How We Define Ourselves
Apostolic – As in Acts 2:42,
- We are devoted to:
The Apostolic doctrine
Breaking of Bread (Communion)
We are catholic (universal, whole) in that we recognize the universal church made up of all true believers. We see ourselves united with the church universal.
Reformational – We stand in the stream of the Protestant Reformation and embrace the essential teachings contained in the creeds and confessions developed by the reformers.
Evangelical – We believe in, and are devoted to, fulfilling the Great Commission as mandated by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.
We align ourselves with the “Great Awakening” and revival movements of the past few centuries and seek fresh revival for our day.
Charismatic – We believe Christ has empowered His Church with the gifts necessary to carry on His ministry on the earth. The gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 are for believers of all generations and are to be used to minister both within the church and in the world as tools to fulfill our assignment as disciples.
We insist on adherence to the essentials of the faith while showing charity to those who differ on non-essentials.
We are in agreement with the core teachings expressed in:
- Nicene Creed (see below)
- Apostles Creed (see below)
- Athanasian Creed (see below)
The Bible alone is our rule of faith and conduct, however we believe these historic declarations of faith all submit to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, though all creeds and confessions are fallible documents.
We have an elder rule form of representative congregationalism. The elders are charged to feed the flock and exercise oversight for the church. The elders are responsible to Christ as the Head of the church and to the congregation we serve.
Members of Calvary Community Church are asked to nominate elders and deacons/deaconesses to be presented for selection by the governing elders. CCC is in association with and under the authority of Kingdom Covenant Churches and Ministries (KCCM).
The members of the congregation are also asked to vote on the major matters and expenditures of large amounts. The day-to-day matters are handled by the Pastor and Elders. Committees are established as needed.
The Apostles’ Creed
The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator.
Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ’s ascension into heaven. That is not the case, though the name stuck. However, each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 215). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542).
The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Hence it is also known as The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that they believed each statement.
I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
Under Pontius Pilate He was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
The First Ecumenical council of Nicaea was called by emperor Constantine. The council met to deal with the schism created by Arianism. The Arians wished to avoid the heresy of Sabellius who believed in a divine monad which, by expansion, projected itself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit–a form of Modalism. The Arians separated the Son from God entirely so that they believed he was a creature having a beginning. “There was when he was not.” The Son was but God’s first creation, yet out of nothing and hence has preeminence over the rest of creation.
The Nicene Creed answers the question, “Who is Jesus Christ.”
Its answer: God.
We believe in one God, the Father, the
Maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
The Creed of Athanasius
The Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult) is a statement of Christian Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. Its Latin name comes from the opening words Quicumque vult, “Whosoever wishes.”
The first half of the creed confesses the Trinity (one God in three persons). With didactic repetition it ascribes divine majesty and characteristics to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each individually. At the same time it clearly states that, although all three are individually divine, they are not three gods but one God. Furthermore, although one God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other. For the Father is neither made nor begotten; the Son is not made but is begotten from the Father; the Holy Spirit is neither made nor begotten but proceeds from the Father and the Son.
The Athanasian Creed is in large part a response to charges of polytheism, and attempts to rationalize the three distinct divinities. It was designed to overcome Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, and Macedonianism.
Creed of Athanasius
Whosoever will be saved,
before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.
Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled,
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the catholic faith is this:
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son,
and another of the Holy Ghost.
that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess,
that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one,
the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son,
and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate,
and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible,
and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal,
and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals,
but one eternal.
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated,
but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty,
and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties,
but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God,
and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods,
but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord,
and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords,
but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every
Person by Himself to be both God and Lord,
so we are forbidden by the catholic religion, to say, there be three Gods,
or three Lords.
The Father is made of none,
neither created, nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone,
not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father [and of the Son],
neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons;
one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less
but the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid,
the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved
must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds;
and Man, of the Substance of His Mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man,
of a reasonable soul in human flesh subsisting;
Equal to the Father, as touching His Godhead;
and inferior to the Father, as touching His Manhood.
Who, although He be God and Man,
yet He is not two, but one Christ;
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh,
but by taking of the Manhood into God;
One altogether; not by confusion of Substance,
but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man,
so God and Man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell,
rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty,
from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men shall rise with their bodies
and shall give account for their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting;
and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully,
he cannot be saved.