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Statement of Faith

THE FIVE SOLAS

We subscribe fully to the Five Solas that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and which summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs. These Five Solas are Latin phrases which articulated the fundamental pillars that the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice.

1. Sola Scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)

We believe in the plenary (i.e. full, complete, entire) and verbal inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments - by God. We hold that the Bible, and not tradition or the church, is our all-sufficient and only authority for Christian doctrine. The Scriptures are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Pet 1:21).

2. Soli Deo Gloria (“glory to God alone”)

All glory is to be due to God alone (Ps 115:1), since salvation is accomplished solely through his will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

3. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”)

Christ is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), and there is salvation through no other but “by Christ alone”. We reject all other claimed mediators between God and man like Mary and the ‘saints’.

4. Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”)

Salvation comes by God’s grace (Eph 2:8) or “unmerited favour” only — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God.

5. Sola Fide (“by faith alone”)

Justification is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though saving faith is always evidenced by good works.

  • Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


GOD


We believe in the one true God who has revealed himself as the eternal and self-existent "I AM". God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, holy, sinless, deserving of worship, the creator of heaven and earth and the redeemer of mankind (Deut 6:4; Isa 43:10,11).

THE TRINITY

God has further revealed himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Godhead (i.e. Trinity) is co-existent in three persons; who are eternally co-equal - not three Gods but one; not one person but three (Matt 28:19; Luke 3:22, John 1:1).

THE CREATOR

We believe in the recent creation of all things by God in six literal days - as described in the first chapter of Genesis - and accepted by Jesus himself (Matt 19:4; 25:34).


JESUS CHRIST


We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (Rom 1:4; John 1:1-2). The Scriptures declare:

A) HIS VIRGIN BIRTH

He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary (Matt 1:23, Luke 1:31-35).

B) HIS DEITY

We maintain that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col 2:9). We uphold the absolute deity of Jesus Christ as well as his complete humanity; two natures but one undivided person.

C) HIS SINLESS LIFE

As an acceptable, unblemished sacrifice for sin, Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin” (Heb 4:15; also Heb 7:26; 1 Pet 2:22).

D) HIS MIRACLES

We acknowledge that Jesus was accredited by God “by miracles, wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22; 10:38).

E) HIS DEATH

We believe in the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross when “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Cor 15:3).

F) HIS RESURRECTION

We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead as the Scriptures declare and as the original apostles bore witness to (Matt 28:6, Luke 24:39, 1 Cor 15:4).

G) HIS ASCENSION

After his resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven, where he is now seated at the right hand of God, the position of power and authority (Acts 1:9,11; 2:33; Phil 2:9-11; Heb 1:3).


SALVATION


Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

THE FALL

Man was created good and upright; for God said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness." However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Gen 1:26,27; 2:17; 3:6; Rom 5:12-19).

ORIGINAL SIN

Because of inherited sin (Rom 5:12), man is born in sin (Ps 51:5), is by nature depraved (Rom 3;10) and is incapable of saving his own soul. “All have sinned” (Rom 3:23) and are guilty before God.

UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

God loved the world including unregenerate mankind (John 1:29; 3:16). The Lord Jesus Christ, by his death and resurrection, in an Unlimited Atonement, has made available to all mankind the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (1 John 2:2), but some refuse to accept the provision for their salvation and thus remain lost (1 Tim 4:9-10). We reject both Limited Atonement held by 5-point Calvinists (that Jesus died only for the elect) and Universalism (that all will be saved irrespective of whether they believe or not).

PREDESTINATION AND ELECTION

We reject the damnable doctrine of Double Predestination or Unconditional Election i.e. that from eternity God has chosen some to be saved and has chosen others to be damned. We believe in Conditional Predestination and Conditional Election – that predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge (Rom 8:29; 1 Pet 1:2). God’s election is conditional on faith in Jesus - God does not arbitrarily consign some people to eternal damnation; their wilful rejection of God’s salvation makes them responsible (John 3:18).

REDEMPTION

The blessings of salvation are made personally real to the individual, not by works, or by any personal merit in themselves, but by faith (John 3:16), which is accompanied by confession (1 John 1:9) and repentance (Acts 2:38). By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Rom 10:13-15; Eph 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7).

THE NEW BIRTH

We believe in the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Birth, which makes a sinner a child of God (John 3:3-8).

RESISTIBLE GRACE

We reject the idea of Irresistible Grace i.e. when God decides to save someone, they certainly will be saved and the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted. We believe that no person is forced against their will to become a Christian (John 1:12) and that God allows his grace to be resisted by those unwilling to believe (Acts 7:51).

THE EVIDENCE OF SALVATION

The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:24; Titus 2:12).

ETERNAL SECURITY

We reject the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints (Eternal Security or “Once saved, always saved”) which says that those whom God has called can never lose their salvation. We believe that salvation can be lost, as continued salvation is conditional upon continued faith. Salvation can be lost through wilful disobedience (Heb 10:29-31).


THE CHURCH


We believe that the church consists of the community of true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who by faith have had their sins forgiven and have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. We believe in the fellowship of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, recognising that the church is not confined to any one denomination.

PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS

Each individual believer has full and equal access to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, as a believer-priest (Rev 1:6). We reject the Sacrament of Penance and any idea of auricular confession - that sins have to be confessed to an earthly priest.

HEAD OF THE CHURCH

We confess the Lord Jesus Christ and no other, as head of the Church (Col 1:18).

LEADERSHIP

We believe that there are only two officers in a local New Testament church namely elders and deacons.

  • Phil 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God's holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers (Greek: episkopois) and deacons (Greek: diakonois)…

A pastor is simply a fulltime elder and the same office “episkopois” is variously called a bishop, elder or pastor. The Greek word for pastor is “poimen” and simply means shepherd or overseer. The terms pastor, elder and deacon describe ministries and are not meant to be titles, in accordance with the word of Jesus.

  •  Matt 23:9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.

There is no separate office of priest, as was practiced in the old Covenant, because we are a kingdom of priests (1 Pet 2:9, Rev 1:6, 5:10).

We also reject the practice of taking the title “apostle” (2 Cor 11:13) without having the Biblical attributes of an apostle, namely “signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Cor 12:12) and church-planting (Acts 14:21-23).

We believe in the practice of servant leadership:

  • 1 Pet 5:1-3 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder … Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

THE MINISTRY

The ascended Christ has given various ministries to the church and each of these exists for the strengthening of, and is essential to, the welfare of the church. They are set forth in Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:28 and elsewhere. The Scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the fourfold purpose of leading the Church in:

  •  To be an agency of God for fulfilling the Great Commission and evangelizing the world (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:8; Matt 28:19,20).
  •  To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (John 4:23,24; 1 Cor 12:13).
  •  To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Eph 4:11-16; 1 Cor 12:28; 14:12).
  • To be a people who demonstrate God’s love for all the world by meeting human need with ministries of compassion (Psalms 112:9; Gal 2:10; 6:10; James 1:27).

THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

A) BAPTISM

We believe in the baptism, by immersion, of believers only. The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in Scriptures and all who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour are to be baptized. They thereby declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with him to walk in newness of life. (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47,48; Rom 6:4)

B) THE LORD'S SUPPER

We believe in the Breaking of Bread (Holy Communion or Lord's Supper) as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ and as practiced by the early church. The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements -- bread and the fruit of the vine-- is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 1:4), a memorial of his suffering and death (1 Cor 11:26 ), and a prophecy of his Second Coming (1 Cor 11:26 ), and is enjoined on all believers "till He come!".


THE HOLY SPIRIT


SPIRITUAL GIFTS

We reject the idea of Cessationism (the doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the original twelve apostles and the completion of the canon of Scripture). Instead we believe in Continuationism (the doctrine that God has never removed the gifts referred to in 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14). We hold that whenever the Holy Spirit moves upon the church in power, these gifts are manifested and that it is contrary to the apostolic directive for any to "forbid to speak in tongues" (1 Cor 14:29).

DIVINE HEALING

We believe in the gifts of healing and that God still, in our day heals the sick (Isa 53:4,5; Matt 8:16,17; James 5:14-16).

MIRACLES

We believe in miracles, both as recorded in the Bible, and as being possible in the present day.

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

There are 3 different Greek prepositions that describe our relationship with the Holy Spirit – ‘para’, ‘en’ and ‘epi.’

  • PARA (WITH YOU) - The Holy Spirit is with a person, even prior to conversion. He convicts them of sin, righteousness and judgement to come (John 16:7-9) - and convinces them that Jesus is the Saviour.
  •  EN (IN YOU) - When anyone calls on God to be saved, the Holy Spirit then comes INTO that person’s life.
    1 Cor 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in (EN) you…
  •  EPI (UPON YOU) - But there is a third relationship that a believer can have which is separate and distinct from the first two. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised:
    “… but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon (EPI) you” (NASB)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11), and that this baptism, or “EPI” experience, is distinct from the new birth, or “EN” experience (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9). This ‘EPI’ (upon) experience or ‘anointing’ is associated with preaching, works of power and miraculous signs (Luke 4:18). All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church.

We hold that the primary purpose for the baptism in the Holy Spirit is that we may receive power to be witnesses worldwide i.e. evangelism and missions (Acts 1:8). But with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 12:1-31). It is also accompanied by such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Heb 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to his work (Acts 2:42) and a more active love for Christ, for his Word and for the lost (Mark 16:20).


CHRISTIAN LIVING


SANCTIFICATION

The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb 12:14). We believe that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey the command: "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (1 Pet 1:15,16). Believers are sanctified (i.e. set apart) for God's purpose at conversion, but continuation in sanctification is the will of God for all believers and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to God's Word. Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God (Rom 12:1,2; 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 13:12). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in his death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Rom 6:1-11; 6:13; 8:1,2; 8:13; Gal 2:20; Phil 2:12,13; 1 Pet 1:5).

MARRIAGE

We believe in the principle of heterosexual relationships between a natural man and a natural woman within the confines of lawful matrimony.

