Statement of Faith
*The Bible, namely the Old and New Testaments in their original writings, is the inspired Word of God and our ultimate authority for faith and practice. 2 Tim.3:16-17; 2 Pet.1:20-21.
*God is eternal, self-existent and the creator and preserver of things visible and invisible. He is One God existing in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Isa.43:10-11; Psa.86:9-10; Gen.1:1; John 1:1-3; Deut.6:4; Matt.28:19.
*The Son of God, called the Word of God, is the second Person of the triune Godhead. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary with a human body and human nature like ours, except without sin. The Word became flesh, i.e. fully God and fully man, and is now referred to as our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is one Person possessing two natures – divine and human. Jn.1:1,2,14; Lk.1:35.
*His sinless life, substitutionary redeeming death, bodily resurrection and glorious ascension to the right hand of the Father as our intercessor. 2 Cor.5:21; 1 Pet.2:22; Heb.9:12;1 Cor.15:3-4; Acts 1:9; Eph.4:8-10; Rom.8:34; Heb.7:25.
*The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the triune Godhead, is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is ever present and active in each believer to supply the life of Christ, and to reveal and apply to us the benefits of His finished work. John 14:16-18, 26; 16:13-15; Gal.4:6.
*Man was created by a specific immediate act of God, in His image and likeness. In this state he was morally upright and perfect. However, he fell by voluntary transgression and his sinful nature has been passed on to the entire human race. Consequently, mankind is alienated from God and without spiritual life. Gen.1:26-27; Rom.5:12; Eph.4:17-18; 2 Cor.5:20.
*God in His great love for us sent His Son into the world to receive the judgment for our sin and to give us eternal life. All who believe in Him are justified by God, i.e. declared permanently and completely righteous, and treated as such by Him. This righteousness is a gift from God, apart from any works of our own, and is received by faith in Christ alone. God will never impute sin again to the believer since all their sins – past, present and future – received full judgment when Christ was crucified. Rom.3:21-26; 4:5-8; 5:1,17-19.
*There is no salvation outside of Christ. Unbelief is disobedience to the gospel and the unbeliever is in a state of condemnation. If he remains in this condition until death or the Second Coming he will experience the wrath of God. Jn.3:16-18,36; Jn.5:24; 8:24; 2 Thes.1:8-10.
*The one who believes in Christ is baptised into Him and is a new creation. He has died to his old identity in Adam and has been raised to newness of life ‘in Christ’. He is no longer a sinner, but a saint, i.e. set apart unto God. He has been perfected forever, is complete in Christ and now experiences His life. 2 Cor.5:17&21; Col.2:10; 3:4; 1 John 5:12.
*Those who are in Christ should have no consciousness of sin; rather they should have an overwhelming sense of righteousness. Heb.9:14; 10:1-3,12-14,17-22.
*The old covenant, which God only made with the nation of Israel, is now obsolete. It has been superseded by the new covenant which God made with His Son. Because we are in Christ and He has fulfilled the conditions of this covenant, He now ministers to us its benefits and blessings. Thus, it is a covenant of grace and not law. It is not based on our performance or behaviour but on Christ’s obedience unto death. The believer is not married to the law but to Christ. He who is our righteousness is also our sanctification. Rom.5:1-2, 17&21; 6:14; 7:1-4; Heb.7:18-19,22; 8:6,7,13; 1 Cor.1:30.
*We are forbidden to minister the old covenant to others, or to mix covenants. Under the new covenant all is of grace. The work of salvation is all Christ’s from beginning to end. Therefore, under the new covenant there is no condemnation, obligation or boasting. Those who teach a mixture of grace and law teach ‘another gospel’ and expose themselves to the curse of the law. The Bible refers to those deeds which are performed from the motivation of meriting acceptance or favour with God as ‘dead works’. These are to be seen in contrast to ‘good works’, which are those deeds performed in love purely in response to God’s amazing grace to us. Lk.5:36-38; Gal.4:30-31; 2 Cor.3:6-10; Rom.3:28; Gal.6:12-14; Heb.12:2; Gal.1:6-9; Heb.6:1; Eph.2:10; 1 John 4:12&19.
*Our response to grace is faith; not only resting in His finished work but also trusting Him for the manifestation of His life through us. As we live by faith in Christ we are empowered by His grace to be and to do all that God created us to be and to do. To abide in Christ means we have ceased trying to live for God and now trust Him to live through us. The Christian life is an outworking of His indwelling life. Rom.1:17; Gal.2:20; Phil.2:12-13.
*Such is God’s amazing love to us that not only has He forgiven us all our sins, granted us the gift of righteousness and given us eternal life; but He has also adopted us into His family as His own dear sons. 1 John 3:1-2; Rom.8:14-16; Gal.4:4-7.
*Once a son, always a son. As God’s children we are eternally secure. Nothing can ever separate us from His love. Rom.8:35-39; John 6:37,39.
*Local church leadership in the Scriptures is always spoken of in terms of a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17; 1 Thes.5:12-13; 1 Tim.5:17; Tit.1:5; Heb.13:7&17; James 5:14; 1 Pet.5:1-4). The focus is not on one man to make it all happen, neither is authority given to a single person, i.e. the ‘Senior Pastor’. Governance is invested in a team of shepherds who are variously gifted and who relate to each other in long-term ministry.
*The charismatic gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 have never been withdrawn. They are to be encouraged in an orderly manner and for the edification of the Church when believers gather together for worship.
*The Lord Jesus Christ will return to the earth at the end of this age to set up His kingdom and will reign over the earth for 1000 years. God will vindicate and honour His Son before every created being. Rev.20:1-6; Phil.2:9-11.
*When God glorifies His Son He intends to glorify His Bride, the Church, with Him. At the commencement of the Millennial reign of Christ, believers will appear at the judgment seat of Christ. This is not a judgment for their sins but for their works. Every believer stands to gain or lose reward in the Millennial kingdom of Christ. Whilst righteousness is given in response to faith, the reward is given in response to faithfulness. Faithfulness in this life, in terms of stewardship, will be rewarded in the age to come. 2 Cor.5:9-10; Rom.14:10-12; Eph.5:5-7; 1 Cor.6:9-10; Gal.5:19-21; 1 Cor.9:24-27; 2 Tim.4:7-8; Lk.16:10-12; Rev.3:11,21.