Why a Statement?

The following Statement of Faith has to be made. Due to the lack of doctrinal belief today and the unwillingness of many Christians to be distinctive and clear about what they believe. This statement is one believed by Christians when the assembly of God's people were strong and clear and as Peter said ..'but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect1 Peter 3v15(ESV)

God does not change neither does His truth and we must worship Him with our minds also. Statements of faith define who and what we are and are basic to our understanding and ability to defend the body of faith handed down to us.  'Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints' Jude 3.

 

Fuller statement

 

MORE COMPREHENSIVE STATEMENT OF FAITH 

In line with the Westminster Confession of Faith

 

A. SCRIPTURE:  We believe the Bible as set forth in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired of God and inerrant in its original autographs.  It is the final authority in matters of belief and conduct. (cf., Mat.4:4; 5:17,18; 22:32; Lk.11:5; Jh.5:46; Acts 26:22; Gal.3:16; Eph.2:20; IThes.2:13; ITim.5:18; IITim.3:16; Heb.1:1,2; IIPet.1:19-21; Jude 3; Rev.22:18.)

 

B. GODHEAD:  We believe there is only one living and true God.  Who is infinite in being and perfections, a completely pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions, unchangeable, immensely vast, eternal, limitless, almighty, completely wise, completely holy, completely free, and completely absolute.  He works everything according to the purpose of His own unchangeable and completely righteous will for His own glory.  God has all life, glory, goodness, and blessedness in and of Himself.  He is the only source of all being, by Whom, through Whom, and to Whom everything exists.  Within the unity of the Godhead there eternally exists three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This triunity is co-eternal in being, co-equal in power and glory, possesses the same attributes and perfections, is the same in substance but distinct in personal expression. (cf., Deut.6:4; Isa.48:16; Mat.28:18,19; Jh.14:26; IICor.13;14.)

 

1. God The Father:  We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity.  Within the functional economy of the Godhead He occupies the position of Head and is deferred to as such by the other members.  The Fatherhood of God expresses an inner family relationship within the Godhead and also extends outward toward the redeemed.  The Father eternally exists; He is not generated and does not come from any source; He is absolutely sovereign, holy, loving, righteous, almighty, and glorious. (cf., Gen.1:1; 18:25; Psa.99:1-5; Jh.3:16; 6:27; 14:28; 17:5; Rom.9:20; ICor.11:3; IPet.1:17; IJh.1:5; 4:8.) 

2. God The Son:  We believe that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God, second person of the Trinity, of one substance, equal with and eternally generated from the Father.  He took on Himself the nature of man, with all its essential qualities and ordinary frailties – except that He is sinless.  Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary out of her substance.  These two complete, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhood and manhood, were inseparably joined together in the one person Jesus without being altered, disunited or mixed.  The person Jesus is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and men. He is the prophet,priest, and king, the head and savior of His church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world. (cf.,Gen.12:3; IISam.7:16; Psa.2:6;110:1f; Isa.7:14;9:6f; Jer.23:5,6; Mat.1:1,21-23;3:17; Lk.1:34,35;2:52; Jh.1:1-18; 8:56-58; 10:30;17:5; Acts2:30; Gal.3:8;4:4; Tit.2:13; Heb.1:1-3; 2:14-17.

3. God The Holy Spirit:  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son, of the same substance and equal in power and glory, is, together with the Father and the Son, to be believed in, loved, obeyed, and worshipped throughout all ages.  He is the giver of life, the source of all good thoughts, pure desires, and holy counsels in men.  By Him the prophets were moved to speak the Word of God, and all the writers of the Holy Scriptures inspired to record infallibly the mind and will of God.  He is the only efficient agent in the application of redemption.  He regenerates men by His grace, convicts them of sin, moves them to repentance, and persuades and enables them to embrace Jesus Christ by faith.  He unites all believers to Christ, dwells in them as their Comforter and Sanctifier, gives to them the spirit of adoption and prayer by His sanctifying and sealing work until the day of redemption.  He calls and anoints ministers for their holy office, qualifies all others officers in the church for their special work, and imparts various gifts and graces to its members.  By Him the church will be preserved, increased, purified, and at last made perfectly holy in the presence of God. (cf., Gen.1:2;6:3; Psa.104:30; 139:7; Mat.12:28;28:19; Jh.3:3-8;6:44;14:17;16:7-13; Rom.8:2-16; 15:30; ICor.2:10-14;3:16; 6:19;12:3-13;15:45; Eph.1:13-23; 4:30; Tit.3:5; IPet.1:2)

