The inspired, sufficient and certain Word of God provides the foundation and contours of our beliefs and practice. Thus, Scripture provides the form and content for preaching, worship, and singing. The Bible is God’s self-revelation and states the purpose for which He created us. It also helps us to understand our own hearts of sin and the broken world in which we live because of man’s fall into sin. Through His Word, God has also revealed the way of salvation in Christ to restore sinful human beings into the image of Christ for His glory.
Historically, we stand in the trajectory of the New Testament Church and the Ancient Church using the three ancient creeds together known as Tria Symbola or Three Creeds of the Christian faith to express our beliefs: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Furthermore, we believe the doctrines of Scripture are summarized best in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith and this sets the theological tone and tenor of our church.
We teach that these beliefs are not only to inform the mind, but they are to touch the heart, affecting the emotions with a deep, abiding love for Christ, His Word, His holiness, His people and in reaching the lost with God-centered optimism.
The beliefs of the church are warmly based on Scripture and summarized by historic creeds and reformed confessions.
Deer Park Fellowship believes these three creeds known together as the "Three Creeds of the Christian Faith" summarize what all Christians have believed throughout history. We require a confession of these creeds for membership at the Deer Park Fellowship:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places
Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.
Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith:
That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.
For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
the person of the Son is another,
and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable,
the Son is immeasurable,
the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal,
the Son is eternal,
the Holy Spirit is eternal.
And yet there are not three eternal beings;
there is but one eternal being.
So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.
Similarly, the Father is almighty,
the Son is almighty,
the Holy Spirit is almighty.
Yet there are not three almighty beings;
there is but one almighty being.
Thus the Father is God,
the Son is God,
the Holy Spirit is God.
Yet there are not three gods;
there is but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord,
the Son is Lord,
the Holy Spirit is Lord.
Yet there are not three lords;
there is but one Lord.
Just as Christian truth compels us
to confess each person individually
as both God and Lord,
so catholic religion forbids us
to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.
The Son was neither made nor created;
he was begotten from the Father alone.
The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;
he proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;
there is one Son, not three sons;
there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
Nothing in this trinity is before or after,
nothing is greater or smaller;
in their entirety the three persons
are coeternal and coequal with each other.
So in everything, as was said earlier,
we must worship their trinity in their unity
and their unity in their trinity.
Anyone then who desires to be saved
should think thus about the trinity.
But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.*
This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
*This is not an affirmation of works based salvation. This phrase is crafted in the same sense that James, a biblical writer can say “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). The James passage, much like this ancient creed should be interpreted in light of all of God’s Word. The creed affirms the Scriptures that it was Christ alone who suffered for our salvation. Those who are in Christ, will produce Holy Spirit wrought works on the day of judgement. There will be no such Christian who’s life and affections are not changed by the gospel of God.
We believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
who was begotten of the Father before all ages,
[God from God],
Light from Light,
True God from True God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
Who for us human beings and for our salvation came down from heaven;
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and was became human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the Giver of Life.
He proceeds from the Father [and from the Son]
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and co-glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.
*Some of the language under the headings "biblical", "reformed", and "joyful" have been adapted and modified from Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan