Statement of Faith
Classical Conversations of Brandon, Florida
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts, culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation, we affirm these additional essentials of our faith:
• We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory, and praise forever!
• Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins, according to the Scriptures. On the third day, He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
• The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives us new life, empowers us, and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth and seals us for the day of redemption.
• Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.
• We believe that (a) salvation is by grace, a free gift of God apart from works, (b) salvation involves repentance, a change of mind in respect to God and thus turning from one’s own way to God’s way, (c) salvation is through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in Christ alone, (d) all who receive Jesus Christ are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become the children of God, and (e) true salvation will be manifested by a changed life.
• The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is
practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
• Jesus Christ will come again to the earth— personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
• The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.” He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that the Bible provides clear guidance on contemporary controversies relating to marriage, gender, sexuality, and the sanctity of human life, as follows:
• We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
• We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25).
• We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4).
• We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
• We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, incest, bestiality, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
• We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Classical Conversations of Brandon as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a Biblical role model to the Classical Conversations community, it is imperative that all persons of the community agree with and agree to abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt. 5:16, Phil. 2:14-16, 1 Thes. 5:22).
• We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
• We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the policies of Classical Conversations of Brandon.