what_we_believe2

Foundational Premise

The following are a summary of some of the principles and positions guiding our ministry. Our theological convictions are contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms.  You can see the Confession by clicking here.

The primary ministry of MPC is to proclaim the gospel of grace clearly and consistently in every venue given us–worship, Sunday school, small groups, youth ministries, children’s church, etc.–and to gladly serve as God’s instruments in helping people to understand, embrace, and apply the gospel throughout their lives. It is by the gospel that God brings glory to Himself and by which lives are changed from the inside out so that people are brought by the Spirit to serve the Triune God willingly and joyfully and are enabled to love sincerely and sacrificially to the glory of Christ the Savior.  (Galatians 3:2-5; 5:13-25)  The following beliefs underlie our style of ministry in applying this calling to the situation in which God has placed us:

  1. We believe the only means to accomplish this are the means appointed by God. The means of grace (the Word, prayer, the Sacraments, fellowship, Church accountability and discipline, etc.) are the appointed means given to the Church to evangelize and disciple, to bring to Christ and grow in Christ. We are not called to follow fads and innovations, but to faithfully teach and preach the whole counsel of God and to pray for the work of the Spirit of God. (Ephesians 3:14-21; 4:11-16, I Timothy 4:12-16, II Timothy 3:10-4:5)
  2. We believe that all of life is to be lived under the Lordship of Christ in grateful, and faith-driven response to His saving grace. We are called to help the saints take “every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ”. One of our primary tasks is discipling, through every possible avenue, all the saints in order to help them joyfully obey Christ in all of life. We desire to help all those entrusted to us to develop a Kingdom mentality and a biblical worldview and to live it out at home, at work (vocation approach), in recreation, in the community and at church, both privately and publicly.  (Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-21)
  3. We believe that the Reformed doctrines of grace are a faithful and accurate representation of biblical teaching regarding God’s methodology of saving sinners. We further believe that to understand and embrace these leads to a greater joy and more genuine worship and obedience and above all more thoroughly honors and glorifies God We believe that joy and assurance of salvation are critical components of the Christian walk and life and are more readily achieved when we understand and embrace Reformed soteriology.  (I Corinthians 15:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-10; 3:14-21)
  4. We believe that although God is absolutely sovereign in salvation He has nonetheless appointed the preaching of the gospel as the means by which people come to Christ. Therefore we believe that we are called to proclaim Christ in the gospel personally, publicly and globally, to support missions, send missionaries, and regularly serve in mission projects.  (Romans 10:9-16)
  5. We believe that the local church should be a place where the saints are equipped for ministry and by means of “speaking the truth in love” the church will be strengthened. Members ought to be so knit together in love that they encourage, exhort and even rebuke one another in the pursuit of Christ’s honor through the purity of His people. We are called to serve one another in love and bear one another’s burdens.  This extends beyond the boundaries of any one individual church.  We are to love the brethren throughout the world.  (Ephesians 4:11-16; Galatians 6:1-2)
  6. We believe that the church is to so thoroughly celebrate the grace of God and forgiveness in Christ that we are no longer intimidated by the prospect of confessing our sins and our sinfulness. We wish to exalt the worth and sufficiency of Christ as Savior of sinners by admitting freely our absence of worth and the prevalence of our own corruption and guilt. This acknowledgment of sin and sinfulness also leads us to great humility and the ability to receive openly and eagerly all those that God brings our way.  (Psalm 32:5; Acts 19:18; James 5:16; I John 1:9)
  7. We believe that we are placed by God’s providence here in Millbrook at this time for a purpose. We are to influence this community for the glory of Christ. This influence is primarily felt as the saints live out their faith at work and in their neighborhoods by deeds of mercy, compassion, and lives of holiness and God-centeredness. As ideas arise or opportunities present themselves for practical impact upon the community for the gospel of Christ and glory of God, we believe that we are to thoughtfully embrace what opportunities that we can adequately address. We desire that the people of MPC look for ways in which to honor God through serving others.  (Galatians 6:10; Colossians 4:5-6; Jeremiah 29:4-7)
