The purpose of RCS is to glorify the God of the Scriptures in promoting His worship, evangelizing the lost, and edifying the church. To this end, we are committed to proclaiming God’s perfect Law and His glorious Gospel of Grace in Jesus Christ throughout the world, and to defending the “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3; Psalm 26:8; 57:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:7-8; 1 Timothy 4:5; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
RCS is comprised of followers of Jesus Christ who have united under His Lordship in covenant commitment to one another and to God. Members of RCS joyfully and wholeheartedly submit to His authority as it is revealed in His holy, inerrant and infallible written Word. In addition, the members of RCS acknowledge the standard of truth and authority clarified in the articles of this Constitution and voluntarily submit to them.
The most concise expression of our faith is the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. We believe that this historic document is an excellent summary of the fundamental truths of God’s Word. We accept it, not as an authoritative rule or code of faith, but as an aid to us in controversy, a confirmation of what we believe, and as a means of growing together in grace. In this Confession the members of our church will have a body of Divinity in small compass and by means of Scriptural proofs will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them. (1 Peter 3:15)
We affirm the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” (1978), and the “Cambridge Declaration” (1996) as our further clarifications on the Bible and Christian Orthodoxy.
We affirm the “Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” (1987), and the Nashville Statement on Marriage and Sexuality (2017) as our further clarifications on Biblical Families and Gender.
We affirm the “Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel” (2018), as our further clarification on race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality.
We believe that the following 9 Marks summarize our distinctive goals as a church:
1. Expositional Preaching
This is preaching which expounds what Scripture says in a particular passage, carefully explaining its meaning and applying it to the congregation. It is a commitment to hearing God’s Word and to recovering the centrality of it in our worship.
2. Biblical Theology
Paul charges Titus to “teach what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Our concern should be not only with how we are taught, but with what we are taught. Biblical theology is a commitment to know the God of the Bible as He has revealed Himself in Scripture.
3. Biblical Understanding of the Good News
The gospel is the heart of Christianity. But the good news is not that God wants to meet people’s felt needs or help them develop a healthier self-image. We have sinfully rebelled against our Creator and Judge. Yet He has graciously sent His Son to die the death we deserved for our sin, and He has credited Christ’s acquittal to those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection. That is the good news.
4. Biblical Understanding of Conversion
The spiritual change each person needs is so radical, so near the root of us, that only God can do it. We need God to convert us. Conversion need not be an emotionally heated experience, but it must evidence itself in godly fruit if it is to be what the Bible regards as a true conversion.
5. Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
How someone shares the gospel is closely related to how he understands the gospel. To present it as an additive that gives non-Christians something they naturally want (i.e. joy or peace) is to present a half-truth, which elicits false conversions. The whole truth is that our deepest need is spiritual life, and that new life only comes by repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus. We present the gospel openly, and leave the converting to God.
6. Biblical Understanding of Membership
Membership should reflect a living commitment to a local church in attendance, giving, prayer and service; otherwise it is meaningless, worthless, and even dangerous. We should not allow people to keep their membership in our churches for sentimental reasons or lack of attention. To be a member is knowingly to be traveling together as aliens and strangers in this world as we head to our heavenly home.
7. Biblical Church Discipline
Church discipline gives parameters to church membership. The idea seems negative to people today – “didn’t our Lord forbid judging?” But if we cannot say how a Christian should not live, how can we say how he or she should live? Each local church actually has a biblical responsibility to judge the life and teaching of its leaders, and even of its members, particularly insofar as either could compromise the church’s witness to the gospel.
8. Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth
A pervasive concern with church growth exists today – not simply with growing numbers, but with growing members. Though many Christians measure other things, the only certain observable sign of growth is a life of increasing holiness, rooted in Christian self-denial. These concepts are nearly extinct in the modern church. Recovering true discipleship for today would build the church and promote a clearer witness to the world.
9. Biblical Understanding of Leadership
What eighteenth-century Baptists and Presbyterians often agreed upon was that there should be a plurality of elders in each local church. This plurality of elders is not only biblical, but practical — it has the immense benefit of rounding out the pastor’s gifts to ensure the proper shepherding of God’s church.
Questions about our doctrinal beliefs or distincitives? Feel free to contact us.