Mission and Core Commitments

Mission
Resurrection Presbyterian Church exists to glorify the One Triune and living God, by worshiping God in spirit and in truth; by exercising, as God’s restored image bearers, godly dominion in His name; by seeking God’s kingdom and His righteous will to be done on earth as it is in heaven; by discipling our neighbors and the nations to trust in God and obey His will; and by spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples in Peoria, central Illinois, and to the ends of the earth.


Our Core Commitments

  • Biblical, Confessional, Creedal: We believe that Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the very God-breathed words of God to man. So we value being saturated with the Scriptures in our corporate worship, preaching, teaching, and daily living. We strive to bring about a growing understanding of, love for, and believing yieldedness to God’s Word within every member of the church. We also believe in the vital importance of affirming, articulating, and transmitting the teachings of the Holy Scriptures by our corporate confessions, creeds, and catechisms. Though we by no means hold these documents as equal with the God-breathed Holy Scriptures in authority or inerrancy, we do view our confessions, creeds, & catechisms as the Church’s Spirit-directed (but not perfected) response of faith to God as His people and to the world as His ambassadors, our believing “Amen’ of affirmation and submission to God’s Holy Word.

  • Christ-focused: Jesus, the Christ is the Head of the Church, the King of God’s everlasting Kingdom, the Savior of the world, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the Source of all spiritual/physical life and order, the fullness of God in bodily form, and the God-ordained object of our highest affections and worship. God’s goal for all of mankind is that the Father be worshiped and glorified through His son. Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried, resurrected, glorified, ascended, reigning, and returning in glory is our central theme, emphasis, and focus of all that we seek to be, say, and do as Christians.

  • Spiritual: Though we reject the view that charismatic spiritual gifts such as prophecy and speaking in tongues are “normative” in the church today, we believe strongly in the vital necessity of living in constant dependence upon the real presence and power of the Holy Spirit for all things great and small. The abiding presence and power of the Holy Spirit working within and through the Church to enlighten the mind, enliven the soul, engage the heart, embolden our faith, enlarge our love, and empower our labors to fulfill God’s righteous will is the most fundamental characteristic of the “better” New Covenant in Christ.

  • Worship: We believe that our corporate worship of the Triune God is the most fundamental and vital activity in which we engage, a weekly reminder and renewal of our covenant with our gracious and Triune God, who uses our worship to change us and the world. In worship we are transformed by the grace of God’s presence and good gifts, and we leave worship with a renewed sense of, and commitment to our/His mission, discipleship, and community.
    We also equip and encourage families to worship together consistently in their homes. Wherever we find the family gathered for worship in Scripture, it is the family in its totality: father, mother, and children. The cumulative effect of many modern Sunday school, nursery care, and youth ministry programs has been to eliminate the role of the father and mother in the spiritual training of their children, hampering the family government established by God and often leading to the apostasy of the children later in life rather than their faithful continuance in God’s covenant as His blessed children and disciples of Jesus.
  • Kingdom-pursuing, Disciple-making, Dominion-exercising: We believe the Church’s primary calling is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Kingdom Mandate (Matthew 6:33), which are simply extensions of God’s original “very good” cultural/dominion mandate for mankind, as His image-bearers, to be fruitful and multiply, subdue the earth and fill it with goodness/glory. Walking in living faith toward God, each Christian household is called to work together to cultivate and protect/preserve its own God-assigned “garden” (sphere of stewardship and influence) with God’s blessing to produce both spiritual and material “fruit” for the glory of God and the gladness of mankind (Genesis 1:26-31, 2:15-25; cf John 15:8, 16).
    One particular way we live this out is by promoting and supporting the distinctively Christian educational training of God’s children entrusted to our care. The Bible gives parents the clear direction in Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 that they are to train their children in the ways and statutes of the Lord throughout the day. This mandate is compromised when children are sent to public institutions of learning where they are indoctrinated in the principles of secular humanism and influenced by worldly, un-believing peers and teachers. The result of such secular instruction is a weakened church and divided families rather than faithful, fruitful disciples. We promote, instead, those educational alternatives which are guided by and serve Biblical principles and purposes, including Christian homeschooling and biblically regulated Christian covenant schools.

