What We Believe

The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, all 66 books of the
Bible, to be the inspired (God breathed-out) Word of God, written by men under God’s
control, inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts and the supreme and final
authority in faith and life – the Word of God is objective, propositional, and eternal truth
which cannot be broken.  The clarity of the Scriptures means the believer does not need
any man-made writings to understand the Bible.  A grammatical-historical hermeneutic
(Bible interpretation where grammar and facts of history are relevant to understanding
what Scriptures meant to the original recipients) and the Holy Spirit’s illuminating (the
enabling of the believer to understand) His truths, are the requirements to properly
understanding the Word of God.  The sufficiency of Scripture means the Bible is God’s
revealed source of truth.  His Word takes priority over all other sources– including;
science, psychology and any human philosophy (2 Pet. 1:20-21;  2 Tim. 3:15-17;  Ezra
7:10;   John 17:17;  Isa. 40:8;  Heb. 4:12;  Matt. 5:18, Ps. 119:9, 89, 104, 130;  Ps. 19:7-
9;  1 Cor. 2:12, 16).

The Godhead
We believe in the One living and true – Holy God who eternally exists in three Persons,
hence God is Three Persons in One Essence, the Divine Essence subsists wholly and
indivisibly, simultaneously and eternally, in Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4;  Isa.
46:9;  John 1:1;  1 Cor. 3:16;  Matt. 28:19;  2 Cor. 13:14).

God the Father
We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all
things according to His own purpose and grace – He is the Creator of all things and the
Absolute Ruler over all – Sovereign in creation, providence and redemption – He has
decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass.  God the Father is an infinite, all-
knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes and works  (Ps 145:9-10;  1 Cor. 8:6;  Gen. 1; Eph. 3:9;  Ps. 103:19;  Rom. 11:33-36;  Eph. 1:11; John 4:24;  Ps 147:5;  Deut. 32:4;
Ps. 119:73).

God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the Divine Excellencies, and in these He is coequal, and coeternal with the Father.  The Lord Jesus Christ is Truly God (John 10:30; 14:9).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God, redeem sinful man and rule over God’s Kingdom.  The Lord Jesus Christ is God Incarnate: Truly God and Truly Man without Sin (John 1:1-2, 14;  Luke 1:35;  19:10;  Isa. 9:6;  Heb. 1:1-4 & 4:15).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross which was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal physical resurrection from the dead (John 10:15;  Rom. 3:24-25; 5:8;  Eph. 1:7;  1 John 2:2;   2 Cor. 5:21;  Matt. 28:6;  1 Pet. 1:3-5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate   (Acts 1:9;  Heb. 7:25;  9:24;  Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).

God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is a Divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity.  In all the divine attributes, He is coequal and consubstantial (having the same essential nature) with the Father and the Son.  The Holy Spirit is truly God (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4;  1 Cor. 12:4-6;  2 Cor. 13:14).
We believe that the Holy Spirit’s Ministry as revealed in Scripture includes His Sovereign activity in creation, the incarnation, the written revelation and the work of salvation.  Regarding the work of Salvation in the church age (beginning on the Day of Pentecost, after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ), the Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and of judgment, that He alone brings new life (regeneration) to the spiritually dead sinner, that at the moment of regeneration the Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ (the church).  He indwells, sanctifies (sets apart unto holiness), instructs, fills (guides by Scriptures), empowers for service, gifts and seals the believer unto the day of redemption.  The Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by transforming believers into the image of Christ (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 1:18;  2 Pet. 1:19-21;  John 3:3, 5-8;  Acts 2:1-4;  Titus 3:5;  John 16:7-9; 2 Cor. 3:6;  Rom. 8:9;   2 Thess. 2:13 – positional sanctification & 1 Thess. 1:5-6, 4:3-4, 7-8 – progressive sanctification;  John 16:13;  Eph. 5:18;  1 Cor. 12:4-11;    1 Cor. 12:13;  Eph. 1:13-14;  2 Cor. 3:18).
We believe that the Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.  We affirm that the Scriptures teach that Temporary gifts – Revelatory and Confirmatory (such as tongues = speaking in unlearned languages and sign miracles = authenticating the Lord’s apostle) gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed, their authority being established and the Apostolic era passed.  We believe that the Holy Spirit gives Permanent gifts (such as evangelism, teaching, pastor-teaching, exhortation, mercy, giving and administration) for the common good and edification of the Church body for the entire life of the Church until the Rapture (John 16:14-15;  Acts 2:4-8;  Eph. 4:11-13,  Rom 12:6-8;  Jude 3;  Rev 22:18-19 ).

