Our Christian doctrine matters! Everything we do has its basis in what we believe. And, if we do not define what we believe, then we have no way of defining what we don’t believe. With these things in mind, this is my personal statement of faith.
* The canonical books of the Bible are the absolutely authoritative Word of God, and as such are the sole rule for Christian life and faith.
* There is one God, almighty, infinite, eternal and omniscient, the creator and sustainer of all things, the only true Lord and Judge of all creation.
* The Godhead is expressed in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all equal in eternal authority and power but different in function.
* God the Son became fully man in the person of Jesus Christ, whilst remaining also fully God; that He was conceived miraculously by the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowing the virgin, Mary; that He lived a sinless life during which He performed all the miracles attributed to Him in the Gospels and many more; that He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died and was buried, but rose on the third day in victory over sin and death; and that He ascended to Heaven where He now reigns and intercedes on man’s behalf.
* Although God originally created man sinless, our original parents fell from grace by deliberately disobeying God, and then passed on their new sin nature to all their descendants. Since that time man’s sin, both original and personal, has placed every human being in a position from which it is impossible, by human effort or will, to either please God or return to a relationship with Him. God’s just sentence against sinful man was eternal punishment in hell.
* However, in God’s love He chose to redeem mankind through the death of Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in His own body on the cross and shed His blood so that we might be able to receive the gift of eternal life.
* Salvation, therefore, is not attained through man’s effort or will, but is a free gift received through faith and trust in and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.
* When a person repents of sin and places his or her faith and trust in Jesus Christ, that person is “born again” and the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, comes to live within him/her and to make it possible for him/her to live as God wants.
* The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force, but a real personal being with all the attributes of personality (intellect, emotion and will) and all the attributes of the Godhead.
* There is a further experience of the Holy Spirit available to all Christians. Known variously as the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”, the “Release of the Holy Spirit”, the “Infilling of the Holy Spirit” or other similar terms, it is designed to equip the Christian for service and witness.
* The church, the Body of Christ, consists not of any one denomination or group, but of all who have been redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who are therefore one in Him, regardless of what differences there may be between them.
* In the fullness of time Jesus Christ will return in glory to establish His millennial kingdom on earth, after which He will judge all people. The redeemed will enter an eternity of joy with Him, whilst the unrepentant will be cast into an eternity of torment in hell.
* Before the personal, physical return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of Lords, His church will come to a place in which it will be the visible manifestation of the King on earth, fully and truthfully representing Him in holiness and righteousness, in love and compassion, in power and authority, in mercy and grace, and declaring His glory not just in words but by its very existence, thus preparing the way for His personal return.
* The enemy of mankind is Satan, who is a real spiritual being not merely a force of evil. Created by God as a holy angel, he rebelled and was cast out of heaven, taking a third of the angels with him. From the beginning he has sought to destroy mankind, luring our first parents into sin and continuing to do so with every person born since. His end will be to be thrown into the lake of fire, where he will be tormented forever.
* The ordinance of baptism, whilst not essential for salvation, is commanded by the Lord as public testimony of one’s salvation. It is for those who have reached an age of understanding, and have personally repented of their sin and received Christ by faith as their Saviour and Lord, and where at all possible should be administered by full
* The Lord’s Supper was given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples to remind them of His sacrifice on their behalf. We should partake of this beautiful ordinance as often as possible.