Church Handbook

Chapter 6 Our Statement of Faith

1. THE SCRIPTURES.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, the product of holy men who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. It is the revealed will of God and our infallible guide and all sufficient rule for faith and practice. The New Testament in particular reveals the New Covenant we have with God through Jesus Christ (1Thessalonians 2:13, 2Timothy 3:15-17; 1Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 4:12). 

2. THE GODHEAD. 
We believe in One True and Living God, the Self-Existent Eternal "I AM", Who created all things out of nothing. God is Free, Infinite, Almighty, All-Knowing, Omnipresent, Absolute Love, Sovereign over all, Righteous, Holy and Just. God has revealed Himself as One Being eternally existent in 3 Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are coequal and co-eternal (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; Matthew 28:19, 1John 5:7). 

God the Father is the Begetter and Sender of the Son (the Word)
(John 1:14, 3:16, 14:28, 16:28).


God the Son,
 the only-begotten Son of the Father, the Word, is true God, having eternally existed with the Father. God the Son was manifest in the flesh in the man Jesus Christ. He is now the unique God-Man (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1,14,18). 

God, the Holy-Spirit 
proceeds forth from the Father, through the Son and is also fully God (John 15:26).

The 3 Persons of the Godhead act together in perfect unity in all their works. Our salvation was planned by God the Father in eternity past, Who sent the Son to accomplish it, Who sent the Spirit to reveal it to us and manifest it in us (Ephesians 1:3-14). 

3. THE FALL OF MAN. We believe that man did not evolve, but is a specially created being, made in the likeness and image of God, made to love and glorify God. Man was created in God’s image as a tri-partite being: spirit, soul and body (1Thess 5:23). He is a spirit, has a soul and he lives in a body. Originally he was pure and upright and given dignity and dominion in the earth. But through Adam’s voluntary transgression and fall, sin and destruction came into the world. When man fell his spirit died, his soul came under the power of the sin-nature in the flesh (a slave to sin) and his body became mortal (subject to sickness and death). Moreover he stands under the righteous condemnation of God. Every man born in Adam is born in a state of sin through his position and identification with Adam, and is also by nature 
a spiritually dead sinner: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and: “There is none righteous no, not one.” Therefore our only hope of salvation is through (trusting in) the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and His shed Blood. 
(Genesis 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21, 3:9-19, 23; 1John 3:8).

4. THE PERSON, LIFE and WORK OF CHRIST. 
We believe in the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Virgin Birth and full humanity, (He is the unique God-man, fully God and fully man). We believe in His sinless life and miraculous Ministry, His substitutionary atoning Death on the Cross, His bodily Resurrection and His triumphant Ascension, and His continuing Intercession for us at the right hand of the Father. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 7:26; 1Peter 2:22; Acts 2:22, 10:38; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:12: Luke 24:39; 1Corinthians 15:4; Acts 1:9; Ephesians 4:8-10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
 

We believe that even in our sin, God, the Father loved us and in His grace He purposed, planned and provided the way of salvation for us. The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, came to give His life for us, shedding His blood to restore and reconcile man back to God. He was manifested to undo the works of the devil and
 the effects of man’s sin. On the Cross, He bore our sins and died for us and was buried according to the Scriptures. God raised Him from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures. Through His precious Blood He has purchased our full salvation. 

The Work of the Cross was perfect and complete in every aspect:

(1) The God-ward aspect: He provided a perfect PROPITIATION for our sins, fully satisfying Divine Justice on our behalf. In His substitutionary sacrifice, He took our place and bore the full punishment, condemnation, judgement and wrath of God 
that our sins deserved and demanded. Now that the righteous and holy God is propitiated through the Blood of Christ, He is just and free to be merciful to us and to freely give us all things belonging to our forgiveness, blessing and eternal salvation (Luke 18:13, Romans 3:24-26, 1John2:1,2, 4:8-10, Hebrews 2:17)