Man
Created:  We believe that God created man (Adam 1st, then Eve coming from Adam and subsequently everybody else from them) on the literal 6th day of Creation.  God created man in His own image & likeness, and emphatically declared all His creation “very good.”  Hence, man was created free from sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition & moral responsibility to God and was instructed by God to exercise dominion over the earth.  In this way, man is a being, personal, spiritual and at conception, eternal, who well resembles his Creator, but without ascribing corporeal form to God.  We believe God created man for His Glory (Gen. 1:26-28, 31 & 2:20-23;  Gen. 3:20;  Acts 17:26;  James 3:9;  John 4:24;   Isa 43:7;   Col 1:16;   Rev 4:11).

Fallen:  We believe that when Adam sinned by disobeying God’s Word, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual death and physical death and became subject to the holy wrath of God.  Man became alienated from God, totally unable to please God and utterly incapable to remedy his lost condition.  The Bible tells us that as a result of Adam’s fall into sin, all men are born spiritually dead and would remain that way apart from Divine Grace.  The Bible states that because Adam was the 1st man, his fallen nature (corrupted by sin) has been transmitted to all men of all ages, with the Lord Jesus Christ being the only exception.  All men are thereby truly sinners by nature and choice (God has declared this fact in His Word) and fall short of the glory of God (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-8, 19;   John 3:36;  Ps. 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9;  Rom. 3:23;  Eph. 2:1-3, 8-9;  Rom. 5:12;  Rom. 3:10-18).

Salvation
We believe that Salvation of a sinner is the gift of God’s grace given to all who He chose before the foundation of the earth.  God chooses those who will be saved based upon His grace and mercy alone – not on any merits (or potential merits) of the individual sinner.  We believe salvation is a gift of God, brought to sinners by grace and received by the repentant sinner through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross and His death, burial and physical resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.  Salvation comes through the instrumentality of the Word of God (the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ) as applied by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:4-5;  2:8-9;  John 1:12-13;  3:16;  Rom. 5:8-9; 10:9;  10:14-17;  Rom. 1:16;  1 Pet. 1:23).

