Statement of Faith And Doctrine

The following is a statement of faith and doctrinal declaration as held by the ministry:

1. God

There is one God (Jn. 17:3, Rom. 3:30, 1 Tim. 2:5), and this is the monotheistic, personal, transcendent God of the Old and New Testament: (2 Sam. 7:22, 1 Kgs. 8:60 1 Chr. 17:20, Isa. 44:6 Isa. 45:14 Isa. 45:22, Rom. 15:6, 2 Cor. 1:3, Eph. 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3).  This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Luk. 13:28, 20:37, Jn. 8:54).  This God, the only true God (Jn. 5:44, Jn. 17:3, 1 Thes. 1:9), dwells in Heaven (Mat 6:9, Mat. 10:33, Mat 12:50, Mat. 18:14) and is therefore distinct from His creation (Gen. 1:1, Rom. 1:19-23).

2. The Trinity

God is a trinity.  This means that God is a tri-personal God who exists as three distinct persons, all of whom share the same substance, nature, and essence.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three different centers of consciousness (subsistences, hypostasis) that are co-equal, co-powerful, and co-eternal, existing one monotheistic God.  Jesus is not the Father (Jn. 6:38, Jn. 8:16-18, Jn. 10:36), the Father is not the Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19, Jn. 14:16-17, Jn. 15:26), but all three exist as one God (Jesus: Jn. 1:1-18, 8:54, Heb. 1:8, Father: Jn. 20:10, Rom. 15:6, 1 Cor. 8:6, Holy Spirit: Act. 5:1-4, 2 Cor. 3:17, Heb. 10:15-17).  

While they all differ in role and economy, they are all equal in nature and ontology.  Yahweh, the proper name of God in the Old Testament, refers to the Trinity which consists of three co-equal divine persons.  While there is no one single verse that alone establishes all three persons are God, but this is what the Bible teaches and expresses in the complete revelation of Scripture.

3. The deity of Jesus

Jesus is God (Jn. 8:56, Jn. 10:30, Rom. 9:5, Col. 1:15, Tit. 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1).  When we say Jesus is “God”, we mean that God is actually a triune Godhead that Jesus is a member/person of.  Jesus existed eternally into the past alongside the Father as God from the very beginning (John 1:1-3, Phil. 2:5-7) and retained full deity and the full divine nature equal to that of the Father while in the flesh (Col 1:19, Col 2:9).  

As God in the flesh (Jn. 1:1-14), Jesus also had and has a human nature (Heb. 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:5) and therefore is truly man and truly God.  True deity and humanity are both expressing in their complete natures in the person of Jesus, which is why the death of Jesus (as man-God) was able to atone for our sins as the Bible says man alone cannot die for another man’s sins (Eze. 18:10, Psa. 49:7).

4. Jesus’ death and resurrection for human sin

Jesus died to save sinners (Lk. 19:10, Jn. 3:17, Rom. 5:6, 8, 1 Tim. 1:15, 1 Jn. 3:5). He saved sinners from the penalty of sin and judgment of God (Jn. 3:36, Rom. 5:9. Eph. 2:3) by acting as atoning sacrifice for human sin (1 Cor. 15:3, Gal. 1:4, Eph. 5:2, Heb. 7:27, Heb. 9:6, Heb. 10:12, Rev. 9:5), thereby satisfying the righteous judgment and indignation of God (Isaiah 53:4-5,11, Rom. 3:25, Heb. 2:17, 1 Jn. 2:2, 1 Jn. 4:10).  

In addition to being forgiven of our sins through his atoning death, through the resurrection of Jesus we have been reconciled back to relationship with God (Rom. 5:10-11, 2 Cor. 18:19, Eph. 2:16, Col 1:20, 22) and have been declared righteous in his sight through the imputed righteousness of Jesus that has now been accredited to our account (Rom 1:17, Rom. 3:22, Rom. 4:6, 9, 4:25, 2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:6, Phil 3:9, Jas 2:23).  

