Doctrinal Statement

/Doctrinal Statement
Doctrinal Statement2018-02-17T22:33:02+00:00

1 The Confession of Faith

We believe the Scriptures contained in the Holy Bible to be the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. However we recognise the benefit of having a statement subordinate to the Scriptures to set out our beliefs in a systematic way. Our trustees believe in one of the following Protestant and Reformed historic confessions of faith reflects most fully and accurately the principal teachings of the Scriptures:

  • The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith),

  • The Westminster Standards (Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms),

  • Savoy Declaration,

  • the Three Forms of Unity (the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Heidelberg Catechism)

WE BELIEVE IN:

2 The Scriptures

The full and verbal inspiration of the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures and of these alone,a being in themselves the Word of God, without error and wholly reliable in both fact and doctrine;b their final authority and perpetual sufficiency in all matters of faith and practice.c

Exo 24:4; 2 Sam 23:1-2; Jer 1:9; 30:1-4; 36:1‑2; 1 Cor 2:12‑13; 2 Tim 3:15‑17; Heb 1:1‑2; 2 Pet 1:19‑21. — Psa 19:7‑11; 119:140,160; Dan 10:21; Matt 5:17‑18; John 10:35; 17:17; Rom 3:1‑2; 1 Thes 2:13. — Isa 8:20; Luke 16:29‑31; 1 Cor 14:37; Rev 22:18‑19.

3 The Trinity

The unity of the Godhead and the divine co-equality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.a

a Gen 1:26; Num 6:24‑27; Deut 6:4; Matt 3:16‑17, 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; 1 John 5:7; Rev 1:4‑5.

4 The Sovereignty of God

The sovereignty of God in creation, providence and redemption.a

a Deu 4:39; Job 23:13; Psa 115:3, 135:6; Isa 43:13; 46:9‑11; Dan 4:34‑35; Eph 1:11.

a. In Creation

In the beginning God created all things, including the first man and woman who were made after His own image in perfect righteousness. The biblical record of creation in the first two chapters of Genesis is historical, not mythical, hence the theory of evolution is contrary to the teaching of Scripture.a

Gen 1:1‑31; Psa 33:6,9; Isa 42:5; Acts 17:24‑25; Rom 1:1‑20; Rev 4:11.

b. In Providence

In His infinite power and wisdom, God sustains and governs all creatures and things by His most wise and holy providence. Nothing happens by chance or outside the sphere of His providence. He is not, however in any way the author or approver of sin, nor does His providence detract at all from the responsibility of intelligent moral creatures.a

Job 23:14; Psa 31:15; 103:19; Prov 16:9; 19:21; Isa 46:9‑10; Dan 4:35; Matt 10:29‑31; Eph 1:11.

c. In Redemption

God the Holy Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling. In this work we are convinced of our sin and wretchedness, gloriously enlightened in our minds to acknowledge our need of Christ and gloriously renewed in our wills to enable us to embrace Christ Jesus as freely offered to us in the Gospel. They who are effectually called become partakers of justification, adoption and sanctification.a

Luke 1:68‑75; Eph 1:7;4‑14; Col 1:14; Tit 2:11‑14; Heb 9:12; 1 Pet 1:18‑20; Rev 5:9.

5 The Lord Jesus Christ

The true and proper Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ;a His virgin birth;b His real and perfect manhood;c the authority of His teaching; and the infallibility of all His utterances;d His work of atonement for sinners of mankind by His substitutionary sufferings and death;e His bodily resurrectionf and His ascension into Heaven;g and His present priestly intercession for His people at the right hand of the Father.h

Psa 45:6; Isa 9:6; John 1:1; 5:18; 14:9‑11; 16:15; 20:27; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:6; Col 2:9; Heb 1:3,8; 1 John 5:20. —Isa 7:14; Matt 1:18‑23; Luke 1:26‑35. —John 1:14; Phil 2:7; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 4:15; 7:26. — Matt 7:29; John 7:15‑17; 7:46; 12:47‑50. — Isa 53:4‑6; Matt 20:28; Rom 5:6‑11; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; 1 Pet 3:17. — f Matt 28:1‑6; Luke 24:36‑43; John 20:24‑29; 1 Cor 15:4. — Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9‑11; Eph 1:20‑23; 1 Pet 3:22. — h Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1.

6 The Holy Spirit

Scripture teaches the absolute and essential deity and personality of the Holy Spirit.a He convinces of sin, righteousness and judgement, regenerates, baptises believers at conversion into the body of Christ, indwells, seals, sanctifies, illuminates and comforts them.b The work of the Holy Spirit is essential for a true and spiritual understanding of the Scriptures and for truly spiritual ministry and worship.c

2 Sam 23:2‑3; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 5:3‑4. — John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 19:2‑5; Rom 5:5; 15:19; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:11; Eph 2:22; Tit 3:4‑7. — Isa 61:1; Rom 8:9; Gal 4:6.

