What we believe
The convictions that we hold, based upon God’s Word
Our Philosophy of Ministry
1. Because we have a High View of God, namely that He is the holy, righteous, just Creator Owner of all things, and Lawgiver, we will: (Isaiah 6:1-3; Romans 11:33-36).
Endeavour to make God fully known to all people, and to encourage true authentic worship of God. (2 Peter 1:1-3)
Endeavour to teach and shepherd all towards personal holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16).
Endeavour to focus on a God-centred ministry, and not on a man centred ministry (Rev 4:8-11).
Endeavour to equip all people to adequately deal with sin, and its consequences (1 John 2:1-2)
2. Because we have a High View of God’s Word, namely that it is without error, and the only source divine truth, and necessary for all life and godliness, we will: (2 Tim 3:16; 1 Peter 1:4-7)
Endeavour to teach scripture in such a way that all will grow in their obedience to the authoritative Word of God.
Endeavour to teach all people to rely on the Word of God, as opposed to worldly wisdom in throughout their life, and especially whilst dealing with trials and sufferings.
Endeavour to train all people of all ages to love and submit to the Word of God.
3. Because we have an Informed View of Man, namely that though we were created by God, we have as a result of the Fall a fallen nature that corrupts all of our being, we will (Rom 3:23; 6:23)
Endeavour to teach all people that they are unable to do any good apart from the saving work of Christ on the cross.
Endeavour to teach all people that Christ and His Word alone, are the solution to spiritual, emotional and interpersonal problems.
Endeavour to teach all people to know the wickedness of their own hearts, and the grace of God that is able to overcome that wickedness (sin).
Endeavour to teach all people that their purpose is to glorify God in all that they do, and not to seek self glorification in this life.
Endeavour to meet the real needs of all people, not the felt needs.
4. Because we have a High View of Salvation, namely that it is a sovereign work of God, done in the heart of a sinner, that draws the sinner to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will (Ephesians 2, Galatians 3)
Endeavour to maintain the truth of God’s sovereignty in the work of salvation.
Endeavour to teach the truth that salvation is by Grace through faith, in Christ alone.
Endeavour to teach that man response to the gospel is needed, but that any response of man is as a result of God’s work in the heart of man.
Endeavour to teach that, though justification is by faith alone, the faith that justifies is never alone, but always results in a changed life that bears fruit.
5. Because we have a High View of the Church, namely that it is the very bride of Christ for which He Himself died to save, and it is the body through which Christ works in this age, we will (Eph 5:22-24; 1 Timothy 3:15)
Endeavour to ensure the unity of the local church, unity derived around a common love for the bride of Christ.
Endeavour to teach those within the church of their responsibility to one another and their responsibility to God for their work within the church.
Endeavour to keep the membership of the church to comprise only of those that are truly children of God.
Endeavour to make the sure that the church is a light within the community, so that all might be drawn to Christ as a result of our individual and corporate conduct.
Endeavour to ensure that the church is kept pure from sin and anything that will tarnish the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Endeavour to encourage all to serve with the church in those areas for which the Lord has gifted them.
6. Because we have an Informed View of End Times, the imminent rapture of the church and subsequent 7 year tribulation for the sifting of Israel, followed by the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ, we will:
Endeavour to teach the distinction between the Church of Christ and the Nation of Israel, during this present age.
Endeavour to encourage prayer for the salvation of Israel as nation.
Endeavour to teach the need for repentance as we await the imminent return of Christ and the snatching away of the bride of Christ.
This we do in an effort to Glorify God, through loving His Word, and caring for His sheep.
Why are there different Christian churches? Over the 2000 years of the church history, many theological and practical issues have surfaced causing believers to examine Scripture closely and to clarify their thinking. Since all have not come to the same conclusions, division has resulted. At other times, corruption of truth and adoption of tradition has led to division.
Our Baptist Roots
One of the greatest times of theological division was during the Reformation in the 16th century. At that time, the Protestant (“protesting”) churches – Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed, Anglican – separated from the Roman Catholic Church. Alongside this major movement towards a more Biblically based church doctrine, the Baptists emerged, being even more separated than their Protestant counterparts. The Baptist heritage is distinguished from other Christian churches by holding all of the following eight “Distinctives”.
A. BIBLE As Our Sole Authority “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for faith and practice. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?” We encourage daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. We seek to live “by the Book.”
B. AUTONOMY of Each Local Church “He (Christ) is the head of His Body, the church.” Colossians 1:18
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other Christians of like faith, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.
