What We Believe
The following statements are what we as the Phoenix United community believe. Please hover over the Bible verse references to each core belief. A more detailed and comprehensive expression of our core beliefs can be found by clicking here.
The Bible and the Universe
The Bible is God's disclosure of Himself to all people. It was written by human authors guided by the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, it is true and without error. Therefore, we believe it is necessary, authoritative, sufficient and clear in all it says about the Christian faith and life. The created universe also bears clear and compelling testimony to God’s divinity, power, and glory and thus beckons humanity to recognize and worship God.
Psalm 119:105,160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 19; Revelation 1:18-21
God has revealed Himself as the creator and ruler of the universe. He is one in essence and has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-essential, co-equal, co-eternal, and co-powerful and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
God the Father
God the Father is an eternal, perfect, personal being who created the universe and is sovereign over all. He mercifully concerns Himself with the details of each person’s life and He hears and answers prayers. He saves all who sincerely repent and believe in His Son Jesus Christ.
Matthew 6:9-13; John 3:16; Acts 4:24; Ephesians 4:6; 1 John 1:5
Jesus Christ is the only Son of God. He is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life, performed miracles and offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days and demonstrated His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven and will physically return some day.
Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to convict people of their need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian and guides, instructs, revives, equips, and empowers them for Christ-like living and service. As Christians we seek to live under His daily leading.
John 14:16-17; John 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:15
The Human Race
People are made in the likeness of God and are the crown of His creative work. When the first humans Adam and Eve sinned against God, they plunged the human race into physical and spiritual death. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, commit acts of sin, suppress God’s clear and compelling disclosure of Himself in the Bible and creation, and must be reconciled to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:18,19; 1 Corinthians 15:22
Every one is need of salvation. Human beings, in their sinful condition inherited from Adam, and thus stand condemned before a just and holy God. Salvation is God’s free gift offered to all who sincerely repent and believe in Jesus Christ. The result is forgiveness and reconciliation with God. We can never be saved by good works or self-improvement. Only by repenting and believing in Jesus Christ can we reconciled to God.
Jonah 2:9; John 1:12,13; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10
The Christian Life
Once we receive new life in Christ, we must seek to demonstrate our love for God by obeying Him and following Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. We constantly strive to grow in Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit and loving people as Jesus loved them.
Matthew 22:36-40; John 14:15; Ephesians 4:15; 1 John 2:3-6
The Kingdom of God
When we are saved in Jesus Christ, we enter the kingdom of God. In doing so, we experience the forgiveness of sins and the inward transformation that awakens a desire to submit to Christ’s sovereign rule. As an expression of this submission, we should neither withdraw from the world nor become indistinguishable from it. Rather, we are to seek the good of the city by bearing witness to Christ's sovereign rule and saving work on the cross. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God's sovereignty in the world toward the eventual restoration of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan's dark kingdom and brings restoration wherever God’s people speak and live transparently before others.
Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 4:23-24; Luke 11:20; Jeremiah 29:4-7; Colossians 1:13-14; Colossians 1:19-22; Romans 8:19-21
The Bible speaks of the church as a sign, witness to and embodiment of the kingdom of God. The Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ and the family of God in which Jesus is the head and all of Christ’s followers are members. To remain healthy, the body's members must work together, with each part contributing to each other’s growth and maturity. Since the church represents Jesus Christ to a needy world, God works through the church to reconcile a lost world to Himself and be His arm of righteousness in an unrighteous world.
Matthew 16:16-18; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 2:4-10
Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are signs and seals of the covenant relationship between God and His people in Jesus Christ. Baptism is connected with entrance into the covenant community. The Lord’s Supper is connected with ongoing covenant renewal and is designed to strengthen our faith and tie to Christ. Together, they underscore God’s assurance to us that our entire salvation rests on Christ's one sacrifice for us on the cross.
Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:37-39; Matthew 26: 26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Restoration of All Things
The Lord Jesus Christ will one day return personally, visibly, and gloriously and will bring His kingdom to its completion and perfection. He will judge the living and the dead, the just and the unjust. The unjust will be eternally separated from God in hell and the just in Christ will be eternally united to God in the new creation (new heavens and new earth). God will be in all in all and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.
Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:11; Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 21:1-8
Building on a Strong Foundation
The Phoenix United Reformed Church subscribes to three statements of faith rooted in the Protestant tradition: the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619). We believe that they provide a faithful summary of the gospel and provide a helpful tool for instruction in the distinctives of the Christian faith.
A brief word about creeds, confessions, and catechisms: the three "c's" provide maps for navigating through the Bible. The church has always felt the need to define and defend the Christian faith through accurate summaries of its core truths. Some of the most accurate, detailed, and thought-provoking summaries were written during the 16th century Protestant Reformation – a time of doctrinal and moral renewal for the church.
If you haven’t ever been exposed to the 3 "c's", we invite you to check them out. You just might come away with a greater and more appreciable grasp of the Christian faith. You can check out any of these on our Resources tab.