So, what kind of church is New City Church? The short answer to that question is that we are first of all Christian, secondly Missional, and thirdly we are Reformational.
WE ARE CHRISTIAN
In saying that we are Christians, we are saying that we are a part of the great tradition of churches worldwide who profess that Jesus of Nazareth is the only True King & Savior of the world. This confession distinguishes us from all other world religions and philosophies.
And this confession, says the late missionary to India, Lesslie Newbigin, “...is distinguished in that it is a commitment to a belief about the meaning of the whole of human experience in its entirety--namely, the belief that this meaning is to be found in the person of Jesus Christ, incarnate, crucified, risen, and destined to reign over all things.”
This confession--that Jesus Christ is Lord--is made as a part of the communities of faith through the ages who have declared this as public truth. So while New City Church is a new church in Calgary, it is not new in its beliefs and practices. We wholeheartedly embrace the historic Christian faith as expressed in the Apostle’s Creed & the Nicene Creed recognized by Christian’s around the world.
As a Christian church...
- We believe the Bible is the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enable to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
WE ARE MISSIONAL
To say that we are missional means that we take seriously the command of Jesus to engage the brokenness of this world with His Gospel, with both the words of the gospel and acts of kindness, justice, and mercy.
Situated here in Calgary, New City Church seeks to bring the blessings of Christ’s Kingdom to bear in this time and in this place. This means...
- ..we exist for the world our Lord came to save. Therefore we exist for mission, not for comfort.
- ...our mission is a participation in the very mission of God Himself who is reconciling the world to Himself in Christ Jesus.
- ...every Christian is called to be a missionary to his or her own spheres of influence.
- ...it’s not so much that God has a mission for His church as it is the fact that God has a church for His mission.
WE ARE REFORMATIONAL
New City Church is committed to the rich theological heritage of the Protestant Reformation.
During the history of the Christian Church, the Church went through a time when the light of biblical truth became increasingly dim. It was left to a few men to rekindle the flame of the Gospel and to call the Church back to the Scriptures.
Instead of being conformed to the patterns of this world, Christians are called to be transformed--that is, ‘re-formed’--by the Scriptures. The men who sounded this alarm were called the Reformers of the Church, men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, & John Knox.
Arising out of this period were five foundational stones--five banners--which summarized what the Reformers were trying to do. These were known as the ‘solas’ (Latin for ‘only’ or ‘alone’) of the Reformation.
- Scripture Alone: The banner of sola scriptura declares that the Holy Scriptures containing the Old & New Testaments are the authoritative revelation of God. Since these Scriptures are the inspired words of God (literally, ‘God-breathed’ according to 2 Timothy 3:16), they are the final authoritative rule for our faith and life. The Scriptures are given by God to the Church and are to be interpreted in and by these communities of faith in accordance with the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3).
- Christ Alone: The banner of solus christus teaches us the message of the Scriptures is that salvation is found in Christ alone (Acts 4:12). The Bible from the beginning to the end is the revelation of the mission of God who is determined to bless the world by rescuing it from its curse and in redeeming a people for Himself. These acts of redemption are focused in the life and death of Jesus Christ and find their fullest expression when God restores all things in Christ (Acts 3:21). Jesus taught that the whole of the Scriptures speaks of Him (John 5:39; Acts 2:27, 44-47). Therefore we are ‘whole-Bible’ Christians knowing that we cannot fully appreciate the story of salvation recorded for us in the New Testament until we see its beginnings in the Old Testament.
- Grace Alone: Sola gratia draws attention to the Scriptural teaching that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Apart from Christ, all people are spiritually dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). Therefore, if anyone is to be rescued from this condition, God must graciously save us since none of us can make ourselves presentable to God. God, therefore, in grace reaches down into the muck and mire of our sinful condition, and cleanses us forgiving all our sins. It is grace from beginning to end. And it is all amazing.
- Faith Alone: The banner sola fide teaches us that a person is justified (that is, declared by God ‘not guilty’ and ‘righteous’ in His sight) by grace alone through faith alone. As the New Testament teaches, “It is by grace that you have been saved--through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). No one is made right before God by doing good works, but only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving the free of eternal life that is in Christ Jesus. This believing / receiving is an act of trust in God, or what the Bible calls faith.
- For the Glory of God Alone: The final banner is soli deo gloria. Since salvation is the free gift of God that we receive by faith alone, God gets all the glory. God has graciously provided salvation to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:3; Acts 16:31). Therefore we dedicate our lives to glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
In short, “the Gospel--known in Scripture alone, found in Christ alone, given by grace alone, received by faith alone to the glory of God alone--is still ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Michael Horton).”
Therefore we are called to be semper reformanda, that is, ‘always reforming (Romans 12:1-2). And that is what we are about at New City Church.
For two great reformational confessions, check out these confessions of faith:
Be sure to check out the interactive New City Catechism as well.
Our Networks & Denomination
New City Church is connected to two Canadian church planting networks, C2C (& here) and the Grace Network of Canada, as well as to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), which provides us with a system of oversight and accountability and in which Pastors Mike and John are ordained.
Our denomination, like all others, is not without flaws. Any denomination cannot help but be shaped by its past, its successes and failures, its joys and hurts, its origins and ancestors. Each is not without its blind spots, its peculiarities, and even its errors.
Yet, the PCA emphasizes that God is gracious, that salvation comes by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, that the Scriptures are authoritative, and that the mission of the church is to proclaim the Gospel & disciple the nations.
The New Testament churches were connected to one another, and we believe the PCA provides opportunities for partnership & accountability that we believe are essential. The PCA is a grass-roots denomination that bands together with other churches in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- "The Word" by Julie Falk / cc
- "In Our Hands" by Charamalody / cc
- "Reformation Wall" by Guilhem Vellut / cc
- "Canadian Flag" by Heather Ferguson. Used by permission.