C. PRIESTHOOD of Every Believer “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” 1 Peter 2:5, 9
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation in life. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister (server of others) by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer & Scripture. The New Testament does not have a “priesthood” mediating between believers and God. “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
D. TWO ORDAINED Church Officers 67 “Now, an overseer must be… A deacon must be….” 1 Timothy 3:1-13
The New Testament gives only two officers for the church, the pastor(s) and the deacons. There is no biblical justification for a multi-level ecclesiastical structure. The pastors and deacons are the spiritual leaders of a local church, and no officers are over them in the exercise of that leadership. This will be discussed further under our church structure.
E. INDIVIDUAL Liberty “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12
Baptists believe that each believer has a right to his own convictions and no church or government is to force its beliefs on others. Each man is to support his convictions from the Scriptures and fellowship with those of like faith. Every believer is ultimately responsible to God who is the Judge of men’s beliefs and actions. Romans 14:4-12 Acts 5:29
F. SAVED Church Membership “Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Acts 2:41
Baptists believe that only born-again believers should hold membership in the church. The church is a fellowship of believers, united in Christ. It is not a secular organization, but a spiritual organism.
G. TWO Ordinances “Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Baptists do not believe in “sacraments” – rites that bring grace to us through the church, but in ordinances that the Lord has commanded us to practice: baptism – a statement of our faith and unity with Christ and His people; and the Lord’s Table – a remembrance of Christ’s sacrificial death for us and our fellowship with Him.
H. SEPERATION of Church and State
This distinctive was born at a time when church and government were united, ie. a state church. Church groups which differed from the state church were persecuted and/or denied the right of freedom of assembly and worship. Baptists admit the God-given place of government over a secular state and public affairs (Romans 13), but hold that God has never given to civil rulers the right to administer the church, which is a spiritual body. Nor was the church given the authority to rule the civil state.
Our Christian Roots
A. ABOUT GOD – SOVEREIGN
God is the Creator and sole Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal, co-eternal, and are the one True God.
Genesis 1:1, 26-27 Exodus 20:1-17 Deuteronomy 6:4 Psalm 90:2 Matthew 28:19 1 Peter 1:2 2 Corinthians 13:14 Luke 3:21-22
B. ABOUT JESUS CHRIST – SAVIOUR
Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God. He came from heaven into humanity by a miraculous virgin birth. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of men by dying on a Roman cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin & death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again one day to earth to reign physically in Jerusalem as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:20-23 Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 Micah 5:2 John 1:1-14; 14:6-11 Hebrews 4:14-15 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Romans 1:1-5 Acts 1:9-11 Philippians 2:5-11 Titus 2:11-14 Hebrews 9:28
C. ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT – SANCTIFIER
The Holy Spirit is personal like the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ and to convict them of sin. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
John 16:7-14, 14:16-17 Acts 1:8 1 Corinthians 2:9-12, 3:16 Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18 Galatians 5:16, 25 2 Timothy 1:14
D. ABOUT THE BIBLE – SUPERNATURAL
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is true in historical and scientific matters as well as spiritual. It is totally without error. The 66 books comprise all of God’s written revelation; no books are “lost.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Hebrews 4:12 Psalm 12:6; 19:7-11; 119:105, 160 Proverbs 30:5-6
E. ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS – SINNERS
People are made in the spiritual image of God (Gen. 1:27), to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, he also has a potential and natural inclination to do evil. All of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God, causes many problems in life, and will result in God’s judgment and condemnation if not forgiven and replaced by God’s righteousness.
Psalm 8:3-6; 139:13-16; 51:5 Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1-4 Romans 3:10-23
F. ABOUT SALVATION – SUBSTITUTIONARY
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it with genuine repentance of sin. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s substitutionary sacrifice for our own sin can we be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith that His blood was shed for our guilt, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one repents of sin and turns by faith to Jesus Christ alone.
