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ICF Distinctives

 

Our church’s heritage and the distinctive reason for its existence has been the combination of its belief in the grace of God, as expressed by the Reformed/Calvinist viewpoint,* and its belief in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as commonly associated with the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition. Its polity is congregational—meaning that it is autonomous, yet it is committed to working in harmony, as far as possible, with other churches. There has been a historic commitment to missions which has been a vital part of church life. Its traditional approach to Scripture has been non‑dispensational, more like covenant theology, except that it believes in water baptism only for believers.

 

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* the Reformed/Charismatic tradition as adapted from ‘abstract of principles’ contained in The New Hampshire Confession:

“Those whom God has accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”

 

and the Heidelberg Confession:

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

 

A. That I am not my own,

but belong—

body and soul,
in life and in death

 

to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

 

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and is making me whole‑heartedly willing and ready

 

…to live for him.