(2) The sin-ward aspect: He provided a perfect REDEMPTION for us, paying the full ransom price (His precious Blood) to set us free (release us) from sin’s power, pollution, penalty, curse, (and ultimately even its presence), and to restore us to Himself and our eternal inheritance. Through the Fall man became a slave of sin and came under the dominion of the kingdom of darkness. Through redemption Christ cancelled all of sin’s claims upon us,breaking its power and authority over us, delivering us from its consequences (the curse), and releasing us into all the blessings of God. He not only paid the price in full for our forgiveness, but also purchased for us our position before God as His righteous sons, our place in Heaven and our eternal inheritance (John 19:30) (Exodus 6:6, Ruth, Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28, Ephesians 1:7,14 Romans 3:24, Colossians 1:12-14 1:7, 1Timothy 2:6, Hebrews 9:12,15; 1Peter 1:18,19, Galatians 3;13,14, Revelation 5:9).

(3) The man-ward aspect: He provided a perfect RECONCILIATION The word for reconcilation means ‘exchange.’ This is the Divine Exchange accomplished on the Cross for us, where, in Christ, our sin and resulting death (curse) was exchanged for His perfect 41 righteousness and life (blessing). On the Cross, Jesus bore our sin and freely offered up His righteousness to God. Thus our sin was imputed to Christ, and in exchange His righteousness was put to our account. Thus in Christ, God has reconciled us to Himself (He has removed the difference in righteousness, which was a barrier between us and God, cutting us off from His presence and disqualifying us from receiving His life) making it possible for us to be reconciled (reunited) to God (our relationship fully restored) and to receive all the blessings of salvation and eternal life (see 2Corinthians 5:17-6:2, Romans 5:10-21, Col 1:22, Gal 3:13,14).

5. MAN’S SALVATION. We believe that man’s only hope of salvation is in Jesus Christ. Salvation is from and through Jesus Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, as we trust in Christ alone for our salvation. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the Law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God (Eph 2:8-10; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Romans 3:24; 5:15-21, 10:8-15; 1Cor 15:3-4). 

He provided salvation for all mankind, to be received or rejected according to man’s free-will. On the Cross, this work of salvation was fully accomplished for us and made available to us in Christ. He now offers it to all men as a Free-Gift through the Gospel. Helped by the conviction and call of the Spirit through the Gospel, man’s first step toward salvation is realising he is a sinner, who cannot please God on his own merit or save himself. He repents (turns) from going his own way in life and trusts in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, surrendering to Him as his Lord. If he believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confesses with his mouth, Jesus as his Lord, calling upon Him for salvation, then he will be saved (Romans 10:8,9,13). 

When (and only when) we accept Christ and His offer of salvation His perfect work accomplished once and for all on the Cross (propitiation, redemption and reconciliation) is applied to us by the Holy-Spirit (for God respects our free-will). When we trust in Christ alone, God applies the salvation earned by Christ to us through the Spirit. He baptises (puts) us into Christ (Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27, 1Cor 12:13), so that we are now in Christ and all that is in Christ automatically becomes ours, so that God’s wrath is removed from us and instead we come under His grace, we receive the reconciliation (Romans 5:10,11), and we have the redemption (Ephes 1:7) that He accomplished for us on the Cross.

Immediately our sins are REMITTED (forgiven and removed) from us, and we receive the righteousness of Christ by IMPUTATION. On this basis (the merit of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone) God JUSTIFIES us (declares us righteous, in right standing with Himself). Thus we are justified by faith alone. Therefore there is now no condemnation to us in Christ (Romans 8:1). As a result of our justification, our relationship with God is fully restored and established upon a firm foundation (we have PEACE WITH GOD through Christ- Rom 5:1). But God goes even further! His desire is to exalt our position and bring us closer to Himself, so God (the Father) ADOPTS us as His sons, legally placing us as full sons in His family, with full rights of inheritance, so that we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with His only begotten Son (Rom 8:15-17, Gal 4:4-7, John 1:12, Eph 1:5, Col 1:12, 1Jn 3:1).