Results of Salvation
We believe that at the moment God effectually calls a sinner to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – both repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of God’s grace – the sinner is instantaneously regenerated (a rebirth or re-creation) by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.  The sinner passes from spiritual death into spiritual life – going from being spiritually dead in sins and trespasses to becoming wholly forgiven and spiritually alive in Christ.  The redeemed sinner is a new creature in Christ (Rom. 8:28-30;   Eph. 2:8;  2 Tim. 2:25;   Titus 3:5;  Eph. 2:5;  Acts 26:18;  2 Cor. 5:17).
Justification:  The Bible teaches that at the moment God graciously saves a sinner He justifies that person – (He declares righteous those who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ).  This declaration of righteousness is not due to any merit on the part of the sinner, but is grounded solely on the basis of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death for our sins upon His cross  (Rom. 8:33-34;  Acts 3:18-19;  Rom. 3:20-24;  Col. 2:13-14;  1 Pet. 2:24;  2 Cor. 5:21;  Philip. 3:8-9).
Sanctification:  The Bible teaches that at the moment God graciously saves a sinner He sanctifies that person (separation from sin unto holiness & Himself).  There are three aspects to Sanctification.  Past Sanctification is God setting apart the new believer as His own possession, without this immediate holiness needing any improvement (also called positional Sanctification).  Present Sanctification (also called progressive Sanctification) is the process whereby the believer is being progressively (daily in this life time) set apart from sin towards a moral conformity to the image of Christ.  The Holy Spirit uses the Word to change believers from spiritually immature to spiritually mature and from carnal (sinful) to spiritual (Christ-like).  The believer is morally responsible for putting off their old sinful ways and for putting on the new self by humble obedience to Christ and His Word.  Progressive Sanctification is the process by which God brings His obedient children into conformity with their Positional Sanctification.  Future Sanctification is based on God’s promises and assurances that the believer will be ultimately perfected after this temporal life and that they will be like the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming (Past – Acts 26:18;  1 Cor. 6:11;  Heb. 10:10-14;  Heb. 13:12-13;  Present – John 17:17;  Heb. 2:11;  Eph. 4:22-24;  Rom. 12:1-3;  Future – Philip. 3:21;  1 Thes. 3:13,  1 Thes. 5:23;  1 John 3:1-3).
Security: The Bible teaches that the gracious work of God in a saved person can never be undone.  Salvation is of the Lord, beginning to end.  The preserving of a saved soul by God is tied to His eternal purpose, His all-mighty power, His unfathomable love, and His unbreakable Word.  The preserving of a saved soul by God is also tied to His relationship to His Son, His Son’s death, resurrection & intercession.  The preserving of a saved soul by God is also tied to the sealing of a believer by the Holy Spirit, the eternal indwelling of the believer by the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the redeemed.  This eternal security & assurance of salvation  produces a humble and joyful confidence in which the redeemed person knows that they belong to the Lord and possess Eternal Life (Rom. 8: 28-30;  Eph. 1:11-12;  Jude 24-25;  1 Pet. 1:3-5;  Rom. 8:35-39;  John 3:16;  Eph. 1:4-5;  John 17:10-11, 20;  Rom. 8:1 & 11:29; Heb. 10:14;  Rom. 4:24-25;  Heb. 7:25;  1 John 2:1;  John 5:24;  Eph. 1:13-14;  Eph. 4:30;  John 14:16;  1 Cor. 6:19-20;  Rom. 8:15-17;  1 John 5:13;  1 Pet. 1:8;  Philip. 1:6).
Separation:  The Bible teaches that a genuinely saved person will demonstrate a transformed life in Christ through separation from sin and by bearing spiritual fruit produced by the Holy Spirit.  Though the believer will never be completely free from their struggle with sinful flesh in this temporal life, their desire is to be right by God and to please Him through loving obedience.  God commands His children to separate from all sinful pleasures, from the fallen ways of the world, and from all forms of apostate religion.  For the believer, the Lord Jesus Christ has provided the victory over the power of sin.  The believer has daily provision for victory over sin through humble obedience to the Word of God and submission to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:1-4, 11-14;  Gal. 5:22-25;  1 John 1:8-10;  Rom. 7:20-25;  1 John 2:3-6;  2:15;  2 Cor. 6:14-18;  Rom. 6:8-11;  Gal. 5:16;  Col. 3:16;  Eph. 5:17-19).

