What We Believe
One God and creator of all things. God is one essence and three in distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
One Savior Jesus Christ. Who was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, died a horrible death, and was raised to new life. He is now in heaven interceding for sinners (Rom 8:34) and preparing an eternal home for his people (John 14:3)
One Holy Spirit who dwells in the hearts of believers today. He has sealed our hearts (Eph 1:13) for heaven, but even now guides us in life (Rom 8:26), and progressively works in our lives (Phil 1:6).
One Holy Church operating as the outpost of heaven today (Eph 4:3-6). The church is the gathering of God's people to be fed and nourished by God. It is a place where sinners and saints commune with God and fellowship with one another.
One Gospel by which all people are to be saved. Jesus says that no one comes to the Father, or heaven, except through him (John 6:35). The good news is that all who turn to Jesus alone as their king and savior will be saved: "Anyone who believes in Christ has eternal life" (John 6:47).
Universal Sin --is like spitting in the face of our Father God. We rebel against him in our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. At John Knox, we believe that humans are beautiful children of God, but we do not live as we were fashioned. Sin is against God (Psa 51:4) brings guilt and shame to our souls. We try to deny the weight, but it causes deep soul pain to us and everyone around us. Thanks are to the triune God, there is a solution, as the Apostle Paul explains, 'where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more' (Rom 5:20). We are a church that takes sin and damaged hearts seriously because we know that Christ is the solution and the one who heals the broken.
Gospel Centered in life and in death (Rom 14:8). We believe the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him. We do this by first receiving the grace of Christ with open hands and hearts. His grace empowers us to live transformed lives. From a grace-filled well of gratitude, we desire to know Christ more, the power of his resurrection, and being conformed to the power of his death and resurrection (Phil 3:10).
Put together, we confess that humans have fallen from their intended design. We are filled with guilt and shame. But instead of leaving us in such a sorry state, our heavenly Father carried out a plan to rescue and redeem us. Jesus Christ came to earth to pay for our sins and to merit great gifts for us. By believing and confessing Christ as Lord, we receive his grace which cleanses us from sin, makes us beautiful children of God, and protects us by the presence of the Holy Spirit today (Eph 1:3-14).
Consider some key verses we love:
John 3:16; Phil 2:5-11; Eph 2:8-10; Gal 3:26-28
Confess with Heart and Mouth
John Knox Church in Ruston confesses with heart and mouth that Scripture alone is the word of God. It is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16) and inscriptured as our prescription for life. The Bible, contained in the first and second testaments (i.e., OT and NT), is the truth given by God for people to know God and enjoy him.
Furthermore, the Christianity we confess and live today is historically rooted. Building on the scripture, we believe the teaching of the Bible is faithfully and accurately summarized in the ecumenical creeds of the historic church: Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed. These creeds have been confessed by God's people around the world by every people and tongue for fifteen centuries.
We recognize that scripture is a divine text, and we are not infallible readers and interpreters (Deut 29:29; Isa 55:8). With that humility, we believe the Reformed Confessions accurately summarize the teaching of scripture to help us better know the triune God, how we are to live, and how we are to enjoy him. At John Knox we use the Westminster Confession, Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. We also cherish some of the older confessions too:The Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort.
Pastor Chris always jokes that since seven is the 'holy' number, he holds to the seven-forms of unity. That is the six above plus the Second Helvetic Confession.
At John Knox we see that the church in the Old Testament and New Testament was intended to be a united church. While many Americans walk to the tune of my own personal Jesus, the Bible presents the churches as one body united around one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God (Eph 4:3). Also, when controversy or questions arise, the churches benefit from working together. We see this camaraderie in Acts 15 and many, many times in church history. Therefore, we believe it biblical and prudent to be part of a broader church denomination. Our denominational affiliation is the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).