  • Connected’ Christian community: We believe that the Church, both in its local and universal aspects, is the visible body of Christ on earth, the “household” of God who are “called out” of the world in order to serve, represent, and minister in His name in/to the world. Jesus builds up and walks among His local Churches in every city and region on earth, each local Church comprised of all of the faithful Christian congregations in each city/region (e.g. Revelation 2-3). And the local Church in each city/region is corporately called together to be a distinct, deliberate, maturing, united, God-glorifying, people-loving, truth-proclaiming, obedient, disciple-making, and holy covenant community, living in close visible community/fellowship with the Triune God and His redeemed people as citizens and representative ambassadors of Jesus Christ, the King and Savior of the world. Therefore, we believe that God’s command for His Church (ekklesia) to diligently preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3) applies both within our local congregation (Resurrection Presbyterian) as well as between/among all faithful congregations in our area. A house divided among itself will fall. The salt of the earth must maintain its purity/truth and potency/love or else it will be trampled under foot of both visible and invisible foes of Christ (cf Matthew 5:13). If the Light of the world in us is hidden from the world by a diminishing of truth and/or lack of sincere love among God’s people, the world will neither believe that Jesus is alive nor be reconciled with God through faith in Him (Matthew 5:14-16, John 13:34-35). So for the sake of the testimony of the gospel and the advance of God’s kingdom, we strive to identify, maintain, and strengthen ties of true spiritual unity and fellowship within and among all faithful local congregations of Jesus’ Church in our city/region that proclaim and strive to obey God’s Word in truth, including God’s command in His Word that we must love all of our brethren as God has loved us (1 John 4:7-21). As commanded in Ephesians 4:1-6, we strive to foster and maintain mutual fellowship, spiritual unity, and spiritual accountability with fellow believers in faithful local Christian churches by active participation in our city/regional pastoral association, by consistently praying for other local churches during our corporate worship, and by periodically gathering with other faithful local churches/Christians for joint worship, prayer, fellowship, and collaborative ministry. We consciously embrace and identify with the faithful Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, both present and past, across denominations, with all who are faithful fruit-bearing branches in the Vine of Christ and fellow members of His “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”, being washed by Jesus’ blood and striving in sincere faith and love to submit to Jesus’ lordship as mediated by the Holy Spirit through the Holy Scriptures, in doctrine and practice. This is the pattern of the early church (Acts 2:42ff) through which the kingdom and church of Jesus Christ grew rapidly, walking in God’s blessing/grace and compelled by God’s love for His Church and for the world in the Spirit.

  • Prayer-dependent & empowered: We believe in the vital necessity of effectual, fervent, continual prayer in Jesus’ name according to His will/Word. Such prayer is how God’s power and wisdom is normally mediated to us and through us by the Spirit. We believe that apart from a vital and abiding union with the eternal life and power of Jesus, we can accomplish nothing that will bear any lasting fruit. So we value prayer as our reality-shaping, world- changing priestly privilege of speaking with our great God and Father, expressing and developing our intimate family relationship with Him. We greatly value private and corporate prayer as the primary God-ordained means for receiving and directing His sovereign power for the sure advance of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Joy-pursuing: We believe that spiritual and true worship of our Triune God commands us to passionately pursue our own and others’ joyful satisfaction in His supremacy and sufficiency. This is both God’s command to the world and the necessary fruit of vibrant faith in and love for God. It is our supreme act of worship as living sacrifices which are holy and acceptable to God, proving by obedient faith what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:1-2). God commands us to persistently pursue our fullness of satisfaction in Him, for He is “our exceedingly great reward” (Gen 15:1), and He is a rewarder of all who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). God commands us to zealously pursue ours and others joy in Him because God is truly most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. (see Deut. 28:47; 1 Chron. 16:31, 33; Neh. 8:10; Pss. 32:11; 33:1; 35:9; 40:8, 16; 42:1–2; 63:1, 11; 64:10; 95:1; 97:1, 12; 98:4; 104:34; 105:3; Isa. 41:16; Joel 2:23; Zech. 2:10; 10:7; Rom. 5:2–3, 11; Phil. 3:1; 4:4).

  • Reformed: We are committed to the distinctive Biblical emphases (solas) of the Protestant Reformation – Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. We are also committed to upholding, proclaiming, and delighting in the Biblical doctrines of the sovereign and glorious grace of our good God in saving sinners, judging the wicked, and redeeming the world. We believe in and proclaim the Biblically-affirmed truths of mankind’s natural and comprehensive spiritual depravity and inability to save themselves, of God’s sovereign and unconditional election of sinners unto salvation, of Christ’s definite atonement for the salvation of all of the people given to Him by the Father, of God’s irresistible and effectual grace to fully apply Christ’s salvation to His chosen people, and of God’s preservation of all of His people in persevering faith unto salvation from all present/future divine wrath and obtaining of their eternal inheritance.

