Our Statement of Faith
Section 1 – There is One True God
God is one in essence (Deut. 6:4). Yet, the one true God has mysteriously revealed Himself as a Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each an uncreated person, equal in power and glory (Isa. 43:11, Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). The true God is infinite, holy, and self-existent. As the eternal Creator and Ruler of the universe (Ps. 90:2), He is completely other—holy and unique, yet knowable (Isa. 45:5-6; John 17:3).
Section 2 – The Bible is God's Word
God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only (John 17:17), has inspired Holy Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16) to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches. It is to be believed in all that it affirms; obeyed in all that it requires; embraced in all that it promises. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins (i.e., “God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared”) under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
Section 3 – Jesus is God
Jesus Christ is fully God and at the same time fully man (John 1:1-3, 14). He is the eternal God, co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the first and third persons of the Trinity. He is the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament (Isa. 53). He became a man to live among us and is now and forever both God and man. Jesus was born of Mary while she was still a virgin and had no biological father (Matt. 1:16, 18-25; Luke 1:34). He lived a sinless life on earth and for our sake and for our salvation, he shed his blood and died on the cross for our sins and as our substitute (Heb. 7:23-27; 1 Pet. 2:22-24) and as Christ the Victor. Jesus rose bodily from the dead and is the only legitimate mediator between man and God (1 Cor. 15:3-8; 1 Tim. 2:5-6).
Section 4 – The Holy Spirit is God
The Holy Spirit is a divine Person (Acts 5:2-4). He actively guides and lives in the church (the body of believers) (Rom. 8:14; 1 Cor. 3:16-17). Since the Holy Spirit indwells and empowers believers, we do not have to sin (Rom. 6:1-14; 8:9-14). The true Christian seeks to live under His control daily (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 5:18). The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers. He never departs from the Church at large or from the weakest believer (Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 13:5). While we at Steamtown Church acknowledge God's freedom to work in miraculous and unexpected ways, we do not corporately practice the sign gifts.
Section 5 – Man & the Fall
In the beginning, God created all things good (Gen. 1). He was and always will be in a communal relationship with himself—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created man and woman to be relational and marked us with an identity as his image bearers and a missional calling to serve and care for the earth (Gen. 2). God created humans in his image to live in fellowship with him as well as with one another. The enemy, Satan, tempted the first humans and, as a result of their fall, evil and death entered the creation and are now a part of the world. This devastating event resulted in our relationships with God, others, and creation as well as our own selves being fractured and in desperate need of redeeming (Gen. 3:1-15; Rom. 5:12; Col. 1:21).
Section 6 – God & Salvation
We believe God has not abandoned creation, and in love, sent his one and only Son Jesus Christ to earth. Jesus is fully God and fully human, was born of a virgin and was and is without sin. He was sent to redeem all creation (Matt. 1:18-25; John 1; John 3:16-17; Rom. 8.19-25; Col. 1:15-20). His path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection brought lasting hope to all creation (1 Cor. 15). Jesus is the only way to peace and reconciliation between God and man. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation.Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus defeated sin and death, making those in Christ Jesus a new creation with the present hope of eternal life. Faith in Jesus alone (not good works or morality) is the only way to access the free gift of grace, renewed peace, and reconciliation with God (John 1:29; Rom. 3.22-26; 5:1-9; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:20; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 21:5).
Section 7 – God's Church & Christ’s Mission
The universal Church is the living body of Christ, of which He is the head, and of which Steamtown Church is a local expression of that body (1 Cor. 12; Col. 1:18). The Church is not just a building (1 Pet. 2:4-8) or just an institution (1 Pet. 2:9). It is a living body of believers on mission to ensure that every man, woman, and child have repeated opportunities to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:18; 28:18-20). As part of God’s Church, Steamtown Church is responsible for reaching all of NEPA with the Gospel. However, we need other local expressions to accomplish the mission stated above. Steamtown Church will partner with the whole body of Christ in NEPA to achieve this mission. The church is to be separate from civil government, yet bound by its laws insofar as they are not in opposition with the Scriptures.God’s plan is for the local church to be elder-led and served by deacons/deaconesses (Tit. 1; 1 Tim. 3), as well as for all members to be ministers of the gospel (Rom. 10:9-15).Christ has committed two ordinances to the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42). Christ has entrusted baptism and the Lord’s Supper for the regular practice of believers and the building up of the church until his return (Rom. 6:1-4; 1 Cor. 11:26; Acts 20:7). While baptism and the Lord’s Supper are memorial events, they are also a means by which the believer is blessed and sanctified. At Steamtown Church, professing believers are baptized by immersion. Baptisms performed by a different mode and/or by a different congregation, but done following a profession of faith in Jesus and performed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are acceptable with regard to Steamtown Church membership.
Section 8 – Christ’s Return & Final Destinies
The Church awaits Jesus’ imminent return to receive his bride, the church (distinct from Israel), and to set all things right (I Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14). He is coming physically, not just symbolically or spiritually (Acts 1:11). God will judge believers and non-believers, living and dead. He will make everything right. He will create a new heaven and a new earth in which believers will spend eternity (Rev. 20-21).We believe in the future, bodily resurrection of all humanity (Mark 12:18-27; 1 Cor. 15:13). For those who belong to Jesus, they will live with God forever when Heaven is joined with a redeemed earth (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Pet. 1:3-5). For those who reject Jesus, they will be separated from God in Hell forever (Rev. 20:11-15). In this final act of justice, God gives them what they've always wanted: to be independent of him.