Our denomination's twelve point doctrinal statement
is available here. It covers the "basics"
on which most evangelical Christians agree. But the points below
describe some important distinctives of our Elverson congregation.
The Grandeur and Glory of God
God is infinitely above us, his thoughts beyond ours, "his
paths beyond all tracing out." He is by far the most important
person in the universe. We exist for him, not vice versa. Worship
is not primarily to comfort us but to magnify him. Yet amazingly,
God has arranged that what glorifies him benefits us. Only as we
lose ourselves in admiring and serving him do we discover true life,
and stumble upon real joy. "For from him and through him and
to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen" (Rom
The Absolute Sovereignty of God Over All Things
Some people view God and Satan as equally matched in an arm-wrestling
contest. At times Satan wins and bad things happen; on other days
God wins, and good things occur. But the Bible teaches that nothing
ever takes place apart from God's holy plan. Sorrow, pain, joy,
pleasure -- all are ordained by God for our good and his glory.
"Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities
and good things come?" (Lam 3:38). "...I bring prosperity
and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things" (Isa
45:7). "The Lord works out everything for his own ends,
even the wicked..." (Prov 16:4). Yet amazingly, because he
is infinitely powerful and good, God accomplishes his own ends in
a manner totally without sin and without forcing his creatures to
act against their wills.
Jesus Christ as the Theme of the Entire Bible
The Old Testament (the first half of the Bible) largely tells of
creation, mankind's fall into sin, and God's dealings with the nation
of Israel. But these are told to lay the foundation for the New
Testament story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the Old Testament is a book about Jesus. A faithful handling
of any Old Testament passage will always point in some way to him.
True, God loves the Jewish people and hints at future plans for
them as a race. But Jews are saved -- and always have been -- only
as they are "grafted into" Christ, and Gentiles are included
in the promise that "all those who believe are children of
Abraham" (Rom 11:24; Gal 3:7).
The Five "Solas" of the Reformation
For centuries following the earliest years of Christianity, the
church seriously drifted from core biblical doctrines. By the Medieval
period, Europe languished in deep spiritual darkness. Biblical knowledge
decreased even as pomp in public worship increased. As in our day,
"spirituality" was high, but knowledge of God's Word was
low. But a remarkable return to scriptural roots was born in the
sixteenth century under Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others.
This return came to be called the Reformation. The Reformation's
major scriptural re-discoveries were summarized by five Latin phrases
which capture well the message of salvation: