We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original autographs, infallible, and God- breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13).
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—co- eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1–2, 14; Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished ¬our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry as Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1–2). We believe Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8–11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; man is totally depraved and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3, 12).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8–10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–19).
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37–40; 10:27–30; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4–8; 1 Peter 1:5). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11–15).
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsibility to attempt to develop their sovereignly given spiritual gift(s). The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential, nor prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are an indication of deep spiritual experience (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 13; Ephesians 4:7–8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14, 15). We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him (Romans 12:1–8; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 4:10–11).
We believe that the church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25–27; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; 2 Corinthians 11:2). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1–3; Titus 1:5–11). We believe in the autonomy of the local churches, free of any external authority and control (Acts 13:1–4; 15:19–31; 20:28; Romans 16:1,4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:4–7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1–4). We recognize believer’s baptism and the Lord’s supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26).
We believe the gospel is the good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, namely our forgiveness from sin and complete justification before God; this gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom, and the consummation of his purpose for all creation in the new heavens and new earth.
This gospel is centered in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church, and is our only hope for eternal life; this gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message.
This Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.
The salvation offered in this gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved.
(Mark 1:1; Luke 24:46-47; John 3:16-18; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:2; 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 9:13; Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 1: 7-10; Colossians 1: 19-20; 2 Timothy 1:8-14; 2 Peter 3: 11-13 Jude 3-4; Revelation 21-22)
We affirm that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will.
We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe.
We also believe that these, the elect of God whom he gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith.
We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes his ordained ends.
(John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 13:48; 16:30-31; Romans 3-4; 8:1-17,31-39; 9:1-23; 10:8-10; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7,9)
WE RECOGNISE & REST UPON THE NECESSITY OF THE EMPOWERING PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR ALL OF LIFE & MINISTRY
The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ; he also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth).
The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might live in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures.
The model for our reliance upon the Spirit and our experience of his indwelling and empowering presence is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who was filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent upon his power for the performance of miracles, the preaching of the kingdom of God, and all other dimensions of his earthly ministry.
The Holy Spirit who indwelt and empowered Christ in like manner indwells and empowers us through spiritual gifts he has bestowed for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. Although there are different understandings in our network of the nature and function of these gifts, we all recognize that they are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry and are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.
(Matthew 3:11; 12:28; Luke 4:1, 14; 5:17; 10:21; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15, 34; 14:12; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 2:14-21; 4:29-30; 10:38; Romans 8:9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-13; 12:28-31; 14:1-33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18)
WE ARE DEEPLY COMMITTED TO THE FUNDAMENTAL SPIRITUAL & MORAL EQUALITY OF MALE & FEMALE, & TO MEN AS RESPONSIBLE SERVANT-LEADERS IN THE HOME & CHURCH
Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilise their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value and are different by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women have different though complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church; in particular with reference to Eldership. These role distinctions are God’s grace to man and woman and are to be protected, preserved and practiced for His glory and our joy.
(Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18; Acts 18:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
WE EMBRACE A MISSIONARY UNDERSTANDING OF THE LOCAL CHURCH AND ITS ROLE AS THE PRIMARY MEANS BY WHICH GOD CHOOSES TO ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH
The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church.
We are called to make Christ known through the gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring his lordship to bear on every dimension of life.
The primary way we fulfill this mission is through the planting of churches that plant churches and the training of their leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of those churches God enables us to plant around the world.
We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the gospel, to engage it boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ.
(Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5-25; 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19; 24:46-47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10; 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)
Because we do things that regular folk do, and generally being culturally liberal, we frequently get questions about emerging theological controversies. To help clarify our beliefs we believe it may also be helpful to declare what we do not believe. In stating what we are not, we do not seek to attack those who disagree with us, but rather distinguish ourselves so that people considering joining us are aware of who we are, as well as who we are not.
- We are not liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place, and people.
- We are not fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.
- We are not isolationists and seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in planting church-planting churches.
- We are not hyper-Calvinists who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelize, and do good works because we believe that the sovereign plan of God is accomplished through us, His people.
- We are not eschatological Theonomists and believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus Second Coming are unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return are unclear to us.
- We are not Open Theists and believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things.
- We are not religious relativists and do believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
- We are not nationalists seeking to simply improve one nation but instead ambassadors of the King of Kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of His kingdom to all nations of the earth.
- We are not moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but instead evangelists laboring that people would become new creations in Christ.
- We are not relativists and do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy, and other forms of revelation.
- We are not Universalists and do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.
- We are not naturalists and do believe that Satan and demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God.
- We are not rationalists and do believe that not everything can be known but that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things.
- We are not gender progressive and do believe that God reveals Himself as a Father and is to be honoured by the names He reveals to us without apology.
- We are not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ and do believe He died as a substitute for the sins of His people in selfless love.
- We are not ashamed and do proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant while also saving multitudes with ears to hear good news.
- We are not polemicists who believe that it is our task to combat every false teaching but are passionate about preserving the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.