Statement of Faith
A.W. Tozer said, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us" (The Knowledge of the Holy). At Whitewater Community Church what we believe about God is the most important aspect of our faith community. Our statement of faith is something we are currently working through and something we will always revisit.
Revelation. We believe that God has revealed Himself generally through creation and specifically through the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. The Biblical narrative, from Genesis to Revelation, is a perfect unity describing God’s redemptive plan through Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Scripture, in its original autographs, is verbally inspired, without error, and infallible by the Holy Spirit. We believe that the intention of Scripture’s human writers does not exhaust the scope of its complete meaning. Therefore, we read the Old Testament in light of Christ and the New Testament. Scripture is the supreme and final authority for faith and conduct, and sufficient to live wisely and godly in the present evil age. We believe that all Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and that no interpretation of the Bible is faithfully understood apart from its fulfillment in the person and work of Christ.
Gen 1-2; Mat 5.18; Luk 24.44-45; Heb 4.12; 2 Tim 3.16-17; 2 Pet 1.3; Rev 21-22
God. We believe that the One, True God exists and has revealed Himself to all mankind. Finite humans will never completely understand the Infinite God whose divine character is mysterious and ultimately incomprehensible. But by grace, in order to meet humanity’s greatest need, God has lovingly made himself known and personally knowable. God’s greatness is revealed in Scripture as personal, infinite in being, sovereign, spirit, life, and unchanging in perfection. His goodness is holy, righteous, just, faithful, and abounding in lovingkindness, grace, and mercy. We deny the post-modern exchange of God's wrath in substitution for His love. We affirm that God's wrath cannot be fully understood nor biblically articulated apart from His love; just as His greatness apart from His goodness.
Gen 1.1; Exod 3.14; 34.6-7; Deut 32.4; Isa 55.8-9; John 4.24; 14.6; 1 Pet 1.16
The Eternal Trinity. We believe that God has mercifully chosen to reveal Himself to man as the eternal Trinity having three distinct persons, but one essence. The Father, Son, and Spirit share the same perfections and are worthy of the same worship. It is because of the Trinity that believers can know and worship God in his persons, but not in His essence. We believe the Trinity is the foundation for all Christianity, the unfathomable explanation behind the incarnation, and the model for fellowship in the community of believers. We cautiously avoid worldly analogies of the Trinity, but intentionally emphasize trinitarian language in our worship, honoring the One True God of heaven and earth who has always distinguished Himself as the Triune God.
Psa 2.7; 110.1; Mat 22.42-45; 28.18-20; John 1.12-13, 18; 10.30; 14.7-11; 17.17; Eph 3.14-19
God the Father. We believe that God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten, eternal Son. He is also, in a spiritual sense, the Heavenly Father of Israel and the Father only of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. His fatherhood is distinguished by spiritual adoption into His family, as well as spiritual discipline for the believer’s good and share of His holiness. We believe that God’s providence and sovereignty undeniably mark His fatherhood. God providentially cares for all aspects of His Creation and sovereignly reigns as the Almighty over all things in such a way that His goodness and glory is perfect, just, merciful, and trustworthy.
Gen 1.1; Exod 4.22; 15.1ff; 1 Chron 29.10-13; Matt 5.45; 6.25-33; John 1.18; Rom 8.14-15
God the Son. We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God; being fully God as far as His deity is concerned and fully man as far as His humanity is concerned. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life but He was crucified for us and our salvation under Pontus Pilate, dead, and was buried according to the Scriptures. He was resurrected from death three days later, according to the Scriptures, appeared to the Apostles and 500 other believers before ascending to the right hand of God where He currently sits as our Advocate, Mediator, and eternal High Priest. He is the promised Messiah from the Old Testament, and Israel’s great hope for a Davidic King who will bring final restoration, and fulfillment to all the covenant promises regarding the Redeemer. He is the perfect image of God, who succeeded where Adam, Israel, and all humanity has failed. He will return to set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem over the New Heavens and New Earth.
