Third Church is a part of a denomination of churches affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The basic doctrinal beliefs of the Reformed Church in America can be viewed online at http://www.rca.org/. While denominational ties and a shared theology can be very important to a local church’s identity, the call to be in mission partnership with the Holy Spirit is the highest value in proclaiming the lordship of Jesus Christ to a fallen and broken, yet valuable, world. In light of this value, as Third Church humbly identifies with and stands in its historical and theological heritage, it also embraces a generous orthodoxy with people who come from other orthodox Christian traditions. What this means practically without compromising the truth of Scripture is as follows:
• Anyone who comes from an orthodox Christian tradition who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord is welcome to participate in the mission and membership of Third Church.
• Anyone who holds a variable yet viable orthodox Christian interpretation of a non-salvation teaching which is different from the historic Reformed interpretation of that teaching is welcome to participate in mission and membership as a part of Third Church.
• Anyone who aspires to formal leadership positions at Third Church must sign off signifying affirmation and support of all identity statements of Third Church.
Directional StatementsOUR PURPOSE: Why We Exist
People who come in contact with the Third Church body will experience the Fruit of the Spirit, an ever-deepening intimacy with the Triune God and an ever-increasing sacrificial generosity of the Body.
OUR MISSION: What We Do
Sending servant-hearted disciples with a passion for Jesus into the world.
OUR VISION: Where We are Going
-2016 God's Kingdom come "within"
-2017 God's Kingdom comes "in community"
-2018 God's Kingdom comes with "multiplication"
OUR CORE VALUES: Who We Are
The fellowship of believers at Third Church aspires to embody eight core values while carrying out its mission:
• We are committed to making, training and equipping disciples and leaders rooted in Christ-like character according to their calling, gifting and anointing.
Calling: Identity in Christ as an adopted son or daughter of God.
Gifting: What you do as a result of Holy Spirit gifts and accumulated natural talents.
Anointing: Destiny of service in one's kingdom contribution.
• We are committed to merging the Word and Spirit through a biblical worldview and life that represents the truth and teachings in the Word of God and the supernatural power and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
• We are committed to fostering life change through healing ministries of worship, teaching, prayer and counseling in Christian community that address the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional needs of people.
• We are committed to being people of prayer who seek God's presence and reflect His glory.
• We are committed to worshiping together passionately, reverently, expressively and creatively in glorifying the Triune God.
• We are committed to one another-extending radical hospitality and engaging in authentic Christian community-as an extension of our love for Jesus.
• We are committed to being generous people who graciously share our time, talents and treasures with all people and especially the family of faith.
• We are committed to living as missional people who participate in the advancement of God's Kingdom reign.
Statement of Faith
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is the final authority for all we believe and how we are to live. (Mt 5:18; Jn 10:35, 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pt 1:20-21)
We believe that the one true God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power and glory. We believe that God not only created the world but also now upholds, sustains, governs and providentially directs all that exists and that He will bring all things to their proper consummation in Christ Jesus to the glory of His name. (Ps 104, 139; Mt 10:29-31, 28:19; Acts 17:24-28; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 1:9-12, 4:4-6; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:1-3; Rev 1:4-6)
We believe that Satan, originally a great and good angel, rebelled against God, taking a multitude of angels with him. He was cast out of God's presence and is at work with his demonic hosts to establish his counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth. Satan was judged and defeated at the cross of Christ and will, at the end of the age, be cast forever into the lake of fire which has been prepared for him and his angels. (Mt 12:25-29, 25:41; Jn 12:31, 16:11; Eph 6:10-20; Col 2:15; 2 Pt 2:4; Jude 6; Rev 12:7-9, 20:10)
