, and ever expands to embrace believers from every tongue, tribe, and nation. She is beloved and glorious, where heaven and earth mingle and God’s kingdom reaches back into the hearts of men.
This universal church, which is the church as only God can see it, manifests itself earth-side in local assemblies. These are to be microcosms of the whole and close approximations of the ideal. Distinguishing marks of a healthy, local church include: devotion to God’s Word, seasons of corporate prayer, joyful and heartfelt worship, rich fellowship, sustained giving, Spirit-empowered service, avid evangelism, conversion-immersion baptism, regular examination at the Lord’s Table, church discipline where necessary, the ordination of qualified elders to rule and deacons to serve, and a desire to keep and manifest the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It is a Christian’s joyful duty to participate in the body life of a local fellowship by worshiping with it regularly, employing one’s giftedness for its benefit, and accepting its nurture and discipline. To neglect this privilege is to deprive oneself of a crucial means of saving grace.
ABOUT END TIMES
…that it is only a matter of time now before our Lord returns to destroy His enemies, vindicate His people, and further establish his kingdom here on earth. False messiahs are on the loose; war mongering is on the rise; persecution for and apostasy from the faith have reached new levels; lawlessness is the rule. When these signs of the times finally come to a head and the Antichrist is revealed, brace yourself for heaven’s response! For God in His righteous anger will lay waste to the earth and its inhabitants like never before or thereafter. Toward the end of this great tribulation, when the chaos in the sky matches the panic on the ground, the Lord of Hosts Himself will descend with the clouds from heaven. He will marshal to His side both dead and living saints so that they might be revealed with Him in resurrection glory. Then He will slay the forces of evil at Armageddon with the breath of His mouth. The beleaguered nations will witness these things and mourn; what’s left of Israel will look upon Him whom they have pierced and believe; and Jesus Christ with His resurrected saints will rule from Jerusalem over all the nations of the earth for a millennium.
At the close of this era of unparalleled righteousness and peace, Satan will be released to make one last stand. He will deceive the nations and foment rebellion, but fire from heaven will consume his efforts, and the devil himself will be thrown into hell. The resurrection of the unrighteous and their final judgment will take place at this time; and they too will be cast from the glorious presence of the Lord into the lake of fire where they will be punished with everlasting destruction. Not so the redeemed: theirs is the New Heavens and New Earth, where they will enjoy the glory of the beatific vision forever. Alleluia, maranatha, and amen!
The following confession serves in our church as a teaching standard and guard against doctrinal error. It is the ancient faith as best we can distill it from Scripture. Obviously and like us it is a work in progress, an all too human response to divine truth. Even so, we humbly submit it to the larger Christian community now for its encouragement and edification in the true ecumenical spirit of ‘unity in truth.’