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We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In His creation,
In Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God,
In the 66 books of the Bible, which are verbally inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative.

God created human beings, male and female, in His image. Equally made in God's image, men and women enjoy equal access to God by faith in Jesus and bear God's image in unique and distinct ways that are not interchangeable. At creation, both man and woman received different and complementary roles from God that are to be lived out according to the Bible.

Adam fell into sin through the devil's temptation, bringing alienation from God and total corruption to every aspect of every human being (our bodies, minds, wills, emotions, and souls).

We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to His Father, the eternal Son, Jesus, became human: the Word became flesh, truly God and truly human, one Person in two natures, miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin Mary.
He perfectly obeyed His heavenly Father, lived sinlessly, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven.

By His sacrifice, Jesus bore in our place the punishment due to us for our sins, making proper and complete satisfaction of God's justice for us. By His perfect obedience, He satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf. By faith alone, through grace alone, God credits Christ's perfect obedience to all who trust Jesus for salvation.

The gospel is the good news that, through Jesus, God saves sinners and plans to renew this broken world. Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, who died, resurrected, and ascended to the Father on behalf of His people. Through faith alone in this Jesus, God justifies, sanctifies, and adopts His people to the hope of eternal life with God in the new creation.

This good news is
biblical (Jesus' death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures),
theological and salvific (Jesus died for our sins, to reconcile us to God),
historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless),
apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events),
and intensely personal (God adopts individuals to love and relate to them as Father).

The Holy Spirit is eternally God and the third person of the Trinity. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. By His powerful and mysterious work, He regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakens them to repentance and faith, baptizes them into union with the Lord Jesus, and justifies them before God.

The Universal Church is the people of God. It consists of those born again to faith in Christ for salvation. God chose the church before the foundation of the world and is gathering them throughout history into one universal family under the Lordship of their Savior Jesus.

Local churches are gatherings of believers spread throughout the world. They gather for worship regularly and are sent into the world by Jesus to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them how to follow Christ.

At the appointed time, Jesus Christ will physically return to resurrect the dead, judge the world, and renew the heavens and the earth. His bodily return will be personal, glorious, and full of perfect justice.

Marriage is a God-given gift to humanity to show His personality and relationship to His church. The Bible holds marriage between one biological man and one biological woman from cover to cover. Any expression of sexuality outside of that covenant is outside of God's created will and is sinful. God beautifully designed and intends His people to participate in sex only within the union of marriage between one man and one woman. (See Gen. 2:24-25, Matt. 19:4-12, Heb. 13:4)

Living Stones affirms the following historical creeds and doctrinal statements: the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, and the Lausanne Covenant.

Below are the doctrinal distinctives of all Living Stones Churches.

The gospel is the center and ultimate motivator of all we do as a church. It is the good news of Jesus Christ—God's very wisdom (John 3:16). It is God's power to those being saved. Everything Living Stones does is birthed from and built around the gospel of God (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Titus 3:3-8). 

God is sovereign in all aspects of salvation.
Under the curse of Adam, all humans are born into total depravity. Apart from God's intervention, no human would choose Him of their own free will. God elected, died for, draws, and preserves his people in predetermined love. The elect are effectually drawn to Jesus by the Father and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Their salvation is eternally secured, and God guarantees their perseverance in the faith through the indwelling work of God the Spirit (Ephesians 2:2, 4-5. 2 Timothy 2:26. John 5:21, 6:37).

All Christians should be water baptized as commanded by Jesus.
Baptism occurs when a person is fully submerged in water and pulled back out in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One’s submersion symbolizes one's death and resurrection with Jesus. Baptism is an outward expression of the inward reality that a person has been "born again" and has put off their old self. The old self died with Christ and was raised to new life, and it is, therefore, for believers only (Mark 1:5-10; Acts 2:41; 8:12).

God made humanity in His image, male and female. In God's wise purposes, men and women are not interchangeable. Instead, they complement each other in mutually enriching ways to represent God's image to the world. Both men and women have equal access to God and equal value before him. 

As the Bible unfolds, it calls men and women to different roles within the relationships of the home and the church. In the home, God calls husbands to die to themselves and be servant-leaders of their families. God calls wives to be helpers of their husbands and submit to them out of devotion to the Lord. In the church, God calls only qualified men to fill the office and duties of Elder. Elders are to shepherd the flock of God under the authority, guidance, love, and wisdom of Jesus, the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Timothy 3:2).

All the gifts of the Spirit listed in the Bible are present and active in His church. 
The gifts of the Spirit are free to be used by members according to the guidelines of the Scriptures.
Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as the “other” Paraclete, is present with and in believers (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:14, 14:16-17). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by His powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (John 16:18, 3:8; Acts 16:14; 1 John 5:1; Romans 3:23-25). By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family; they participate in the divine nature and receive His sovereignly distributed gifts (1 Corinthians 12). The Holy Spirit is the down payment of the promised inheritance, and in this age, indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service (Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:12; John 16:13; John 14:26; John 6:63; Acts 1:8).