Those who reject Jesus will die in their sins and are not forgiven of God (Mrk. 16:16, Jn. 3:18, 36, Jn. 5:4, Rom. 2:8, 2 Thes. 1:8, Heb. 2:3, Heb. 3:12, Heb. 12:25, 1 Pet. 4:17, 1 Jn. 5:10, Rev. 21:8).

5. Salvation in Christ alone (Solus Christus)

The work of Jesus on the cross is the only offer by God to mankind by which we might be saved.  Apart from the salvific death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross, salvation, relationship with God, and entrance into Heaven are not possible. There is no other way to be made right with God apart from Jesus (Jn. 14:6, Act. 4:12, 1 Cor. 3:11, Gal. 1:7, 1 Tim 2:5).

6. Salvation by grace through faith alone (Sola Fide)

The Bible teaches that we are saved by faith, by believing on Jesus as our saviour (Jn. 3:16, 18, Jn. 6:29, 40, 47, Act. 10:43, Acts 16:31, Act. 26:18, Rom. 1:17, Rom. 3:33, Rom. 5:1, Rom. 10:9, Gal. 3:8, 2 Timothy 3:15, Heb. 11:7).  In addition to being saved by faith, we are saved by faith APART from works obedience and and righteousness (Rom. 3:21-28, Rom. 4:3-5, Rom. 9:30-32, Rom 11:6, Gal. 2:16, Gal. 2:21, Gal. 3:1-3, Gal 3:8, 9-14, 21-25, Eph 2:8-10, Phil. 3:9, Tit. 3:5).

“And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works” (Rom. 4:5)

“For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Rom. 3:28)

What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.” (Rom. 9:30-32)

“yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16)

“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?  Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?  Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? (Gal. 3:2-6)

This is the overwhelming testimony of Scripture.  We are not saved by a pledge of service, successfully overcoming all of our willful sin, or a ceremony, but by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  We are not saved by faith and works like Muslims, Mormons, Roman Catholics, and other religious groups teach.  There is nothing you can do to receive the atoning benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection apart from faith.  

Faith alone is the medium by which we are imputed the work of Christ to our lives.  This is why salvation is called a free “gift” (Rom. 3:24, Rom. 5:15, 16, 17, Rom 6:23, Eph. 2:8, Heb. 6:4).  In other words, faith is a sufficient condition for being saved, as the work of Christ is fully complete and does not need to be added to with human merit.  Only received through faith.

This being said, the Bible distinguishes between a faith that saves (such as mentioned in the verses above), and a faith without works which is a dead faith (Jas. 2:17, 1 Jn. 1:6) that is equal to that of devils (Jas. 2:19) and cannot save (Jas. 2:14).  It is therefore useless for salvation (Jas. 2:20).  

This is the faith of ‘lukewarm Christians’ whom Jesus will not receive (Rev. 3:14-22), and the false converts who claim to know Jesus though never had relationship with Him or displayed the fruits of obedience (Mat. 7:18-23, Luk. 13:25-27).  Salvific faith is a heartfelt trust on Jesus for our salvation (Rom. 10:10), not merely an intellectual grasping or assent of the Gospel, and if we have truly been saved by faith alone, our faith will never be alone. 

It will never exist apart from works of righteousness.  Expressed in the Bible, we see a false faith historically classified as being only ‘ascentia’ or mere intellectual assent (also called easy believism), and saving faith historically classified as ‘feducia’ which couples intellectual commitment with a heartfelt trust in Jesus alone.  Such faith will always be carried and accompanied with good works (Mat. 3:10, Mat. 7:16-18, Luk. 6:43-45, Jn. 15:6, Gal. 5:6, Tit. 1:1, Tit. 1:16, 1 Tim. 1:4, 6:3, Jas. 2:18-22, 1 Jn. 2:3-6, 29, 1 Jn. 3:6-8, 10).  Scripture is abundantly clear that sincere salvation is evidence in a new life. This does not mean we need faith PLUS works (since salvation is by grace through faith), but faith THAT works.  

