All theological statements, creeds, and confessions emerged in a context. In each of these contexts, our spiritual forefathers and foremothers sought to articulate the important truths of Christianity in an effort to form a shared statement of belief and to clarify certain aspects of faith.
As Christ City Church of Washington, D.C., we humbly receive many of these theological statements, creeds, and confessions as rich resources that guide and anchor our faith in historic, orthodox Christianity. As a local, non-denominational church in 21st century Washington, D.C., we also seek to articulate that faith contextually as we live for Christ and bear witness to his salvation.
The theological statement below is our own, but is deeply informed by the Apostles’ Creed, the Cape Town Commitment, and the Manila Manifesto of the Lausanne Movement.
As such, we strive to live with the following convictions:
THE HOLY BIBLE
We affirm that the sixty-six books of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, are God’s divinely inspired, written word. As God’s revelation to humanity, the Scriptures are uniquely authoritative in guiding our faith, belief, and life. We affirm that the Bible is the final written word of God, and we rejoice that, through the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures continue to speak in fresh ways to people in every culture so that the Church increasingly knows the many-colored wisdom of God.
We affirm the story the Bible tells: God’s work to salvation through Jesus Christ and the overarching narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Renewal. At the center of this story are the climactic saving events of the cross and the resurrection of Christ, which constitute the heart of the gospel. It is this story that defines our identity, drives our mission, and assures us the ending is in God’s hands.
This story, passed on from generation to generation, must shape the memory and hope of God’s people and govern their lives and evangelistic witness. We must make the message of the Bible known by all means possible, for its message is for all people on earth.
We believe there is one God, as revealed in the Bible. God is the Creator and Ruler of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in unity in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not subordinate in being to one another, but are inseparable and eternal in their being. We affirm that, while we may use gendered language, God is neither man nor woman; God is Spirit.
God the Father :: We affirm that God the Father is the origin and source of everything. We affirm that as part of God’s plan for the redemption of humanity, God the Father sent the Son, and the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit. All of this was for the salvation of humanity, the renewal of all things, and, ultimately, for the glory of God.
God the Son :: We affirm that it is through Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, that people are saved. We affirm that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to the Virgin Mary, fully human and fully divine. We affirm that it is through faith in Christ alone that people are brought into right relationship with God. We affirm the unique work of Christ on the cross: taking the sins of the world upon himself and thereby defeating the power of sin and the Devil. We affirm the power of Christ’s resurrection that demonstrates sin’s defeat and ushers in the first fruit of God’s Kingdom, where Christ will rule and make all things new. We affirm that Jesus is the clearest image of what God is like: when we want to know what God is like, we look to Jesus.
God the Holy Spirit :: We affirm the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead, existing in unity, mutuality, and equality alongside God the Father and God the Son. We affirm that it is the Holy Spirit who prompts hearts to turn to Christ, and it is this same Holy Spirit that Christ sends to believers to lead, guide, and gift. We affirm that it is the power of the Holy Spirit that seals the believer’s salvation and cannot be undone. We affirm that the Holy Spirit continues to give lavish, powerful, and necessary gifts to all believers for the sake of edifying the church and furthering God’s mission in the world. We affirm the work of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the church are given to all believers.
The Church is the Body of Christ on earth, the Bride of Christ, and the Family of Christ. The Church is composed of all those across centuries, nations, ethnicities, and cultures who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. It is the Church for whom Christ surrendered his life, for whom he will return, and with whom he will live forever.
Because of a shared faith and shared salvation, God has formed us into a new family, a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural humanity. As this new family, the Church is to display the winsome love of God to the world, to share the message of God’s love through Christ with the world, and to point to the day when Christ will renew all things.
CCC is a local expression of this global and historic Church. For the local church there are two distinct sacraments that are shared and celebrated: the Lord’s Supper and Believer’s Baptism. They both serve as ongoing reminders of Christ’s sacrifice for the believer and the believer’s faith in that sacrifice.
The Lord’s Supper is a form of gospel proclamation that reminds the believer of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. For CCC, the bread and the wine represent the body and blood of Jesus. Though these elements are but symbols of Christ’s body and blood, they nevertheless serve as spiritual edification each time the believer partakes of the sacrament.
At CCC, baptism is for those who have made a decision to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Baptism is an outward and public expression of an inward and personal transformation. It is the way that the believer signifies to others that they are choosing to follow Jesus as their Lord, Savior, and King, and renouncing sin and all other gods that would lay claim on their life. In following New Testament examples, baptism is done by immersion subsequent to an individual’s decision to follow Jesus. While we at CCC do not practice infant baptism, we honor this tradition as having biblical merit and spiritual virtue.
We affirm that all people are created in God’s image. There is no person or people who are not image bearers of God. We affirm the Bible’s teaching that every person from every racial, ethnic, and national background is fearfully and wonderfully made, and therefore has intrinsic dignity and worth.
We also affirm that every part of our humanity has been distorted through sin, and sin has turned the hearts of all people away from God, God’s love, and God’s work in the world. Though depraved in sin, humanity is offered salvation through Christ.
The overarching story of the Bible is one of salvation, offered to humanity through faith in Christ Jesus. We affirm that it is this good news, this gospel, this message of the Bible that is to be proclaimed in the Church and by the Church to the world.
We affirm that when one places their faith in Jesus, renounces sin, and follows Jesus, they become a new creation. The Bible describes this in many ways – “adoption into a new family,” “the old has passed and the new has come,” “born again” – and in each description, there is an indication that a new identity has been secured. We affirm that in salvation, the believer is freed from the power of sin and continues a lifelong process of discipleship: a journey of growth and maturation into the likeness of Christ, learning to live as Jesus would if he were in our place.
We affirm that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and we reject any false gospels that deny human sin, divine judgment, the deity and incarnation of Jesus Christ, and the necessity of the cross and resurrection. We also reject half-gospels, which minimize sin and confuse God’s grace with human self-effort.
KINGDOM OF GOD
In the Gospels, Jesus’ most common description of the results of his work is that of the Kingdom of God. In describing his coming, death, resurrection, and redemption of humanity, Jesus repeats that the in-breaking of a new Kingdom — where God alone will rule — is on display.
Thus, we affirm that the Kingdom of God has as its citizens those who have been rescued by Christ and are living under the rule and reign of Jesus. We also affirm that the primary way the Kingdom advances is under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Church participates in the Kingdom’s advance as we co-labor with the initiating work of the Spirit.
Proclaiming Christ’s saving work is primary for the believer so that all people may have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Yet Jesus not only proclaimed the Kingdom of God but also demonstrated its arrival by works of mercy, power, and justice. We are called today to a similar integration of words and deeds. We affirm that good news and good works are inseparable in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
We also affirm that the proclamation of God’s Kingdom necessarily demands the prophetic denunciation of all that is incompatible with it. We affirm our calling to undermine, dismantle, and denounce the systems and structures that animate the kingdom of evil and work to dehumanize, destroy, and mar the image of God in people. Wherever we encounter unjust structures, we are bound by Christian duty to proclaim the gospel and display God’s Kingdom. This includes prophetic witness, civil disobedience, and community development.