THE HOLY SPIRIT
Redeemer’s elders affirm the ongoing use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion for all Christians.
A good book: Are the Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views edited by Gundry and Grudem
Man’s Response to the Gospel
Redeemer’s elders affirm that man’s’ response to the Gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own glory. We believe God predestines all believers to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Synonyms for our position are: Reformed theology, Doctrines of Grace, and Sovereign Grace.
A good book: Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton
Redeemer’s elders affirm that growth is progressive. Faith and the resultant obedience to God will have an ebb and flow, but God will slowly move us forward in conformity to Jesus. We deny that it is possible for someone to be a genuine follower of Christ and fail to continue to believe and bear some measure of fruit.
A good book: The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance by Thomas Schreiner
Baptism Doctrinal Statement
Water baptism is intended only for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself, and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death, and vividly depicts a person’s release from the mastery of sin.
Baptism Elder Statement
Baptism of Children
The baptism of children is a complex issue because of major differences in mental, emotional, and spiritual development in children from year to year as they grow. While many adults who were baptized at a young age can point to a real conversion experience leading to their baptism, many other adults recall faulty motives which led to their childhood baptism causing them now to struggle with the genuineness of their conversion.
At Redeemer, we want all believers to walk in full confidence of their faith and the grace of God. Therefore, we have developed a general guideline and equipping materials to help parents navigate the growing faith of their children. The goal of this guideline is to equip parents to identify the fruits of regeneration, faith, and repentance, guard against coerced or “false” faith, and equip them to helpfully be involved in their children’s spiritual development.
Generally, we favor delaying baptism for children until they are at least 10-12 years old so that their baptism will be meaningful to them as adults. Some children younger than this may be mature enough in terms of grasping the gospel and having a relationship with Jesus that they are ready to be baptized. In such a case, our standard is that any baptism candidate will need to be able to adequately pass a membership interview. This would include being able to articulate the personal effects of sin, a grace-based salvation (not of works), and a personal response to salvation including an age-appropriate devotional life. If in the judgment of the parents and Redeemer elders the child is ready for baptism, then we will go forward with the baptism just like we would for an adult.
The Institution of Marriage
The elders of Redeemer affirm that the word of God is our final authority on issues of sexuality, marriage, love and all other aspects of life. Therefore, we affirm and maintain that God’s good and perfect design for marriage is clearly defined for us in the Bible. It is our biblical conviction that God designed marriage to be a committed, covenantal relationship between one man and one woman. In the context of this covenantal union, a husband and wife are able to enjoy spiritual intimacy, emotional intimacy, and physical intimacy. Here are just a few of the Scriptures that clearly define the marriage relationship that God has intended.
1 Corinthians 7:3-4
We believe that God has ordained the institution of marriage for our human flourishing and his ultimate glory. This mandate cannot be revised or redefined by court systems, human institutions or cultural shifts. The God of the Scriptures is perfect in wisdom and he created the one-flesh union between a husband and wife knowing it would reflect his wisdom fully and completely.
Although we maintain this biblical view of marriage, we do want to acknowledge that same-sex attraction and same-sex desires are real and present feelings for many people who love Jesus. For those who struggle to honor God and not act on those desires, we want to say that the grace of Jesus is sufficient and the community offered here at Redeemer is a powerful ally in the fight against loneliness and unmet desires. You can trust Jesus to be patient and merciful as you walk with other believers in humility and dependence.