Distinctives are less about making distinctions and more about being upfront about who you are. You don't have to agree but you'll never doubt where we stand.
We believe that baptism should only be performed for those who make a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ. If you aren't there yet, that's ok, you are welcome to join us; we'd love to walk you through what it means to have faith in and a personal relationship with Jesus.
We also believe that the local church is self-governing and under no other ecclesiastical authority except the Lord Jesus Himself. This basically means we are an independent church answering to God and not a governing body.
We believe that salvation has always been and always will be by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
We believe that God is sovereign over everything - there is nothing outside his authority. This is comforting for Christians because it means he can and will accomplish that he has set out to do - namely save people who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Reformed Confessions of Faith provide invaluable tools for understanding God's word, but do not replace Scripture. God has used faithful men over the centuries to teach us and help us better understand his word and the Christian Faith. We appreciate the confessions, but are not a "confessional" church. We do have a Statement of Faith that essentially functions as our confession.
While membership and participation at Covenant Grace does not require one to hold these views, these are the teaching positions of the church.
Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone
Sola scriptura, sometimes referred to as the formal principle of the Reformation, is the belief that “only Scripture, because it is God’s inspired Word, is our inerrant, sufficient, and final authority for the church” (God’s Word Alone, 23). Notice, the basis of sola scriptura is Scripture’s inspired nature. As Paul says, “All Scripture is breathed-out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). That cannot be said of church tradition, councils, or church leaders, as important as they all may be. While Scripture may have many human authors, it has one divine author. The Holy Spirit, Peter tells us, carried along the biblical authors so that what they said, God himself said (2 Pet. 1:21), down to the very words.
For that reason, Scripture is also inerrant, inerrancy being a corollary of inspiration. Inerrancy means that Scripture is true, without error, in all that it asserts. As the Holy Spirit carried along the biblical authors, he ensured that their human words reflected his own holy character. Hence Scripture is truth because God himself is truth. It is, after all, God’s Word. Inerrancy is essential not only because it provides warrant for our assurance, giving us every reason to believe Scripture is trustworthy, but inerrancy also distinguishes Scripture from all other fallible authorities. Scripture alone is our infallible, inerrant authority.
Last, sola scriptura means that only Scripture is our sufficient authority. Not only does Paul say all Scripture is God-breathed, but on that basis, Scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Or as the Belgic Confession says so well, “We believe that those Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein.”
Sola Scriptura teaches us, in the end, that all other authorities in the Christian life serve underneath Scripture, while Scripture alone rules over other authorities, for it alone is God’s inspired, inerrant, and sufficient word.
Convictions are things you believe to be true, but you aren't willing to disfellowship with those who disagree
The first man, Adam, sinned, and his transgression and guilt were immediately imputed to all mankind (Christ excepted). By this one act of disobedience, he became morally polluted in every part of his being—mind, affections, body, and will. By this sin, death entered the world, and Adam’s fellowship with God was broken.
Adam’s guilt and corruption were transmitted to his natural offspring at the moment of conception. In turn, each of his children’s children inherited this same radical fallenness. Subsequently, it has been passed down to each generation to the present day. Adam’s perverse nature has spread to the whole of every person. Apart from grace, our minds are darkened by sin, unable to understand the truth. Our hearts are defiled, unable to love the truth. Our bodies are dying, progressing to physical death. Our wills are dead, unable to choose the good. Moral inability to please God plagues every person from their entrance into the world. In their unregenerate state, no one seeks after God. No one is capable of doing good. All are under the curse of the law, which is eternal death.