 

C. FALL OF MAN:  We believe that God created man in His own image, male and female, with reasoning immortal souls.  Adam and Eve were endowed with intellect, emotion and will which although inclined toward God, was nevertheless free to either obey or disobey.  He endowed them with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, and wrote His Law in their hearts.  As long as man obeyed God’s Law and kept His commandment he had fellowship with God.  But our first parents sinned in eating forbidden fruit.  By this sin they fell from original righteousness, became dead in sin and completely polluted in all their faculties and parts of body and soul.  Since Adam and Eve are the root of all mankind, the guilt for this sin has been imputed to all human beings, who are their natural descendants and have inherited the same death in sin and the same corrupt nature.  This original corruption completely disinclines, incapacitates, and turns us away from every good, while it completely inclines us to every evil.  From it comes all actualised sins.  During life on earth this corrupt nature remains in those who are regenerated, and although it is pardoned and deadened in Christ, yet it and all its impulses are truly and properly sinful.  Every sin, both original and actual, transgresses the righteous Law of God and brings guilt on the sinner. Every sinner is consequently subject to the wrath of God, the curse of the Law, and death, with all the resultant miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal.  (cf., Gen.1-3; Psa.8:6-8;51:5; Eccl.12:7; Jer.17:9; Rom.1:18-32;:10-23;5:12-21;6:23;8:20; Col.3:20;)

 

D. SALVATION:  We believe that the doctrine of Salvation is central to the message of Scripture.  Deliverance from the condemnation, control and consequence of sin was PLANNED, EXECUTED, and APPLIED by the Triune God.  The ULTIMATE basis of our salvation rests in the unconditional election and eternal PLAN or counsel of God the Father in eternity past.  The INSTRUMENTAL or historical basis of our salvation was OBJECTIVELY executed by Jesus Christ the Son of God through His active obedience to the Law of God and His passive satisfaction of divine justice through His penal substitution and atoning death on the cross.  The efficacy of His triumph over sin and death was formally endorsed and confirmed by His bodily resurrection, ascension and present session in heaven awaiting the glorious consummation of our total deliverance at His Coming.  SUBJECTIVELY this work is applied to the elect by the Holy Spirit which is comprehended in a series of biblical concepts which when stated in their logical order include: CALLING, REGENERATION, CONVERSION, JUSTIFICATION, ADOPTION, SANCTIFICATION, and GLORIFICATION.  No one of these terms is adequate to fully explain the meaning of Salvation

1. Calling:  At the right time, appointed by Him, God effectually calls all those and only those whom He has predestined to life.  He calls them by His Word and Spirit out of their natural state of sin and death into grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. God’s GENERAL call involves the free offer of salvation in the Gospel to all the world, it is an ethical summons to repent and believe. His EFFICACIOUS call is that initial saving act of God, whereby the sinner is enabled, because of the sovereign grasp of God, to respond to the Gospel and fulfill His eternal will.  Effectual calling usually accompanies the General call in the external proclamation of the Gospel. (cf., Mat.28:19; Jh.6:44,65; Acts 1;8; Rom.1:4; 8:30; 10:17; ICor.1:21; IThes.1:5; IIThes.2:12f;).

2. Regeneration: Is the creative work of the Holy Spirit which quickens or makes alive the sinner, giving him the ability to respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith.  Regeneration is wholly of God with man being completely passive.  It precedes all true spiritual activity pertaining to Salvation and is synonymous with the term, “born again.”  (cf., Ezk.36:25f; Jh.3:3-7; 2Cor.5:17; Eph.2:1; Tit.3:5; IPet.1:3,23; Mat.1:21; 20:28; 26:28; 27:46; [WCF,IX-XVIII]).

