Congregational Statement of Faith
Northwest Hills Community Church is committed to biblical fidelity and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Our Confession of Faith is comprised of two tiers; namely, the Congregational Statement of Faith and the Statement of Theological Distinctives. Our Congregational Statement of Faith represents ‘mere Christianity,' as well as some of the more rudimentary theological distinctives of our church. For this reason, we require all members to affirm the Congregational Statement of Faith. Additionally, and in unity with the historic church, we believe and confess the Apostles’, Nicene, Chalcedonian, and Athanasian Creeds as accurate representations of Scripture’s teaching.
The Word of God
The sixty-six books contained in the Protestant canon are the Word of God. The Bible is completely inerrant and infallible, and is a product of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. The Bible alone is the infallible rule of Christian faith and practice.
There is only one God at all times in in all places. He is uncreated, eternal, personal, omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, and distinct from his creation. The one being of God eternally exists in three persons; namely the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Son of God is the Creator and is equal in divinity, glory, and power to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The Son is eternal and therefore preexisted his human birth at Bethlehem. In the fullness of time, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. His humanity was like us in all respects, yet he was without sin. He was crucified, buried, was bodily resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of God. As the incarnate Son of God, he is and will always be fully God and fully man, and the only mediator between man and God.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is fully God, co-eternal, and equal in divinity, glory, and power to God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is personal and was active in creation. He sovereignly regenerates sinners and convicts them of sin. He empowers believers for service, sanctifies them, and seals them for the last day.
All of humanity is sinful by nature and by choice. Because man cannot establish peace with God or atone for his sin, the Father sent his Son into the world in order that he might save those who would repent and believe. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to the law and then was crucified in the place of sinners. Upon the cross, the Son of God received upon himself the wrath of God on behalf of those who would repent and believe. Jesus atoned for the sins of his people, and in place of their sin he imputed his perfectly righteous life such that, when a sinner repents and places faith in Christ alone for his salvation, he receives comprehensive pardon for his sins and the perfect righteousness of Christ. Sinners are justified by faith apart from any work of their own whatsoever. The applied salvific work of Christ results in the redeemed sinner receiving eternal life, adoption into the family of God, and membership into the body of Christ. Upon regeneration, the Holy Spirit inhabits the hearts of his people and convicts them of sin and teaches them the law of God. As a result of the continual and relentless redemptive work of the Spirit, the believer becomes more and more like Christ. Because it is God who saves sinners, and because no one can stay his hand, those who are his will inevitably persevere in faithfulness until their death or the return of Christ. Those who depart from a professed faith in Christ never truly knew Christ, and were never of his flock.
The Christian church is comprised of those who have been baptized and profess repentance and faith in Christ. It is the primary mission of the church to worship God on the Lord’s Day, to evangelize the lost, to teach God’s Word, and to observe all ordinances and commands given by Christ. All believers are obligated to join themselves to local churches when and where they have the opportunity. Likewise, all who are admitted to the privileges of a church are also subject to its discipline and governance, according to the rule of Christ.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
The New Testament has given the people of God two ordinances to carry out in the life of the church. Baptism is the act in which a Christian is immersed in and brought out of water by another Christian. The Triune formula as indicated at Matthew 28:19 is the only oral invocation utilized for Christians baptism. The Lord’s Supper is the act in which a local church gathers and partakes of bread wine/grape juice in remembrance of Christ and his redemptive work. Like baptism, the Lord’s Supper is restricted to Christians.
Both Adam and Eve were created in God's image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart. God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of only one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church. God has not designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship.
Those who die in a state of peace with God before the general resurrection exist in a temporary disembodied state in paradise with Christ. Those who die in their sin prior to the general resurrection exist temporarily in a place of torment. On the last day, the Son of God will return in victorious judgement, establishing his kingdom upon a renewed earth. All people will be resurrected and judged, and only those who are in Christ, as evidenced by their good works, will enter into the Kingdom of God. Those who did not receive Christ by repentance and faith will enter into a place of eternal conscience torment. There are gradations of rewards in heaven and punishments in hell.
Statement of Theological Distinctives
The Statement of Theological Distinctives reflects what distinguishes Northwest Hills Community Church from other churches who would affirm the same basic doctrines. These distinctives shape the way that NHCC is led and the direction the church is headed. We do not expect all members to embrace all aspects of these distinctives, but members should expect that the distinctives will be maintained in all ministry environments, and members may not teach contrary to them. While all members of Northwest Hills Community Church must affirm The Congregational Statement of Faith, both elders, deacons, and all who teach within NHCC must also adhere to The Statement of Theological Distinctives.
Creation and Complementarity
God created all things from nothing, speaking creation into existence. All things are dependent upon God, and nothing can exist apart from God’s sovereign decree. God created all things within the span of six ordinary twenty-four hour days. Every human from conception has been made in the image of God and is therefore intrinsically valuable. The existence of every human is intended by God and is in no way accidental. We deny that the existence of man is a result of godless, naturalistic, evolutionary processes. We deny that some humans are more or less valuable in the sight of God due to the color of their skin, stage of development, or the functionality of their body or mind. Both Old and New Testaments affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community.
The Fall & the Human Condition
Humanity was created good and upon Adam’s intentional act of rebellion against God, all of humanity was thrown into a state of guilt and condemnation before God. Sin came into the world through Adam’s sin, and all were made sinners. Because of sin, the natural man is spiritually dead, is enslaved to sin, and is subject to physical death because the wages of sin is death. The natural man is incapable of obedience to God, whether obedience to his holy law, or obedience in the form of repentance and faith in Christ. Every part of the natural man is in some manner corrupted by sin, including the human will. Sinful man loves his sin and is at war with God—he cannot of his own volition bend his knee in repentance toward God. God’s existence is revealed to the natural man through his creation, but in his idolatry he suppresses that knowledge such that he is without a defense for his unbelief.
The Sovereignty of God in All Things
The Triune God has decreed the end from the beginning, having ordained whatsoever comes to pass. However, God is not the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of his creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. God, upon the basis of his good pleasure alone, has elected those who will enjoy salvation in Christ. Like creation, redemption is a work of the Triune God: God the Father predestined his elect according to his eternal decree, God the Son procured the salvation of sinners by his atoning death, and God the Holy Spirit applies the saving work of Christ to the life of the sinner. God is perfectly just to have mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and compassion upon whom he will have compassion. God has drawn only those whom Christ will raise. Salvation therefore, does not hinge upon human will, but rather the will of God. While man does make a choice as to whether to repent and believe in Christ, his decision to repent is predicated upon God’s sovereign choice.
The Law of God
There exists within the Bible a threefold division in the law of God. First are those moral laws, which are binding on all people for all time. These laws, codified within the ten commandments, are a reflection of the perfect holy character of God, and are therefore unchanging. The moral law serves as the basis for civil government to rule well, as the means for sinners to learn of their sin, and as a rule for holy and acceptable living for the redeemed. Those civil laws which pertain to the governance of the nation state of Israel are not binding. However, the underlying moral principle remains binding. Those ceremonial laws which belonged to the sacrificial system of ancient Israel are not binding. Rather, these laws, like priest and temple sacrifice itself, serve as a typological portrayal of the person and work of Christ.
The Church and Its Polity
Jesus is the Chief Shepherd of the church, and he has appointed under-shepherds to care for his flock (i.e., Elders). The Scripture recognizes only two offices to be observed in the local church, namely Elder and Deacon. The office of Elder is restricted to qualified men, and the office of Deacon is open to qualified men and women.