We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, being eternally the Son of God, was ordained by the Father to be the Mediator between God and man; the Prophet, Priest, and King; the Head and Saviour of the Church; Heir of all things; and judge of the world (Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 2:14-18; Heb. 4:14-16). In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Gal. 4:4-5; Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:23). Having the very nature of God He took upon Himself the nature of man, becoming eternally the God-man – Very God of Very God and Very man of Very man (John 1:1-3, 14, 18). The Lord Jesus Christ, having taken the nature of man, with all the essential properties and common infirmities, lived totally apart from and without sin, thus becoming the perfect second Adam. (Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:22; John 8:46; Rom. 5:14-21; 1 Cor. 15:45). The sinless, spotless Son of God gave Himself as a voluntary, substitutionary sacrifice on the cross for our sins (1 Pet. 3:18; John 10:17-18; Heb. 7:25). After three days and three nights the Lord Jesus rose victorious from the grave becoming the firstfruits of those that were asleep (1 Cor. 15:20-26).
We believe the Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father where He now makes intercession for us and where He also now awaits the Father’s good time to come again for His own (Acts 1:9-11; Heb. 9:24-28; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Godhead possessing the same nature, attributes, and perfections as the other members of the Trinity (Acts 5:1-4). We believe the primary ministry of the Holy Spirit in all ages is to bring glory to the Son (John 16:13).
We believe the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, as well as presently restrains evil in this world (Jn. 16:8-11; 2 Thess. 2:5-7).
Furthermore, we believe in and are completely open to the ministry of the Holy Spirit among God’s people as recorded in and mandated by the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is the supernatural agent involved in regenerating the lost, providing biblical understanding, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling, filling, guiding, teaching, gifting, sanctifying and sealing them until the day of redemption (Jn. 3:3-11; 1 Cor. 2:12-16; Eph. 2:4-6; John 7:37-39; John 14:16-17; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20,27; Jn. 14:16-17, 25-26; 16:12-14; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Rom. 12:4-8; Eph. 4:7; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 3:17; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30).
We believe the ministry of the Holy Spirit, although alike in most ways, was somewhat different in the Old Testament. Especially is this true in reference to His present ministry of baptizing all believers into one body and thereby forming the Church which is distinctive to this age (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 3:2-11). In the future, after the rapture of the Church, the Holy Spirit will no longer restrain sin in and through the Church allowing the full manifestation of the mystery of iniquity in the person of the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:3-12; Rev. 13:1-8).
We believe the Lord Jesus chose the Apostles for the purpose of establishing the Church and completing the Scripture. The Holy Spirit, in a unique and non-repeatable way, led them and authenticated their ministry with signs and wonders and mighty deeds (Acts 2:43; 5:12; 15:12; 19:11; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4). Upon the passing of the Apostles and completing of the Canon, the signs of an apostle ceased (Jude 3; Isa. 8:20). Although open to, and even insistent upon, the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, we reject the teaching and practice of the modern Charismatic movement.
We believe the Scriptures teach that man was created in God’s image and after His likeness by the direct act of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Having been created in a state of positive holiness and righteousness Adam willfully sinned against God and fell from that state. The consequence of the fall is that all men are now constituted sinners and are totally depraved — sinners both by nature and by choice (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 5:12-14; Rom. 3:10, 23; Jer. 17:9). Fallen human nature is devoid of the ability to do good or to please God and, in reality, is positively inclined to evil (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:5-6; Jn. 14:16-17). Man, therefore, apart from the grace of God, is already under the condemnation of God and will be consigned forever to eternal punishment because of his condition (John 3:18, 36). Although not every individual is as sinful as he could be, this sinful state manifests itself in all men in thought, word, and deed (Rom. 3:12-19).
We believe man, being a sinner, both by nature and by choice, is in a state of perpetual enmity against God from which he is able to do nothing to change or improve his condition. God, because of His grace and boundless love (Deut.7:1-9; Eph.2:4), ordained before the foundation of the world that His Son would be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, and give Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins to reconcile us to God.
We believe that only through God’s gracious gift of His Son — the shed blood of Christ — does mankind have hope of salvation (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:22). This salvation is totally of God’s grace apart from anything man can do, whether this be good works, ceremonies (such as Baptism or the Lord’s Supper), or church affiliation; it is only Christ’s blood — His finished work on Calvary — that saves (Eph. 2:4-5, Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 11:5-6).
By the grace of God, upon repentance from sin and personal faith in Christ (Acts 20:21; Rom. 4:1-5; Rom. 3:28), a person partakes of this great salvation. This great salvation means we become new creatures in Christ Jesus, adopted into God’s family with all the rights of adult children, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Titus 3:5; Rom. 8:14-17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4;), awaiting the full experience of those rights and blessings at Christ’s coming.