3. Conversion: Is the exercise of a regenerate heart in response to the call of God in the Gospel.  Conversion basically means “to turn” and denotes a change of outlook and direction in life and action.  It involves the full-orbed transformation of the heart, mind and personality of a man through two elements called faith and repentance.

a. FAITH – Is the positive turning of a soul toward God. It is a divine gift which enables the regenerate person to know, assent to Christ, and obligates him to trust in Him alone for Salvation. (cf.,Acts 9:35; 11:21; 15:19; 16:30f; 26:20; ICor.15:3f; Eph.2:8f;2Tim.1:12; Heb.11:1,13; ).

b. REPENTANCE – Is the negative turning of a soul away from sin and self-reliance.  It is a divine gift by which a sinner out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the Holy nature and righteousness of God, and upon apprehension of His mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments. (cf., Lk.15:17; Acts 11:18; Rom.2:4; 2Cor.7:9f; IThes.1:9; IITim.2:25; ).

4. Justification: Is the judicial act of God’s free grace whereby He declares the pardoned sinner as righteous in His sight.  This is not because of anything worked in them or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone.  He does not consider their faith itself as an act of righteousness or any other obedient response to the Gospel on their part.  Rather He imputes to them the obedience and judicial satisfaction earned by Christ.  By His obedience and death Christ completely discharged the debt of all those who are so justified, and made the correct, real, and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice on their behalf.  It includes the removal of guilt and condemnation by the gift of forgiveness and restoration to favour with God. (cf., Job 9:2; Rom.3:24f; 4:5,24f; 8:33; Gal.2:16f;).

5. Adoption: God guarantees the adoption of all those who are justified in and for the sake of His only Son, Jesus Christ. Those adopted enjoy the liberties and privileges of God’s children, have His name put on them, receive the Spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, and are enabled to cry Abba Father. They are pitied, protected, provided for, and disciplined by Him as a father.  They are never cast off, however and are sealed until the day of redemption and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.  ADOPTION, like Justification, is a judicial act.  It is the bestowal of a status, not the implanting of something within us.  It has to do with a relationship, not a disposition.  (cf., Jh.1:12; Rom.5:2; 8:15-17; Gal.4:4-6; Eph.1:5;3:12;4:30; Heb.4:16;6:12;13:5; IPet.1:3,4;5:7; Rev.3:12;).

 6. Sanctification: The basic meaning of SANCTIFICATION involves being “set apart from the profane and dedicated unto God.”  It is the progressive outworking of the new life implanted by the Holy Spirit in regeneration whereby the dominion of sin is destroyed and the capacity to serve and please Satan is displaced and mortified and the capacity to serve and please God is more and more strengthened in all spiritual graces to the practice of true holiness in conformity to the likeness of Christ. (cf., Jh.17:17; Rom.8:28f; 12:1f; ICor.1:30; 6:11; IICor.3:18; IThes.4:3; 5:23; Heb.10:10; IPet.1:15f; IIPet.3:18; IJh.3:2; Jude24;).

7.  Glorification: Is the final climactic act in God’s redeeming work whereby the believer is at last constituted perfect in Christ both in body and soul forever.  It will bring to final fruition the purpose and grace which was given in Christ Jesus before time eternal. (cf., IITim.1:9;  Eph.1:4f; Col.1:22; Rom.8:18f; 2Cor.5:1f).

 

STATEMENT OF FAITH: HISTORICAL DISTINCTIONS

 A. THE CHURCH:  The plan of redemption, or the covenant of grace is always the same.  That is to say, men have always been saved in the same way, whether under the Old economy, or the New.  There is a strong continuity of the elect people of God throughout the ages. They comprise one unified company of the redeemed.  Yet within this great unity there is also diversity in the way God deals with men in different eras.  While the Church and the geographical nation of Israel are part of the same elect people of God, there is a revealed functional difference between them. The present BEGINNING of the New Covenant in no way abrogates the earthly blessings promised Israel in the Old Testament.  These shall be gloriously fulfilled and CONSUMMATED at the second coming of Christ.  The Church is something different than a one-to-one continuation of the geographical nation of Israel.  The universal church exists as scattered throughout the world and consists of all the elect of this age who are united into one body under Christ the Head.  The local church is the gathered expression of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ and the house and family of God, outside of which people cannot USUALLY be saved.  The purpose of this elect company is to glorify God, edify one another, and make disciples of all nations.  The church is to preach God’s Word, administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s supper and practice discipline among its members which profess faith in Jesus Christ in evidence of regeneration. (cf.,Mat.16:18;28:18f; Jh.10:16; Acts 2:42; 9:4,5; 11:15; 14:27; 20:17-32; Eph.2:15,16;5:27; )

