What We Believe

The Scriptures

  • The scriptures of the old and new testaments were written by men in such a way that God is truly and actually the author.  Scripture is God’s Word!
  • Jesus Christ testifies to the authenticity of the old and new testament scriptures
  • God is faithful to preserve His Word
  • The scriptures are complete and perfect just as the Lord has given them to us.  They are not to be changed, altered, added to, or taken away from
  • The Word of God is true and without error
  • The scriptures are the supreme standard and authority by which all human opinion, teaching, doctrine and statements of faith are to be tested
  • The scriptures are to make one wise for salvation
  • The scriptures are able to teach us how to live in a manner that is pleasing to God
  • God has chosen the scriptures as the only, revealed channel through which his saving power flows
  • It is Jesus Christ who must be received and believed upon in order to gain salvation.  The scriptures of the old and new testaments are the channel of God’s saving power because they reveal this Christ
  • From beginning to end, the scriptures bear witness to Jesus Christ
  • All things in scripture are not equally plain and easy to understand by all, yet those things which are necessary to be known and believed for salvation are clearly set forth in the scriptures so that all might understand and believe them
  • Obeying the scriptures is the one of the chief marks of a true Christian
  • Even more, loving and delighting in the scriptures marks the genuine Christian
  • The Word of Christ will judge all mankind in the last day

One True God

  • The is one, and only one, true and living God
  • This one true and living God is worthy to be feared and admired by all
  • This God is inexpressibly glorious in holiness
  • This God alone is creator and sustainer of all things
  • This one true and living God is absolutely sovereign in the affairs of Heaven and Earth being independent and supreme in all things according to the counsel of His own will
  • This includes sovereignty over the salvation of Man
  • God alone knows all things before they occur because they occur exactly as He purposed
  • And for all this, God is neither the author of sin nor can guilt or blame be attributed to Him for the evil intentions and actions of His creatures
  • Men often put themselves in the place of finding fault with God for His designs, but it is in no way wise or advantageous for men to argue with God or to find fault with Him

The Trinity

  • Whilst God testifies that He alone is God and there is no other …
  • God also reveals Himself as three distinct Persons (Father, Son who is Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit)
  • Whilst each of these Persons is distinct, each is set forth in the scriptures as being fully and equally God
  • Though they share the same nature and essence of God, God the Father is not the same person as either God the Son or God the Holy Spirit.  Scripture clearly differentiates between the one Spirit, the one Lord Jesus Christ, and the one Father; thus one God in three persons.
  • This is also evident by observing the manner in which the Father, Son and Holy Spirit interact with each other.  They relate to one another in a manner only possible if they each possess a personal identity distinct from the other two
  • God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are actively involved in the salvation of sinners.  Man’s salvation depends on all three persons; Man’s spiritual life originates from and is upheld by the God who is three Persons
  • All three of these glorious Persons will be the objects of eternal fellowship and worship for the children of God

God the Father

  • God the Father is revealed in scripture as One who is spirit and One who is seeking for true worshipers who will worship him in spirit and in truth
  • The Father is unseen by Man
  • The Father reveals Himself to us through His Son Jesus Christ
  • The Father so loved sinners in this world that He sent His Son into the world to bring eternal life to those who believe
  • God the Father is first, the Father of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ … but by adoption, the Father has bestowed the wonderful privilege to saved sinners of also regarding God as Father
  • The Father has predestined and chosen those who will be saved
  • No one can come to Christ, unless the Father grants it
  • No one who denies the Son, has the Father
  • At the end of this age, the Father will receive the Kingdom of Christ from His reigning Son … then Christ and all things will be in subjection to the Father that God may be all in all

God the Son: Jesus Christ

  • Jesus Christ is fully God
  • Jesus Christ is equal to God the Father
  • Jesus Christ reveals God the Father
  • Jesus Christ is the Creator
  • Jesus Christ is fully Man
  • He was born of a virgin
  • Jesus Christ is Lord of all
  • Jesus Christ is the Messiah
  • Jesus Christ is the only way by which Men may savingly come to God the Father
  • Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and Man; as such He intervenes between God and Men in order to restore peace and friendship.  The New Covenant that guarantees peace and friendship between God and Man was ratified by Jesus Christ through the shedding of His blood
  • Jesus Christ alone bore the penalty for His people’s sin
  • After dying for the sins of his people … Christ was buried the same day … rose from the dead on the third day … and ascended forty days thereafter to the right hand of His Father where He now intercedes for His people
  • Jesus Christ has earned the exalted honor of being seated with His Father as the Great King  over all kings … and as the victorious High Priest of God
  • Soon, He will come again…
  • And when He does, Jesus Christ will judge the world in righteousness

