What we believe
GOD THE FATHER
God the Father is the first person of the Trinity and is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is sovereign in all things: creation, revelation, redemption, judgement and the establishing of His Kingdom. As sovereign, loving creator and redeemer, He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise and our lives should be directed in reverent fear towards giving glory to Him alone. We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-eternal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections, and modelling perfect and ultimate community. Each person of the Godhead is equally deserving of worship and obedience.
GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin making a way back to God the Father. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission; a work which He has begun through His Bride, The Church. He is the Head of the His Body, the Church and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is God. He possesses all the divine attributes. He was active in creation, the incarnation, regeneration, and written revelation. He has a unique role in this age since Pentecost. He is in the process of building the body of Christ. He specifically convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment. He brings glory to Jesus Christ and transforms believers into the image of Christ. He is the sovereign agent in regeneration and baptises believers into the body of Christ. He seals the believer unto the day of redemption. He also sanctifies the believer and empowers them for service. Finally, He is the giver of spiritual gifts to believers.
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular Kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labour that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. As the church proclaims the good news of the Kingdom, people will come into the church and begin to experience the blessings of God’s rule in their lives. The Kingdom manifests itself through the church, and thereby the future reign of God breaks into the present (it is “already here” and “not yet” here fully). Therefore those who believe in Christ will begin to experience something of what God’s final Kingdom reign will be like: they will know some measure of the victory over sin, over demonic oppression, over disease. They will live in the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the dynamic power of the coming Kingdom. Eventually Jesus will return and His Kingdom reign will extend over all creation.
We believe that God created humanity in His own image and likeness. We take this to mean that people have a self conscious, rational personality, and nature that is capable of distinguishing right and wrong. Male and female were the crowning work of God’s creation and gender was a gift from God. We were free from sin and had a moral responsibility to God. God’s intention in creating us was to glorify Him by enjoying Him forever. We chose to sin against God, lost our innocence, and brought sin into the human race thus leaving us totally incapable of choosing that which is acceptable to God apart from God’s grace. Our salvation is wholly of God’s grace through the redeeming work of Jesus. It is God’s plan for restoring us to Himself and His original vision of humanity.
Salvation is the redeeming work of God and His grace of the whole person. The Holy Spirit gives and brings about regeneration or the new birth. The repentant sinner responds in faith to the provision of salvation by the enabling of the Holy Spirit. The believer is justified by God, being declared righteous by faith in Christ. The righteousness given is apart from the work of man and involves the placing of a person’s sin on Christ and the imputing of His righteousness to the sinner. Every believer is sanctified, or set apart, and declared holy. This position is instantaneous. Every believer is also a part of being progressively sanctified; being brought closer to the likeness of Jesus through obedience to the scriptures and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. God does not provide a way of salvation apart from Christ.
Those who place their faith in Christ are immediately united into one spiritual body called the church and the bride of Christ of which Jesus is the head. This universal body includes all believers through history. The establishment of local autonomous congregations is taught in scripture in which members are directed to associate themselves together in a local body. These members observe the two ordinances (Baptism and Communion) given by Christ. Church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are appointed by Christ as found in the scriptures. Church officers are elders and deacons. The Bible outlines qualifications we should seek in appointing people to these leadership roles. The congregation is called to regard their leadership, the leaders are called to pastor the community as a shepherd cares for his sheep. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by being built up in the faith through the instruction of the word, fellowship, keeping the ordinances, and by sharing and living out the Kingdom of God on the earth.
THE BIBLE AND TEACHING
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are God’s revelation to us and the final authority for faith and life – His revealed and absolute truth. We believe the Word is Godbreathed, infallible as originally given, and has ultimate authority in all matters of faith, conduct and experience. Gods Word is alive and active and has the power to transform lives. We believe scripture is sufficient for knowing God. It is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel. All instruction should be done carefully, thoroughly and in line with what the Bible actually teaches, exploring its context, explaining its meaning, expounding its doctrine in connection to the person and work of Jesus Christ, and applying its gospel to the spiritual needs of those who listen, exalting the glory of God. Because God’s Word is supremely “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”, and because the Bible contains the gospel on every page, such instruction ought to be evangelistic in its proclamation of the crucified and risen Christ.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognise all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the cause of Christ on earth.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honour and obey their parents.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 CHRONICLES 7:14
Nothing of significance happens in the kingdom of God without prayer. In prayer we acknowledge our weakness and helplessness as we call out to the Lord for grace and power. Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing, but that as we remain in Him and His words remain in us we will be blessed with dramatic answers to our prayers. Just as the early church was devoted to prayer, we are called to be a community devoted to kingdom-centered prayer (as opposed to survival or self centered prayer), that our lives might be God centered and that we might see His power displayed in transforming us and the world around us. Jesus teaches that persistence in prayer and fasting is critical – we can either pray or give up. As we face enormous spiritual obstacles and powers, we know that the kingdom will only move forward as God’s people cry out to Him.
BAPTISM AND COMMUNION
Jesus commanded and committed these two ordinances to the church. Baptism by immersion in water is the testimony that a believer identifies with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. The believer is considered dead to sin and buries the old life while walking in the newness and power of the resurrection. It is a sign of fellowship and identification with the body of Christ. A believer’s salvation is not dependent on baptism. Communion is a memorial of His death. It was commanded by the Lord. It should be preceded by self examination. The bread and the wine are symbols of the body and blood of Christ.