WHAT WE BELIEVE

Section l.   Of the Scriptures

We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Word of God, as originally written, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.  It was verbally and plenarily inspired, and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks.

We believe the Bible is to be understood according to its plain or normal sense (unless the context clearly indicates otherwise), and that it is a trustworthy guide when read in this manner.  By God’s providence it will always be the true centre of Christian unity, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinion shall be tried. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; I Peter 1:24-25).

 Section 2.   The True God

We believe there is only one living and true God, who is an infinite Spirit, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth.  He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honour, confidence and love.  In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  They are equal in every divine perfection, and execute distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Exodus 20:2-3; I Cor. 8:6; Revelation 4:11).

Section 3.   The Virgin Birth of Christ

We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit, and was, in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born, or can be born of woman.  He was born the Son of God and God, the Son. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14).

 Section 4.   Salvation through Christ

We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  By the appointment of the Father, Christ voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honoured the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Saviour.  By the shedding of His blood in His death, He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin.  His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree.  Having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is in every way qualified to be, and is, a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour.

We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God, prompted by the Holy Spirit, and is an integral part of saving faith. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-25; John 3:16; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14-17; Isaiah 53; I John 4:10; I Cor. 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:24).

Section 5.   The Resurrection and Priesthood of Christ

We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and in His ascension into heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, as our High Priest, interceding for us. (Matthew 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; I Corinthians 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 7:25; 8:6; 12:2; I Timothy 2:5;      I John 2:1; Hebrews 2:17; 5:9-10).

Section 6.   The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, possessing all of the attributes of personality and deity. He is equal with the Father and the Son and is of the same nature. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. He is the agent of the new birth. Christ baptises the believer by the agency of the Holy Spirit into His body, the church, at the moment of salvation. He seals, indwells, infills, leads and teaches believers the way of righteousness. We believe that the Holy Spirit endues believers with grace enablement for service. We believe the Bible disavows the authenticity of the sign gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpre­tation of tongues, miracles and healing for today, and repudiates the experience-oriented theology and ecumenically oriented practice of the charismatic movement. (John 7:39; 14:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; Acts 1:5; Hebrews 9:14;       I Corinthians 12:8-13, 28-31; I Corinthians 13:8-12; Romans 8:14).

Section 7.   The Devil (Satan)

 We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil.  He was created by God as an angel, but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator, the unholy god of this age, the ruler of all the powers of darkness.  He is destined to the judgement of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 4:1-11; II Cor. 4:4; Revelation 20:10).

Section 8.   Creation

We believe the biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels and man.  This account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God without any evolutionary process.  Man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life.  All men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, the first parents of the entire human race. (Genesis l, 2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3).

Section 9.   The Fall of Man

We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Maker.  By voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his innocent and happy state, and all men sinned in him.  The result of this is that all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature and are sinners by nature and by conduct.  There­fore all men are under just condemnation, without defence or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 1:18, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12,19).

Section 10.   Grace and the New Birth

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again.  The new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus.  It is instantaneous and not a process.  In the new birth, the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God.  The new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel.  Its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. (John 3:3;      II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; Acts 16:20-33;         II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8).

Section 11.   Justification

We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ.  Justification is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood. (Romans 3:24; 4:5; 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9).

Section 12.   Sanctification

We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God.  It is accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Saviour; second, a continuing process, as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life of the saint; and third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return. (Hebrews 10:10-14; 3:1; John 17:17; II Corinthians 3:18; I Cor. 1:30; Ephesians 5:25-27; I Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23-24; I John 3:2; Jude 24-25).

Section 13.   The Security of the Saints

We believe that all who are truly born again are eternally kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Jude 1).

Section 14.   The Church

We believe that a local church is an organised congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word.  Its officers are Pastors and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men according to the Spirit’s leading. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organisations.  The one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit.  It is scriptural for true churches to co-operate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel.  Each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its co-operation.  On all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline and benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (I Corinthians 11:2; Acts 20:17-28; I Tim. 3:1-13; Acts 2:41-42).

We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers in the church, which is the body of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5:23; Colossians 1:18).

Section 15.   Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life.  Baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church, and is prerequisite to church membership.

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. We believe that the biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first, and then the Lord’s Supper.  Participants in the Lord’s Supper should be immersed believers. (Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 11:23-28; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42).

Section 16.   Separation

(A)  Personal:  We believe the Scriptures teach that every believer should be separated unto God from the world, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, should walk in Christian love and holiness, exhibiting qualities of honesty, integrity, forgiveness and loving kindness. These characteristics will be evidenced by sincere humility and genuine zeal for the advancement of the cause of Christ.  We also believe the Scriptures admonish every believer not to love the world or the things in the world, but rather to flee evil desires, avoid every kind of evil and refrain from questionable practices which destroy ones testimony, offend ones brother and fail to glorify God. (Proverbs 15:33; Galatians 5:22-25; Romans 14:19-21; Ephesians 4:32; 5:1-2, 7-10, 15-20; I Thessalonians 4:7; I Cor. 6:18-20; 8:9-13; Philippians 4:8; I Cor. 10:23, 33; II Corinthians 7:1; I Peter 5:5-6).

(B)  Ecclesiastical:  We believe the Scriptures teach that the believer should be separated from apostasy, as exemplified in ecclesiastical organisations which include radicals, liberals and those who sanction theological compromise. This doctrine is based upon God’s eternal principle of division between truth and error, and His specific command to be separate from unbelievers and disobedient brethren.

Section 17.   Civil Government

 We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society.  Magistrates are to be prayed for, and conscientiously honoured and obeyed, except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming King of Kings. (Romans 13:1-7; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18).

Section 18.   Israel

We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people.  She is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, but she will be regathered in the Holy Land, and, after the completion of the church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. (Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11:1-32; Ezekiel 37).

Section 19.   Rapture and Subsequent Events

We believe in the premillennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment.  At that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death.  All of them shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the tribulation. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21).

We believe that the tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory, to sit upon the throne of David, and to establish the millennial kingdom. (Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-4, 6).

 Section 20.   The Eternal State

 We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men; the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment. (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13; 21:8).

We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord.  There, in conscious bliss, they await the first resurrection (rapture), when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6).

We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious torment until the second resurrection.  Then the body and soul, being reunited, shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgement, and then shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment. (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).