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel (Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Luke 14:17); that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a sincere, penitent, and obedient faith (Rom. 16:26; Mark 1:15; Rom. 1:15-17); and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel (John 5:40; Matt. 23:37; Rom. 9:32; Prov. 1:24; Acts 13:46); which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation (John 3:19; Matt. 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thess. 1:8).
We believe that in order to be saved sinners must be regenerated, or born again (John 3:3, 6-7; 1 Cor. 1:14; Rev. 8:7-9; 21:27); that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (2 Cor. 5:17; Ezek. 36:26; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 2:28-29; 5:5; 1 John 4:7); that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth (John 3:8; 1:13; James 1:16-18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 2:13), so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (1 Pet. 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:9-11); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life (Eph. 5:9; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 3:14-21; Matt. 3:8-10; 7:20; 1 John 5:4, 18).
We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God (Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1) whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ (Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31) we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (Luke 18:13; 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Cor. 7:11; Rom.10:12-13; Psa. 51) at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour (Rom. 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23: Heb. 4:14; Psa. 2:6; Heb. 1:8; 8:25; 2 Tim. 1:12).
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners (2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 11:5-6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hos. 12:9) that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it encompasses all the means in connection with the end (2 Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt. 20:16; Acts 15:14); that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (Exod. 33:18-19; Matt. 20:15; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 9:23-24: Jer. 31:3; Rom. 11:28-29; James 1:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 11:32-36); that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy (1 Cor. 4:7; 1:26-31; Rom. 3:27; 4:16; Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 15:10; 1 Pet. 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 2:12); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:22; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Pet. 1:10); that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (1 Thess. 1:4-10); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (Rom. 8:28-30; Isa. 42:16; Rom. 11:29); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (2 Pet. 1:10-11; Phil. 3:12; Heb. 6:11).
Moreover, we believe that just as nothing can be done to earn salvation nothing can be added to salvation. At the moment of salvation the believer receives all spiritual blessings and is complete in Christ (Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:9-10). Although the believer will certainly grow in his realization of this great salvation (1 Peter 2:2), at the moment of salvation the believer stands complete in Christ and in need of nothing.
Moreover, we believe, owing to the gracious nature of salvation (Eph.2:8-9; Rom. 6:23), the unending intercession of Christ (Heb 7:25), the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16-17; Eph. 4:30), and the indisputable promises and power of God (John 5:24; John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:28-30; Rom. 8:32; Rom. 8:35-39; Heb. 13:20-21; Jude 24), the believer is kept and is secure in Christ forever.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Church of Jesus Christ, distinct from Israel in the Old Testament, was inaugurated at Pentecost and must be considered in two aspects: the “Church which is His Body” and the local Church. The “Church which is His Body” is the entire company of believers in Christ irrespective of race, gender, social standing, denominational affiliation or present position in Heaven or earth. They become members of His body through the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 12:13).
The local Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated together by a covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word. Essentially, the local church is a place where the Word of God is proclaimed, the ordinances are administered, and discipline is exercised.
We believe the offices of the local Church are two: Pastors (also called Bishops and Elders) and Deacons (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17,28-32; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 13:7,17). The Pastors’ primary functions are those of leading, overseeing, and teaching, while the Deacons are to be the servants of the Pastors and the Church, assisting both to further the cause of Christ’s Church. The calling, qualifications, and duties of these two offices are clearly defined in the Pastoral Epistles; Acts, 1 Peter, and Hebrews, and are limited to men (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 14:33-38) who meet the Biblical standards (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
We believe each local church is autonomous and is to be self-governing under the Headship of Jesus Christ. Each local church is free to associate with other local churches of like faith.
We believe the Lord has divinely ordained two other institutions: the home and human government (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-6:4). We believe the local church is to actively promote and protect the nuclear family which would normally consist of a father, mother and children. We also believe the church is to support and promote godliness and justice in government by praying for those in office, obeying its law under God, and seeking the appointment of godly leaders (Ezra 6:10; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; Jer. 29:4-7).
We believe the Local Church has been given two major objectives by the Risen Christ. As the gathered Church, our objective is ministering to the body. This would include such activities as edification, encouragement, organization, and worship (Eph. 4:12-16; Heb. 10:25; Heb. 3:12-13; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 14:33, 40; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). As the scattered Church our objective is ministering to the world. This would include such activities as evangelizing the lost, supporting world-wide missions, living Christ-like lives before the world, and serving God in our particular callings (Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Lk. 24:44-48; Jn. 20:21; Phil. 4:14-18; 3 Jn. 5-8; Mt. 5:16; John 13:34-35; 1 Cor. 7:17-24; 1 Cor. 10:31). The motivating factors, which bear the church along in her efforts to fulfill these objectives, are the glory of God, constraining love, and an inner desire to fulfill God’s creative purpose.