B. SATAN:  We believe that Satan is a personal spirit-being originally created as an angel who fell from his privileged position sometime before the Fall of man.  His objective is to defeat God’s Kingdom.  He has a host of demons who help carry out his wicked schemes.  The death of Christ has freed the elect from Satan’s power, and both he and his angels will eternally be punished in the lake of fire at the last judgment. (cf.,Gen.3:1;Job 1:7;Isa.14:12-17; Ezk.28:11-19; Jh.8:44; Lk.8:12; IICor.4:4;11:13-15; Eph.6:12-18; Col.2:15; IPet.5:8; IJh.3:8; Rev.12:7-9;20:1-3,10.)

C. THE ETERNAL STATE:  We believe that after death the bodies of human beings decompose and return to the dust, but their souls, which do not die or sleep, have an immortal existence and immediately return to God who created them.  The souls of the righteous are then perfected in holiness and are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory and wait for the full redemption of their bodies.  The souls of the wicked are thrown into hell, where they remain in torment and complete darkness, set apart for the great day of judgment.  Scripture recognizes only these two places, and no other, for souls separated from their bodies.  By the power of Christ all men will be raised with the very same bodies and no other than the same bodies they had before.  The unjust will be raised to dishonor, but by His Spirit the bodies of the just will be raised to honor and be made according to the pattern of His own glorious body.  God the Father has ordained a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom He has given all power and judgment.  At this time the righteous will enter the eternal state of blessedness, joy and refreshment that comes from the beneficial presence of the Lord.  But the wicked who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will be thrown into eternal torment and punishment with everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power. (cf., Gen.3:19; Eccl.12:7; Mat.24:36f; Mk.13:35f; Lk.12:35f; Jh.5:22,27; Acts 3:19; 17:31; Rom.2:5f;8:23f; ICor.6:3; IICor.5:10; IIThes.1:5f; Rev.20:11f;)

D. SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:  We believe in the SECOND COMING of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We believe in the physical and victorious return of Christ.  This “blessed hope” is imminent, and it will be both visible and personal to “catch away” His redeemed ones, the church.  (cf.,Ezk.37:24f; Amos 9:11f; Zech.14:4f; Mat.24:21; Jh.14:1f; Acts 1:11; ICor.15:51f; IThes.1:10;4:13f;5:9; IIThes.2:1f; Tit.3:13; Rev.3:10;6:17; 19:6f; 20:1f;).

E. PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS:  We believe all those elected by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and effectually called by the Holy Spirit can never completely or finally fall out of their state of grace.  Rather, they shall definitely continue in that state to the end and are eternally saved.  Nevertheless, the temptations of Satan, the world, and their old carnal nature, along with the neglect of the means of their preservation, may lead believers to commit serious sins and to continue in them for a time.  They consequently displease God and grieve His Holy Spirit, have some fruit of God’s grace and His comforts taken away from them, have their hearts hardened and their consciences wounded, hurt and offend others, and bring temporal judgments on themselves.  Those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus, may in this life be assured of salvation, established on the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit giving insight and peace, and the evident changes produced in both character and conduct. (cf., Jh.5:24; 6:37f; 10:27f; 17:23; Rom.5:1; 8:1,9f,38,39; 11:29; ICor.1:4f,30; 3:20f; Eph.1:3; 4:30; Phil.1:6; Col.2:10; IITim.1:12; Heb.6:18; 7:25; 10:14; IPet.1:5; IIPet.1:3f; IJh.4:17; 5:11f;)

F. SPIRITUAL GIFTS: We believe that God is sovereign in the imparting of all His gifts, and that the gifts of evangelist and pastor/teacher are sufficient for the equipping of the saints today.  We further believe permanent functional spiritual abilities are given to all believers, for which we stand accountable to God for their proper use, and that speaking in tongues and the working of spectacular sign gifts gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established.  We believe that God can and does miraculously answer prayer today in accord with His own will. (cf., Josh.5:12; Rom.12:3f; ICor.12:4f;13:8; IICor.12:12; Heb.2:4; IPet.4:10; Jh.15:7; Jas.5:13f; IJh.5