Isa 7.14; Matt 1.23, 25; John 1.1-2; 8.58; 1 Cor 15.3-4; Phil 2.5-8; Tit 2.13-14; Heb 1.3; 7.17; Rev 19-22
God the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the giver of life. He is the third person of the Trinity and possesses all the distinctive divine attributes. In His personhood, the Holy Spirit can be grieved, lied to, resisted, or obeyed. In His deity He is mysterious and the invisible power that sanctifies, restrains, teaches, comforts, empowers, and testifies. The Holy Spirit is directly involved in God’s entire redemptive plan. He was indispensable in the transmission of Scripture and the life of Christ, who bestowed the Spirit at Pentecost for the Church - distributing certain gifts for the edification of the Body. According to promise, the Holy Spirit has been sent to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment; to renew and baptize believers into the Body of Christ, to indwell, fill, seal, enlighten, and anoint the believer for teaching, guidance, godly living, and victory over sin.
Gen 1.2; John 14.26; 16.7-11; Rom 8.9; 1 Cor 12.13; Gal 5.16-25; Eph 5.18; 1 John 2.20-27
Creation. We believe that God is the Maker of the heavens and the earth, all that is seen and unseen. He created the universe in six literal days as a “theater of His glory” with the distinct purpose that He would dwell with mankind, they would know Him, and make His glory known. God’s creation is of the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit. It is both original and continual through God’s providence and sustaining grace. When Adam sinned, mankind and all of creation were subjected to corruption and futility; Nevertheless, Creation is distinctly linked with God’s plan to establish His Kingdom on the earth in the final restoration of all things. We believe that the purpose of creation is understood more comprehensively by reading God’s final restoration (Rev 21-22) along with His original creation (Gen 1-2).
Gen 1-2; Job 38-41; Psa 104.24; Isa 45.18; John 1.1-3; Col 1.15-17; Heb 11.3; Rev 4.11; 21-22
The Church. We believe in one, holy, unified, apostolic church which consists of all true believers in Jesus Christ, who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit and worship the One, True God in the Father through the Son and by the Spirit. We believe the local church is God’s new redeemed humanity comprised of believers in Jesus Christ, having been water baptized, preaching the Gospel rightly, administering the Lord’s Supper biblically, and carrying out God’s will prayerfully. The New Testament church is called to be centralized in Christ, decentralized in the world, and unified for God’s Kingdom, therefore wisely and righteously conducting church discipline, community fellowship, and ministry gifts to build and edify the Body of Christ in which Jesus is the Head.
Mat 28.18-20; Gal 1.6-9; 6.1; Eph 2.11-22; 4.4-6; 11-16; 1 Cor 12.13; Jud 3
End Times. We believe in the resurrection. All believers will give an account of their lives at the Judgment Seat of Christ in regard to reward. All unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment and suffer eternally in Hell away from the presence of the Lord. Although this life is transitory, our daily lives are immeasurably significant in light of the glory to follow. We believe death is real, spiritual, and inescapable. It is a penalty, hostile enemy, and curse, but not the end of existence. We believe in an intermediate state between death and resurrection for all humanity to experience either the presence or absence of God. For the believer death is no longer a curse, but a great blessing because of the bodily resurrection of Christ. We believe in the triumphant, visible, and impending return of Jesus Christ to judge the living and the dead and establish His Kingdom, which will have no end. We maintain a sure and certain hope that one day every consequence of sin will be eternally removed and Christ’s full redemption realized.
Gen 3.19; Mat 10.28; 24-25; 1 Cor 15; 2 Cor 5.10; Phil 1.21; Heb 9.27; Rev 21-22
Essential Doctrinal Commitments
1. Undivided Greatness and Goodness of God
2. Inerrant, Inspired, Unified Protestant Canon of Scripture
3. The Eternal Trinity
4. Full Deity & Humanity of Christ
5. Literal, Historical Creation
6. Inherited, Imputed, and Personal Sinfulness of Man
7. Salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone
8. Complete, Redemptive Gospel
9. Transformed Pursuit of Christian Life
10. The Church as New, Redeemed Humanity
11. The Return of Christ & Consummation of His Kingdom
Mankind. Since all humanity is created in the image of God, we believe in the sanctity and inestimable worth of all human life. We do not believe that man is in any sense the product of evolution, but has been created by God, distinct from animals. As a result of sin, the image of God in man has been corrupted, though not completely destroyed. Sin has marred the image of God in man at every point. By nature and apart from Christ, mankind has an empirically demonstrable and biblically defensible bias toward evil. All of humanity has fallen into sin and from conception is depraved, spiritually dead, and lost, being severed from Christ. Because of sin, no one of himself, apart from God’s intervention, can gain recovery or be restored in the family of God. We believe that the redeemed should give wholehearted allegiance to God in whose image they are made. We believe that Christ is the perfect image of God, and believers constantly pursue His image until death at which time believers will be made like Him in glory.