  8. We believe that elders are to shepherd the members of the congregation and are to be active in contacting them, praying with and for them, exhorting them in the things of Christ, encouraging them by the Word of God and exercising godly discipline in love.  Accountability to the officers of the church is biblical, healthy and designed by God.  (I Peter 5:1-6; Hebrews 13:7, 17)
  9. We believe that the Church is called to engage in mercy and justice in the world and that we are to seek opportunities to serve in love and to prophetically call for goodness and equity. While we are not primarily citizens of this or any other country, but of the Kingdom of God, we do dwell in this land and are to be faithful in applying the Word of God to the issues and needs of our day.   (John 17:14-15; Philippians 3:20; I Timothy 2:1-7; I Timothy 1:8-11; Acts 17:29-31)
  10. We believe that worship is the highest calling and deepest joy of the believer. It is a response to God’s call to recognize His nature and deeds and to humbly acknowledge His majesty and mercy and Lordship. Worship is to be directed by the Word, it is to be reverent and joyful, serious yet exuberant. Worship at MPC is to be a recapitulation of the gospel in which God’s majesty and calling are acknowledged, our sins and need of Christ confessed, our offerings rendered, His Word and will proclaimed, His ordinances celebrated and His blessings received. God is to be exalted as incomparable (Isaiah 40:25) so that His condescending grace may be received with appropriate gratitude. We do not believe in the categories of “traditional” or “contemporary” worship. We seek a worship that is biblical and God-centered.  It may contain elements traditionally included in worship and it may contain elements more modern in style, but the goal is neither traditional nor contemporary, rather it is to be biblical, understandable, edifying, and God-exalting. (Psalm 99:5, 9; John 4:24; Philippians 3:3; I Chronicles 16:29; Hebrews 10:1-10; Romans 12:1)
  11. We believe that God works covenantally. God has historically been pleased to work His saving grace through families. Parents are called to view their children as belonging to God, claimed by Christ from conception onward, marked by Christ at baptism and they are to therefore raise them to embrace Christ and follow Christ from the earliest of ages. The parent is the primary tool that God uses in raising little ones in the faith. The church is to assist, support and supplement these parents in their diligent efforts to train their children in the ways of the Savior. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21; 32:46; Ephesians 6:4; Acts 2:39)
  12. We believe that there can be value in age and gender-specific teaching and fellowship opportunities but we are more eager for the whole spectrum of ages, races, and socio-economic levels of believers to fellowship together in various ministries and activities of the congregation. (I Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:3-5)
  13. We believe that all congregations are called to be as multi-ethnic as possible and that we are to intentionally pursue the complete and absolute inclusion of the “non-Anglo” ethnicities in our community through declaring the gospel and embracing those who believe as full brothers in and because of Christ alone.  (Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 4:4-6)
  14. We believe that faith comes by hearing and therefore the gospel must be proclaimed in propositional truth. However, we are further convinced that our witness will be bolstered, supported, enhanced and avenues opened by the living of a distinctive, Spirit-led lifestyle that features love, holiness of life, faith, hope, peace and abiding joy. We seek to live as a “peculiar people” belonging to God, pilgrims in this world, set apart, and called to be holy, in the world but not of the world.  (Galatians 5:22-24; I Peter 2:11-12; Romans 2:17-24)
  15. We believe that we are called to obey the law, not as the means of salvation, but as an outgrowth of the new life we have received in Christ. But the power of obedience comes through faith, as the Spirit enables, renews, and causes us to die in Christ and rise to newness of life. Obedience is not in the power of the flesh, but in the gospel graces of joy, faith and love. The more the Spirit causes the saint to trust and love Christ the more the Spirit conforms the believer to the image of Christ.  (Romans 8:1-5, 12-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3; I John 3:1-3, 16-17)