Northside Fellowship is a member of ECO - A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. The following are the Tenets of our Denomination.
ECO'S ESSENTIAL TENETS
l -God's Word: The Authority for Our Confession
We glorify God by recognizing and receiving His authoritative self-revelation, both in the infallible Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and also in the incarnation of God the Son.
ll. Trinity and lncarnation: The Two Central Christian Mysteries
The triune nature of God is the first great mystery of the Christian faith. With Christians everywhere, we worship the only true God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - who is both one essence and three persons.
This is the second great mystery of the Christian faith, affirmed by all Christians everywhere: that Jesus Christ is both truly God and truly human.
lll. Essentials of the Reformed Tradition
A. God's grace in Christ
God declared that the world He created was good and that human beings, made in His own image, were very good. The present disordered state of the world, in which we and all things are subject to misery and to evil, is not God's doing, but is rather a result of humanity's free, sinful rebellion against God's will. ln union with Christ through the power of the Spirit we are brought into right relation with the Father, who receives us as His adopted children.
B. Election for salvation and service
The call of God to the individual Christian is not merely an invitation that each person may accept or reject by his or her own free will. Having lost true freedom of will in the fall, we are incapable of turning toward God of our own volition. God chooses us for Himself in grace before the foundation of the world, not because of any merit on our part, but only because of His love and mercy.
C. Covenant life in the church
ln Christ, we are adopted into the family of God and find our new identity as brothers and sisters of one another, since we now share one Father. Within the covenant community of the church, God's grace is extended through the preaching of the Word, the administration of the Sacraments, and the faithful practice of mutual discipline. We recognize that the Spirit's illuminating work is necessary for the one who preaches and those who listen. The Sacraments of Baptism (including lnfant Baptism) and the Lord's Supper seal us to the promises of Jesus.
D. Faithful stewardship of all of life
The ministries of the church reflect the three-fold office of Christ as prophet, priest and king reflected in the church's ordered ministries of teaching elders, deacons, and ruling elders. We affirm that men and women alike are called to aIl the ministries of the Church, and that every member is called to share in all of Christ's offices within the world beyond the church.
E. Living in obedience to the Word of God
Progress in holiness is an expected response of gratitude to the grace of God, which is initiated, sustained, and fulfilled by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
As we practice the discipline of regular self-examination and confession, we are especially guided by the Ten Commandments. We therefore hold one another accountable to:
- Worship God alone, living all of life to His glory, renouncing all idolatry and all inordinate loves that might lead us to trust in any other help;
- worship God in humility, being reticent in either describing or picturing God, recognizing that right worship is best supported not by our own innovative practices but through the living preaching of the Word and the faithful administration of the Sacraments;
- eliminate from both speech and thought any blasphemy, irreverence, or impurity;
- observe the Sabbath as a day of worship and rest, being faithful in gathering with the people of God;
- give honor toward those set in authority over us and practice mutual submission within the community of the church;
- eradicate a spirit of anger, resentment, callousness, violence, or bitterness, and instead cultivate a spirit of gentleness, kindness, peace, and love; recognize and honor the image of God in every human being from conception to natural death.
- Maintain chastity in thought and deed, being faithful within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman as established by God at the creation or embracing a celibate life as established by Jesus in the new covenant;
- practice right stewardship of the goods we have been given, showing charity to those in need and offering generous support of the Church and its ministries;
- pursue truth, even when such pursuit is costly, and defend truth when it is challenged, recognizing that truth is in order to goodness and that its preservation matters;
- resist the pull of envy, greed, and acquisition, and instead cultivate a spirit of contentment with the gifts God has given us.