  • Covenantal: God’s dealings with his created world are covenantal, and as partakers of God’s covenant of grace in Christ Jesus we strive to live by faith in our faithful, covenant-keeping God, ordering our priorities, conduct, worship, and discipleship with a view toward keeping covenant with God in joyful, humble obedience of faith according to His Word.
    One way we live this out is by encouraging (but not mandating) all believing Christian parents to have their infant children baptized as Christ’s disciples. Though we place no trust in the sacrament of baptism itself, we do trust in God’s faithfulness and thus strive in faith raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4). Our faith is in God who is faithful to His covenant promises: that He is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6); that the children of true believers are considered holy by God and so set apart for blessing as heirs of His gospel promises (1 Cor 7:14; Gal 4:1-2); that He will cleanse the hearts of our children, grant them true faith, and pour out upon (baptize) them with the living waters of His Spirit in due time (Acts 2:39); and that He will indeed be God to us and our households, to our children’s children, to a thousand generations (Gen 17:7; Exo 34:6-7; Isa 44:3, 49:25, 54:13, 59:21). Consistent with this conviction, we also encourage (but do not mandate) parents to bring their baptized children to join Christ’s congregation in partaking of the Lord’s Supper as soon as they’re able to partake of the wine and bread. We do all this because Jesus considers our covenant children to be “holy” (set apart) to God (1 Cor 7:14), and He embraces and blesses them as His disciples, exemplars of God-pleasing faith, and heirs of God’s kingdom (Matthew 18:1-5, 19:13-15). Our Lord Jesus invites our little children to come to Him, so we will not forbid them to eat at the Lord’s table as/with His disciples.

  • Creational: Though secular science and liberalism strive to erode confidence in the accuracy of the first chapters of Genesis, we whole-heartedly affirm that God created the earth and heavens and all that is in them in six consecutive, twenty-four hour periods, by the Word of His power, and all very good. We also believe that by this same powerful Word God has brought forth a new creation world/order in and under Jesus Christ our Lord, and He is now redeeming and restoring all things. This redemption includes restoring His people back to their original “very good” creational priestly purpose and roles as “new creations” who are born of God by water and the Spirit and called and commissioned to serve with God as His image bearers on earth. This includes a restoration of God’s creation calling on men, like Adam, to submit God as Father and Jesus Christ as Lord in all things, exercising Christ-imitating dominion over themselves, their own households, the tabernacle/household of God (church), the gates of the city (judicial), the nations (cultural), and the land (industrial/ecological) as self-sacrificing shepherds, wise stewards, and leader-servants for the blessing of all. This also includes restoring God’s good creational calling for women, like Eve, to submit to and serve alongside their own husbands as the Church does to Christ; for children, like Jesus, to obey and honor their parents in the Lord; for servants to obey their masters as unto the Lord; all in ultimate submission to Christ Jesus our Lord as His disciples. Jesus will finally and fully redeem and restore all of creation into the glorious liberty from the curse and eternal resurrection life, the first fruits of which the sons of God now enjoy, to the end that God will be “all in all” forevermore, world without end.

  • Presbyterian: As a local church body, we are committed to spiritual rule and leadership under Christ Jesus by a plurality of Elders (presbyters) who form our congregational session. So our form of church government is representative rather than hierarchical or congregational. Our elders are men who are called and equipped by God, spiritually qualified (cf 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1), and ordained as under-shepherds, keeping watch over and tending to our souls under Christ the Chief Shepherd, leading us in corporate worship (Word and sacrament), and equipping us to minister in Jesus’s name in our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Along with our elders, we are committed to maintaining a plurality of ordained deacons who assist our elders by overseeing various aspects of ministry among the congregation and by faithfully managing the material assets the Lord has entrusted to our care. Our commitment to presbyterian church government also leads us to participate in and submit to a wider denomination of like-minded churches and their elders (our national Presbytery). Our denomination is the Covenant Presbyterian Church (www.covenant-presbyterian.org).

  • Integrated: We worship, pray, live, love, serve, learn, feast and fast as one unified visible, family of God and body of Christ in the Spirit, refraining from practices and/or programs that create spiritual and functional divisions within Christ’s body which He Himself has not made. We are zealous to preserve and promote the unity of the Spirit among us in the bond of peace. (Ephes 4:3-6)

  • Optimistic/Victorious Eschatology: We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ has definitively triumphed over the world, the flesh and the devil by his obedient life, death, resurrection, ascension, and present reign from heaven. He has been given a kingdom over all nations over which He will reign until all of His enemies, even death itself, are put under His feet. Since all power and authority have been given to Him, and since He is with us always as the head and captain of His body, the church, we believe that His Great Commission and Kingdom/Dominion Mandate will surely be fulfilled in history through the church, subduing all opposition by effectual fervent prayer, the faithful preaching of the gospel, and the holy, faithful, joyful, overcoming life/light of Christ in His people which will gradually but surely remove death/darkness as our Spirit-empowered faith overcomes the world “in Jesus’ name’.