What We Believe

 

God

The Trinity

We believe in one God (Deut 6:4, John 10:30). He is one being who exists in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Gen 1:26, Matt 3:16-17, 28:19, John 14:16-17). Each person of the Godhead is unique in consciousness, harmonious in will, and truly divine. Each person of the Godhead equally shares the attributes of God: He is uncreated, self-existent (Ex 3:14), eternal (Ps 90:2) and infinite (Ps 145:3), immutable or unchanging (Mal 3:6), omniscient (Ps 147:4-5), omnipresent (Jer 23:23-24), omnipotent (Matt 19:26), absolutely sovereign over all (Job 42:2). He is holy (1 Pet 1:16), love (1 John 4:8), and truth (John 14:6, 16:13). He is just, merciful, wrathful, righteous, forgiving, faithful, jealous, and longsuffering.

We understand the term “trinity” is not found in scripture, but that the relationship is clearly expressed in scripture. No true parallel of the Trinity exists in human experience and we cannot fully comprehend this existence until it is more fully revealed by God.

God The Father

The Father is the first person of the Trinity. He is the Father over all creation. He created everything out of nothing through His Word (Gen 1:1,3). He created everything for His glory (Ps 19:1) and works everything to happen for the fulfillment of His will and design (Prov 16:4). He is the Father of the Son and becomes the intimate Father for all believers (Rom 8:14-17).

God The Son

The Son is the second person of the Trinity. He is eternally begotten of the Father. He is the Logos, or Word of God, through which all of creation was made (John 1:1-3). He set aside his glory and was sent by the Father to incarnate human flesh and come into the world through the virgin birth as Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Luke 1:26-38, 2:5-7).

Jesus was truly God and truly man. He lived with self-imposed human limitations (Matt 4:2), experienced temptations (Matt 4:1) but led a sinless life (2 Cor 5:21). Therefore, He became the “perfect man” for us (1 Pet 2:21-22). He gave Himself up to be sacrificed on a cross to atone for the sins of everyone who would believe in Him for their salvation. His death paid the price we were to pay for our sin and it satisfied God’s wrath for our sin (1 John 4:10). Now, because of His death we can be free from sin (Rom 6:22), have fellowship with God (1 John 1:3), and be called His children (2 Cor 6:18). Three days after His death, Jesus was raised from the dead with a glorified incorruptible body and was seen by His disciples (John 20:1-23). After, He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11) and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for believers as our High Priest (Heb 8:1-6) and Head of the Church (Col 1:18). We believe He will come again to receive His saints and inaugurate His 1000 year reign on earth (Rev 19:11-16, 20:4-6).

God The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He was sent forth by the Father and the Son and now makes his abode on earth to comfort believers (John 14:16), glorify Jesus Christ (John 16:14), and convict the world of sin (John 16:8). He is the constant companion of all believers, indwelling each individual who follows Christ (John 14:17), sanctifying them (1 Pet 1:2), and interceding for them (Rom 8:26-27). His indwelling comes at the moment of salvation and He never leaves the individual (Gal 4:6), sealing them and setting them apart for God, giving assurance to the believer (Eph 1:13-14). At the same time he also baptizes the new believer into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). Throughout a believer’s life one will experience the “filling” of the Spirit which happens many times. We understand this to be when the Spirit empowers believers for specific works for God’s glory (Acts 4:8, Eph 5:18, Ex 31:3, Luke 1:15).

Scripture

We believe that the Holy Bible, (39 books of the Old Testament and 27 Books of the New Testament) are the inspired Word of God and are the only authoritative source of revelation from God. Through the Holy Spirit, God used human authors to reveal Himself to humanity through written scripture. Every word is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Tim
3:16). We believe that The Bible is accurate and without error or contradiction in all that it teaches in its original form. Scripture must not be added to, nor superseded by any tradition or human wisdom (Prov 30:5-6), and it is completely sufficient for guidance in Christian living.

Humanity

We believe that people were created in the image and likeness of God, as a consummation of all creation (Gen 1:26-28). We were created to glorify God and to have fellowship with Him (Psalm 150:6, Isa 43:7). However, through Adam, with his sin of disobedience, all of humanity inherited sinfulness as an intrinsic part of our human nature (Rom 5:12). No one can now have fellowship with God, nor glorify, nor please God in their fallen and sinful state (1 John 1:5-6). Everyone requires God’s forgiveness to have a relationship with Him and live out their true purposes in life (Acts 3:19).