The Church
What is the Church:  The Scriptures teach that at the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit places the convert (the born-again sinner saved by grace through faith) into Christ.  This Divine act is called the Baptism of the Spirit, which results in that person becoming a member of the universal church (a spiritual body).  This union with Christ is a permanent spiritual bond between the born-again believer and the Lord Jesus Christ.  The church is owned by God and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of it.  The church began at Pentecost and will end at the rapture.  Scriptures teach that the church was a mystery (i.e. unrevealed) in the Old Testament but revealed by Christ and His apostles and prophets in the New Testament.  The church is a spiritual organism that is distinct from Israel.  The Scriptures teach that the universal church is made up of local, autonomous (self-ruled) churches in which resident believers are directed to assemble and worship (Acts 1:5;  Acts 11:15-16;  1 Cor. 12:13;  Rom. 6:1-4;  1 Thes. 4:16-17;  Acts 20:28;  1 Tim. 3:14-15;  1 Pet. 5:2;  John 21:15-17;  Gal 3:27-28;   Eph. 1:22-23;  Eph. 5:23;  Col. 1:18;   Eph. 3:2-6;  Col. 1:25-26;  1 Cor. 11:18-20;  Heb. 10:23-25).
Why does the Church exist:  The church is no after-thought of God’s, but part of His eternal purpose and sovereign plan to bring Him glory.  Shortly before going to His Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ looked forward to building His church after His death, resurrection and ascension.  Jesus’ Great Commission is His Divine plan of building His church by the spreading of the Gospel to all nations.   And while God is not through with His chosen nation of Israel, the current dispensation (God’s way of managing human affairs) is clearly the “church age”.  At this time, the church is the foundation and repository of the truth (Scriptures), it is the dispenser of the truth, and it is the defender of the truth.  At this time, the church is to be a worshipping community (to exalt the Lord) –  a working community (to edify & build up other believers for service) – and a witnessing community (to evangelize the lost).   The church exists for the Glory of God (Eph. 1:3-4;  1:13-14;  Rom. 10:19;  Rom. 11:25;  Matt. 16:18;  28:19-20;  1 Tim. 3:15;  2 Tim. 2:15;  2 Tim. 4:1-4;  Jude 3-4;  Eph. 3:21; Rom. 12:1-2;  1 Pet. 1:13-16;  Heb. 12:28;  13:15-16;  Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 1:28-29;  Matt. 28:13-20;  Acts 1:7-8;  Rom. 1:16-17 ).
How is the local church to be operated:  Christ is the Head over the church (the One Supreme Authority) with His Scriptures being the sole rule and guide.  Christ empowers and ordains male leaders in His church to serve His people and to administer order, discipline and worship.  These sub-shepherds will give a direct accounting for their ministering to the body of Christ and the assembly of believers will have to give an account for their submission to the leadership.  The biblically designated officers in the church are elders (also known as overseers, shepherds, pastors) and deacons.  Both positions require biblically qualified men as evidenced by God working in their lives and a process of examination by current leaders.  The Elders are to guide, instruct, protect and equip the believers while the deacons serve the body in such a way as to enable the elders to fulfill their responsibilities (1 Cor. 11:3;  Eph. 1:22-23;  Col. 1:18;  Phil. 1:1 ; 1 Tim. 3:1-12 & 5:17-22;  2 Tim. 2:2 & 4:1-2;  Titus 1:6-9;  1 Cor. 4:2;  Heb. 13:17;  James 3:1;  Eph. 4:11-12;  Acts 20:28).
Ordinances given to the Church:  The Lord has given the church 2 ordinances to keep.  Christian baptism (believer’s baptism) is by immersion into water to publically and obediently identify with Christ and His church.  The Bible teaches that the Lord’s Supper (Communion) is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He returns.  This event takes place among the locally assembled body of believers and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination.  The elements of the Lord’s supper are only representative of the Lord’s flesh and blood (Acts 2:38-42 & 8:36; Matt. 28:19-20;  1 Cor. 1:14-17;  Acts 20:7;  Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:23-31).

End Times
We believe in the personal and imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones.  Scripture teaches the following about “end time” events (in chronological order):

The imminent Rapture of the Church (this means literally “snatched away”) (John 14:3; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:16-17; Rev. 3:10)
The Tribulation Period  – (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:3-4)
The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ – (Rev. 19:11-16)
The Millennium Kingdom – a literal 1,000 year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Earth – (Isa. 11:4-9; Rev. 20:6)
The Great White Throne Judgment – (Rev. 20:11-15)
The New Heaven and New Earth – (2 Pet. 3:10-13)
The Eternal State – (Rev. 21:1-7 & 21:8-22:5

Marriage
At creation God established and ordained marriage as the life-long, covenantal union of one man and one woman, as a representation of Christ’s relationship to his church. (Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6, Ephesians 5:22-33, Revelation 19:7-9, 21:2, 21:9).