What Makes Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church Different?
Our community is full of churches, each seeking your attention and claiming that its beliefs are the truth of God. We are no different in this respect. We want you to know about us and we sincerely desire to share our faith with you. We don’t claim to be the only ones in Seattle who know and love the truth. We don’t believe that we are the only true church or the only true Christians. With the Apostle Paul, we pray that God’s “grace will be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity” (Ephesians 6:24). In several ways, however, we are different from many of this city’s churches. Of course, we can only describe a few of our distinctives in these paragraphs.
Our major distinctives can be summed up in the principles that were the backbone of the Protestant Reformation. First, the inerrant and infallible Bible is our only authority. The Bible alone, not human tradition, teaches what we are to believe and how we are to live. Second, our God is not the weak and unprincipled being that men create in their own image; instead he is the powerful Creator of heaven and earth who reigns as a holy and righteous King over all he has made. He is our King, not our servant. We exist to do his will, not he to do ours. As the Sovereign Lord, he works all things after the counsel of his own will, especially in his work of saving spiritually blind and dead sinners. Third, our greatest need is the forgiveness of our sins. We’ve broken God’s law and deserve to perish in hell. Yet we cannot save ourselves; and we cannot be good enough to earn God’s saving favor. He alone can save us by his grace, which he offers freely to all who come to him, repenting of their sins and trusting in his Son. Fourth, Jesus Christ is our only Savior. Jesus died to save his people, suffering the punishment that our sins deserved. By faith in Christ we are right with God and at peace with him. Fifth, God gives his people the Holy Spirit, to dwell in us and to work in us so that we grow in likeness to Christ’s own character. Our duty is to strive to perfect holiness in the fear of God.
Of course, we believe many other things also. We regard the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 as an excellent, though not inspired, expression of the teaching of God’s Word. We have adopted this historic document as our church’s confession of faith and commend it to you as a faithful summary of the teaching of the Bible. If you do not have a copy, please ask and one will be provided.
Our worship, like our faith, is God-centered. We gather not to glorify men or to be entertained, but to give to the Lord the worship that he requires and deserves. Our worship is simple, consisting only of those things that have the clear warrant of the Bible. We pray and sing and read the Scriptures and give attention to the preaching of the Word. Beyond these things we have no liberty or desire. We believe that God is honored in this way and that he meets with us when we worship him in spirit and in truth.
God’s Word sets our priorities as a church and as individual Christians. We are to grow in godliness and fulfill our duties in our community, work, family, and church. We are to glorify God by maintaining and promoting his worship both individually and corporately, both in our homes and in the church. We are to evangelize sinners and build up the saints. As a church we are called to be “the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15). We are committed to the proclamation of God’s perfect moral law and to the preaching of the glorious gospel of Christ throughout this city and even to the ends of the earth. We are committed to the defense of that “faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) and to the pure and faithful celebration of the ordinances of the New Covenant. We pray that this church will be a lighthouse, from which the truth will shine forth to the benefit of many.
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