These are beliefs that draw the distinguishing line between Christian Orthodoxy and all other religions. We hold these beliefs with a closed hand, meaning that we won’t compromise on them. Membership and leadership at Refuge Church requires adherence to these core doctrinal values.
We believe that there is only one living and true God, eternal existing in a Trinity of three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each Person of the Trinity is equal in power and glory. This God created all, upholds all, and governs all things in the Universe.
We believe that the Scriptures, which are solely comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are the Word of God, fully inspired, without error in the original manuscripts, and the infallible rule of faith and practice.
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit. He is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of people, and He hears and answers prayer. He saves from sin and eternal death and judgment all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, God’s only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth and sinless life. We believe in His literal miracles, teachings, and penal, substitutionary, and atoning death on the cross. We believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, ascension into heaven, and perpetual intercession for His people as their exclusive and final High Priest. We believe in His literal, personal, visible, and soon return to Earth at the Second Coming.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. We believe that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We believe that He regenerates and brings to spiritual life all people who repent of their sin and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior. We believe that He indwells the believer in Jesus Christ, and conforms them progressively into the character of Jesus Christ. We believe that He is the source of spiritual power which alone can enable followers of Jesus to live successful lives for Jesus.
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and choice, and therefore under condemnation according to God’s justice. We believe that God eternally forgives and regenerates by the Holy Spirit those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
To this end, we believe that salvation comes by grace alone and through faith alone, and that these are a gift of God. Any addition of works or intrinsic, human merit to the finished work of Jesus for salvation is thus a false Gospel, bereft of salvation.
We believe in the Universal Church, the living spiritual body of true believers in the biblical Jesus Christ, of which Jesus is the Head and all regenerated persons are members.
We believe that the Lord Jesus committed two ordinances to the Church. First, baptism by immersion. Second, the open communion celebration of the Lord’s Supper with all regenerated believers.
We believe that all sexual activity is to be joyfully exercised within the context of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. This means that sexual activities such as (but not limited to) adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, gender altering, viewing or distributing pornography, and bestiality are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and won’t be regarded as legitimate or acceptable practices at Refuge Church.
We believe that marriage is the exclusive and permanent union of one man and one woman before God, persisting as long as both parties should live. We reject the notion that marriage seals together a husband and wife for eternity, but rather only for their life in this age.
Our Theological Distinctives mark our convictions on areas that are debated even among Bible-believing, gospel-centered churches and brothers in Christ. Though agreement with these distinctives isn’t necessary for fellowship with us at Refuge, we will preach, teach, and counsel in these directions.
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.
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.
God created men and women to be absolutely equal in dignity, worth, and value. They are equally created in the image of God. However, men and women are also divinely designed to be different and are 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.
We believe that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Scripture are available to the Church today. We believe that they are extremely valuable and strengthening for individual Christians and local churches, as long as they are exercised within the Holy Spirit inspired guidelines spelled out for the Church in the Bible. We believe these are distributed by the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit, and that no one gift is manifested as evidence that a person has been baptized with the Holy Spirit. The greatest manifestation in our lives and local church is the love of God working through the people of God as they are pursuing Jesus in the Word of God.