Gen 1-2; 9.6-7; Psa 8; Eccl 7.20; Acts 17.26-28; Rom 3.23-24; Eph 2.1-3; Col 1.15
Salvation. Because all humanity is subject to death as a result of sin, we believe no one can enter the kingdom of God unless first born again. No good works, no feeling, no resolution, no sincere efforts, no morality, no baptism, nor any ordinance can grant any unbeliever salvation. Salvation is a gift given by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone by the work of the Triune God alone. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross, provides salvation for all who believe, justifying them on the basis of His shed blood and resurrection. All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are redeemed from sin, born of the Spirit, adopted by God, reconciled to Him, and posses eternal life. We believe that we are not saved by good works, but to good works. God, having begun the work of salvation, will save us and keep us forever, based entirely on Christ’s work apart from any human merit. All true believers, once saved shall be kept saved forever, in the mighty hand of our great God.
John 1.12; 3.1-7; 5.14; 10.29; Rom 5.1; 8.1-2, 29-39; 1 Cor 15.1-4; Eph 2.8-10
The Gospel. We believe that the Gospel starts with a promise, centers on Jesus Christ, progresses through the storyline of God’s Kingdom, and builds to final redemption through the promise of God’s Spirit. The backbone of the Gospel is the covenants to Abraham, David, and the New Covenant. In the Gospel, the first Adam sinned resulting in eternal separation from God for all mankind, but Christ overcame sin resulting in reconciliation for all those who believe. The Cross of Jesus is the climax of the Gospel, but not the entire Gospel. The entire Gospel stretches from Genesis to Revelation, from the Fall of man to the coming of the King. The Gospel is good news because of what Jesus has done and will do, not what mankind does. The good news is that a Holy God has redeemed sinful man through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We believe in a Gospel that makes disciples not just decisions, and fixes humanity’s sin problem not just social problems. We believe that the Gospel should be central in everything we do individually and corporately.
Gen 3.15; 12.2-3; 2 Sam 7; Jer 31.31-34; John 3.16-18; Eph 1.13-14; Titus 2.12-14
The Christian Life. The Christian life is a progressive work of transformation where believers pursue the image of Christ. We believe one’s new identity in Christ is a bedrock for resisting sin. Therefore, we emphasize the positional truth of the Gospel and the full realization of what transpired at the moment of saving faith to defeat sin’s power. We believe that no Christian will reach complete freedom from the presence of sin in their lifetime, but every Christian can gain freedom by relying on God. We believe justification, God’s declaration of righteousness, is distinguished from sanctification, the Spirit’s work of making a believer more holy, while affirming that they are connectedly united. Sanctification is not an individual effort, but a divine-human operation initiated and sustained by God and carried out in the community of faith. We believe the Christian life is lived the same way it began, by faith.
John 15.1-11; Rom 6.6-14; 12.1-2; 2 Cor 3.18; Eph 2.8-10; Col 2.6; Heb 12.14
Sin. We believe that sin entered all humanity through Adam’s rebellion, resulting in spiritual, physical, and eternal death. God is in no way the author of sin. Sin originated with Satan, infects the world, and turns the heart of man against God. Universally, sin is inherited from conception, imputed from Adam, and personal in nature culminating in shame and guilt before the Holy God of Scripture. We reject the modern attempt to minimize sin, and deny that natural man, reason, secularism, moral thought, or science can do anything about one’s sin problem. We affirm that sin makes it impossible for unbelievers to think clearly about self. Being corrupt, enslaved to sin, and apart from God, man is unable to diagnose their sin problem, let alone cure it. All sin is first and finally a Godward offense, making sinners culpable to God’s perfect standard of righteousness and objects of His wrath. We believe that despite sin’s polluted, parasitic, and perverse nature, no sin, except the willful rejection of Christ, is beyond the redemptive grace of God in the Gospel.
Gen 3.1-7; Psa 51.4; Isa 53.6; Jer 17.9; Hos 4.6; Rom 3.23; 6.23; 8.7; Heb 12.1; 1 John 3.4