Romans 3:21-28; 4:25; 6:23 Ephesians 2:8-9 John 14:6, 1:12, 3:16-18 Isaiah 53 Romans 8:1-4 Titus 3:4-7 1 John 5:11-13
G. ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY – SECURE
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:27-29 Romans 8:30 2 Timothy 1:12 Ephesians 1:13-14 Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:13
H. ABOUT ETERNITY – SAVED OR SEPERATED
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is “the second death”. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16 John 14:1-6 Romans 6:23 Hebrews 4:13; 9:27
I. ABOUT THE DEVIL – SATAN
The Devil, also called Satan, is a real, angelic being, created by God, but now fallen due to personal rebellion against God. He is the enemy of the Christian, and is “the father of lies”. He and the demons who follow him will be cast into the lake of fire at God’s final judgment. The believer does not need to live in fear of this “Evil One”, but needs to be aware of his tactics and resist him in the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:13-15 Ephesians 2:2; 6:10-17 Hebrews 2:14 1 John 4:4 Revelation 12:9; 20:10
Our Evangelical Roots
The Bible teaches that God is the creator of all. That He created in six literal 24-hour days (“evening and morning were the 1st day”) and then rested from all His work on the seventh literal day. (Genesis 1) We believe that Christ, the second person of the trinity, created by the word of His mouth (John 1:10; Colossians 1:16). We categorically reject evolutionary hypotheses and any “gap” or ‘long day” theories. We hold that there was no death in God’s creation until after Adam’s moral fall, as death is a punishment for sin (Romans 6:23) and a part of the curse which affected the entire creation (Genesis 3:17-19).We believe in a literal world-wide flood in the days of Noah which destroyed all mankind, all land animals, and birds, except for those within the ark. (Genesis 6-8) Thus we understand the fossil record to be that of the universal flood, and not a record of millions of years of earth history. We believe the earth to be young and accept the genealogical records of the Old Testament.
The Bible teaches that all men and races are the children of Adam and Eve, and further, the children of Noah and his three sons (Genesis 1:26-28; 9:19). Acts 17:27 states that God “made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” We believe the division into ethnic and language groups was a direct result of God’s judgment at Babel when He confused the one-world language and “scattered men over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:1-9).In today’s economy of grace, we are to make no racial distinction in the church (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11), or in the proclamation of the gospel (Matthew 28:19; Romans 1:16), for the message of salvation is to be proclaimed to all, and all groups will be represented in heaven as recipients of grace (Rev. 5:9, 7:9).
C. The nation of ISRAEL
The Bible clearly teaches that God chose Abraham and “made a nation” from him, a nation uniquely blessed over all other nations of the earth. We believe God continues to “Bless those who bless [Israel] and curse those who curse [Israel]. (Genesis 12:1-3) This Nation of Israel had and has both a physical and spiritual heritage with God that separates it from all other nations and groups of people (“the Nations” or “the Gentiles”). This is a covenant relationship initiated by God which cannot be broken (Genesis 17:6-8; Romans 11:25-29).
Israel’s physical promises of land and a universal kingdom were not transferred as spiritual blessing to the Church. The Church is not “spiritual Israel.” Though Israel is on the sidelines during the Church age, she will be restored and Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem on the historical throne of David. (Romans 9-11)
D. The RETURN of Christ
We believe in the bodily, personal and pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ to this earth. We believe that this return, in glory and power, will be preceded by seven years of great tribulation upon the earth. (Revelation 6-19)
We believe that Jesus will return in the clouds to catch away His Church just before or just as the tribulation period begins. This is commonly referred to as the pre-tribulation rapture. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Daniel 9:20-27)
E. ABORTION, and Matters of Life & Death
The Bible teaches that life is sacred, a gift of God, which begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5). Each life is of eternal value and only God has the right to take a human life, except where He has given that right to human government to exercise the restraint of sin (i.e. capital punishment for murder –Genesis 9:4-6; Exodus 21:12-14; Romans 13:1-5).
Thus we oppose any worldview or action which devalues the life of any human being, takes the life of the innocent (such as abortion, stem-cell research, and euthanasia), or alters the natural state of human existence (such as human cloning).
F. MARRIAGE, Divorce, & Re-marriage
We believe that the marriage of one man to one woman for life is the oldest and most foundational of human institutions. It was ordained and planned by God for the good of man, the order & blessing of society, and the development of “godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). It is a life-time covenant relationship which God takes very seriously and is binding until one of the two partners dies (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2-3). Thus we oppose the attempt to redefine marriage along homosexual lines, co-habitation, or polygamy.
Marriage is a life-time covenant relationship which God takes very seriously and is binding until one of the two partners dies (Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39). Therefore we maintain the sanctity of marriage, the seriousness of adultery, and discourage divorce as an option to deal with marriage conflict (Malachi 2:16).
G. TONGUES, Signs & Wonders
In the opening years of the Church Age, in the transition period between Judaism and Christianity, revelatory gifts of tongues, interpretation, healing, prophecy, and knowledge were given to the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28-31). With the completion of the New Testament, the destruction of the Jewish nation (70 AD), and the death of the Apostles, these sign gifts ceased.
Tongues, the Spiritually given ability to speak in a real human language (Acts 2:1-12), was specifically a sign of judgment against the Jewish generation who rejected their promised Messiah (1 Corinthians 14:20-22; Isaiah 28:11-12). It was also a means by which the Holy Spirit used to quickly and powerfully spread the Gospel to the Gentile nations during the initial years of transition.