We believe, in obedience to our Lord’s commands, two Ordinances are to be perpetuated in the local Church. Firstly, we believe in the baptism of believers in water one time by immersion. This is to be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, symbolizing the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and our union with Him in dying to sin and rising again to a new life (Mt.28:18-20; Rom. 6:3-5). Baptism is a prerequisite to membership and privileges in the local church. We reject any form of baptismal regeneration — that is, that baptism in any way saves. Secondly, we believe that the Lord’s Supper (also called Communion) is a memorial and proclamation of the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ’s death until He returns (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:26). The partaking of the symbols of unfermented fruit of the vine and unleavened bread is to be preceded by a solemn time of self-examination whereupon each member confesses and forsakes any known sin and makes right any ought that he or she might have against another member of the church (1 Cor. 11:23-28). The frequency of the Lord’s Supper, being nowhere delineated in Scripture, is determined by the desire of the Church under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
We believe the Church is to be a pure Church as is our Lord’s intent and command. The Local Church, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, and not diluting her testimony or dishonouring her Lord, must always refuse to have fellowship with any kind of heresy or apostasy, or enter into cooperation with any movement, organization, or program contrary to the faith, whether in doctrine or practice (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6,14; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Titus 1:13; 1 Jn. 4:1; 2 Jn. 9-11). Furthermore we believe that biblical church discipline is Christ’s prescription for maintaining the spiritual health, prosperity and purity of His church. Local church discipline is always to be exercised in the spirit of obedience to God’s Word, love for Christ and His church, and with a view toward the salvation and restoration of the erring individual. (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; Gal. 6:1-10; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; 1 Tim. 1:18-20; 1 Tim. 5:19-20; Tit. 3:8-11; 2 Cor. 2:5-11)
Having been justified by His blood and being sanctified at the present time by His Word and Spirit, the believer now expectantly awaits the time when he will be glorified with His Lord.
We believe the Lord Jesus came unto His own in the first advent and was rejected by His own people, Israel, who were in turn set aside (John 1:11; Rom. 11:25-26). In the eternal plan and wisdom of God an era and work unknown to the Old Testament Prophets was inaugurated — a mystery — that is, the Church (Mt.13:11-13; Eph. 3:2-11; Col. 1:25-27). God is now calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name and this will be His work and our responsibility until the full number of the Gentiles are saved (Acts 15:14; Rom. 11:25-26; Luke 21:24).
The next great event in prophecy will be the Lord’s coming in the air for His own to catch away His bride (I Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 3:10; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Thess. 5:9; Phil. 3:20-21; Titus 2:11-14). We believe the Blessed Hope is imminent and will be pre-tribulational, that is, it will precede the tribulation period.
We believe that after the rapture of the Church a time of tribulation will begin in this world in which Satan’s emissaries, the Antichrist and the false prophet, will be allowed free reign (2 Thess. 2:1-12; 1 Jn. 2:18; Rev. 13:1-18). This will be a time of great tribulation such as never has been, and if those days were not limited by God, no one would physically survive them (Mt. 24:21-22). This seven-year tribulation is in fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week and is also called the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Dan. 9:24-27; Mt.24:15, 25; Jer. 30:7). Although the Great Tribulation is a horrific time, many will be saved when God again begins to graft Israel back in to the Olive Tree (Rev. 7:1-17; Rom. 11:12, 15-18).
We believe that the Lord Jesus will come with His own at the end of the seven-year tribulation, bringing to a close the “Time of the Gentiles.” After Christ comes with His own in the clouds with great power and glory Satan will be bound for one thousand years in the bottomless pit. The Lord Jesus Christ will then judge the nations according to their treatment of Israel and will begin to lift the curse which now rests on the whole creation. The Lord will restore Israel to her own land; allow Israel to realize God’s covenant blessings (Isa. 9:6-7; Isa. 11:1-9; Lk. 1:31-33); bring the whole world to the knowledge of God; and establish the Millennium – the Lord’s righteous reign upon the earth for one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6).
We believe at the end of this millennial period Satan will be loosed for a short time in which he will lead a rebellion against Christ. A fire will proceed down from heaven and devour the rebels and Satan himself will be cast into the lake of fire to be eternally tormented. The eternal state — the new Heavens and the new Earth — will then ensue (Rev. 20:7-10; Rev. 21-22).
We believe at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own (Luke 23:42-43; Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8) whereupon spirit, soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory (1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). The spirit of the unbeliever remains in death, conscious of condemnation and misery, until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium. At that time both soul and body having been reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15; Jude 6-7).