Christ-centered teaching church in Bay Ridge

Statement of Faith

We believe in God’s Gospel

Our identity as Sonship Ministries is centered on God’s evangel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to give us eternal life. To God’s glory, the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. Our fundamental theological convictions are aspects of this gospel.

We believe:

God’s gospel originates in and demonstrates the holy love of the eternal, triune God

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one God, all-knowing and all-powerful, has, in love and grace, purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to restore His fallen creation for His own glory.

God’s gospel is authoritatively announced in the Scriptures

We believe that God has spoken through the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments. They are the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority that stands over every realm of human knowledge and endeavor. Therefore, the Bible is to be believed in all that it affirms, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.

God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest human need

We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned through the temptation of Satan, corrupting that image. As a result, all humanity is alienated from God and under His wrath and can be rescued, reconciled, and restored only through God’s gracious work in Jesus Christ.

God’s gospel is revealed in history supremely through the Person of Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, Israel’s promised Messiah, is God incarnate, one Person in two natures, fully human and fully divine, having been conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of God the Father, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

God’s gospel is accomplished through the work of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, died on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His shed blood and resurrection are the only ground for salvation, and it is through faith alone in Christ that anyone is justified before God.

God’s gospel is applied and empowered by the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by convicting the world, by regenerating sinners into union with Christ, and by indwelling, guiding, instructing, equipping, and empowering believers for Christ-like living and service.

God’s gospel is now embodied in the new community called the church

We believe that the true church is composed of all those who have been saved by God’s grace through faith and regeneration by the Holy Spirit and are thereby united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head. This church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of members of the true church. The two biblically-mandated ordinances of the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, visibly and tangibly express this gospel, strengthening our faith. They are to be celebrated by the church in obedience to Christ, but are not a means of salvation.

God’s gospel compels us to Christ-like living and witness to the world

We believe that God’s justifying grace in the gospel must not be separated from its sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, acting with compassion toward the poor and needy, seeking justice for the oppressed. In fellowship with one another, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil, especially with the Word of God and prayer. In all that we do, we are to bear witness to the gospel in word and deed, making disciples among all people.

God’s gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age

We believe in the personal and glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels, when He will establish His kingdom fully and exercise His role as Judge of all. This coming of Christ at a time known only to God requires constant expectancy and should motivate the believer to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission.  This is our blessed hope.

God’s gospel calls for a response which determines the eternal destiny of every person

We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel, turning to God in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the unbeliever will face judgment and eternal conscious punishment, while the believer will experience eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

In subscribing to these Articles of Faith, we by no means set aside, or under-value, any of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, but believe all to be God’s own written word, given to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by the knowledge and belief of the truth as stated in our Articles of Faith, we deem necessary to sound doctrine, and thereby requisite for Christian fellowship.

In all matters of biblical interpretation and theology not discussed in the Doctrinal Statement, the Elders will arbitrate which teachings contribute to or detract from the unity of the church.

Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

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, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, 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 [the organization] as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the [the organization] members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by [the organization] in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 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 nor the doctrines of Sonship Ministries.