God the Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and was sent into this world by Christ to bear witness of Christ
  • The Spirit of God is characterized as One how may be lied to, who is able to speak, able to teach, and who is able to be grieved … indicating that the Spirit is a person, not just an impersonal force or power
  • The Holy Spirit possesses both mind and will, again indicating the He is a distinct person, not a lifeless force
  • Jesus spoke of the Spirit as a person who could be blasphemed against
  • The Holy Spirit came into this world to convict Men of their sin; their need for righteousness, and of coming judgment
  • It is the Spirit who causes Men to be born again; He indwells true believers.  Anyone who does not have the Spirit does not belong to Christ
  • The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our salvation
  • He is the Spirit of Adoption who bears witness to God’s people of the love God has for them; He will dwell with His people forever
  • The Holy Spirit is the source of the church’s power; He distributes spiritual gifts to the Church
  • He leads the people of God into truth
  • He transforms and sanctifies believers increasingly into the image of Jesus Christ
  • He leads the people of God into the fight against sin
  • We are to seek greater manifestations of the Spirit’s presence and His filling
  • When filled by the Holy Spirit, the early church often experienced great boldness and power in declaring the Gospel and extolling the might works of God

The Depravity of Man

  • Man was definitely created in a good and upright and holy condition
  • But Man willfully sinned against God by breaking the command of God
  • In this one act of rebellion, Adam represented the entire human race in such a way that the guilt of his sin is imputed to all mankind so that condemnation and death came upon us all
  • We now so thoroughly bear Adam’s guilt and Adam’s nature that all men are conceived in sin and come forth from the womb as sinners
  • By nature, all Men are dead in sin; under the power of sin; children of wrath; have a heart that is deceitful and desperately sick; the truth of God is folly to Man
  • In this state, God declares that we all are absolutely incapable of any good whatsoever … whether in thought, in deed, or in our best attempts to do what we thing is righteous
  • Yet as evil as it is, Man loves their condition, and love their sin, and willfully pursue every form of unrighteousness; we reject God, refuse to seek Him, and will not come to Him
  • Unless saved from this evil condition, Man will suffer eternally for their sins
  • But once saved by faith in Jesus Christ … God’s people are no longer totally depraved, but possess the mind of Christ, the character of God, and a new heart characterized by purity … God’s people possess a new nature no longer incapable of good, but zealous for good works
  • In fact, righteousness and obedience are the proof and evidence of truly being saved

Election

  • Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life, not based on anything God foresaw in the sinner, but based entirely on His mercy to choose them
  • Though God sovereignly elects some to salvation, while passing over others, nevertheless, all men are responsible to repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
  • All who repent and believe, will most certainly be saved
  • Those who refuse to repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ incur guilt in so doing and are personally responsible for  their own willful rejection of the Gospel

The Way of Salvation

  • Salvation comes from God alone.  He invented it, designed it, initiated it, caused it, empowers it, completes it.  The saving of sinners belongs to God alone!
  • Man has nothing to boast about
  • God’s salvation is wonderfully complete, full and perfect! God never partially saves anyone.  When God saves a sinner, they are well saved.  He saves the sinner to the uttermost!
  • The sinner is rescued from everything that is truly harmful, dangerous and deadly.  God saves the sinner from their lostness, far-off-ness, the futile ways of their forefathers, the domain of darkness, this present evil age, the corruption that is in this world, from every enemy and from the devil and slavery to him
  • God thoroughly saves a sinner from his sins; providing a full pardon for all sins; redemption from the curse of the Law; salvation from the wrath of God
  • In this life, God breaks the power of sin in the life of the one He saves; delivers them from slavery to sin; washes them from all uncleanness and from their idols; transforms them from one degree of glory to another into the image of Christ
  • Ultimately, God’s salvation brings us into the presence of Christ to behold His beauty and glory; at which sight the beholder is made like what he sees … into the very likeness of Christ Himself, entirely free from sin; fully glorified; having received a body in the likeness of Christ’s glorious body; a body imperishable, raised in glory, raised in power … a spiritual body
  • Those who God saves will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of his Father; forever delivered from death, pain and sorrow; reigning through all eternity with Christ.
  • All of this magnificent salvation is found only in Jesus Christ and by faith in Him
  • Sinners will only believe on Christ if  Christ has been made known to them.  They will only believe if they have heard the Gospel
  • God specifically tells us that the message of salvation proclaimed to sinners is what He uses to save sinners; Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are central to this message of salvation
  • It is only to those who believe this message of salvation  who experience the salvation promised in the message … the outcome of faith in Christ is the salvation of your soul

Regeneration

  • Man, by nature, is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins
  • In order to be saved, Man must pass from this state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life.  Only God can do this … and He does this by making spiritually dead sinners alive together with Christ
  • This life-giving act of God is also described as being born again, or being born of the Spirit
  • This miraculous new birth is called regeneration.  It happens according to God’s perfect will and is in no way a result of any work performed by the individual
  • This regenerating new birth always results in a radical transformation to the individual; a new heart is promised to those born of God; and saving faith and hope springs forth.
  • The desire of righteousness is also present with those who have been born of God so that sin is no longer the practice of one’s life
  • The new birth results in a disposition to love; it guarantees that the saint will overcome this world and be victorious in the end; this does not happen by the will of Man nor apart from the Word of God

