Cottage Grove Church
Doctrine of God
There is only one living and true God. He is a spiritual and personal Being who is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God alone is eternal, self-sufficient, unchangeable, and omnipresent. He is infinitely perfect in knowledge, love, goodness, righteousness, wisdom and holiness. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 34:6-7; John 1:1-3; Acts 17:24-25; Matthew 28:19)
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His creation and human history according to the purposes of His grace. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all people. He extends common grace to all and saving grace to His children by His sovereign will. (Isaiah 64:8; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Romans 8:14-15; 1 John 3:1-3)
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary, and completely fulfilled the Old Testament Law. Jesus perfectly revealed and accomplished the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature, identifying Himself completely with humanity yet without sin. His death on the cross provided salvation for humanity from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples in person. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. (Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 3:17; 16:16 ; 16:27; 28:16-19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 20:28; Romans 1:3-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16)
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God who inspired faithful men to write the Scriptures. Through illumination, He enables people to understand and remember truth. He exalts Christ and convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. At the moment of conversion, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, empowers Christian mission, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. (Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Psalms 51:11; 139:7-12.; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 2; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 8:39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11, 8:14-16, 8:26-27; Galatians 5:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)
Doctrine of Scripture
The Holy Bible is the inspired, self-revelation of God. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction that reveals the principles by which God judges humanity. It is the supreme authority of conduct, it contains the revelation necessary for salvation, is sufficient for godly living, is inerrant in its entirety, and its truths are accessible to the open and humble. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the primary focus of divine revelation. (Psalms 19:7-10; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 24:27, 24:44-48; John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
Doctrine of Humanity
God created humanity in His image, bestowing upon them value and dignity above all creation. The possession of His image gives all humanity inherent worth and responsibility. Thus, all human life, from conception to death, is dignified and sacred. God created male and female distinct from, yet equal to, one another in order to reflect the unity and diversity found in His triune nature. They are given the ability to cause creation to flourish, the privilege of reaping from creation, and the task of stewardship over creation for its good and flourishing. The possession of God’s image also endows humanity with decision making, resulting in moral implications that are either glorifying or rebellious towards God. We believe that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:24; 9:6; Psalm 8:3-8; 139:14; Matthew 6:26-30; James 3:9)
As representatives of humanity, the first humans (Adam and Eve) were created good and were given the choice to obey or disobey God. Through Satan’s deception, Adam and Eve decided to disobey and its effects have continued since then. Creation itself has been fractured by this rebellion. Death entered the world, just as God had warned it would if humanity chose to rebel against Him. As God’s image bearers, humanity is now distorted in how it reflects God though they still possess his image. Every part of humanity’s thoughts, beliefs, and actions have been affected by sin. (Genesis 3:1-23; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-20, 3:23; Titus 1:15)
Doctrine of Salvation
God created humanity to be in relationship with Him though He is superior in every way. God is holy and has the right to hold humanity accountable for sin, yet He lovingly provides a way of escape from eternal judgment in hell. Salvation is God’s deliverance of humanity from His wrath through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
All of humanity has rebelled against God and is condemned to eternal death and separation from Him. Jesus was sent to die in the place of condemned sinners to make it possible for them to be brought back into a right relationship with their Creator. Through faith in Jesus, who was raised from the dead, humanity can experience God’s forgiveness and have hope of eternal life with Him.
When a person repents of their sin and believes in Jesus they are “born-again” by the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that the Spirit of God dwells within and enables the believer to live a transformed life that honors the Lord. The believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of Christ’s return and is assured of being spared from God’s wrath. After Christ’s return, believers will dwell with God forever.
We believe that God's grace is not given in response to human effort or worthiness, but is the provision of God's mercy and love freely given to those who believe in His Son. Grace gives to us what we do not deserve nor can earn by our performance. It is by God’s grace that a person is able to experience forgiveness and a right relationship with Him. Believers in Jesus Christ stand in the grace of God, and by it, they have hope. For those in Christ, grace abounds far beyond sin and its consequences, to the end that condemned sinners are now able to have eternal life through Jesus Christ. (Luke 24:46-47; Romans 3:24-28; 5:1-21; Ephesians 2:1-10)
Doctrine of the Church and Kingdom
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers observing the two ordinances (baptism and communion) of Christ; maturing in wisdom and character; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; and seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation and each member is accountable to Jesus Christ and His will as revealed in Scripture. The scriptural officers of a local church are elders and deacons. (Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; 15:1-30; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 5:12; Ephesians 2:11-22; 3:8-11; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; Hebrews 11:39-40; Revelation 19-21)
The Kingdom of God signifies God’s rule and reign on earth. The role of the Church is to be ambassadors of this kingdom — living in light of God’s rule and spreading His message. His message is the Good News that the King has come in the person of Jesus, who inaugurated God’s Kingdom through His earthly ministry by teaching and embodying the virtues of the Kingdom. He reigns as Lord in the lives of all who believe in Him and He empowers the Church to live out the Kingdom virtues by His Spirit. The Kingdom of God is both social and personal, spiritual and physical, diverse and unified. The Kingdom will be fully realized at the second coming of Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 5:1-7:28; Luke 17:20-31; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 1:6, 1:9; 5:10; 11:15; 11:21-22)
Doctrine of Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. (Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:1-35; Luke 17:22-37; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 2 Peter 3:7-18; Revelation 20:1-22:13)