We believe, Teach and Confess
We believe, teach and confess that there is one God (Dt. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4), in three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28.19; Mk. 1:9-11). Each person is of one and the same divine essence and is equal in power and majesty. This teaching is called the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Though it cannot be fully comprehended, it is how God has revealed Himself in the Bible. We reject the notion that God is in all things (pantheism), that God is three “gods”, and that He is so utterly unified within Himself that it is impossible to have a personal relationship with Him.
THE HOLY BIBLE
We believe, teach and confess that the Holy Scriptures, as contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in all matters to which they speak whether spiritual, moral, historical, geographical, or scientific (2 Tim. 3:16). These externally revealed words and sentences of God serve as the only rule and norm for all questions of faith and life. God has given the Scriptures to us to lead us to salvation in our Saviour Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:20). Because they alone are the Word of God, all teaching must be based on them alone. Therefore, We reject the following teachings: that the Bible merely “contains” the Word of God; that the moral precepts laid down in the Bible were “culturally conditioned” and thus not binding for modern times; that God gives “continuing revelation”; and that Scripture alone is inadequate for dealing with personal problems or theological teachings.
We believe teach and confess that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24 hour days. We believe this doctrine of creation to serve as a beginning point for any relationship with God. It is necessary to understand that God is our Creator and we are the creatures He has made. Specifically, we affirm that we are created in the image of God and, as such, we are clearly distinct from the other animals. Therefore, We reject the theory of evolution as both unbiblical and unscientific. We do not accept the idea that man is currently and simply the highest form of animal and that our existence can be attributed to an unobserved,undemonstrated accident.
OUR SIN AND NEED FOR FORGIVENESS
We believe, teach and confess that Adam and Eve were real historical people and were originally created without any sin. However, after the fall into sin (Gen. 3), all people have been born sinful (Rom. 5:12), and we daily sin (Rom. 3:23). There is nothing that we ourselves can do to free ourselves from the bondage of our sin (Rom. 5:6). We are all sinners, who deserve God’s punishment. The 10 Commandments show us how we have failed to live up to God’s standard. Therefore, We reject the beliefs that the account of the fall in the Book of Genesis is an “ancient myth” or is merely symbolic; that infants are born innocent and remain in that state until they reach an “age of accountability;” and that mankind is evolving to a higher level of perfection.
SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE
We believe, teach and confess that God’s Law shows us our sin, the Gospel shows that God sent His Son to save us from our sin. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was born of the Virgin Mary. He is both true God and true man in one person (Col. 2:10). He saved us first by fulfilling God’s Law perfectly in our place (Heb. 7:26, 27), and then by offering His perfect life as the payment of our sins on the cross (Is. 53:6; 2 Cor. 5:21). On Easter morning Christ physically rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:17). Christ’s resurrection assures us of eternal life with Him in heaven (1 Cor. 15:20). Christ accomplished the salvation of the whole world on the cross, but this salvation is received only through faith in Him as our Saviour (Acts 10:43). We are not saved because of any of our works. Salvation is an undeserved gift of God through faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Eph. 2:8, 9). Even faith is not a work, but a gift given by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3). Likewise, We believe, teach and confess that we are justified before God only because of the substitutionary death and victorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the central teaching of the Bible and all of the Bible must be interpreted in the light of this central truth. Just as it was at the time of the Reformation in Europe, it is still true today that we believe in faith alone which apprehends salvation through Christ’s suffering and death; in grace alone, by which we received God’s undeserved love; in scripture alone, which is the only revelation of God’s will in our lives and for our salvation. Therefore, We reject any notion that people may be saved without faith in Jesus Christ, or that salvation may be obtained through any kind or amount of human effort. We reject the mistaken idea that Jesus was merely one “prophet” among others who have come to enlighten mankind or that He was only another “great teacher”. We also reject any attempt on the part of sinful people to “earn” or “deserve” God’s love which is an incredible insult to the sacrifice of His Son; that salvation is a result of any act or cooperation of the human will, and that it is possible for unbelieving humanity to “decide” to believe.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE MEANS OF GRACE
We believe, teach and confess that the third person of the Holy Trinity is the Holy Spirit. Through God’s grace in Christ, the Spirit enters us at the time of our Baptism or through the work of the Spirit working through the Bible on human hearts and minds. In the lives of all believers, it is the Holy Spirit who motivates and empowers us to walk according to God’s will and to please Him with our behaviour. We acknowledge that the Holy Spirit uses certain means to bring us to faith and to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. These means of grace are the Word of God and the Sacraments of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. In His Word God uses the Law to bring us to see our sin, and the Gospel to help us to see our Saviour from sin Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:23). Baptism is the means by which the Holy Spirit grants us a rebirth as children of God (Rom. 6:4; Titus 3:5). In Holy Communion we receive the body and blood of our Saviour in the bread and wine as a guarantee and pledge that our salvation has indeed been accomplished (1 Cor. 11:23ff). We reject the idea that God speaks directly to people apart from the means of grace.
We believe, teach and confess that we are not saved because of any works that we do (Eph. 2:9). Our salvation is purely a gift of God. But as Christians we are also new creations. God gives us the will to love others as Christ has loved us (Eph. 2:10; Mt. 5:16). However, as long as we are on this earth we also have the sinful nature which fights against our new nature in Christ. So the Christian life becomes a struggle between the new nature and the old (Rom. 7:14ff). We do good works, not to be saved, but because we are saved.
We believe, teach and confess that there is one, Holy, Christian and apostolic Church. This Church is comprised of all who trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation regardless of denomination. This universal Christian Church includes people who trust in Christ alone from all nations, races, cultures and times. Entrance into the Church is an act of God which brings us into fellowship with Him and with our fellow Christians. It is, therefore, essential that those seeking to be in Christian fellowship will seek out the true, visible Church on earth which teaches the Word of God in its truth and purity and administers the Sacraments as Christ has established them. While we uphold the doctrinal integrity of our denomination, We reject any teaching which attempts to restrict the mercy and grace of God to any specific denomination or group. Likewise, we reject the idea that membership in any specific group or Christian denomination guarantees salvation. We reject the unbiblical notion that one’s relationship with God is a private matter when, in fact, the Christian faith is essentially a corporate experience.
THE LAST THINGS
We believe, teach and confess that Jesus Christ will return, not secretly, but openly and in all His power to judge the living and the dead of all times, (Rev. 1:7, Ac. 10:42). We believe that the dead will be resurrected, (Rev. 20:12-13). Believers will receive everlasting life in heaven, (Jn 3:16-18). Unbelievers to everlasting torment in hell, (Matt. 25:46). Therefore We reject the notions that all people will be saved or that unbelievers will be annihilated, (Matt. 25:41, 46); that there are many paths to God other than through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6); that people will have another chance after death to come to Christ or that people are reincarnated after they have failed the test, (Heb. 9:27).