SANCTITY OF LIFE

We believe that life is a gift from God and must always be regarded as sacred. We believe that abortion is the taking of human life; therefore, society brings grave danger to itself by permitting abortion on demand, and thus treating God-given life so lightly. We call our members to oppose this social evil with great vigour. However, we reject the use of violence as a means of bringing about this needed change in society.

RACISM

God makes no distinction based on race, gender, education level or social status:

  •  Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

With his blood Jesus “purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9-10). Like God, who created and loves all mankind, we must be impartial. We are instructed to treat foreigners in the following manner:

  •  Lev 19:33-34 When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself…

PROSPERITY

We distance ourselves from the “health and wealth” gospel that has plagued many Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, believing rather the Scripture that “godliness with contentment is great gain”. There are many faithful believers who live modestly and will never have more than the basic necessities of life, yet they are content to have what they have. We simply cannot reconcile the prosperity teaching with the intense persecution we see of dedicated Christian believers in areas of Africa, Middle East and Asia. So too today, the fastest growing churches in the world are in China and Africa, yet these are the most persecuted and poorest churches. In contrast, the affluent Western church is in decline.

Concerning the last days, Paul writes, “People will be… lovers of money” (2 Tim 3:1-2). He warns of a false doctrine of those who “think that godliness is a means to financial gain” i.e. the prosperity doctrine (1 Tim 6:3-10).

  • 1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
  •  Luke 16:13 “You cannot serve both God and Money”.
  • Luke 18:23-25… Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

 BIBLICAL FAITH

We reject the recent substitution by some, of Biblical Faith with Positive Confession. While our outlook on life and our speech should be positive and optimistic, this is a display of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives – not because we are trying to create a new reality by making positive affirmations. We do not create reality by our words – while words and faith are important, it is only said of God (not man) that he “calls into being things that were not” (Rom 4:17). While some have faith in faith, or faith in themselves (humanism), true Biblical faith has God as it’s object (Mark 11:22). We acknowledge that all our requests are ultimately subject to the sovereignty and will of God – as Jesus himself said “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). We understand that at times God might say to us, as he did to Paul when he made his repeated request for the removal of his “thorn in the flesh”, that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).

SELF-DENIAL

We reject the idea found in much modern Christian counselling that almost all ills in society can be attributed to low self-esteem. Paul speaks of people in the last days being pre-occupied with having a positive self-image:

  • 2 Tim 3:1-5 People will be lovers of themselves… boastful, proud… conceited…

Scripture teaches that we should have a modest opinion of ourselves:

  • Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Rom 12:3)

Rather than self-love and teaching that God wants us to be successful, reach our full potential and fulfil our dreams; Jesus taught self-denial:

  •  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24)


ESCHATOLOGY


THE RESURRECTION

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead, both the saved and the lost, the former to everlasting life and the latter to everlasting damnation.

JUDGEMENT

We believe that both the living and the dead will be judged, it being understood that the believers' condemnation was borne by our Lord Jesus Christ in his redemptive work. There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whoever’s name is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake of fire, which is the second death (Matt 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Rev 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).

FUTURISM

We hold to a Futurist view of prophecy, in contrast to Preterism, Historicism and Idealism. Futurism places the fulfilment of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation mostly in the future as literal, physical, apocalyptic and global. In particular, we reject Full Preterism which teaches that all End Time prophecy was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem, including the resurrection of the dead and Jesus’ Second Coming. The oldest Church creeds (the Old Roman creed, the Apostles’ Creed, the First Council of Nicea and the First Council of Constantinople) all look to the coming of Jesus and the judgement as future events. As Full Preterism places the return of Christ and the judgement in AD 70, this means that this position is heterodox or heretical in terms of all the earliest creeds of the Church.

THE RAPTURE

We believe in the Pre-Tribulation return of Jesus Christ for his bride, the church. The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church (1 Thess 4:16,17; Rom 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor 15:51,52).

SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST

At the end of the 7-year Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week and the time of “Jacob’s trouble”) Jesus Christ will manifest himself in glory, majesty and power and in physical presence, when he destroys his enemies (2 Thess 2:8; Matt 25:41).

PREMILLENNIALISM

We believe in a Premillennial Dispensational interpretation of prophecy, in contrast to Amillennialism and Post-Millennialism. In particular we reject Reconstructionism, Dominion and Kingdom Now theology. We believe the literal Scripture that at the visible return of Christ with his saints, they will reign on earth together for one thousand years (Zech 14:5; Matt 24:27; 24:30; Rev 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will result in the establishment of universal peace (Isa 11:6-9; Psalms 72:3-8; Micah 4:3,4).

ISRAEL

We believe in the spiritual restoration of Israel and reject the idea that the New Covenant Church has permanently supplanted Israel (Replacement Theology).

  • Rom 11:25-26 (NASB) ... a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved...

We believe that the literal millennial reign will follow the salvation of national Israel (Ezek 37:21,22; Zeph 3:19,20; Rom 11:26,27). As such we support the State of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital (Luke 21:24) as being a fulfilment of prophecy (Ezek 36) and a prelude to the final full restoration of God’s Old Covenant people (Ezek 37:12-14).

THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH

In keeping with the Biblical promise, “we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells" (2 Pet 3:13, Rev 21; 22).














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