7 The Law of God

God has commanded us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves.a These two principles have been set forth in the Ten Commandments.b While no man can be justified by keeping the law, the Christian strives to obey it, out of love for God, as it reveals His will and comes with His authority.c

Deut 6:4‑5; Matt 22:37‑40; Mark 12:29‑31; Luke 10:26‑28. —Exo 20:1‑17; 34:27‑28; Deut 4:13; 5:6‑21; Matt 5:17‑19. — c Psa 40:8; 119:174; 143:1‑2; John 14:21‑23; Rom 3:31, 20; 3:28; Gal 3:11; 1 Tim 1:8‑10; Jas 1:25.

8 The Doctrines of Grace

Those doctrines commonly known as the Doctrines of Grace – namely:

  • The total depravity of human nature in consequence of the fall, and the necessity for regeneration.a

a Gen 6:5; 8:21; 2 Chr 6:36; Job 14:1‑4; Psa 14:2‑3; 51:5; 58:3; Jer 17:9; Mark 7:21‑23; Rom 3:23; 5:12; 8:7-8; 1 Jn 1:8, 10

  • The unconditional election to salvation by God of an innumerable number of sinners.a

a Matt 22:14; Mark 13:27; Rom 9:10‑13,16; Eph 1:4‑6; 2:4,10; 2 Thes 2:13; Jas 2:5; 1 Pet 1:2; Rev 7:9.

  • Their particular redemption by the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.a

a Isa 53:4‑5; Matt 1:21; Rom 9:10‑13; 11:7; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 1:4; 5:25; 2 Thes 2:13; Tit 2:14; 3:5‑6.

  • Their effectual call through the gospel, wrought by the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit.a

a Deut 30:6; Ezek 36:26‑27; John 6:37‑40; Rom 1:6‑7; 9:10‑13; Eph 1:4; 2 Thes 2:13; 2 Tim 1:9.

  • Their perseverance in faith as they are kept by the power of God, thus assuring them of eternal salvation.a

a Job 17:9; Isa 43:1‑7; 54:10; Jer 32:40; John 10:27‑30; Rom 8:35‑39; Phil 1:6; 1 Pet 1:5; Jude 24‑25.

9 Justification by Faith

The justification of the sinner solely by faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.a

a Isa 45:25; Jer 23:6; Hab 2:3‑4; Acts 13:38‑39; Rom 3:22‑26,28; 5:17; 8:33; Gal 2:16; Phil 3:8‑9.

10 Sanctification

Those who are justified by faith in Jesus Christ are progressively renewed after the image of God.a This is a work of the Holy Spirit Who dwells in all believers.b They are thus increasingly enabled to pursue a life of holiness, though never attaining to perfection in this world.c

a Matt 5:8; Eph 4:21‑24; 2 Tim 2:19; Heb 12:14; 1 Pet 1:15‑16; 1 John 2:15‑16. — b 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 6:17; Eph 1:4; Phil 2:12‑13; Heb 13:12. — c Psa 32:5; 51:10; 89:31‑33; Rom 7:14‑25; Matt 26:75; 1 John 1:8,10.

11 The Church of Christ

The universal church, the body of which Christ is the Head, embraces all the redeemed, called by God through the Gospel, born of the Spirit and justified by faith.a It manifests itself in local congregations comprised of those who have received salvation through Christ.b The marks of a true local church are the faithful preaching of the word of God, the administration of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and the exercise of biblical discipline. Fellowship between like-minded churches is a further manifestation of the unity of the body of Christ.c

a Matt 16:18; Acts 20:28; Eph 1:22; 3:10; 3:21; 5:23‑32; Col 1:18‑24; Heb 12:23. — b Matt 18:17; Acts 2:44‑47; 11:22; 13:1; 15:41; 16:5; Rom 16:1,5,16; 1 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:2. — c Acts 15:1‑4,22‑31; 1 Cor 16:1‑3; 2 Cor 8:19,23; Col 4:15‑16.

12 Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as being instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ,a but not in Baptism as conveying regenerating grace,b nor in the Lord’s Supper as being a sacrifice for sin nor involving any change in the substance of the bread and wine.c

a Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15‑15; 1 Cor 11:23‑32. — Acts 8:13,20‑23; 8:36‑37; 10:44,47; 16:14‑15; 18:8; 1 Cor 1:17,21. — c Matt 26:29; 1 Cor 11:26‑28; Heb 7:23,27‑28; 9:25‑28; 10:11‑13.