All sixty-six books of the Bible tell one story that details God's relationship with humanity. He relates to humanity through covenants under two categorical headings: the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace. God commands humanity in the Covenant of Works, saying, "Do this and live." But in the Covenant of Grace, Jesus takes the requirement of obedience and the penalty for disobedience upon Himself to secure an everlasting relationship with His chosen people. The Bible chronicles the unfolding of these covenants and finds ultimate fulfillment for the Covenant of Grace in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. This fulfillment is called the New Covenant, and it is experienced by believers when they are born again by the Holy Spirit (see Jeremiah 31:31-35, John 1:17, Romans 8:3-4).

Sunday liturgy is planned carefully so that the gathering demonstrates the gospel to God's glory. Every gathering includes elements proclaiming the Bible's storyline, including Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration (or Consummation).

Living Stones follows the high holidays of the Christian church calendar. Accordingly, we acknowledge the following seasons and days in Living Stones gatherings: Advent, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week (Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday), Ascension Day, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Reformation Day, and Christ the King Sunday.

Living Stones believes that visual art and music are powerful gifts God has given to humanity to reveal His glory. Therefore, Living Stones uses art as a means for people to engage with God. Sometimes Living Stones uses or displays art that secular artists create if it reveals common truth (on the basis that all truth is from God). 

Sola Scriptura
Scripture alone is the Word of God and, therefore, the only infallible rule for life and doctrine.
(Proverbs 30:5-6, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16)

Sola Fide
Salvation is by faith alone in Christ Jesus, not good works.
(Romans 4:3-5, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Peter 1:3-5)

Sola Gratia
Salvation is by grace alone and not merited by man in any way.
(Romans 3:23-24, Romans 11:6, Ephesians 2:4-10)

Solus Christus
Christ alone is the only way to salvation.
(Isaiah 53:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Peter 2:24)

Soli Deo Gloria
All glory is due to God alone.
(Isaiah 42:8, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 10:31)

We believe that all humans are made in the image of God and mirror His character in many ways. In addition, God gives some graces to all people, even though some do not receive the special grace of salvation. These graces given to all God's image-bearers are called Common Graces. They include but are not limited to the ability to marry and experience the benefits of marriage, learn and communicate truth, create beautiful things, and work together for the common good of humanity (Psalm 145:9, Acts 17:26-28, James 1:17).

The 1689 Baptist Confession is an accurate and faithful summary of the teaching of the 66 books of Holy Scripture. Therefore, we adopt this Confession as the teaching doctrinal statement for Living Stones Churches with the following exceptions:

Articles 22.8, 26.4, 26.9

Our reasoning for these exceptions is as follows:

On 22.8, we disagree with the Confession's use of the definite article "the" when it states, "The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord…." 

While we believe Christians are obligated to participate (insomuch as they are physically able) in weekly corporate worship with other Christians, we do not think the Lord's Day is the only day for rest. All days are holy unto the Lord (Colossians 2:16; Romans 14:5). Jesus Himself is our Sabbath rest and the One who will bring full and final rest at his Second Coming (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:10-1). In His person and work, the moral obligations of the Sabbath are fulfilled (2 Corinthians 1:20; Romans 14:5). Because of this fulfillment and the Lord's establishment of the New Covenant, believers do not need to participate in a day of rest only on Sunday. But since God rested on the seventh day and commanded that the Sabbath be kept holy, He wove personal rest and worship of Him into the fabric of creation. Therefore, healthy Christians should aspire to a day of rest and worship and we believe that the Bible presents Sunday, the day of our Lord’s resurrection, as the normative day of rest and worship for Christians.

On 26.4, we disagree with the Confession's assertion that the Roman Catholic Pope is the man of lawlessness so spoken of in 2 Thess. 2:2-9. While understanding the historical situation within which the authors of the Confession found themselves, we do not find the exegetical arguments concerning this assertion persuasive because we believe this man of lawlessness has yet to appear in history based on our interpretation of the Confession’s cited passages. However, based on the Roman Catholic Church's explicit teaching concerning the papacy - that "the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered" - we believe that the Roman Catholic Pope acts as an antichrist. While not explicitly denying that Jesus is the Messiah, whoever sits as acting Pope is in opposition to Jesus by establishing himself, rather than Jesus, as the supreme authority over the Christian Church. In this way, the Roman Catholic Pope commits egregious sin against the Lord Jesus. By the very act of believing himself to be the supreme authority in the Church, the Pope denies the essence of the Lordship of Jesus by denigrating the Lord's ultimate authority and demoting Him, just as 1 John 2:22 teaches antichrists do.
On 26.9, we disagree with the Confession's assertion that Christ established the appointment of Elders to come by congregational vote. Contrary to this assertion, we see the Apostle Paul explicitly instructing both Timothy and Titus, under the superintending guidance of the Holy Spirit, to appoint Elders themselves rather than entrusting this obligation to the respective congregations (2 Tim. 2:2; Titus 1:5; c.f. Acts 14:23 where "they" refers to Paul and his ministry team, not the local congregation). The Biblical pattern is for Elders to appoint other Elders.