Repentance and Faith

  • Repentance and faith are both commanded by the Lord; both are elementary aspects of Christianity
  • True repentance and true faith are always found together; you cannot have the one without the other
  • Jesus warns us that the absence of either of these is deadly and results in the eternal punishment of the sinner; sinners are saved from their sins by Jesus Christ alone … only by the free grace and mercy of God in providing us with a Saviour … not by any work done by the sinner
  • Repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus are always required of the sinner for salvation … neither of these in any way merits of earns favor with God.  Rather, both are gifts, that God gives to us … not works taht we offer to Him
  • Repentance is repeatedly set forth in the scriptures as a change of mind that leads one to turn away from sin and turn towards God; not all repentance is godly grief that produces repentance which leads to salvation
  • Saving faith is confidence  in the person and work of Jesus Christ that moves one to wholly  rely upon and trust in Christ for salvation; all faith is not saving faith.  Although no one can be save by works … true repentance and true faith always accompany a change of life producing good works that bear witness to the authenticity of the repentance and faith

Justification

  • Justification is that gracious act of God by which He both acquits the believing sinner of all sin and counts him/her righteous; this justifying righteousness is only for those who believe in Jesus Christ
  • God is able to justify sinners and remain just Himself because Jesus Christ perfectly satisfied justice by obeying God in our place, becoming sin in our place, and by shedding His own blood in our place
  • God justifies even the most ungodly of believing Men, counting them righteous entirely apart from any works or good they have done
  • Now for those who trust Him, Christ is the end of all our efforts at earning God’s favour by law-keeping, since He alone has satisfied all the legal demands of the law
  • Those justified by faith in Jesus Christ are justified from all sins … it is the total pardon of all the sinner’s sins from the past and from the future …. a total pardon!

Sanctification

  • Sanctification can either refer to the initial, one-time act where the Lord first sets an individual apart for Himself, or to the process of being transformed  progressively and by degrees into the holiness and likeness of Jesus Christ; it involves become pure … purity is an essential aspect of sanctification
  • It is the will of God that Christians be sanctified; He predestined His children to this
  • The chief means used by the Spirit to bring about change is the Word of God
  • The end of sanctification is eternal life; each Christian is actively involved in his/her own sanctification
  • Although the sanctifying process is not completed or perfected in this life, it is definitely possible for the Christian to possess  a clear conscience and to live in such a state so as to know of no present sin against himself
  • Sinlessness, perfection and the fullness of promised Christlikeness await the Christian at death when the spirit is made perfect and at the second coming of Christ when the body is made perfect

Perseverance of the Saints

  • None who God truly saves will ever totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end.  The Lord makes certain that none shall ever depart from Him by putting a fear of Himself in the heart of His people
  • All who have come to faith in Jesus Christ, being justified by that faith, shall certainly arrive at a glorified state.  The power of God keeps the saint in a believing state.
  • God’s greatness keeps Christians from perishing.  They have eternal life and it is the will of God that this life does indeed prove to be eternal
  • The scriptures declare that God will finish every work He starts; each child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit of God as a guarantee that his salvation is secure
  • Absolutely nothing is able to separate the Christian from the love of Christ; nonetheless, Christians must strive and fight and willingly persevere in order to be saved
  • Nor does this rule out that Christians may fall into temptation and into sin. They may grieve the Holy
    Spirit and bring upon themselves the discipline of the Lord, but in all these things, God shall definitely
    preserve them in the faith if they are truly His Children.
  • Though all of God’s saints will certainly persevere to the end, many professing Christians do,
    however, fall away from the faith, which only serves to prove that such individuals were never truly
    saved by God and that something was defective with their faith.

The Law of God

  • Throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments, God expresses His will for man through
    laws, commandments, statutes and rules; the commandments of God are holy and righteous and good even as God Himself is holy and righteous and good.
  • Jesus taught that the first and greatest commandment given in the Law is to love God with all the
    heart, soul, and mind. And the second most important commandment is to love your neighbor as
    yourself; these two commandments are the basis for all the commandments found in the Law and the
    Prophets
  • All these commandments shall stand until Heaven and earth pass away. Jesus did not come to
    abolish or relax them.  Though God’s commandments must not be relaxed, they must, however, be interpreted in light of the New Testament revelation of Jesus and His Apostles who gave fuller, richer, deeper expression to
    the righteous requirements of God’s Law
  • God offers man eternal life if he will keep His Law; But all men have failed to keep God’s Law, so the Law does not bring life, instead, it brings the knowledge of sin and it brings wrath. The Law stirs up lawlessness; as a result, all who rely on their own Law-keeping to obtain favor with God are under a curse
  • So the main use of the Law is to convict and convince sinners of their sin; when the Son of God came into this world, He did not lighten the demands of the Law in the least; rather, as a man, the Son of God came fully under the authority of the Law and being under the Law, Jesus Christ honored His Father’s Law by fulfilling all righteousness and pleasing His Father always.