In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
All Scripture is breathed out by God…
2 Timothy 3:16
The books of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) are the full record of God’s written word to all peoples that transcends all ages and cultures, eternally lasting forever (Gen 12:3; Isaiah 40:6-8; Matt. 24:35; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 10:12; Gal 3:28; Rev 5:9; Rev 7:9). The New Testament scriptures contain the good news Gospel message of God’s plan to rescue us from our broken state, while restoring an abundant life right now and for all eternity to anyone who wants to accept this free gift from God. The Gospel restores life (as God had always intended in the beginning) to every believer in the body of Christ. The New Testament is applicable to the healthy functioning of every New Testament local church. The Old Testament unfolds God’s creative power, His plan for the people of Israel, and prophetic insights that foreshadow the coming Messiah, which is fulfilled and culminates in God-with-us, the man Christ Jesus. While communicating from their own styles and experiences, various men of God, were moved by the Spirit of God to speak specifically God’s very own words. These words are factually and historically accurate as has been noted by secular historians at the time they were recorded and also by present-day archeological discoveries of original texts. However, it is God’s own authority that makes the scriptures completely reliable and trustworthy for His ordinances and principles to be applied as sufficient for all of life. (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21).
There is one living and true God who created all things, created all peoples, and continues to hold all things together (Gen 1:27; Deut 10:17; Hebrews 2:10; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16-17), universal in His dominion and eternally existing (Daniel 7:14; Isaiah 57:15) in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19–20; 1 Peter 1:2). Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemption of humankind, has precisely the same nature, attributes, and being, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honour and obedience (John 1:1–4; Acts 5:3–4).
GOD THE FATHER
God the Father created all things in six literal days for His glory according to His own will (Revelation 4:11), through His Son, Jesus Christ. He upholds all things by the Word of His power and grace, exercising sovereign headship over all creation, providence, and redemption of humankind (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).
GOD THE SON
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, moved by love in accordance with the will of the Father, took on human flesh (John 1:1, 14, 18). Conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary who humbly rejoiced in her personal Lord, Saviour and Master (Luke 46-48) along with all future generations of sinners who rest with rejoicing in the Saviour of the World. He, being fully God and fully man (John 14:8–9), lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place accomplishing redemption for all who place their faith in Him. He rose again visibly and bodily from the dead, as witnessed by over 500 people with multiple eyewitness records (Acts 2:31-32; Acts 10:39-41; 1 Cor. 15:3-8). This resurrection is the evidence that Jesus was exactly who He said He was, God manifest in the flesh.
GOD THE SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit, in all He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He makes people aware of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He draws people to repentance and faith, and once a person accepts Christ’s forgiveness and peace, they are imparted with new spiritual life, bringing that person into union with Christ and the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, permanently indwells at the moment of salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11–12; Romans 8:9–17; 12:4–8; 1 Cor. 3:16; 12:4-5, 11–13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 2:1–4; 2 Cor. 12:12).
God created mankind — male and female — in His own image and likeness, originally free of sin, to glorify God and enjoy His fellowship. Tempted by Satan, Adam and Eve freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind. All human beings, therefore, are broken by sin through inheritance and by choice. Alienated from God without defense or excuse, and subject to God’s righteous wrath, all of mankind is in a desperate situation and have fallen short of the glory of God (Genesis 3:1–6; Romans 3:10–23; Romans 1:18, 32). Yet God did not abandon us as He rightly could have. Two of God’s defining characteristics, mercy and grace, are crucial to establishing relationship with mankind (1 Peter 1:3; Titus 2:11). He made it possible not only to withhold judgement from us by placing the guilt and judgement of our sin upon Christ instead, but also for us to know the fullness of humanity again, to really be alive as He had always intended. He devised a plan to both free us from the curse of our sin, AND to restore what He did not take away. (See “SALVATION” next.)
The Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitution for us in our place. This salvation is only possible because of the love that Jesus had for us that spared nothing to rescue us. Before Creation, God chose to gather a collection of people from all nations of any who were willing to receive His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 5:9; Rev. 15:4; Rev. 21:3). His death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone, by His grace alone. Upon salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever. Genuine faith continues in humility, combined with confidence in Christ’s ability working through the believer to serve others which is serving God himself (Matt. 25:40). This is only by transformed obedience in God’s power, and in a love for Jesus, eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Romans 8:37–39; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 12:13).
Once faith (confidence) has been placed in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, the believer is instantly made part of the body of Christ, the one universal Church (1 Cor. 3:9), of which Jesus Christ is the foundation and Head (1 Cor. 3:11, Col. 1:18, 2:19). Scripture commands believers to gather locally in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, the ordinances of believer’s baptism (Matt. 28:19 and see below) and remembering the Lord in the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:24), specifically His body which was given to us on the cross — in the breaking of bread (Luke 22:19 and see below) — and the symbol of the new agreement between us and God, made possible through His blood which He shed for us — in the communion of His cup (Luke 22:20), in service to one another in the local body of Christ through the development and use of spiritual gifts, talents and experiences of each member, and the outreach to all peoples both locally and to the world to make disciples (Ephesians 1:22–23; Acts 2:42–46; 1 Cor. 14:26; Matt. 28:18–20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is a local expression of the Church under the care of a plurality of elders. Those who are gathered to the local church, are to work together, loving and caring for one another in unity as we are one body, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
BAPTISM AND BREAKING OF BREAD
Christian believer’s baptism is a public declaration of salvation in Christ, identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by complete immersion in water, as soon as possible after conversion (Acts 8:35-39). Biblical baptism is not pending any other pre-conditions or requirements, beyond what the word of God says is the simple desire to have A) a new life turned over to Christ, and then B) to be baptised (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3–6). “If you believe, you may be baptized”. It is a symbolic public identification with Christ, and has no saving virtue by itself, nor is it required for salvation. As for the Lord’s Supper (or ‘breaking of bread’) it is the frequent united commemoration (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:26) and fellowship of believers in Christ’s death until He returns, and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:23–29). With great desire to be with His disciples before His death, the Lord expresses the significance of the symbolism in the bread, as His body which is given for us and the wine symbolizes the new covenant between us and God that Christ keeps for us, sealed by His own blood that He shed for us. The Lord gave this ordinance for all believers to follow, with compassion, knowing our weakness and tendency to forget (“Do this in remembrance of me”) and knowing the blessing it will be to those who obey this simple commandment.
The desire and practice of every believer and local church fellowship is to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe the primary focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen, and reproduce Biblically-based New Testament churches, which will then plant churches that plant churches (ripple effect) for future generations and God’s Glory (Matt. 28:18–20).
WHAT WE LOOK FORWARD TO
Believers, look forward to the glorious pre-millennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed hope of His return has vital implications on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:1–18). The bodily resurrection of both the saved (believers in Jesus Christ) to reign with Christ forevermore, and the lost who will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell and the lake of fire. The saved out of every nation will be raised to eternal joy, inheriting, resting, praising, singing, communing, serving, worshipping, reigning and judging in the presence of and in harmony with the Lamb (Christ) and the three-person-in-one God-head (Dan 7:18; Matt 25:34; Luke 23:43; 1 Cor. 6:3; 2 Tim 2:12; Heb 4:9; Rev 1:6; Rev 6:11; Rev 7:9; Rev. 14:13; Rev 15:3-5; Rev 22:3).