Statement of Faith
Our intention is to uphold and obey Biblical standards in personal and corporate life. We believe this Statement of Belief to be an expression and pattern of the New Testament Church. It is by no means all-inclusive, but rather a summary of beliefs we hold dear. Many of the doctrines and practices outlined below are under attack by society in general as well as by many who call themselves followers of Christ.
The authority of the Church will rest alone in the head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ. We hold to the principle that Christians are to be noticeably separate and distinct members of our larger society and that personal Christianity in every area of life and conduct will be a telling element in that separation.
GOD AND HIS ATTRIBUTES
We believe in the Almighty God, who is omnipotent, omniscient and unchanging, the Eternal Spirit who is infinite in His Holiness, love, righteousness, truth, goodness and mercy. This One and only God has revealed Himself as existing eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, a God of providence and sovereignty, the Author of our salvation through Jesus Christ!
We believe in Jesus Christ the divine Son of God who was with the Father from all eternity, who for our salvation took upon Himself unfallen human nature and who by His sacrificial death and the subsequent resurrection conquered the forces of sin and Satan and atoned for the sins of mankind. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and in the shedding of His blood on the cross fulfilled God’s redemptive purpose. He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now as High Priest is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for the saints. He is now the Lord and Saviour of all true believers, and at His return He will be the judge of the living and the dead. We believe that while Jesus was here, He was fully God and fully man, according to the Scriptures.
The Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, that He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; indwells and comforts believers who obey God, guides them into all truth, empowers them, bestows certain gifts upon them for service as He wills, and enables them to live lives of righteousness.
Psalm 139:7-12; John 1:18; 3:16; 14:26; Acts 5:32; Romans 8:1-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 1:2.
We believe that the God of creation and redemption has revealed Himself and His will for men of all time in the Holy Scriptures. His supreme and final revelation is in His Incarnate Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the complete and word-for-word inspiration of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament as the Word of God, that the Bible is authentic in its matter, authoritative in its counsels, inerrant in its original writings, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Deuteronomy 18:18; Psalm 19; Luke 24:27, 44; John 1:1-16; 14:10, 16:13, 17:8, 20:31; Romans 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 1:1-2, 8:6-7; 1 John 1:1-5.
GOD’S CREATION AND PROVIDENCE.
We believe the Genesis account of creation is a historical fact and literally true, that in the beginning God created (in 6 literal days) all things by His Son, that God upholds all things, and that all things were created for His pleasure. We believe God created man in His own image with a free will, moral character, a superior intellect, and a spiritual nature that sets him apart from the animal creation.
Genesis 1:1, 36-27; Psalm 91:1, 139:7-12; Isaiah 41:10, 51:16; Matthew 10:29; John 1:3; Romans 8:28; Colossians 1:16-17; James 5:16.
MAN AND HIS SIN.
We believe that God created man and woman, sinless and holy, by an immediate act. Although all have inherited a sinful nature because of the sin of Adam and Eve, yet not all are guilty of their original act of disobedience. Those who perish eternally do so only because of their own sin. A most grievous sin is the refusal to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. During the age of innocence, children are acceptable to God. Jesus Christ Himself assured us that children are in the Kingdom of God.
Genesis 1:27, 31, 3:1-19; Matthew 18:1-14; Luke 18:16; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:10.
CHRIST, THE SAVIOUR FROM SIN.
We believe that there is only one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. The purpose of the incarnation of God’s eternal Son is to redeem mankind form sin and death, to reconcile all people to God and to destroy the power and works of the devil.
Luke 19:10; John 1:1; Acts 2:33; Romans 5:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:15; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-15, 4:15, 7:11.
SALVATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.
We believe that one is saved by the grace of God and not by character, law, good works, or ceremonies. The merits of the death and the resurrection of Christ are adequate for the salvation of all, offered to all, and intended for all. Man receives salvation only by faith in Christ. Those who repent and believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord are born again, adopted into the family of God, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
John 3:16, 10:27-29; Romans 4; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 10:26; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:8-10, 5:13; Jude 24.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
We believe a ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin and lead to salvation through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit transforms believers into the spiritual image of Jesus Christ if they yield to Him and obey His Word. John 16:7-15; Acts 1:8, 2:1-21; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19, 12:11-13; Galatians 5:22-24; Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:30.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
We believe that Christ established His church when He poured out His spirit on the day of Pentecost. We believe that the church is the body of Christ. It is composed of all those who through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have been born again and have been baptised by one Spirit into one body.
