Second City Church is a member church within the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and embraces biblical and historic Christianity as expressed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and as summarized in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed.
The following is a summary of our view of the essentials of Historic Christianity:
We believe the Bible is the very word of God. In it God reveals what is true about himself, his world and us. We believe the Bible is the primary place to learn who God is, what he is doing and what he expects of us. The Bible was given to us in love and directs us in faith and life.
The Bible tells us that God is love. It also tells us he is just, eternal, kind, longsuffering, without sin and all knowing - to name just a little of who he is. Perhaps most importantly, the Bible is clear that God is involved. He is intentional. He has good plans for you and he has good plans for the world in which you live. We believe God is most clearly revealed in the person and work of Jesus.
God created humans in his image. However, in many ways the Bible tells us that God is not like us. Even his composition is a mystery. He is a spirit whom the Bible describes as existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is without sin. He is loving, kind and patient, yet he is the creator and judge of all things and is to be loved, honored and surrendered to (Matthew 28:19).
One of the ways God differs from us is the way he loves people. God is love (1 John 4:8), and he deeply treasures each person he has created. God longs for a deeper relationship with every person so that he can lavish his great love on them. His love is pure and unlimited and unconditional, unlike the love we experience with other human beings.
Jesus is the very embodiment of the good plans God has for you and for this world. He is God’s beloved Son. He is fully God and fully human. In him God is fully displayed. During his life on earth Jesus did nothing that violated God’s law. In his actions, his thoughts, and even his death he committed no sin. Through his life and death Christ restores with his Father the relationships of those who believe. Since his resurrection and ascension Jesus continually acts as mediator between his Father and his followers.
The Holy Spirit
The third and somewhat mysterious person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is sent to us by the Father and the Son. It is he who empowers us. He testifies to us, helping us understand just who Jesus is and what he has accomplished. The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God in us.
Every one of us is created by God, and created in his image. Because all of us are created in God’s image each person should be treated with dignity, honor, love and respect. In our quest for independence and the centrality of the self, all of us begin our lives alienated from God. In this condition we are without hope and under God’s judgment. This fearful condition can only be remedied by God’s loving, gracious, saving intervention. Without his intervention we are doomed to a life apart from God – a life the Bible describes as death. However, with his intervention our lives are most alive, and most fulfilling, as we are centered on God.
Restoration & Salvation
God’s gracious intervention is the life and death of his only Son. Jesus’ perfect life and effective death alone secures our salvation. We believe the Holy Spirit gives us a new heart, leading and enabling us to trust in Jesus alone for salvation. We believe this new heart comes only as a gift. It cannot be earned.
Because God loves his creation, he will also restore the entire universe to a condition of beauty, rest, joy, perfection and freedom. God’s world, which began as a promising garden, will find its fulfillment in a perfected, life-giving city in which there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. We believe that Jesus will return bodily and visibly to judge all people, to perfectly restore the peace of creation and to welcome his people into that peace forever.
Our good works do not and cannot make us acceptable to God, but they are the natural outcome of authentic faith in Jesus. We become more fully human—the very best and most healthy version of ourselves—to the degree that we follow God’s loving commands. His commands, properly understood, are neither limiting nor oppressive but life-giving. Obedience to God’s commands is an essential prerequisite for true human flourishing.
The Bible describes the church as Christ’s bride, his beloved. This is significant. Jesus desires relationship with us. He is not passive, he pursues those whom he loves. The church both locally and worldwide is the result of Jesus’ pursuit. Jesus is no respecter of persons. He saves sinners who are poor, rich, able, disabled, men and women of all races and nations. His love of us is indiscriminate.
Since Jesus loves us without regard to our condition, he commands us to do the same. We are to love each other so those who do not yet believe might see our love and know we are Jesus’ disciples. Because we are one body we live life together. We share our joys and sorrows. We seek to encourage each other to know Jesus fully and to serve the world as he directs us.
Covenant and Baptism
We believe God to be a promise-making and promise-keeping God. In baptism we see the promises of God extended to the children of those God has redeemed.
Resurrection/The End of All Things
We believe Jesus keeps his promises too. We believe he will return in power to vindicate his people and judge. When he returns, he will redeem his creation as well. He will transform this fallen world into a new place of beauty and perfection. Jesus will return at a time determined and only known by his Father. The best way for his Church to prepare is by believing and living as followers of Jesus.
Why be a part of a denomination?
According to Biblical teaching, Christians are bound to one another as the body of Christ in the life of the church. We believe denominations actually help maintain the holiness and purity of the universal church by grouping together like-minded believers. All Christians agree on the basic tenets of Christianity. However, over the centuries, as believers have studied and debated the scriptures, differing emphases and conclusions have developed. Different groups, or denominations, have formed as a result. Denominations have explained their conclusions by creating doctrinal statements. Modern believers can decide which conclusions resonate with them and choose to worship with others who share their beliefs on these matters.
Here at Second City Church, as a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, we adhere to the Westminster Standards as faithfully representing the teachings of the Bible. Our governance structure is made up of a pastor and elders, who are elected and ordained by the congregation.
“I’d never been a part of a Presbyterian church. I’d heard about stuffiness and legalism, but we didn’t find that at all here. There is freedom in Christ and there is joy in worship...I love Sunday morning worship. I love that our songs incorporate hymns and more modern songs. It’s not trite or surfacy, but deep and meaningful...The emphasis on worship and the theology of the church resonated with us.” -Bruce W.