7. Works of righteousness are the response, evidence, and consequence of salvation that is supernaturally worked in the Christian through the regenerative power the Holy Spirit.  It is not the cause or precondition of salvation, but the fruit of it.

The Bible teaches that faith apart from works is what saves us, but that a real saving faith is inseparable from works of righteousness.  Like a sun cannot exist without producing its rays, the saving faith described in Scripture does not and can not exist without producing fruit.  It’s the nature of a salvific faith to be accompanied by works because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit whom believers receive when they are saved (Jn. 3:5-16, Rom. 8:9, Gal. 3:2, Eph. 1:13-14) who then begins to do a supernatural work of regeneration in the Christian refining them, sanctifying them, and leading them into righteousness (Jn. 7:38, Rom. 6:4, Rom. 8:10-11, 1 Cor. 6:11, 2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Cor. 4:16, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 5:22-25, Gal 6:15, Eph. 2:5, 10, Tit. 3:5, 2 Pet. 1:3).  

Proclivity toward obedience is a work of the God in the believer (Jn. 1:13, Act. 5:31, Act. 11:18, 1 Cor. 15:10, Eph. 1:19, 2 Tim. 2:25, Phil 2:13, Heb 13:21) who empowers the believer to follow his commandments (Eze. 36:27, Rom 6:1-6, Tit. 2:11-14, 1 Jn. 3:9, 1 Jn 5:1-5, 2 Jn. 1:9).  We are saved by faith, and then receive the Holy Spirit who changes our nature, gives us new desire, and causes us to grow in obedience and conformity with Christ. 

We are commanded to be baptized, preach the Gospel, test prophetic utterances, care for the poor, visit widows, teach what accords with sounds doctrine, put away filthy and crude language, pray for the sick, support the work of the ministry, flee from youthful lusts, pursue sobriety, etc, but these works do not cause us to be justified before God. Faith alone justifies us before God.  So while baptism, for example, may be an important sacramental step in one’s sanctification, and while someone who is saved should be baptized (and will want to be baptized) and those who don’t are in disobedience, the justification happens before baptism upon the possession of salvific faith. Faith alone does the saving, but a faith that saves will never be or remain alone. It will result in works of righteousness and obedience, so much so that a faith without works cannot possibly exist.  Faith without works is not a living faith.  We are saved by faith alone, but the kind of faith that saves is a living faith, and a living faith bears fruit necessarily. 

This is why Paul says:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:8-10).

We are saved by grace alone through faith alone…for good works.  Good works are the product of salvation, not the cause of salvation.  Salvation evidences itself in works, necessarily.  This is why in Galatians 5, Paul says “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21).  There is a difference between someone who feels jealous, and a jealous person.  There is a difference between a person who commits a sensual act, and someone who is sensual.  What Paul is describing here are works that are carried out willfully and unrepentantly as lifestyle sins. 

These are the markers of a life that is not yet regenerated by the Spirit through faith.  We aren’t saved by fleeing from fornication, but a genuinely saved person will feel convicted to flee from fornication and won’t be living in fornication unrepentantly as a lifestyle.  These kinds of sins, according to Paul, exempt a person from the Kingdom of God by evidencing that a person is not genuinely born-again.  Someone born-again by faith will not unrepentantly carry on in such sins.

This is made abundantly clear when Paul says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)

Paul says they used to be involved in these sins, but were washed by the Spirit of our God.  This washing (regeneration) causes them to not carry on in such lifestyle sins.  They used to sin habitually as a lifestyle, and now they don’t.  Why?  Because of washing, sanctification, and justification.  How does these things happen?  By faith:

“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” (Tit. 3:5)

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1)

What does repentance mean?

