Statement of Faith - New Saint Andrews College

westminsterfacadeThe New Saint Andrews College

Statement of Faith

 

Preamble: Authority and Witness

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are our only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Lord Jesus Christ committed these inspired Scriptures to His Church (1 Tim. 3 :15). We therefore defer to the witness of the historic Christian Church as a genuine but fallible authority, subordinate to the Scriptures themselves, in discerning what the Scriptures teach. Because they faithfully witness what is taught in the Word of God, we receive the great creedal statements the Church has affirmed throughout the ages: The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon. Moreover, we believe that the reformational confessions of the 16th and 17th centuries (including the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort), of all historic statements, most fully and accurately summarize the system of orthodox Christian doctrine revealed in Scripture. Therefore, the specific headings below do not exhaust our doctrinal understanding, but rather identify those doctrines that merit greater attention today.

 

The Triune Majesty

The Triune God is the one uncreated Creator of all things that exist in Heaven and on earth; between the Creator and His creation is a fundamental divide. This one God is eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His Majesty is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient and limited by nothing other than His own nature and character. He is holy, righteous, good, stern, loving, and full of mercy.

 

Creation

In the beginning, God created the material universe from nothing in six ordinary days. He spoke, and by the Word of His power, it was. Our science on the nature and time of this event must be determined in full submission to God’s Word.

 

Sin

Our first father Adam was our federal head and representative. He was created innocent, but through the temptation of Satan and his rebellion against the express Word of God, plunged himself and his entire posterity, represented in him, into the hopelessness of death in sin. This sin is lawlessness—an attempt to live apart from the Law and Word of God. Since that first great apostasy, no descendant of Adam has escaped from the death of lawlessness and the judgment of hell apart from efficacious grace.

 

The Incarnate Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ is, according to the flesh, a descendant of David, and sits on David’s throne. He is, at the same time, God enfleshed, born of the Virgin Mary. He is one individual with two natures—fully man and fully God. As a man, He is our elder brother and High Priest before God, representing us to God the Father. As God, He is the visible image of the invisible Father, representing God to us.

 

Salvation

Because all sons of Adam are spiritually dead, they are consequently incapable of saving themselves. But out of His sovereign mercy, God the Father elected a countless number to eternal salvation, leaving the remainder to their sinful desires. When the time was right, the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and was raised to life bodily from the grave as an efficacious redemption for the elect. Thus He secured the salvation of His church, for which He laid down His life. And at the point of each individual’s conversion, the Holy Spirit brings resurrecting grace, effectually calling him by His power, with the result of repentance and faith.

 

Revelation

The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, infallible in all they affirm and exhibit. The Word has divine authority in everything it addresses, and it addresses everything. In no way should the Scriptures be brought to the judgment seat of human reason; rather, we must rationally and submissively study the Word granted to us.

 

Law

The grace of God in the gospel does not set aside the law of God; rather, it establishes it. To the one who believes, the law of God is precious, and through faith the law is established. The law stands as God’s testimony of His own righteous character; as such, it cannot be altered by anything other than God’s express Word. Consequently, we receive the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, as fully containing the will of God for us. To all who do not believe, the law of God condemns them in self-righteousness.

 

Covenant

When God is pleased to bless the proclamation of His gospel, the result will always be a visible collection of saints bound in covenant to Him. They will be characterized through their assembly around the preached Word, their faithful administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and their orderly and disciplined government according to the Word of God.

 

Witness

As believers present the gospel to those who remain in rebellious unbelief, there must be no halfway compromise with that unbelief. The ground and precondition for all creaturely ventures is the Word of God, which necessarily includes our teaching, apologetics, and evangelism. Every thought is to be made captive to the Lord Christ, and every tongue is to glorify the Father.

 

Eschatology

As the gospel of Christ is proclaimed throughout the world, the result will be the gradual transformation and salvation of the world. Prior to Christ’s return, the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea and the whole earth will be full of His glory.

 

Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

 

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

 

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)

 

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of New Saint Andrews College as a Christian ministry, and to provide a biblical role model to the students of New Saint Andrews College and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by New Saint Andrews College in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, or who attend as students agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)

 

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)

 

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of New Saint Andrews College.

 

Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139.)

 

Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct

The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of New Saint Andrews College’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the session of elders of Christ Church, Moscow, is the College’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application