As a localized expression of the Church of Jesus Christ, who rules and reigns over the universe, that we may gather, preach, teach, represent, disciple, and worship Jesus in such a way that proclaims the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into light, we adopt these truths for the sake of the gospel, the glory of God, and the expanding of the kingdom of God.
Church in the Square ascribes to and bases its ministry, operations, and actions upon certain doctrinal essentials. Adherence to these biblical truths not only serves as a condition for membership at Church in the Square, but more importantly, serves as a foundation for a flourishing, gospel-centered, and eternal life promised by Jesus Christ himself.
God is real. The foundation of any people of God is God himself. Therefore we do not assume his existence, rather we believe and trust God. We don’t simply find God to be a helpful concept for organized and flourishing society—he is alive and well. We see evidences of his reality in two primary ways: his goodness and his work.
The goodness of God is shown through his creation. Like anything that is made, the artistry and artifacts of God’s design reflect his image and qualities. Therefore when the authenticity and purity of creation and culture are experienced, we see the evidence of God. In the natural goodness of God’s creation, we witness his existence.
The work of God also bears his existence. Wonder and the supernatural may be dimly lit in our technologically oversaturated societies yet the miraculous haunts us every day. In the supernatural work of God we are convinced of his existence and glory.
God is Triune
God is one in the unity of three. In agreement with historic Christianity we believe God is one being in three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And all members are active in the gospel. The Father architects the plan of the gospel. The Son achieves the work of the gospel. The Spirit applies the power of the gospel.
God the Father
God is Father. The first person of the Triune God is God the Father. He is fully God. He is uniquely the Father. He is eternal, invisible, all-powerful, full of justice, full of mercy, long-suffering, patient, kind, in control of all things, all-good, and he is love.
We believe God the Father is the chief architect of creation, redemption, and restoration. Therefore he is the one who sends the Son to earth for the sake of redemption and sends the Spirit into the world, to his people for the sake of restoration.
God the Son
God is Son. The second person of the Triune God is God the Son. He is fully God. He is uniquely the Son. He is eternal, visible and invisible, all-powerful, full of justice, full of mercy, long-suffering, patient, kind, in control of all things, all-good, and he is love.
We believe at just the right time the Father sent the Son into the world to take on flesh, to be born of a virgin, to bring glory to God through obedience, to die for the sake of sinners, to defeat evil finally through the cross, and to rise in victory over Satan, sin, and death on the third day. Therefore the Father has given him the name that is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is Lord of lords. He is King of kings. He is Prince of peace. He is Immanuel God with us. He is the long awaited hope and savior of God’s people.
We believe God the Son is the head of the Church and that he presently rules and reigns as king of the universe at the right hand of the Father. He reigns as God and Man. He rules with justice and equity. He advocates for those whom he has saved to the Father.
God the Spirit
God is Spirit. The third person of the Triune God is God the Spirit. He is fully God. He is uniquely the Spirit of God. He is eternal, invisible, all-powerful, full of justice, full of mercy, long-suffering, patient, kind, in control of all things, all-good, and he is love.
We believe the Spirit is the helper whom Jesus promised he would send. In the Old Testament, he was given for moments and purposes. Today he is given to God’s people to be their eternal seal and sign of salvation. Daily he transforms the minds and hearts of those in whom he dwells. He makes clear the work of Christ and makes clean the follower of Christ.
God speaks. Through his word—spoken, given, and recorded—he makes plain his invisible attributes, desires, and purposes. It was the spoken word of God that effectively brought about the creation of all things—in heaven and earth, on the earth, and below the earth. God made all things through his word. And through the Word made flesh—the incarnate Son of God—he renews, heals, redeems, and makes whole again things that were lost and ruined by sin.
God’s word is truth. God doesn’t speak mere opinion or perspective. God only speaks that which is true. Therefore God’s word reveals the truth about what is hidden, and his word can be trusted as pure, righteous, good, and accurate. The sixty-six books of the Christian Scriptures—when interpreted appropriately—are true (to seek sound and consistent translation we will employ the English Standard Version of the Bible). They are breathed from his mouth and recorded by his instruments. The words of the Bible are profitable, helpful, trustworthy, and powerful.
God’s word is majestic. God doesn’t speak without grace and mercy. Therefore God’s word reveals the splendor of grace, mercy, love, and joy. The Christian Scriptures are not simply the cold hard facts of reality, they are the revelation of God’s enduring and endearing love and character. The words of the Bible are peaceable, pure, wise, life-giving, and freeing.
God’s word proclaims the gospel. The gospel or good news is the announcement that Jesus is Lord. The Lordship of Jesus is revealed in his nature, character, and work— Jesus lived, Jesus died, Jesus was buried, Jesus rose from the dead, and Jesus ascended. Each aspect of his work proves the reality of his character—Jesus is Lord. This news is good because Jesus lived a life we did not and could not. This news is good because Jesus died a death we deserved and was buried in a tomb that we could not overcome. This news is good because the resurrection of Jesus is evidence that a new creation has broken into the old. In Christ we can receive bodies that will not perish, and with him we will reign forever.
God works. He is not simply holy, high, and lifted up; he is present and active. Namely he is active through the entire storyline of Christianity—creation, redemption, restoration, and consummation. And in every movement of the story God is doing two things—revealing himself and reclaiming his creation.
God works in creation. In seven stanzas, the writer of Genesis recounts the rhythm and order of the creation of all things. In creation God reveals his power, goodness, truth, and beauty. In particular God makes man and woman (male and female) to bear his image as his prize creation. God made all things good, but through sin we created a need for the cross of Christ.
God works in redemption. In sending the Son, God redeems the world through the work of Christ. Jesus Christ pays the sufficient penalty for the sins of fallen humanity. In doing so Jesus becomes our righteousness, advocate, expiation, Savior, Lord, and extends grace to all who would believe by faith alone. We are brought back to God through the redemption of Christ on the cross.
God works in restoration. Through the work of Christ, God doesn’t simply save humanity he is remaking and refreshing his world by grace. The resurrection of Christ paves the way to reclaim and restore all that was lost, diminished, broken, fracture, and stained by Satan, sin, and death. All things are being restored through the cross of Christ.
God works in consummation. Presently we look forward to a day when the work of restoration will culminate in the work of glorification. One day all shall be well and all tears and terror will be wiped away by King Jesus. In the age to come we will have resurrected physical bodies which will be like that of the Resurrected Christ, and we will be with God forever. The redeemed will be glorified through the cross of Christ.
God unifies humanity by grace through faith. This means the work of Christ doesn’t just bring us back to God, but it also restores our relationship with one another. In particular Jesus breaks down the dividing wall of hostility between people of all backgrounds, classes, status, genders, races, ethnicities, and cultures. That’s what makes Jesus’ own identity the rock on which the Church is founded and built.
The Church is the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, and the people of God who have been saved and sent by Jesus. Therefore we are meant to put the glory of God on display as the local church through gathering, discipleship, service to each other, and love for our neighbors. Additionally the church is multi- ethnic and comprised of various socio-economic statuses. This unity in diversity is for the sake of demonstrating the gospel and the glory of God.
Those who have been redeemed by Jesus will be with God forever in the age to come. When Jesus returns, he will bring heaven with him like a bride adorned for her husband. The dead in Christ will rise to be with God forever in eternity and those who died outside of Christ will step into eternal separation from God in hell. The great joy and responsibility of the Church is to magnify Jesus in all things so that more and more people will be with Jesus in the age to come.