Sin

The word in ancient Hebrew which we now translate as “sin” meant to “miss the mark”, and as such sin is any divergence from the character of God, whether this be an action, a thought, a disposition, or a state of being. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin is always against God and is an affront to His holiness (Rom 8:7-8). We understand two ways of seeing sin in our lives: The first is personal sin, which includes every action, thought, mentality, etc. that does not conform to God’s will or character (Rom 8:6-7).

Salvation

Salvation is the entire work of God by which He saves people from His wrath and eternal damnation, and in turn grants eternal life and fellowship with Him. Salvation is only granted through our faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Rom 3:23-25). Once a person has received salvation from God, he or she can never lose it (2 Tim 1:12, John 10:28).

Election

We believe that due to our sin nature all of humanity is deserving of God’s eternal punishment, and that no person is able to come to God or please God on their own. God, being omniscient, chose before creation individuals onto whom He would shine His grace and grant His salvation. These are known as the elect, and no one will come to God unless they have been called by Him (Eph 1:4-14). However, we also understand that no one who theoretically would want to be saved will be refused due to election.

Regeneration

Regeneration is the work of God in inclining our hearts towards Him and giving us spiritual life (Ezek 36:26-27, 1 Pet 1:23). Regeneration represents the first act in salvation. It is a work of God alone and people are entirely passive in their participation. It is an instantaneous event that precedes a person responding to God’s call of repentance and salvation in faith (Acts 16:14). People cannot respond to God in faith without first being regenerated by Him (John 3:5, John 6:44

Justification

Justification is a one-time event that happens at the moment of salvation through our faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). The divine conviction of our sinfulness has been taken away, and in its place the righteousness of Christ is accounted to us (2 Cor 5:21). We do not become righteous in and of ourselves nor do we become sinless. It is helpful to see justification as a legal proclamation such as a pardon. Now when God the Father looks upon us He no longer sees the stain of our sin the perfect righteousness of His Son.

Sanctification

Sanctification is a lifelong process which begins immediately after justification. This is a work of the Holy Spirit whereby we are conformed and made more like Christ (1 Pet 1:2). This happens through learning as we fellowship with God, gain wisdom from His Holy Scriptures and experience trials in our lives.

Glorification

This future event will happen to each believer during the resurrection (1 Cor 15:51-52). God will raise us from the dead with incorruptible, glorified bodies like Jesus’ when He was resurrected after His crucifixion (Rom 8:17).

The Church

We believe that the Church is the community of all persons who have been and will be saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The church is both invisible (in that as people we cannot know for certain who belongs and who doesn’t (2 Tim 2:19)) and visible. It is the visible body of Christ in the world today (Col 1:15-18, 1 Cor 12:13). The Church represents God and witnesses about Him to the unbelieving world. The purposes and mission of the church are threefold:

To Worship God

Giving God praise, and glory is the ultimate purpose of the Church today, as it is fitting that the creator and author of salvation be praised and glorified (Eph 1:12).

To Make Disciples and Spread The Good News of Salvation

To increase the praise and glory God receives from His creation we ought to bring more people into awareness of Him and His salvation. Jesus commanded His disciples to go out into the unbelieving world and make disciples, teaching them to be obedient to His teachings (Matt 28:19-20). Therefore the Church should look out into the unbelieving world and seek opportunities to tell about God’s salvation and demonstrate His love and power. In doing so the Church actively engages in God’s work of redeeming fallen creation until Jesus returns.

To Build Up and Nurture Believers

In order to be effective in the mission of redemption the Church needs to
nurture and train itself in God’s teachings and God-honouring attitudes and dispositions. God gave each person gifts in order to strengthen and build up other believers (Eph 4:11-13).

The two distinguishing marks of the Church are the faithful preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the proper and faithful administration of the ordinances; baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The Ordinances
Baptism

Baptism is the act by which new believers are publicly admitted to the visible church. This is done by a profession of faith in Jesus’ sacrifice and then the person being fully immersed in water (Matt 28:19-20, Acts 2:41). We believe that baptism in water does not actually confer salvation and is instead a symbolic act demonstrating the person’s earlier baptism by the Holy Spirit which brought them into the fellowship of believers (Acts 10:47).

The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is a ceremony of remembrance of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for our sins. Jesus Himself commanded that we do this in remembrance of Him during His last (Passover) supper with His disciples (Matt 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:17-20). We do not believe that the actual body or blood of Jesus are present in the elements and that they are only symbols of His body and blood, and partakers of the Lord’s Supper do not gain grace from the eating and drinking, but are blessed through the continued remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice.