“It is God who spoke in the first place and who will speak in the last place.” Richard Lints [1]

The Bible

“The Bible alone is the only authority that can bind the conscience of a person absolutely
because it is the only authority that carries with it the intrinsic authority of God Himself.

R.C. Sproul [2]

The Bible in its entirety comprising the sixty-six books of the Old and the New Testament is God’s special revelation of himself and the infallible, true, living and active Word of God. It has been communicated through history by godly individuals who, out of their own experience, knowledge and way of speaking, and controlled by the Holy Spirit, wrote precisely what God wanted to be written. So, it is the inerrant Word of God in human words. It is the only, final, and absolute authority and rule of faith and life, revealing God’s perfect will and everything with regards to the salvation of a person. Nothing could ever be taken out of it and nothing could be added to it, nor could it be broken.

 

God

 Worship, to be true, must be based on a right perception of God.
T.D. Alexander [3]

We believe in the one, true, and living God who is spirit. He is the eternal, unchanging, and righteous King, perfect in holiness, goodness, justice, power, glory, and love. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. He is self-sufficient, sovereign in all his works, independent of any being or thing and nothing can frustrate his purposes.

God is personal, with self-consciousness and will, capable of feeling, choosing, and having a reciprocal relationship with other personal and social beings. His patience, grace and mercy are extravagant, reflecting the goodness of his character. He is honest, truthful and cannot lie. He is faithful to all of his promises, as attested by the Scriptures.

God reveals himself as one God in three persons or Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – all-divine, of the same substance, distinguishable but indivisible, coeternal, of equal mind, power and glory, and will, subordinate to each other, perfectly united. The Trinity is a mystery the human mind cannot fully grasp, yet it is affirmed in the Scripture.

God is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, and his Kingdom is eternal. Through His eternal Word, God created heaven and earth, everything visible and invisible, and He upholds and rules over everything that exists: the heavenly places, the angelic hosts, the whole universe, the earth, every living thing and humanity.

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity who has been coequal with the Father from all eternity, and of the same substance as him. He is the Son of God who was conceived by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, apart from an earthly father, and born of the Virgin Mary.

He is the only begotten Son of God, pre-existent and coequal with him from all eternity, not created, the eternal Word through whom and for whom everything has been made. He is the very embodiment of Life. Only Jesus Christ has the authority and power to forgive sins. As the Son of God, Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men. He will return and be the final judge of all humankind, separating his Church for an eternal bliss in the presence of God from the wicked whom he will condemn to eternal death.

Jesus Christ is the true God and Lord. His human nature and divine nature are perfectly united in one Person, both natures being whole, perfect and distinct. In the incarnation, he was God clothed in human flesh and assumed a true human nature, yet without sin. He freely emptied himself of his equality with the Father in the incarnation and was fully obedient to the Father’s will in all he did, to the point of death on a cross.

Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, was born in human flesh, lived, ministered by inaugurating God’s Kingdom reign on earth, proclaiming the Good News of forgiveness of sins and salvation, teaching, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead.

Gathering His disciples, He instituted the new covenant for His Bride, His Church to be the instrument for the advancement of His kingdom over which he rules in the present and will rule in the future.

To effect salvation, God sent his Son, Jesus into the world. He was crucified, died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all of humanity once for all and was buried according to the Scriptures. By His death on the cross He disarmed the demonic powers, triumphed over the kingdom of darkness, and took upon himself the wrath and judgment of God which we deserve for our sins. Three days after He died, He rose from the dead, according to the Scriptures, ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father where He performs the ministry of intercession, guiding and giving power to his Church. He shall come again, personally and visibly, to complete His saving work and to consummate the eternal plan of God. Because of his resurrection, believers have hope for the afterlife as well.

 

The Holy Spirit

 You cannot do the work of the Kingdom without the Spirit of the King.
Jeffrey J. Niehaus

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He proceeds from the Father and is sent in the name of the Son. He is of the same substance, will and mind as the Father and the Son. He is also omniscient, equal and coeternal with the Father and the Son, and worthy of the same praise and honor. The Holy Spirit was instrumental in the writing of the Scriptures.

