Statements of Faith
The Holy Bible was written by men but divinely inspired. It is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter. The Scriptures (the Bible) reveal the principles by which God judges us. Therefore, it is and will remain to the end of the world the true centre of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct creeds and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal Being; and the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence or being.
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ he was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature. He identified Himself completely with mankind and was yet without sin. He honoured God’s divine law by His personal obedience and in His death on the cross, which made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven, is now exalted at the right hand of God, and is the One Mediator partaking of the nature of God and of man.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement. He calls men to the Saviour and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism and service.
Man was created by the special act of God, creating man in His own image and making man the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God and fell from his original innocence.
His posterity inherits this sin nature, as well as an environment inclined toward sin. As soon as they are capable of moral action, man’s descendants become transgressors and are therefore under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image and in that Christ died for man. Therefore, every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man. It is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour who, by His own blood, obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification and glorification.
Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit. He convicts of sin, and the sinner responds in repentance toward God and puts his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ based upon principles of His righteousness. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favour with God.
Sanctification is the experience that begins with regeneration. The believer is set apart to God’s purposes and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Election is the gracious purpose of God according to which He regenerates sanctifies and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness and is infinitely wise, holy and unchangeable. God’s gracious election excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation. Their actions grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves. Yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. It observes the two ordinances of Christ (baptism and communion), is committed to His teachings, exercises the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeks to extend the gospel to the ends of the Earth.
This church is an autonomous body operating through democratic processes under the lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privilege of church membership. The Lord’s Supper, or communion, is a symbolic act of obedience. Members of the church partake of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorializing the death of the Redeemer and anticipating His second coming.
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observances. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead. It should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. The day should be marked by refraining from worldly amusements and resting from secular employments, with work of necessity and mercy being the only exceptions.
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly, the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and labour so that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
God in His own time and in His own way will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Jesus Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and dwell forever in Heaven with God.
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavour to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests upon the spiritual necessity of a regenerated life and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence. As such, it should receive, along with the others, the liberal support of churches. An adequate system of Christian schools is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ’s people. In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school college or seminary is limited by pre-eminence of Jesus Christ by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual. All that we have and are is owed to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents and material possessions. They should also recognize these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately and liberally for the advancement of God’s cause on earth.
Christ’s people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine and direct the energies of churches and believers in the most effective manner.
Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. Christian unity, according to the New Testament, is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.
Every Christian is under obligation to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus. The Christian should oppose, in the spirit of Christ, every form of greed, selfishness and vice. He should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the aged, the helpless and the sick. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men in accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ. In addition, they should do everything in their power to put an end to war. The true remedy for war is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations and the practical application of His law of love.
God alone is Lord of the conscience. He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it.
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom, no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others.
Since civil government is ordained by God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends.
The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal. It implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.