Our position and inheritance is secured by the everlasting, perfect New Covenant established in the Blood of Christ. This Covenant between God and man was cut in the body of Jesus, the God-man. He is the Mediator, the Representative both of God and man. As God He represents God to man, and as man (the second Adam) He represents man to God. Through His perfect, obedient life and death, God accepted Him as man’s righteous Representative, and accepted His Blood as the basis of a New and eternal Covenant. God accepted the Covenant Christ made with God on our behalf. Therefore He gave Christ all the promised Covenant blessings, the full eternal inheritance of the Covenant, and Christ received them on our behalf in His resurrection and exaltation to glory. By the power of His Spirit, God raised the Man Jesus from the dead (spirit, soul and body) by speaking into Him every benefit and blessing of the New Covenant, giving Him a position at His right hand as His son (Psalm 2:6,7), and filling Him with glory. 

In His Deity, He always was and is God’s Son possessing eternal glory, but His humanity went through this transformation for us. Because He identified with us in becoming a man, we can be united to Him through His humanity. When we receive Him, we are put in Christ (united to Him and identified with Him), and so IN CHRIST we share in and possess all the blessings He received from God on our behalf because of His obedience as a man (Ephesians 1:3, 2Peter 1:3,4, Romans 8:17,32, Galatians 4:7). 

When we believe the Gospel that Christ has made a Covenant with God in His Blood on our behalf, and personally accept Him as our Representative Man before God, then we are positionally taken out of Adam and put into Christ and through identification with Him we automatically qualify to receive His inheritance of life. (If we do not receive Christ, then we will stay in Adam and receive his inheritance of death through identification with him). In Christ, this inheritance is ours through us becoming righteous sons of God through justification and adoption (as His sons, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, the firstborn son).

Upon the basis of this legal objective work done FOR US in establishing our COVENANT RELATIONSHIP with God as His righteous SONS possessing an eternal INHERITANCE in Christ, the Holy-Spirit begins to release that inheritance of LIFE to us and manifest it in us. This is His subjective work IN US, sanctifying and transforming us, spirit, soul and body, into the image of Christ by the IMPARTATION of His life and nature (righteousness) to us (Romans 1:16,17). As we receive more of God’s life and love, so we give Him more of our life and love and we are changed from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:17,18). This sharing of life is our COVENANT FELLOWSHIP with God and our transformation by His life is called SALVATION. 

This SALVATION begins at the moment of saving faith with our REGENERATION (Titus 3:5) - the salvation of our spirit, when the Holy-Spirit recreated our dead spirit. We received God’s ETERNAL LIFE and LOVE NATURE into our spirit (John 6:47, Romans 5:5) and became a New Creation in Christ, a New Man, His workmanship created in His perfect image, in righteousness and true holiness for good works (2Cor5:17,21, Eph 2:8-10, 4:24, 1Pet3:4). We are born-again as children of God (1John 5:1,11,12, James 1:18, 1Peter 1:23). This New Birth is necessary to all men to enter the Kingdom of God and is an instantaneous, perfect and complete operation of the Holy Spirit upon initial faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:5-7,14-17). So we are not just legally adopted, for God is now also literally our Father.  Adoption by the Father logically came first (John 1:12, Galatians 4:5), providing the legal basis for our spiritual regeneration by the Holy-Spirit (John 1:13, Galatians 4:6). See also Romans 8:15,16.

Our old man (spirit) was crucified, died and was buried with Christ, and our new spirit-man is dead to sin and alive to God, having been made alive together with Christ, raised with Christ far above all powers and seated with Christ at God’s right hand (Romans 6:3-11, 8:10, Ephesians 2;5,6, Colossians2:11-15, 3:1-3) This is a perfect work of God. Our spirit has been saved and is perfect and complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). It is begotten of God, possessing the resurrection life of Christ, which has already overcome the world, sin, satan and death (1John 5:4,5). Therefore it cannot sin, being free from the authority, power, presence and pollution of sin, satan and death (1John 3:9, 5:18). Therefore upon completing this work the Holy-Spirit can and does permanently indwell our spirit (John 14:16,17, 1John 4:4, Rom 8:9,11,15), so that we are now Temples of the Holy-Spirit (1Cor 3:16, 6:19, 2Cor 6:16, Eph 2:21.22). We are sealed with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) signifying that our spirit is a genuine, completed work, owned and protected by God. Therefore, we are secure in Christ’s salvation (unless we reject Him). 

