Below you'll find a series of statements that we believe and defend at Refuge Church. These Core Beliefs capture the basic contours of Christian theology and practice. Anyone pursuing membership and baptism at Refuge must agree with these beliefs.
The Triune God
We believe there is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father. Yet each is truly Deity. One God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is the foundation of Christian faith and life.
Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:36-39; Isaiah 45:5, Mark 12:29; Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Romans 16:26; Isaiah 40:28; John 1:1; John 8:58; Exodus 3:14; Hebrews 9:14
God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:21, 22; Matt 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Rom 1:7; I Tim 1:1,2; 2:5, 6; I Pet 1:3; Rev 1:6
God the Son
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Timothy 3:16
God the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is our abiding helper, teacher and guide.
John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26,27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26
The Scriptures are true, authoritative, sufficient and without error. They are the sole basis of our belief and are comprised of 66 books known as the Old and New Testaments. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Scripture speaks with God’s authority while also reflecting the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of these human authors. In its original manuscripts, the Scriptures are truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32
We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life.
Genesis 1:26; 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 19:3, 20; 20:10; 14, 15; 21:18; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25
The Ordinances of the Church
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe in Christian baptism administered in water into the name of the triune God. We believe in the Lord’s Supper as instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Last Things
We believe God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15
Further Issues & Denials
We reject any claim that suffering, sickness, and even death is never the will of God for His people in this age. While we believe that it is good to pray for the healing of illnesses, we reject the claim that—when God does not grant petitions for physical healing, material blessing, or other genuine requests—this result is always due to a weakness or lack of faith on the part of the petitioner. In other words, while we believe that “…the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up,” we reject the the notion that God's will to heal is contingent upon a certain “amount" of faith, which somehow activates movement from God, but rather believe that this faith trusts in God’s sovereign will for life, whether that be to suffer or to abound.
We reject any claim that wealth and material prosperity is always God's will for his people, the notion that wealth is a sure sign of God's blessing and poverty a sure sign of God’s judgment or displeasure.
We reject the claim that faith is an active or creative force, but rather believe that faith is an attitude of the heart which trusts, treasures, believes, and depends upon God as the all-satisfying, omnibenevolent Lord, Savior, and Satisfier. This faith is humble and childlike, yet bold in its assurance of things not seen. True faith comes to God with hands empty to be filled, soul thirsty to be quenched, and heart hungry to be satisfied. True faith does not come to God to command or control his will, but to discover, delight in, and submit to his will. Faith does not itself move mountains, but trusts in the God who can.
We reject as sinful any sexual activity outside of the covenant marriage of one man and one woman, including, but not limited to: pre-marital sexual activity (fornication), consumption of pornographic material or erotic literature, homosexual sexual activity (including monogamous homosexual activity within a so-called “gay marriage”), bestiality, the sexual abuse of a child, adultery (whether physical, mental, emotional, actual or digital), sexual violence, and polyamory of any kind.
We further reject as sinful any attempt (or claim to the possibility of) gender alteration, including the practice of portraying oneself as a gender incongruent with ones biological, genetic sex. This includes, but is not limited to, transgenderism, transvestitism, cross-dressing, gender reassignment surgery, or the promotion of such practices as healthy. As with all sinful activities, one who makes a practice of these things—apart from repentance and faith in the work of Christ on the cross—will be found in their sin on the last day and condemned to eternal judgement.
Romans 8:18-39; 2 Timothy 3:12, 4:20; 1 Peter 4:12-19; John 15:20; 1 Timothy 5:23; James 5:13-16; James 5:15; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Philippians 4:12-13; Luke 1:52-53, 6:20-26, 9:23-24; Mark 10:25; Matthew 6:19-21; Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 11:24-29; James 1:9-11; Acts 5:41; Philippians 2:5-9; Hebrews 11:1-3; Galatians 3:22: James 1:6; Psalm 34:8; Jeremiah 2:13; Matthew 18:2-4; Hebrews 11:1-3; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 1:9-10; Malachi 2:14; Genesis 2:23-24; 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Matthew 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 6:25; Psalm 101:3; Matthew 5:28; 1 Corinthians 6:13; Hebrews 13:1-5; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 5-8; Exodus 22:19; Deuteronomy 27:21; Proverbs 5:4-5, 6:32-34; Leviticus 20:10; Matthew 5:27-28; Hebrews 13:4; Deuteronomy 22:25-27; 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 John 3:4-10
Our Theological Distinctives mark areas of conviction that are debated even among Bible-believing, gospel-preaching churches. In other words, these are in-house issues. Because of that, agreement with these distinctives isn’t necessary for fellowship with us at Refuge; we list them only so you know that we will preach, teach, and counsel consistently with these convictions.
You could sum up our primary theological distinctives with four Cs...
We believe that God created men and women in the image of God and therefore absolutely equal in dignity, worth, and value. We also believe that men and women are divinely designed to be different and thus to occupy different—yet complementary—roles within the Church and the home, specifically in the areas of teaching and authority. Because of this, only men may serve as Elders at Refuge Church.
Genesis 1:26–27, 2:18, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 5–12; 7:4–5; Ephesians 5:15–33; Colossians 3:18–4:1; 1 Timothy 2:9–15, 3:1; Titus 1:5–6; 1 Peter 3:1–7
We believe that God is sovereign in salvation, that he ordained to raise the spiritually dead through the resurrecting voice of his Spirit, bringing them to salvation in Christ. The Shepherd calls and the sheep hear his voice and obey.
Genesis 45:5–8, 50:20; Exodus 4:11, 21, 7:3–5; Judges 9:23; Psalm 33:10–11, 15; Proverbs 21:1; Isaiah 46:9–10; John 3:1–21, 6:37–44, 10:28–29, 9:3, 12:37–43, 17:2, 9; Acts 2:23; 4:26–28, 13:28; Romans 8:28–32; 9:1–33; Ephesians 1:3–14, 2:8–9; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:3–5; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:2, 2:8–9; Revelation 17:17
Though we welcome our paedobaptistic brothers and sisters in fellowship, we are credobaptistic in our administration of the ordinance of baptism.
Mark 16:16; Acts 2:41, 8:36–38, 10:47–48, 18:8; Romans 9:6–8; Galatians 3:26–29; Ephesians 2:1–9; Colossians 2:6–15
We believe that human beings—being created by, for, and in the image of God—find their greatest joy in God's maximal glory. We believe that God has hardwired our joy to his glory, meaning our deepest satisfaction will come as we glorify God by enjoying him forever.
Psalm 1:2, 16:11, 37:4, 40:8, 43:4; Nehemiah 8:10; Luke 12:33, 14:12–14; John 15:11; Romans 5:2; 1 Corinthians 1:20–25; Philippians 1:20–23, 3:8, 4:4; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Hebrews 11:6, 26, 12:2