Articles of Faith
VII. Articles of Faith
A. The Bible: The Bible teaches and we believe that the Holy Bible (the Old and New Testaments) is the Word of God; divinely inspired, inerrant in their original writings and the only trust-worthy guide in faith and life.
B. God: The Bible teaches and we believe in the one true God, who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who are one in purpose, character and nature.
i) The Father: The Bible teaches and we believe that God the Father is revealed as the ultimate source of all authority. It is the Father’s will that the Son and the Holy Spirit seek to fulfill.
ii) The Son: The Bible teaches and we believe that Jesus Christ is revealed to be fully man and fully God. In obedience to God the Father, Jesus came to reconcile mankind to God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a holy and sinless life, was crucified, died, arose and ascended to heaven. He ever lives to intercede for believers and will come again according to His promise.
iii) The Holy Spirit: The Bible teaches and we believe that the Holy Spirit completes the will of the Father and the Son through perfect wisdom and divine power. He makes mankind aware of their sin and need for salvation through Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of their salvation. He helps us live a life that brings glory to God and every Christian seeks to live in obedience to His counsel.
C. Creation of Mankind: The Bible teaches and we believe that God is the Creator of the earth and all the universe. We believe that in all creation, mankind alone was created uniquely in His image by a direct act of God, and did not come into being as the result of macro-evolution. We believe the first human beings: Adam and Eve, were created by God and placed on this earth as described in Genesis 1&2, and all other men and women are their descendants. Mankind was created as an eternal being, holy and innocent with a free will. God created us to have fellowship with Him forever, and by creating us with a free will, provided us with the opportunity to choose to truly love and trust Him.
D. Institution of Marriage: The Bible teaches and we believe that one of God’s provisions for human life together is the institution of marriage. Marriage, as intended by God in Creation, is a permanent union between a man and a woman for their mutual benefit, and, if it may be, for the procreation and nurturing of children.
E. Satan: The Bible teaches and we believe that Satan was an angelic being created by God, who through rebellion and pride became a fallen angel. After the temptation and fall of mankind, he was given temporary dominion of the earth by the sovereign permission of God. He was defeated by Jesus Christ at the cross, but the execution of his judgement has been postponed by God until after the great day of judgement. Until that time, Satan remains active, deceiving the world and seeking to establish his counterfeit kingdom on earth. Satan is the father of lies and strives to discredit and blaspheme God while trying to tempt, accuse, attack and destroy believers. He can be resisted by the believer through faith and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.
F. The Fall of Mankind: The Bible teaches and we believe that the first man Adam succumbed to the temptation of Satan, rebelled against the known word of God by exercising his own free will to deliberately disobey God. By this sinful act of disobedience, mankind fell incurring immediate spiritual death and eventual physical death thereby alienating mankind from fellowship with God. Adam’s sinful nature was passed down to all mankind, making mankind incapable of redeeming himself and getting back into a right relationship with God. From that initial sin on, the scriptures present mankind as unrighteous, unholy, “lost” in sin, and unfit to ever be in the presence of God. Apart from God’s intervention all mankind would die as sinners, and would ultimately be condemned to an eternity separated from God in a literal place the Bible calls “hell.”
G. God’s Plan of Salvation for Mankind: The Bible teaches and we believe that God’s overwhelming love compelled Him to implement a plan by which mankind might be saved from the eternal consequences of their sin. Inherently, God’s love was available to provide all the forgiveness mankind required, but of necessity, a plan for the salvation of mankind would also need to fully satisfy the just and holy demands of God’s nature and his perfect law. In order for the sinner to once again become fit to be in the presence of God, they would also need to be righteous and holy in God’s sight. Since sinful mankind was incapable of recognizing the extent of their own fallen state, and utterly unable to do anything about it, the plan of salvation could only be offered to mankind by God through His grace and mercy as an absolute free gift, underserved and unmerited. Unless the Holy Spirit would draw mankind to himself, and reveal both the need for salvation and the means of salvation, no one would ever seek it, let alone recognise their own need for it; therefore from the very beginning God unfolded His plan by revealing mankind’s sinful state, their need for salvation, and the means by which they could be saved, Jesus Christ. All that was required for the salvation of mankind was accomplished through the work of Jesus Christ, and his death on the cross, Jesus Christ, willingly offered Himself to God the Father as a substitutionary sacrifice for mankind’s collective sin, and satisfied all the just and holy demands of God’s law. With the sinner’s condemnation removed in this way, Jesus Christ, through this sacrifice, would also be in a position to restore mankind’s relationship with God by applying His own perfect righteousness to the repentant sinner’s account, allowing the forgiven sinner to once again be fit for the presence of God. All of this and more is accomplished immediately and eternally when any person responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, chooses to believe God and calls out to Him in repentance asking to be forgiven and receives, by grace and through faith, the promised gift of salvation as offered through Jesus Christ. God’s plan of salvation is referred to in the Bible as the gospel, and is offered to all mankind and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth except their personal rejection of the gospel.
H. The Church: The Bible teaches and we believe that following His resurrection, Jesus Christ established the Church to continue His purpose on earth in bringing glory to God, making Him known to lost men, and encouraging and making disciples of those who are saved through the power of the gospel. The Bible refer to the Church in two capacities, universal and local, which are further defined as follows:
i) The Church – Universal: The Bible teaches and we believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into a universal body of believers, referred in the Bible as the Church, of which Christ is the head. Therefore, at the moment of salvation, believers become members of the universal Church by a sovereign act of God. Every believer is called to participate in the purpose of Christ as he/she is enabled by the Holy Spirit and by the Father’s grace.
ii) The Church – Local: The Bible teaches and we believe that following salvation, Christ calls each believer to be baptized upon the profession of their faith, and to seek to join themselves to a local fellowship of believers, also referred to as a Church. Therefore, following their obedience to Christ in baptism, believers would join themselves to a local Church by a personal act of obedience. This local community of believers is presented in the Bible as an expression of the body of Christ in a particular location on earth. As part of His purposes, the local Church is to address the believer’s need for fellowship, worship, accountability, spiritual growth and Christian service. With regard to the local Church, the Bible further teaches, and we also believe:
- In the autonomy of the local Church, with the right to self-government, exercising its own divinely awarded gifts to govern all it’s affairs in absolute accordance with the Bible and under the headship of Christ.
- That Christ gives each local Church body, and each individual believer within the Church body, spiritual gifts providing all that is needed to equip His Church for the work of the ministry.
- That the designated officers of the local Church are elders and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications.
- That Christ established only two ordinances for the Church to observe: Baptism and Communion. Both of these ordinances are to be observed by the believer and His church in loving obedience to Him, and point to what Christ did in bearing the penalty for our sin on the cross. Baptism is presented in the Bible as the immersion of the believer in water, and is the ordinance whereby the believer symbolically identifies with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Communion is presented in scripture as a time of fellowship with other baptized believers, and is the partaking of the two elements: bread and wine. The bread and wine symbolize and remind the believer of Jesus’ body broken for them, and His blood shed for them.