What We Believe 2017-10-10T15:29:32+00:00

What We Believe

We believe in

The Christian claim that life has always been about loving God and loving others. But to have a relationship with God, and to receive his help to love others, we need to deal with a problem. None of us is perfect. We all commit wrongs (which the Bible calls sin) which form a barrier between us and God. We need God’s forgiveness. Christianity is unique in believing that God himself came to earth to provide forgiveness for us. In the person of Jesus, God became a man so he could die to take the punishment for the sins of each one of us. What God requires is that we each acknowledge our sinful nature, repent of (turn away from) our sins, and put our faith in Jesus, his Son, then forgiveness, a restored relationship and eternal life with Him will be ours.

In summary, we believe in:

  • the Inspiration and Authority of the Bible as God’s Word;
  • the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit;
  • the death of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as the only sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, which is personally received by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as personal Saviour;
  • the Person of the Holy Spirit living in every believer to teach and guide in the way of serving God;
  • the command for believers to be baptised by immersion in water as declaring their allegiance to the Lord Jesus and as a picture of them now being dead to sin (buried in water) and now raised to walk in a new life;
  • the command for baptised believers to serve God, being added to local church of God fellowship, and in fellowship with other churches of God worldwide; the command to continue steadfastly in ‘the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of the bread and the prayers’.

In more detail, we believe:

GOD

  • In one holy, almighty God, self-existent, and eternally existing in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, without division of nature, essence or being (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Hebrews 1:8-12, Hebrews 9:14; Matthew 28:19)
  • That the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, without ceasing to be God, became man by the Holy Spirit and virgin birth; that He lived a sinless life on earth; that He died at Calvary as a substitute and sacrifice for sinners; that He was buried in and arose from the tomb; that He ascended to heaven and was glorified as a man at God’s right hand; that He is coming again for His own and then to set up His kingdom. (Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:21-22; Matthew 1:20-25; Luke 1:30-35; see also 1 Corinthians 15:1-58)
  • That the Holy Spirit is a divine person who convicts the world of sin; that He is that supernatural agent in our spiritual rebirth in whom all believers are baptised into the Church which is Christ’s Body; that He is the distributor of spiritual gifts to each member for the building up of Christ’s body; that He lives in and seals them until the time of Christ’s return; that He is the divine teacher and helper who guides believers into all truth; that it is the responsibility of all believers to be filled with the Spirit. (John 16:8; 1 Corinthians 11:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30; John 16:13; Ephesians 5:18)

THE BIBLE

  • In the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Old and New Testaments; that they are infallible, inerrant in the original writings, and the final authority for faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:16; John 10:35; Romans 3:1-2; 2 Peter 3:15-16)

SIN AND SALVATION

  • That God created man in His own image and in the state of innocence. Through Adam’s transgression ‘sin entered into the world, and death through sin’ and, consequently, humanity inherited a corrupt nature, being born in sin and under condemnation. As soon as men and women are capable of moral action they become actual transgressors in thought, word and deed. (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5)
  • That salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received only through personal repentance for sin and faith in the person, finished work and atoning blood of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 20:21; Acts 16:31)
  • In the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to everlasting punishment. (John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11-15)
  • That the souls of believers on the Lord Jesus are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord where, in conscious bliss, they await resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)

CHURCH

  • That the scriptural terms “the Church the Body” and “the Church of God” (or “Churches of God”) are not interchangeable, for they do not describe the same people.
  • That ‘Christ’s Church’, known as the body of Christ, is a spiritual organism composed of all believers on Christ, from Pentecost to the Lord’s return to the air, who are all baptised into that body by the Lord Jesus in the Holy Spirit at the time of the new birth. (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
  • That local churches, patterned after the New Testament example, are called ‘churches of God’, and are composed of baptised believers observing all the Lord’s teaching. They visibly manifesting his body, and have responsibility to provide for the fellowship and edification of believers and to propagate the gospel in all the world. (1 Corinthians 1:1-2; Galatians 1:2; Romans 15:14; 1 Thessalonians 1:1,8)
  • That a major concern of the Holy Spirit is the promotion of unity among Christian disciples, and that it was to this end that God delivered a body of teaching (referred to in the New Testament as ‘the Faith’, or ‘the apostles teaching’) which, when consistently held, results in a practical, observable unity. (Philippians 1:27-2:2; Ephesians 4:1-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14 Romans 6:17; Jude 1:3)
  • That God still desires such a visible unity among Christians today; this was the expressed longing of the Lord Jesus on the night before he died. Indeed, it was a key reason for His death. The Psalms declare how pleasant it is when God’s people ‘dwell together’. This ‘dwelling together’ should be in the place of God’s choosing; where He Himself dwells on earth. (Note the principle of Deuteronomy 12:5; Psalm 132:13-14; Ephesians 2:19-22; John 17:11,21,22,23; Psalm 133:1-3)
  • That, accordingly, in succession to the tabernacle and temple of the Old Covenant, God’s design now is for a spiritual house – ‘a dwelling of God in the Spirit’ – composed of believers obedient to God’s prescription for collective worship and service. (Ephesians 2:22)
  • That there’s a plurality to be seen in this unity, as shown by ‘the churches of God’ in various New Testament geographical localities; and that there’s a unity in this plurality, as shown by overall descriptions like ‘the little flock’, ‘a holy nation’, ‘the kingdom of God’, a ‘holy’ and ‘royal’ ‘priesthood’. (Luke 12:32; 1 Peter 2:4-9)
  • That the Holy Spirit appoints elders (also described as overseers) in every place where a church of God is planted, and that their close fellowship with similar elders everywhere in churches of God upholds the human responsibility for preserving the unity God desires. (Titus 1:5; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4, Acts 15)
  • That it is relative to all this that the Bible teaches the privilege and united responsibility of disciples in ‘the fellowship’ to come together ‘in church’ to ‘break bread’ weekly in remembrance of the Lord Jesus, accessing heaven in a spiritual sense in their worship as they do. (Acts 2:42; Matthew 26:26; 1 Corinthians 11:17,18,26; Hebrews 10:19)
  • That such an awesome privilege necessitates by its very nature a separation from all that’s contrary to the revealed will of God. The Bible itself demonstrates that it’s possible sadly for an erring disciple to forfeit his/her place within this unity where God dwells and is collectively worshipped – but that even this serious loss does not bring into jeopardy his/her eternal security; as someone forever incorporated within the indestructible unity of the Church the Body of Christ itself. (2 Timothy 2:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14; John 10:28; Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

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