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church in power. He brings the permanent indwelling presence of God into the life of the Christian, convicts the world of sin for righteousness and for judgment, for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, for building up the Church. He gives life, instructs, searches, leads and guides, speaks, reveals, regenerates, sanctifies, helps and intercedes for the Christian in his weakness and guides in all truth. He raised Christ from the dead and he will raise us as well.

In his present ministry and according to his will, the Holy Spirit grants all of the biblical gifts to all believers. The gifts are to be exercised in an orderly way for the service of the whole church and the society. No gift is given for personal use or for boasting. Through the gifts, the Holy Spirit builds and unites the church as one body.

The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.

 

Humanity

God created humanity in his own image and likeness, male and female, distinct from everything else in the universe, to be in relationship with him and to inhabit and govern the earth. The image of God is intrinsic to all human beings without exception, regardless of race, age, gender, social or economic status. In its original condition, the man and the woman had an inward awareness of the presence of God, unspoiled by any disposition to displease him. Humans are ambassadors of God’s nature and authority on earth. True humanity could be experienced in its fullness only when people are properly related to God.

 

Sin

“Shalom… is the way things ought to be.”
Cornelius Plantinga Jr. [4]

Under the temptation of Satan, by using their free will Adam and Eve, our original parents, broke the covenant with God, bringing sin and God’s judgment of death into the world.

Sin is any outward act, a particular absence thereof, or any inner disposition and attitude that displeases God and deserves blame. It is a culpable and personal affront to a personal God. Sin, and therefore death, are universal to the human race as inherited from Adam and Eve and the whole Creation now experiences its consequences and effect. Every human is born in sin, with fully corrupted nature, subject to God’s wrath and judgment of death and separation from God. Because of the magnitude and seriousness of sin, we are spiritually blind, enslaved, hostile to God, subject to physical, spiritual and eternal death, and completely unable to reverse the effect of sin on our own.

After the original sin, the image of God in humans was not lost or destroyed. It was tainted and the human’s inherent inner disposition to love and serve God was seriously corrupted.

 

Redemption

“These [books] convinced me, more than ever, of the absolute impossibility of being half a Christian;
and I determined, through his grace (the absolute necessity of which I was deeply sensible of),

to be all devoted to God, to give him all my soul, my body, and my substance.”
John Wesley [5]

All people are sinners by nature and choice and therefore under the just judgment of God. God loves all people, desires people to be saved, and extends to them a call to salvation. God takes no pleasure in the punishment and death of sinners, but calls them to turn away from their evil ways. All who, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, respond to God’s call and accept the lordship of Jesus in their lives by repenting of their sin, God redeems, grants them salvation, releases them from the domain of Satan, adopts them and introduces them into his eternal Kingdom. This is a new birth and the person becomes a new creature in Christ.

Justification is the change in a person’s legal status before God from guilty to not guilty. A person cannot be justified or avoid God’s just judgment on the basis of any human merit, effort, or works. Justification is by grace alone and is a free gift of God to the one who responds with faith and repentance to God’s calling to salvation. As a result, God imputes Christ’s righteousness in the believer and adopts the one who has trusted in him.

Sanctification is a transformation that produces union with Christ, and an intimate friendship between God and the believer. It is also a lifelong process in which, through supernatural, continuous, and inward work, the Holy Spirit effects a gradual completion of a new nature in the believer leading him into a new sincere obedience to God by living a holy life. In this process the believer is purified from sin in thought, word and action with the goal of growing into Christ-likeness. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, which also requires a human response. Complete sanctification will only come in the afterlife, when the Christian will be perfected (or glorified) in the presence of God.

Perseverance is the believer’s maintaining faith and commitment to the very end through the grace of God. The salvation of the Christian is unchangeable, invariable, and cannot be lost, once it has been granted to the believer by God. Yet, God disciplines his children for disobedience and calls them to live in righteousness and holiness. God remains faithful and keeps his children from falling. For those who hope in him, he has promised an inheritance that can never perish, his everlasting love, completing his work in us, and guarding what we have entrusted to him.

The last redemptive work of God in the Ordo Salutis is the glorification of the believer. It is an act of full and final vindication, eternal union with God, moral and spiritual perfection, and bringing fullness of knowledge.

 

The Church and its Mission

The church gathers to become God’s people, and then the church scatters
to penetrate this present world of darkness with God’s saving light.

Samuel Schutz

The Church is instituted by Christ himself and He himself is its Head. The Church is one, holy, universal, and apostolic.

The Church is the fellowship of the saved believers throughout the world where the Word is properly proclaimed and the sacraments are properly administered. It is the body of Christ which finds expression in the local gathering of Christians who are all members of it.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church exists to gather for worshipping God, to provide joint edification of the body of believers, to proclaim the Good News of Christ to the world and to show the love of Christ to the world through acts of mercy and social concern. The Church also is to use biblical discipline in order to restore the fellowship of the Church and to preserve its purity.

Church governance proceeds from the commission from God to every believer and to the whole Church. It is to be submitted to the supremacy of the biblical principles and to admit and follow the high calling from God as its only goal.

Each member is to actively serve and assume a role according to the spiritual gifts and talents given by God for this purpose. The various leadership functions within the body of believers like elders, overseers, deacons, evangelists, prophets, apostles, pastors and teachers exist to equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. They always function in the context of the whole, and never in isolation, never by lording it over, and never forming a superior and separatist cast within the people of God.

The leaders of the church are empowered by God to minister to him and to his people which should be their only aim. They have to be tested and beyond reproach. Functions are to be assigned and approved by the leadership and the whole church and the ones chosen are to be appointed by the laying of hands on them and prayer.          

The Sacraments of water baptism and communion, instituted by Christ himself, are the expression of an inward confession of the believer of God’s eternal and unconditional love and outward signs of participation in saving grace. They are means of grace through which God works invisibly in us to strengthen and confirm our faith in him.            

Baptism is a symbolic one-time personal response of faith and obedience to God by public declaration of personal confession of faith, repentance, and commitment to follow Christ and is thus limited only to believers. As such it is not a prerequisite for salvation. Baptism represents being buried with Christ in his death and rising for a new life with him.

The Lord’s Supper, in which only believers participate, is a repeatable covenantal meal of remembrance of the sufferings of Christ, of his death on the cross, and of the New Covenant. It is also an expression of the love and unity of the body of believers with Christ and with one another. The bread and the wine represent the body of Christ that was broken for us and the new covenant in his blood.

 

The Final Things

The Kingdom of God has already come in the ministry of Christ, it continues to advance in the work of the Holy Spirit through the Church and it will come to completion at the second coming of Jesus and the consummation of all things.

No one knows the exact time of Christ’s second coming but his return will be visible to all, glorious and powerful, with a roar and with splendor.

The return of Christ will bring about the final defeat of Satan and his works and the resurrection of the dead. Christ will separate his own from among all the peoples on the earth. To them he will give the crown of righteousness and eternal life. The wicked he will judge and throw out of his presence into darkness for eternal punishment.

Christ’s Church will live in God’s presence eternally. In his Kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells, God will be all in all, he will rule and reign and will be worshiped forever and ever.



[1] Richard Lints, The Fabric of Theology: A Prolegomenon to Evangelical Theology (Eugene: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1999), 59.

[2] R.C. Sproul, The Divine Foundation of Authority, retrieved on March, 20, 2013 from: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/divine-foundation-authority/

[3] T.D. Alexander, From Paradise to the Promised Land: an Introduction to the Pentateuch, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002).

[4] Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: a Breviary of Sin (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995), 10.

[5] John Wesley, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007), 6.