Statement of Belief
What Christians should believe:
- The sixty-six books of the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit (i.e. God-breathed) and are inerrant in the original documents.
- The Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
- There is but one living and true God eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ was virgin born.
- In the incarnation (God becoming man), Jesus Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence in His incarnation. He accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man - deity and humanity in indivisible oneness.
- Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgement of God by rebelling against his Creator.
- Man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination and moral responsibility to God.
- Because of Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death and became incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace.
- Because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam's sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages (Jesus Christ is the only exception). All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration.
- Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory and redemptive.
- Salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. Righteousness is thus apart from any virtue or good work and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us.
- Our justification is made sure by Jesus Christ's literal, physical resurrection from the dead and being ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest.
- Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct.
- Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit.
- Every saved person is involved in a daily conflict - the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh. Eradication of sin in this life is not possible but there is adequate provision through the indwelling Holy Spirit for victory over sin.
- All the redeemed once saved are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever but Scripture forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living.
- All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the Church.
- The Church began on the Day of Pentecost and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture. The Church comprises all born-again believers in the present age. The Church is distinct from Israel, a mystery not revealed until this age.
- Physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness. The souls of the redeemed pass immediately into the presence of Christ and the souls of the unsaved at death are kept until the respective resurrections of the redeemed and unsaved at which time the soul and body are united.
- The redeemed are resurrected to eternal life and the unsaved resurrected to judgement and eternal conscious punishment.
- The righteous judgements of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world and this will climax in the return of Jesus Christ with His Church in glory.
- Jesus Christ will establish His millennial kingdom on earth during which time He will occupy the throne of David thereby fulfilling Old Testament prophecies regarding Israel's restoration and blessing.
- Two ordinances (only) have been committed to the local church: baptism by immersion which shows the believer's union with Jesus' death to sin and resurrection to a new life; and the Lord's Supper which is a symbolic memorial commemorating His death until He comes.
- The Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the faith. All alleged manifestations of the Spirit should be subjected to God's Word.
- Discipleship and mutual accountability of all believers to each other is important, as well as the need for the discipline of sinning members in the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture.
- The need for Bible-based groups which provide a shelter for the oppressed'.
- Separation from all religious apostasy is commanded of us by God. Accordingly, we will oppose ecumenism, serious doctrinal error and attempts to undermine the authority of Scripture.
Most of these beliefs are derived from John McArthur's What We Teach: the Master's Fellowship Doctrinal Statement, although his statement is more exhaustive and includes other emphases. Many of these beliefs, in fact, uniquely define orthodox Christianity but some of them, especially those in relation to eschatology and the relationship between Israel and the church, are subject to debate even amongst orthodox Christians.
The question of spiritual gifts and the nature and role of the baptism in the Spirit is also subject to debate amongst some Christians, but believers should be able to unite around the principle that Scripture clearly encourages believers to be filled with the Spirit. Although we recognise that there is some question as to whether some of the gifts are still operative, there is consensus amongst us that many who practice these gifts ignore the biblical guidelines.