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BELIEFS

“When we see Jesus as he is, we must turn away or else shamelessly adore him.”

                                                                                      —Dallas Willard

 

We Believe the Gospel

 

Our world desperately needs “good news.” Fortunately, the Christian church has precisely this—the gospel, the ultimate “good news.” Our first concern at Irving Church is to faithfully proclaim and embody the good news with which we have been entrusted. 

 

The gospel we preach at Irving Church is a “full” gospel, good news that extends to every corner of the earth and every dimension of the human person. We can summarize it in the five statements below:

 

  • The gospel centers on the activity of the triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit.

  • The gospel assumes the story of Israel and is the fulfillment of the Jewish Messianic hope.

  • The gospel is the announcement of God’s plan to redeem and heal all that sin has broken.

  • The gospel climaxes in Jesus who, through his death and resurrection, has been revealed as Israel’s Messiah and the world’s true King. 

  • The gospel is an invitation to all people and all nations to surrender to the Lordship of King Jesus and to find in him the treasures of forgiveness, healing, and new life through the outpouring of the Spirit.

 

 

 

We Believe the Ancient Creeds

 

Although we seek to be generous and charitable towards all with whom we disagree, we are convinced that certain doctrinal foundations are nonnegotiable. Rather than compose our own list of essential beliefs, we prefer to join with the church through the centuries in affirming the basic doctrinal summaries of the early Christians. These summaries expand upon the gospel and provide the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.

The most widely recognized of these creeds across the globe is the “Nicene Creed,” composed in the fourth century but expanding on the earlier “Apostles’ Creed.” We humbly and gladly add our voices to the chorus of saints and martyrs throughout history who have accepted this statement:

 

The Nicene Creed

 

I believe in one God,

the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

We Believe that the Gospel-Life is a Life of Discipleship to Jesus

 

Jesus left us with the simple instruction to teach every baptized believer to do everything he commanded (Matt 28:18-20). Thus, we have a simple goal to do just that—that is, to teach all those seriously interested to do everything Jesus said to do.

 

As we explained above, the gospel we proclaim is holistic, touching all of life. Thus, we expect that those who embrace this gospel will find new life. As David deSilva has said: “God offers you the means to become reconciled with him and to become a new person who will want and love and do what is pleasing to him because the Spirit of his Son will live in you and change you. The result of God’s kindness and activity is that you will live a new kind of life now and, after death, live forever with him.”

 

This new kind of life must be intentionally nurtured in fellowship with Christ and with one another. At Irving Church, we are pursuing this life in a variety of ways, including the following:

 

  • Deep Communal Relationships and Authentic Small Group Support

  • Formative (Rather than Performative) Worship

  • Regular Teaching and Training (Catechesis)

  • Ministry to One Another through Spiritual Gifts

  • Ongoing Spiritual Care via Counseling, Prayer, and Love

 

Our goal is to have a church filled with people whose hearts have been renewed by the Spirit of God and whose first answer to the question, “Who are you?” is “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

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