STATEMENT OF FAITH AND STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
Statement of faith
- In the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament (however, we now live under grace and not the law), in their original writings, as fully inspired of God, and accept them as the final authority for faith and life.
- In one triune God eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- That Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true Man.
- That God created Man in His own image; that Man sinned and thereby incurred the penalty of death, physical and spiritual; and that all human beings inherit a sinful nature; which results (this applies to those who have reached the age of moral responsibility) in actual transgression, involving personal guilt.
- That Christ died for our sins, a substitutionary sacrifice, according to the Scriptures, and that all who believe in Him are justified (just as if they never sinned) because of His shed blood.
- In the bodily Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into Heaven, and His present life as our High Priest and Advocate.
- In the imminent and personal Return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- That all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.
- In the resurrection both of the just and the unjust, the eternal blessedness of the redeemed, and the eternal banishment of those who have rejected the free offer of salvation.
- That the one true church is the whole company of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit; that the church on Earth should take its character from this conception of the church spiritual, and therefore that the new birth and personal confession of Christ are essentials of church membership.
Statement of principles
- In the direct Lordship of Christ over every believer and over the church. By this we understand that Christ exercises His authority over the believer and the church directly, without delegating it to another.
- In the church as the whole company of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The church, being a manifestation of the universal church, is a community of believers in a particular place where the Word of God is preached and the ordinances of Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are observed. It is fully autonomous and remains so notwithstanding responsibilities it may accept by voluntary association.
- In the Believer’s Baptism as an act of obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ and a sign of personal repentance, faith and regeneration; it consists of the full immersion in water into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- In the congregational principle, namely that each member has the privilege and responsibility to use his / her unique gifts, talents and abilities to participate fully in the life of the church. We recognise that God gifts His church with Overseers (who are called Pastors or Elders) whose primary function is to lead in a spirit of servanthood, to equip and provide spiritual oversight, and Deacons whose primary function is to facilitate the smooth functioning of the church. This principle further recognises that each member should participate in the appointment of the church’s leaders, and that a constituted church meeting, subject to the direct Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture, is the highest court of authority for the church.
- In the priesthood (the order of Melchizedek) of all believers, by which we understand that each Christian has direct access to God through Christ our High Priest, and shares with Him in His work of reconciliation. This involves intercession, worship, faithful service and bearing witness to Jesus Christ (the Great Commission), even to the ends of the Earth.
- In the principle of religious liberty, namely, that no individual should be coerced either by the State or by any secular, ecclesiastical or religious group in matters of faith. The right of private conscience is to be respected. For each believer this means the right to interpret the Scriptures responsibly, and to act in the light of his / her conscience.
- In the principle of separation of church and State in that, in the providence of God, the two differ in their respective natures and functions. The church is not to be identified with the State, nor is it, in its faith or practice, to be directed or controlled by the State. The State is responsible for administering justice, ensuring an orderly community, and promoting the welfare of its citizens. The church is responsible for preaching the Gospel (the Good News), and for demonstrating and making known God’s perfect sovereign will, timing and love for all Mankind.