What We Believe
“In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials diversity, in all things charity.” – Rupert Meldenzie
This is not a new church, but rather a new expression of an ancient movement that has shaped and marked even the measurements of time. We are joining the story of thousands of people through thousands of years who have engaged and given their lives for the true and living God. We are now simply woven into the tapestry of many expressions of one truth, that Jesus is Lord, and we will live for this truth with passion and grace. We submit to the classic creeds of our faith such as The Creed of Nicaea, it is in their footprints that we affirm:
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the godhead, there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, and co-eternal who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. One God in three persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is the foundation of Christian faith and life (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
God made humankind, male and female, as the crown of creation, and the bearers of His image, that humankind might have fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, and succumbing to the idolatry in their hearts, humans rebelled against God. Being estranged from their Maker, yet responsible to Him, they became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to the mind, will and affections. Unregenerate humans live under the dominion of sin and Satan. They are at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful to God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3, 12).
The good news is revealed in the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, His resurrection is the power of the gospel and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins, our brokenness and the darkness of our hearts. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and humankind.
There is no other name by which one must be saved. At the center of all sound doctrine stands the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the cross and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:1–4).
The proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin and commingled with works. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and kingdom service. Neither repentance nor works save. Yet the cost of discipleship is one’s life: one must deny oneself, die to self, and pick up their cross and follow Christ. We believe that those who are truly redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. The gospel of grace is to be sincerely preached to all people in all nations (Romans 8:30; Romans 9:6-13; John 6:37–40; 10:27–30; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4–8; 1 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 1:10).
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. We are continually becoming, and though indwelling sin remains a reality, as we are led by the Spirit and we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, we begin to long to keep His commandments and endeavor to live in such a way as to be counter-cultural; and as such all people see the change in our lives, the implications of the gospel lived out, and are drawn to glorify our Father who is in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 10:14).
In addition to affecting regeneration and sanctification, the Holy Spirit also empowers followers of Jesus for Christian witness and service, the edification of the body, and the extending of the Kingdom through the Church. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires continually to fill each believer subsequent to conversion with increased power for Christian life and witness. He imparts supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and for Christ’s mission in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church of the first century are available today, are vital for the mission of the church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced. However, the purpose of the gifts are not for indicating a deep spiritual experience or hierarchy, but are meant to continually compel the believer towards mission (Acts 1:4-5, 8; Acts 8:12-17; Acts 10:44-47; Ephesians. 5:18; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 1 Corinthians 14:1).
God by His Word and Spirit creates the Church, calling sinful people out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s Body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church universal is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by serving Him and faithfully doing His will in the earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world as a testimony to all nations. The ultimate mission of the Church is worship and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means of society’s transformation, as the Kingdom of God finds expression and is made visible through His Church and presses it forth in society. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer. All members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the church (including prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries, all members of the church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry.
In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25–27; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Acts 13:1–4; 15:19–31; 20:28; Romans 16:1,4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:4–7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1–4).
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is the only essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice,
and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13).
We believe that the Lord Jesus himself ordains baptism and the Eucharist as the sacraments of His church. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26).
The Restoration of all things includes the visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth.
In the Restoration, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment; but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever. Married to Christ as His Bride, the Church will be in the presence of God forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new (Matthew 24:30-31; Acts 1:10-11; Romans 8; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:12;20).