We believe the church is a body of believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is also a loving Fellowship concerned for the spiritual and material welfare of one another. This means helping the erring one, sharing generously, and being willing to give and receive counsel.
The church as the body of Christ gathers for worship, for fellowship, for the observance of the ordinances and building up of the body. Having heard and obeyed the word of God, the church has the duty to speak authoritatively regarding moral and spiritual issues.
Ceremonies and Practices.
We believe the Lord Jesus and his Apostles instituted ceremonies and practices for the church of all time to observe as expressions of divine truth. The apostolic Church literally observed the practices of baptism with water, the Lord’s Supper, the washing of the saint’s feet, the holy kiss, the veiling of Christian women, the anointing of the sick with oil and Christian marriage.
Ever since the Lord Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week, the Christian community has observed the first day of the week in appropriate worship, rest, and Christian service.
Matthew 5:13-14, 23-24, 16:19, 18:15-18, 28:19-20; Acts 6:6, 15:1-29; Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 5:11-13; 2 Corinthians 2:6-11, 3:12, 12:9; Galatians 3:6-9, 6:1; Ephesians 2:11-22, 4:13; 1 Timothy 4:14, 5:20, 6:6; James 2:14-17, 5:14-16 and 1 Peter 2:9.
THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD.
We believe Jesus entrusted the church with the stewardship of the Gospel and promised the power of the Holy Spirit for the work of missions and evangelism. While the church’s primary interest is in the salvation and spiritual welfare of men, she should also minister to those who are in physical, social, and emotional need.
Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 6:56; Romans 1:16, 8:23; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; Philippians 4:3.
THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH.
We believe Christ authorised the appointment of men as Elders for the congregations, to expound the word of God, to feed the flock, to serve as leaders, to see that the ordinances are observed, to exercise scriptural church discipline, and to function as servant-leaders of the church. These leaders are to be accountable both to God and to the people whom they serve.
Matthew 23:8, 28:19; Acts 15:6, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 9:14; Ephesians 4:11-12; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:14; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:2-3.
We believe water baptism is a public declaration of a voluntary commitment to follow Christ in a life of faithful discipleship. It is also an ordinance of Christ which symbolises the divine cleansing from sin and its guilt, identification with Christ in death and resurrection, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a public testimony of the repentant sinner’s change of standing before God and a means of identifying himself both as a follower of Christ and as one with the people of God. Only believers (not infants) are to be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:16-21, 22:16; Romans 6:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21.
THE LORD’S SUPPER.
We believe the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ to establish the new covenant. We recognise the bread and the cup as symbols that remind us of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Those who partake of these emblems remember the suffering of Christ, show a readiness for Christ’s return, and demonstrate the fellowship and unity of the brotherhood. Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 5:13, 10:16-17, 11:24-26; Hebrews 10:26.
SYMBOLS OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERHOOD.
We believe the washing of the saint’s feet is an ordinance instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ to be observed by His followers. The holy kiss and the right hand of fellowship are also New Testament symbols of Christian love and acceptance in the church of Christ. Luke 22:24; John 13:1-17; Romans 16:16; Galatians 2:9; 1 Timothy 5:1
SYMBOLS OF CHRISTIAN ORDER.
We believe that in the creation God fitted man and woman for different functions. Man has been given a role as leader and provider; woman is especially fitted for nurture and service. We believe that, in their relation to the Lord, men and women are equal, for in Christ there is neither male nor female. Being in Christ does not nullify the natural endowments, even in the home or in the church. The New Testament symbols of man’s headship are his short hair and uncovered head while praying or prophesying, and the symbol of the woman’s role are her naturally long hair and her veiled (covered) head. The acceptance by both men and women of God’s order ensures their finding their respective roles in which they can most fruitfully and happily serve the Lord. Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28.
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME.
We believe that at the creation, God instituted the marriage of one man with one woman. It is God’s will that the marriage be monogamous, holy and indissoluble. In God’s eyes only death can break the marriage covenant. Christians should marry only in the Lord. God recognizes all first marriages where vows have mutually been made by a single man and a single woman. All other unions are outside the will of God. We further believe that God forbids divorce or marriages with divorced persons having former companions still living. Marriage by or with such persons is the forming of an adulterous relationship.
