Statement of Faith
1. The Triune God: There are three Persons in the Godhead, and these three are one God. There is but One only, the living and true God who is Spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, self-existent, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present in glory, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. God is one in essence and three Persons in substance, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
God the Father represents the Trinity in the Covenant of Redemption by determining from eternity to send His Son to redeem His elect and for the Holy Spirit to effectually call and apply the eternal salvation purchased by the Son (Jn 6:37-40). Jesus is fully God and fully man. His divinity is clearly taught in Scripture (Jn 8:24). The Holy Spirit is Himself God, the Lord and giver of life. He can be lied to (Acts 5:3), and grieved (Eph 4:30).
A belief in the Trinity constitutes what the Bible reveals regarding the nature of God. God sovereignly created the world out of nothing, so that His creation, while wholly dependent upon Him, neither comprises part of God, nor conditions His essential perfection. God is separate from His creation but transcends it in order to reveal Himself savingly to mankind. Our relationship with the personal God of the Bible is based on God’s written revelation and the finished work of Jesus Christ.
2. The Holy Scripture: The sixty-six books that form the canon of the Old and New Testaments are plenarily inspired and free from any error in the whole and in the part. These books are given by inspiration of God, constitute His written word, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Scripture is the progressive self-revelation of the Triune God to His covenant people.
As a living oracle it has been divinely composed through inspired human agency and preserved providentially in order to be heard and received by God’s elect in all ages for all time. God moved men to write His very words in a way in which the authors retained their cultural and linguistic patterns as well as their individuality yet without the corruption of sin. By this pattern of sound words the Holy Spirit actuates faith through truths that are requisite unto salvation for all whom Christ has purchased redemption.
For this reason the Scriptures are directly binding on the conscience, especially to those who have been regenerated and illuminated by God the Holy Spirit. By the inward illumination of the Spirit, the Scripture leads the Christian into all truth and authoritatively judges every thought and intention (Heb 4:12).
3. Man: Man is the special creation of God, made in God’s own image. God created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. God created man in a state of original righteousness, from which man subsequently fell by voluntary rebellion; and as a consequence is guilty, inherently corrupt, and subject to divine wrath. Because of Adam’s sin all men have been bound over to disobedience (Rom 11:32).
Without Christ, mankind is dead, defiled, and under the condemning wrath of God. By virtue of our natural and federal union with our first parent, we have through his sin fallen with him by sinning with him (Rom 5:12). This imputation makes Adam’s sin our own, and holds us in a state of hereditary depravity. The unregenerate are totally depraved and do not possess a will free from the domination of the sin nature.
4. Christ: Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, possesses all the divine excellencies, being co-substantial and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In His incarnation, He united to His divine nature a true human nature and so continues to be both God and Man, in two distinct natures and one Person, forever. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, fulfilled the requirements of the Law by His sinless life, suffered under Pontius Pilate, poured out His blood as a vicarious and propitiatory atonement for the sins of His people in satisfaction of divine justice, and on the third day was raised from the dead in the same body, now glorified. He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father interceding in Glory for His redeemed (Heb 7:25).
5. The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit, eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son, through the ministry of regeneration and progressive sanctification applies salvation, guides and comforts the children of God, directs and empowers the church in fulfilment of the Great commission, and convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. At the moment of regeneration the Spirit cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
6. Salvation: Salvation consists of the remission of sins, the impartation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the gift of eternal life and the concomitant blessings thereof, which are a free gift of God, and are received by grace alone through faith alone apart from human works of merit (Eph 2:8-9). Even the ability to believe is a gift from God. This blessing in no way relieves men of their responsibility to repent and believe. Scripture clearly teaches both the divine sovereignty of God in election and His divine summons to repent and believe in Christ for salvation (Mk 1:15; Eph 1:11). Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners (Rom 8:28-30). It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
7. Baptism: After repentance towards God and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, the believer is to publicly proclaim his identity with Christ by water baptism, in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
8. The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper (Communion) is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Christ and anticipate His second coming. Communion is to be taken frequently and offered to all believers except those who are living in unrepentant rebellion or immorality. The communion elements are symbols of Christ’s body and blood and are useful to the exercise of faith in the Person of Jesus Christ as the only means of absolving guilt, shame, and punishment of sin.
9. Baptism of the Holy Spirit: The Lord Jesus Christ baptizes regenerated believers in the Holy Spirit. All the gifts of the Spirit continue to be expressed in the Church today and are subject to the order prescribed in Scripture. As far as spiritual gifts are concerned, the apostle Paul provides no systemization but, emphasizing diversity, he lists them in four groupings of Scripture: Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:8-10; 1 Cor 12:28-30; and Eph 4: 11. For a local congregation to function correctly, all believers must exercise their gifts of helping (1 Cor 12:28), discerning of spirits (1 Cor 12:10), knowledge (1 Cor 12:8) or whatever gift the Holy Spirit has graced them with. The diversity of gifts is intended by God to promote interdependence – fellowship.
We acknowledge the vital role of the Holy Spirit today, believing local churches should enjoy the presence, power, fruit and gifts of God’s Spirit in a way that is beneficial to both believers and unbelievers. And above all, the Spirit empowers us for mission to our neighborhoods and to the nations, in a recovery of New Testament Church Life (Acts 1:4-8).
10. The Kingdom of God: The Kingdom of God is a present reality and future hope, forcibly advancing through the agency of the Church. The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men and women who receive Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. The Church as the Body of Christ, from both the Old and New Testament periods, includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
11. Leadership: Christ rules His church through a plurality of godly men. He qualifies these men by giving them spiritual gifts and prepares them to serve in the local congregation. For the edification of the Church, Christ Jesus has appointed officers not only to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments, but also to exercise discipline for the preservation both of truth and duty. It is incumbent upon these officers and upon the whole Church in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous, observing in all cases the rules contained in the Word of God. God gifts and calls men to serve as elders and deacons in the local church which confirms and ordains them to the task of leading and teaching.
We believe that God has ordained male leadership in the marriage, family, and church. Biblical church leadership should reflect biblical family leadership. The Bible is clear in specifying that church officers: teaching Elder, ruling Elder, and Deacon, are to be the husbands of one wife. Therefore leadership roles in the church are to be filled by godly men (1 Cor 14:35; Tit 2:4). Further, the Bible clearly teaches that while men and women are equal in value (Gen 1:27; Gal 3:28), their roles are different (Ephesians 5:22-33). While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the church offices of Elder and Deacon are limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
12. Marriage and Family: Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The biblical view of the family recognizes the husband as the God-ordained head of the household (1 Cor 11:3), with his wife as his helper (1 Pt 3:17). Husband and wife are of equal worth before God, and the covenant of marriage between husband and wife reflect God’s covenant relationship with the church. In marriage man represents Christ as the woman represents the church (Eph 5: 32). The Bible defines a man’s role in marriage as the protector, provider, and leader of his family. The goal of masculine leadership of the family is to be selfless with the health and welfare of the wife and children above that of his own (Eph 5:28). A wife is to serve as the man’s helper in managing the household cooperating with him while submitting to his leadership, (1 Pt 3: 17). This view honors God’s word.
13. Stewardship: God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him (Ps 24:1). Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve God with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Christ’s Kingdom on earth.
14. Social Order: All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.
We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
15. The Intermediate State: The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none. At death, the souls of the redeemed are made perfect in holiness and immediately enter into the presence of Christ, enjoying conscious fellowship with Him, there to wait the resurrection of the body.
16. The Resurrection: According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return bodily, visibly, and personally in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. Those who are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up, with the same bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor: the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honor; and be made conformable to His own glorious body. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.