 6. ASSURANCE of SALVATION. The inward evidence to the believer, that he has received salvation, is the faithful promise of God’s Word (John 3:16,36; 5:24; 6:37,47). Trusting fully in God’s Word he enters into the rest of assurance of his salvation. He also has the direct witness of the Spirit that he has peace with God and is a child of God (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men of his genuine faith and salvation is his changed life of worship, godliness, holiness and love (1John 3:23; John 13:35).

7. FAITH and WORKS.
 Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ apart from any human works (Ephesians 2:8-10), however our works are evidence of our faith (if a professed faith has no works then it is dead). We are justified before God by faith alone (He sees our heart and justifies us before we do any works), but not by a faith that stays alone, for a true faith will result in works of faith. We are (our faith is) justified before men by our works, for they cannot see the faith in our heart, except in the fruit it produces in our lives (James 2:14-22). Moreover our works are necessary for our spiritual growth, and they will determine our rewards in eternity , Romans 14:10-12, 2Cor 5:10, Titus 3:5-7).

Saving Faith consists of (1) Knowledge of the facts of the Gospel (2) Assent or agreement with these truths of the Gospel, and (3) Trusting in Christ alone for our salvation (forgiveness and eternal life). Thus faith is not just of the head (intellectual assent) but also of the heart, for it involves a commitment of our heart to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. For “with the heart man believes” (Ro 10:10). In itself, faith is of the heart (invisible), but it is revealed (it shows itself) through our actions. By definition, faith is distinct from works. Faith is not us actively doing something, but passively believing (trusting) in our heart in Christ and His Work, being confidently assured by His Promises (Hebr 11:1). Now a true faith will issue (result) in obedient works of faith, for by faith men of God act on God’s Word (Hebrews 11), but faith (in itself) is not an action, but an attitude of the heart (a trusting surrender) toward God and His Word. 

8. SANCTIFICATION. We believe in holiness of life and conduct in loving obedience to the command of God: “Be holy, for I am holy” (1Peter 1:14-16, Hebrews 12:14, Philippians 3:12-14, 1John 2:6).  Sanctification is a definite, yet progressive work of grace, based upon the completed work of Christ in His death and resurrection (1Corinthians 1:30). It is the ongoing work of the Holy-Spirit conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ as we obey God’s Word. It is God’s life working in us changing us from glory to glory. It began with the regeneration (salvation) of our spirit. Now it is the outworking into our souls (our mind, will and emotions, our character and personality) of the salvation already accomplished in our spirit. This happens as we hear and do the Word of His grace (James 1:21-25), which tells us who we are and what we have in Christ (Positional Truth). As our mind is renewed by this Word and we live accordingly, putting on the New Man in our attitudes, words and actions, then we undergo a metamorphisis (transformation), where the life and nature of Christ within our spirits is expressed, revealed and manifested in our lives (Romans 12:2,3; 2Cor 3:18; Ephesians 4:23,24). 

Jesus said that we were slaves to sin, but that He set us free and made us sons (in the New Birth). Then we will experience this freedom (reality) in our lives as we come to know and act on the truth in His Word of who we are in Christ (John 8:31-36). Thus by hearing, knowing and doing the Word, trusting in the help and power of the Spirit, we are to work out (express) in our lives the salvation that God has already worked within us (Philippians 2:12,13). In this way we bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in our lives - love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, humility, self-control (Galatians 5:22,23, 1Cor 13:1-13). Thus our ongoing sanctification is evidenced by our growth in grace and the fruit of the spirit, especially love (2Peter 3:18). 