We believe that all sexual practices between opposite sexes outside of the marriage bond and all sexual practices between persons of the same sex are in direct violation of the Word of God.
Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24; Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:1-12; Ephesians 6:1, 4.
We believe and confess the importance of the godly home in the promotion of moral purity and faith. It is a haven of mutual love and godliness, a shelter from the corruption of society. The home should be ordered according to the dictates of Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3.
We believe that godly parents who see their responsibility will rear faithful children not accused of riot or unruliness. Titus 1:6; 2 Timothy 3:14-15.
Fathers must assume final responsibility for the direction of worship, for decisions, and the discipline of the children. 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 3:4; Ephesians 6:4.
Wives are submissive and subordinate, demonstrating their chaste conversation (behaviour) of godliness. Ephesians 5:22; 1 Timothy 5:13-14; 1 Peter 3:1-6.
Children are to be in subjection and obedient to their parents with all gravity.
Ephesians 6:1; 1 Timothy 3:4-5.
DISCIPLESHIP AND NON-CONFORMITY.
We believe that all followers of Christ are called with a holy calling to a life of separation from the world and its follies, its sinful practices and methods. Followers of Christ recognise the Lordship of Christ. They seek for holiness of heart, life, and speech, and refuse any unequal yoke with unbelievers. They regard their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts.
Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 9:23-26; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:12, 19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Galatians 5:22-24: Ephesians 4:20-32; Colossians 1:13; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4.
We believe and confess that God’s people should regulate their appearance by clear scriptural principles.
- Gospel order and purity requires neatness and cleanliness. Matthew 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; Revelation 19:8.
- Clothing and personal appearance shall maintain distinction between the sexes. Mark 10:6; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 11:4-5, 14-15.
- Brethren and sisters wear modest apparel which covers and conceals the body. 1 Timothy 2:8-9.
- Notice how God clothes the body. Mark 16:5; Revelations 1:13.
- Sisters are recommended to wear a double layer garment to conceal the form of the body. Thus modesty without question is the expression.
- Clothing shall exemplify gospel simplicity and be free of all evidence of pride, display, or adornment. 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Peter 3:3; 1 John 2:16.
- The Bible forbids the wearing of gold, pearls, or costly array. 1 Timothy 2:9.
- Further, the Bible forbids following the changing fashions of the world. Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Titus 2:11, 12; 1 Peter 1:14.
We believe that it is a major Christian obligation to be strictly truthful and transparent in life and doctrine with no secrecy or hypocrisy. Because of the limitations of human beings and the obligations to always speak the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ has forbidden His followers the use of any and all oaths. In legal matters, we therefore simply affirm the truth.
Matthew 5:33-37, 23:7-10, 16-22; John 18:20; Acts 4:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 7:1; James 5:
LOVE AND NONRESISTANCE.
We believe it is the will of God for His children to express divine love in all human relationships. The teaching of Jesus requires His disciples to renounce all violence in human relations. We believe this applies to every area of life, to personal injustices, to situations in which people commonly resort to litigation, to industrial strife, and to international tensions and wars.
As non-resistant Christians we cannot become involved in any situation of office which violates the New Testament principles of peace and non-resistance. Matthew 5:38-48; John 18:36; Romans 5:5, 12:18-21; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8; 2 Corinthians 10:3-4; James 2:8; 1 Peter 2:23, 4:1.
THE CHRISTIAN AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
We believe that the civil government is ordained of God to maintain law and order in society. We seek to obey the New Testament commands to render honour to the civil authorities, to pay our taxes, to obey all the laws which do not come into conflict with the higher law of God, and to pray for our rulers. Acts 4:19, 5:29: Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 1:20-22, 5:23; 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
THE FINAL CONSUMMATION.
We believe that the eternal sovereign God, who created all things and upholds all things by the word of His power, in the fullness of time, will gather together all things in Christ. As commanded by Christ and His Apostles, we believe the true church in the present age is to witness to the hope of the coming age ushered in by the glorious personal return of Jesus Christ. Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:34, 41; Mark 9:43, 48; Luke 16:22-23; John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 15:24, 35-38; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to 5:4; 1 Peter 1:4; 2 Peter 3:3-13; Revelation 15:3, 21:4, 22:3.