13 The Personal Return of Christ

The personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory.a

a Matt 16:27; 25:31; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 3:20‑21; 1 Cor 1:7; Phil 3:20; Col 3:4; 1 Thes 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:16‑17; 5:23; 2 Thes 1:7‑10; 1 Tim 6:14; Tit 2:13; Heb 9:28; Jude 14; Rev 1:7; 22:7,12,20.

14 The Resurrection of the Body

The resurrection of the body;a the judgement of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,b with the eternal blessedness of the righteousc and the eternal conscious punishment of the wicked.d

a Job 19:26; Isa 26:19; John 5:28‑29; 6:39‑40; Acts 4:2; 24:15; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 15:20‑23,42‑45,48‑54; Phil 3:21. — b Matt 25:31‑34; John 5:22; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom 2:16; 14:10‑12; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1; Rev 20: 1‑12. —c Matt 25:34,46; John 10:28; 1 Cor 15:53; 1 Thes 4:17; 2 Tim 2:10; 1 Pet 1:4; 2 Pet 1:11; Rev 22:3‑5. — d Matt 25:41,46; Mark 9:44; 2 Thes 1:9; Jude 13; Rev 14:9‑11.

15 The Personality of Satan

Satan is a personal spiritual being,a a fallen angel,b the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning,c and the great deceiver of all nations, and individuals.d He has been defeated in consequence of the Saviour’s death and resurrection,e and is to be finally committed on the last day to the lake of fire with all his angels.f

a Gen 3:14‑15; Job 1:6-12; 2:1‑4; Zech 3:2; Matt 4:1‑11; Luke 4:1‑13; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8. — b Isa 14:12; Rev 9:11. — c John 8:44; 2 Thes 2:9. — d Isa 14:12; 2 Cor 11:14‑15; 1 John 3:8; Rev 12:9. — e Gen 3:15; John 12:30‑32; 2 Thes 2:8; Heb 2:14; 1 John 3:8. — f Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10.

16 Worship and The Lord’s Day

The triune God is to be worshippeda as revealed in His Wordb with reverence and godly fear.c God has set apart one day in seven to be kept holy, the observance of which is binding upon all men.d This day, originally appointed at Creation as the seventh day of the weeke was changed at Christ’s resurrection to the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day.f It is designed for man’s benefit, and is to be used for rest from labour, and from recreation and entertainment of a secular nature,gso that the whole person might be refreshed, and the whole day occupied in the worship and service of the Lord. Although no detailed instructions are given in Scripture as to the way in which this day is to be kept, allowance is clearly made for works of mercy and necessity.h

a Exod 20:3; Psa 86:9; 145:3‑5,21; 150:1‑6; Isa 42:8; Matt 4:10; Mark 12:32‑33; 1 Cor 6:20; Rev 19:10; 22:8‑9. — b Exod 20:4‑6; Lev 10:1‑2; Deut 4:2; 12:32; 1 Chr 15:13‑15; Ezra 3:2,4; Jer 7:31; Matt 15:3‑9; 28:20; Mark 7:6‑9; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:2, 23. — c Exod 15:11; Psa 33:8‑9; Prov 1:7; Jer 10:7; Heb 12:28; Rev 4:11. — d Gen 2:3; Exod 20:8‑11; Mark 2:27‑28; Luke 4:16,31; John 20:1,19,26; Acts 2:1; 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1‑2; Rev 1:10. — e Gen 2:2-3; Exod 20:8‑11; Deut 5:14. — f Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1,33,36; John 20:19‑20,26; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2. — g Exod 20:9‑10; 34:21; Lev 23:3; Deut 5:14; Neh 13:15‑20; Jer 17:21‑22; Isa 58:13; Luke 23:56. — h Matt 12:1,10-13; Luke 13:16.

17 Evangelism and Mission

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. It is therefore the duty of every church and church-based ministries to seek to extend the gospel to all men everywhere. Only those methods which do not conflict with biblical principles are to be used.a

a Psa 22:27; 96:3; Isa 2:2; 11:9‑10; Jonah 3:2; Mal 1:11; Matt 24:14; 28:19‑20; Mark 16:15,20; Luke 24:47; Acts 8:4‑6,25,26‑30,40; 13:2‑5; 14:27; Rev 14:6.

18 The State

Civil government is ordained of God and it is the duty of Christians to obey those who have the rule over them, provided that no demands made by the State conflict with the teaching of Scripture.a

a 2 Sam 23:3; Psa 82:3‑4; Luke 3:12‑14; Acts 4:18‑19; Rom 13:1‑7; 1 Pet 2:13‑14,17; 1 Tim 2:1‑2.