We are Christians.
This means that we believe the gospel. We believe that the God of the universe, Yahweh, is eternally existent in the persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe the eternal Son was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless and righteous life, and then offered Himself up as a substitute for our sins in the cross. We believe He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent His Spirit to indwell all those who believe. We believe Christ will return bodily to judge the world. The righteous will experience eternal reward, and the unrighteous will experience eternal torment. We believe that we were born in sin, but at the point of repentance and faith, God awakes us from our spiritual death, and imparts eternal life into our souls, and regards Christ’s righteousness as being ours, while charging our sin to Him. Because of His sovereign act, we now love Christ. We believe He is our Saviour from sin and the Lord of our lives.
This means that we affirm the gospel as taught in the Bible, believed through the centuries, and especially recovered during the time of the Reformation. We believe salvation is by faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, to the glory of God alone.
We are credobaptists.
This is not about a denominational affiliation, it represents several convictions we hold about the nature and practice of the church. We believe that the final authority for the church’s order and practice is the New Testament. Both Testaments are equally authoritative, but we believe the church as a New Testament entity must use the New Testament to order its life. We believe in a pure church: a regenerated membership, immersed upon personal confession, who are included in the local church through membership or excluded through discipline. We hold that believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances (ceremonies) for the church. We reject Campbellite views, which make baptism essential to salvation. We believe pastors/elders/overseers (three titles, one office) and deacons are the two offices of the church. We hold to a congregational model of church organisation: the church makes decisions under the guidance and shepherding of the elders. We also believe that each church is autonomous and answers directly to the headship of Jesus Christ. We believe the State must not control or sponsor the church, though we recognise that the church may have an indirect influence on the State. We respect the individual responsibility of believers to read the Word for themselves (soul competence), and pray to God directly (priesthood of the believer).
We are compatibilists.
We affirm the sovereignty of God over all things, including salvation. We affirm human responsibility in salvation, while recognising God’s sovereign election. We believe these are not antithetical to one another, but compatible. We believe in the eternal security of the believer, as well as the perseverance of true believers.
We are cessationists.
This does not mean we are anti-supernaturalists, or deny that God can do anything at any time. It simply means that we believe that the apostolic gifts of tongues, prophecy, miracles, as well as supernatural forms of divine revelation such as dreams, visions, angelic visitations, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, audible messages from God, ceased by the end of the apostolic era (around A.D. 100). The miraculous gifts were a very particular type of gift, unique to the apostolic era of transitioning Israel to the church. God can do anything at any time, but He has not indicated in Scripture that He intends to grant miraculous gifts to the church throughout the church age. Instead, the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets (Eph 2:20), that is, the completed Scriptures and matured church is sufficient for us (1 Cor 13:8-13). We hold that God still leads believers and teaches them, not that prophets continue in the biblical sense. We believe the gift of tongues as it was practiced in Acts 2 does not occur as it did then. We believe in divine healing, but not in ‘healing crusades’. We believe God casts our demons through the reception of the gospel, not through exorcism ministries. We believe in spiritual warfare by growing in Christlikeness, not through ‘binding Satan’, ‘taking dominion’, ‘breaking generational curses’ or by certain verbal incantations. We reject the out-of-control manifestations of charismatic worship as denials of 1 Corinthians 14, particularly verses 33 and 40. We reject the health, wealth and prosperity gospel as false and deceitful, as well as other forms of ‘positive confession’ teachings that grow out of the charismatic and Word-Faith movements.
Having said that, we believe we have a living experiential relationship with the Triune God through Jesus Christ. Because Christ is real and personal, a relationship with Him is real and personal. Therefore, the goal of our lives as a church is ‘to know Christ and to make Him known’.
We are complementarians.
We believe that men and women complement each other, while being different. Men and women are spiritual equals, and in Christ, the war of the sexes is torn down (Gal 3:28). This does not obliterate differences in roles. In the home, God has different roles for husbands and wives (Eph 5:22-33). In the church, God has different roles for men and women (1 Tim 2:8-15). These roles do not come out of some existing cultural issue at the time of the New Testament’s writing, but rather from the created order itself (1 Tim 2:13-14). God has ordained that men function as spiritual heads of their homes, and of the church, by mimicking the servant-leadership of Christ (1 Cor 11:3, Eph 5:25-29). Therefore, we believe pastors and those who serve or officiate as spiritual leaders in the church must be male. We see God even calling for these distinctions in nature and role to be clear in corporate worship (1 Cor 11:4-16). We honour and cherish biblical femininity (Proverbs 31:10-31), and recognise the indispensable role of women ministering to each other (Titus 2:3-5), and to the whole body (1 Cor 12).
We are creationists.
We believe that the Genesis account of creation was meant to be understood literally, as a narrative account of the creation of the universe. We believe God created man’s habitat in the six days He described. We reject models of origins that include Darwinistic evolution, that is, speciation occurring through natural selection over aeons. We believe that theories which seek to combine evolution with special creation may ultimately compromise the integrity of the gospel, by compromising the truths of man’s original innocence and subsequent fall, and the need for a substitutionary Saviour.
We are counselors with Scripture.
We hold that Scripture is entirely sufficient for man’s spiritual needs and problems (2 Tim 3:16-17), and does not need to be supplemented or integrated with insights from secular psychology. Therefore we believe we need to admonish and confront one another with biblical truth to solve our problems. We believe sanctification is a process of increasingly gaining the mind of Christ through Spirit-enabled understanding of the Scriptures, and so putting off the old and putting on the new (Eph 4:22-24). We reject the idea of second-blessing Christianity. We do not hold the revivalist view that spiritual growth is brought about by precipitating a crisis decision every week through an altar-call.
We are chiliasts.
Chiliasm refers to the belief in a literal thousand year reign of Christ. We believe a consistently literal approach to interpreting Scripture reveals that the church is distinct from Israel. We recognise continuity between Israel and the church, but also recognise the discontinuities. We do not think that Israel has been permanently set aside, according to Romans 11. We do not hold to multiple ways of salvation. We exercise some latitude on interpreting the timetable of end-time events. Nevertheless, we believe that there Old Testament promises that are yet to be fulfilled, and will not be fulfilled by the church. We believe Christ will return to earth before He sets up His kingdom, hence we are premillennialists.
We are conservatives.
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