Resurrection Presbyterian Church exists to glorify the One Triune and living God, by worshiping Him joyfully, spiritually, and truly; by pursuing the advance of God’s righteous kingdom on earth as in heaven; by discipling our neighbors and all nations to trust in God and walk in accord with God’s Word; 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: We believe the Church’s primary calling is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Kingdom Mandate (Matthew 6:33). All that we do should be with a view toward these two fundamental and related ends – to make and train up disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ in all nations/peoples, and to work to bring about the visible dominion of Christ and His kingdom in all the world. We strive to these ends by living, overcoming faith in the Triune God, by participation in and support of missions, evangelism/outreach, church & family discipleship, and faithful dominion oriented labor in Jesus’ name.
One 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 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 peers and teachers. The result of such secular instruction is a weakened church and divided families rather than faithful disciples. We promote, instead, those educational alternatives which are guided by and serve Biblical principles and purposes. These include Christian homeschooling and biblically regulated Christian covenant schools.
- ‘Connected’ Christian community: We believe that the church, both local and universal, is the very body of Christ, a “called out” household of God to represent and minister in His name and for His kingdom to the world. We are called to be and live as a simple, separate/distinct, deliberate, maturing, united, loving, truth-proclaiming, obedient, disciple-making, and holy covenant community in Christ through the Spirit, as citizens and representative ambassadors of God’s heavenly kingdom and Christ our King.
- 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 is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
- 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 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 even the material creation order into eternal resurrection life 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 (Presbytery). Our denomination is the Covenant Presbyterian Church (www.covenant-presbyterian.org). Lastly, in accord with Ephesians 4:1-6, we also strive to foster and maintain mutual fellowship and spiritual accountability with fellow believers in faithful local Christian churches by participation in our local pastoral association, by consistently praying for other local churches during our corporate worship, and by periodically gathering with other local churches/Christians for joint worship, prayer, fellowship, and ministry.
- Ecumenical/Historical: For the validation and promotion of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the advance of His Kingdom, we strive to strengthen unity and cooperation with other faithful Christian brethren and churches, both local and abroad. We consciously identify with the faithful Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, both present and past, across denominations, with all who are 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.
- 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’.