We believe that Adam was originally created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. In consequence of his disobedience, Adam's posterity are born subject to both imputed and inherent sin, and are therefore by nature and choice the children of wrath, justly condemned in the sight of God, wholly unable to save themselves or to contribute in any way to their acceptance with God. (Gen 1-3; Ps 51:5; Is 53:5; Rom 3:9-18, 5:12-21; Eph 2:1-3)
We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, that He was conceived and born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and offered himself as a penal, substitutionary sacrifice for sinners. By the blood of His cross He obtained for us eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. He was raised bodily on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, there to make intercession for the saints. (Mt 1:18-25; Jn 1:1-18; Rom 8:34; 1 Cor 15:1-28; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10-14; Eph 1:7; Phil 2:6-11; Col 1:15-23; Heb 7:25, 9:13-15, 10:19; 1 Pt 2:21-25; 1 Jn 2:1-2)
We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God's sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. (Jn 1:12-13, 6:37-44, 10:25-30; Acts 16:30-31; Rom 3-4, 8:1-17, 8:31-39, 10:8-10; Eph 2:8-10; Phil 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Jn 1:7,9)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit in whom also we are sealed for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit regenerates, forever indwells and graciously equips the Christian for godly living and service. Following conversion, the Spirit desires to continuously fill, empower and anoint believers for ministry and witness. We also believe that signs and wonders, as well as all the gifts of the Spirit described in the New Testament, are operative today and are designed to testify to the presence of the kingdom and to empower and edify the church to fulfill its calling and mission. (Mt 3:11; Jn 1:12-13, 3:1-15; Acts 4:29-30; Rom 8:9, 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:12-13; 2 Cor 1:21-22; Gal 3:1-5; Eph 1:13-14, 5:18)
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two sacraments of the church to be observed until the time of Christ's return. They are not a means of salvation but are a means of God's sanctifying grace and blessing to the faithful in Christ Jesus. (Mt 26:26-29, 28:19; Rom 6:3-11; 1 Cor 11:23-34; 1 Pt 3:21)
We believe that the church is God's primary instrument through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes on the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. We believe that women and men are called and gifted to proclaim the gospel and do all the works of the kingdom and that the method ordained by God for the support of His ministry is through the giving of tithes and freewill offerings. (Mal 3:10; Mt 16:17-19; Acts 2:17-18, 2:42; 2 Cor 9:7; Eph 3:14-21, 4:11-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15; Heb 10:23-25; 1 Pt 2:4-5, 9-10)
We believe in the equality and essential dignity of men and women of all races and classes. We recognize that all persons are made in the image of God and are to reflect that image in the community of believers, in the home and in society. We believe in the family, celibate singleness and faithful heterosexual marriage as the patterns God designed for us. (Gen 1:26-28; Gal 3:26-29)
We believe that God has called the church to proclaim the gospel to all nations. Part of that proclamation must include remembering the poor, widows and orphans, ministering to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service. This ministry is an expression of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ and is an essential part of the kingdom of God. (Is 58:6-12, 61:1; Mt 28:18-20; Lk 4:18, 21:1-4; Gal 2:10; 1 Tim 6:8)
We believe in the literal second coming of Christ at the end of the age when He will return to the earth personally and visibly to consummate His kingdom. We also believe in and are praying for a great end-time harvest of souls. (Ps 2:7-9, 22:27-28; Jn 14:12, 17:20-26; Rom 11:25-32; 1 Cor 15:20-28, 15:50-58; Eph 4:11-16; Phil 3:20-21; 1 Thes 4:13-5:11; 2 Thes 1:3-12; Rev 7:9-14)
We believe that when the Christian dies he/she passes immediately into the blessed presence of Christ, there to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Savior until the day of the resurrection and glorious transformation of the body. The saved will then forever dwell in fellowship with their great Triune God. We also believe that when the unbeliever dies he/she is consigned to Hades, there to await the Day of Judgment when he/she shall be punished with eternal separation from the presence of God. (Mt 25:46; Lk 16:19-31; Jn 5:25-29; 1 Cor 15:35-58; 2 Cor 5:1-10; Phil 1:19-26, 3:20-21; 2 Thes 1:5-10; Rev 20:11-15, 21:1-22:15)