The Greek word for “repentance” is “metanoia” which means a change of heart, mind, and direction:

When Christians say that a sinner has to “repent”, what they sometimes imply is that a sinner must successful stop lusting, being sexually immoral, drinking, smoking, swearing, lying, cursing, stealing, using drugs, blaspheming, dishonouring parents, and watching evil movies BEFORE they are able to be saved by faith in Christ. It is sometimes suggested that we need to present a list of successfully completed works of repentance to the cross before Jesus will save us. This is not a correct definition of repentance.
Repentance is a change of heart and mind pertaining to one’s own sin and the cross, and a change of direction away from sin and to the cross/God. We are no longer facing our sin running after it, we are now facing Jesus and running after Him.  Repentance is required for salvation in the sense that a heart must be turned from the direction of sin to Jesus as a necessary condition of the heart.  This turning from the direction of sin to Jesus is inseparable from saving faith, even though the person may remain in bondage in some areas or stumble into sin.  A change of direction does not mean successfully overcoming every ounce of sin without ourselves, but it does mean we are committed to turn from the destructive path our sin is leading us and to Jesus instead.
When we turn (repent) and believe, we are justified, regenerated, and indwelt with the Holy Spirit.  This will necessarily produce works of righteousness.  But these works of righteousness after salvation, or “fruits worthy of repentance”, are not pre-conditions for salvation.  A heroine addict, for example, doesn’t have to successfully have quit heroine on their own before being able to approach the cross and receive forgiveness.  It’s not a pre-condition.  Wanting to not live that way anymore is the pre-condition (repentance), but cutting that sin off from your life is not a precondition.  We should expect victory and a walk toward victory when saved by faith alone, but the victory comes after the justification and regeneration, not before it.  Victory over sin is the fruit of salvation, not the cause of it.
Repentance (a sincere change of heart, mind, and direction from sin) should not be confused with works of repentance (good deeds and successfully overcoming specific sins). The former is a necessary pre-condition for salvation inseparable from saving faith itself, the latter is a necessary consequence of salvation and response to salvation worked out through sanctification of the believer after salvation.
Relating this back to salvation, we would be able to say that a saving faith is a repentant faith with the faith alone being the transmitter/medium by which the sinner is justified and the ‘repentance’ being defined as a change of heart, mind, and direction pertaining to Christ and one’s own sin built into saving faith itself (as opposed to being a list of successfully complete works of righteousness that we must add to our faith). Such repentance is a product of the Holy Spirit convicting them and granting them this change of heart, heart, and direction, producing fruits of righteousness (as mentioned previously).
“Repentance”, then, is a necessarily present attitude and change of direction as a) a new orientation regarding sin and the cross that the Holy Spirit grants to us, b) a necessary quality of saving faith itself.
This will result in c) sanctification through the Spirit after salvation producing works of righteousness.
Faith = justification + regeneration + sanctification + works of righteousness.

More simply put:

Faith = justification + works.

If works aren’t present, a living faith isn’t present.  We can tell that genuine trust in Jesus in present when we see the fruits of salvation in that persons life.  Jesus says we will know people by the fruits they bear.  We don’t need faith + works to be justified/saved in the first place.  We need faith that works to be saved, for the absence of works will show the absence of a genuine faith.

8. Inerrancy of Scripture

Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 2:16) and was produced as men were moved on by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20).  The Bible is therefore error-free, complete in it’s revelation, and cannot be added to (Jud. 1:3, Rom. 2:16, 1 Cor. 4:6).  It is the final authority on doctrine, theology, and all things pertaining to the Christian faith.  It is perfectly clear in the descriptions it gives of who Jesus is, who God is what the plan of salvation is, and awaits both saved and sinner in eternity.

This means that any version of Christ that deviates from the Jesus in the Bible is not the Jesus who exists in actuality (Gal 1:6-9, 2 Cor. 11:4, 2 Pet. 2:1, 1 Jn. 4:2-3).  Any version of God that deviates from the God of the Bible is an idol and does not exist in actuality (Exo. 20:3-4, Psl. 96:5, Jn. 5:44, Jn. 17:3, 1 Thes. 1:9, 1 Jn. 5:10).  Any view that contradicts that of Scripture is false (Isa. 28:13, Jn. 17:17, 2 Tim. 4:3-4, 2 Pet. 3:16).

The Apocrypha is not God-breathed or produced by the Holy Spirit and therefore does not belong in the Biblical canon.