This sanctification (salvation) continues until its consummation in our glorification at Christ’s Return, when our body will be changed to be just like Christ’s (Phil 3:20,21, 1Cor 15). Then we will be able to enjoy our full inheritance of glory as God’s sons. Thus our spirit has been saved (in the New Birth), our soul is now being saved (by hearing and doing the Word), and our body will be saved (sanctified) at its resurrection (1Thess 5:23). 

9. GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY and MAN’S FREE-WILL.
We affirm both God’s sovereign, free grace in salvation and man’s sovereign free-will to accept or reject God’s grace. God chose us in Christ from before the foundation of the world according to His foreknowledge (Ephesians 1:4, 1Peter 1:2). He determined in Himself to create a universe with people made in His image with free-will, and purposed that although they would fall into sin, He would redeem them through His Son, adopt them as His sons and transform and glorify them, so that they would be conformed to the image of His eternal Son. For each possible universe God could have created, He foresaw (in His Omniscience) those who would accept His Son and would become His sons. Then based on His personal love for each of us individually, and desiring to have us as sons in His family, 
He sovereignly chose to create this specific universe where we exist and trust in Christ (rather than another universe in which a family of God would be brought forth which did not include us). He has predestined all who would believe in Him for salvation and glory, planning and putting into place everything needful to accomplish our full salvation from start to finish, working out all things according to the purpose of His will- the manifestion of His sons, that we should be to the praise of His glory! (Eph 1:11). Thus this universe exists for our sake, and God is working all things together for our good if we are in Christ (Romans 8:28-30).

ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED?
 We believe it is possible for a sinning or backsliding believer to lose his salvation by exercising his free-will, continually resisting God’s grace and hardening his heart until he effectively rejects God’s grace of salvation, no longer trusting and submitting to Christ as his Saviour and Lord (Hebr 6:4-9; 10:24-31, 1John 5;16,17).  However such a person who committed the unforgivable sin would have seared his conscience so much, that he would not even want to repent. So if someone is worried about their salvation and sorry for their sin, they could not have crossed this line. Trusting in God’s Mercy through the Blood of Jesus (who has paid for all our sins by His death on the Cross) and the faithful promise of His Word, they should confess their sins, receiving His forgiveness and cleansing according to 1John 1:9. 

What of those who are constantly practising a sinful lifestyle? 
There are two possibilities concerning their condition: 
(1) They might be unregenerate, having never truly trusted in Christ as their Lord and Saviour, despite calling themselves Christians and they show it by their life (1Cor 6:9-11, 1Jn 3:6-15)
Or (2) they may be saved, but have backslidden, in which case they are in danger of losing their eternal salvation and inheritance if they don’t repent, especially if they die in this state (Gal 5:19-21)

10. WATER BAPTISM (see Appendix 4).  We believe Baptism by full immersion in water is commanded upon all who have truly repented and believed with all their hearts in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. It is for believers only, a public declaration of our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection- that our old-man and life is died and buried with Christ, and that now we have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. Baptism also is the ordained way for the Church to publicly acknowledge a new believer as a member of the body of Christ, and so is the first step in a new life of being a disciple of Jesus. The following baptismal formula is adopted: “In the NAME(by the authority) of JESUS, I now baptise you in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 8:36-39, 10:47-48; 2:38-39, Rom 6:4, Col 2:12).

11. THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY-SPIRIT. 
We believe that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift of God 
49 promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to all believers, and it is  distinct from and received subsequent to the New Birth. Its purpose is an endowment of power for life and service, the bestowal of gifts  and their uses in the work of ministry. Therefore all believers should ardently expect and earnestly seek this Baptism, according to the command of Jesus Christ. The experience is accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues (unknown languages) as the Holy Spirit gives the utterance (words), and by the subsequent manifestation of spiritual power in testimony and service (ministry).  From that time the believer has ability to pray to God in tongues and should do so often. (Matthew 3:11, Luke 24:49, John 14:16,17; Acts 1:4-8, Acts 2:4,38,39; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 19:1-7, Isaiah 8:18).

12. GRACE and FAITH By His death and resurrection Christ freely gave us every spiritual blessing that we need to live this life in victory. He reveals these blessings of grace through His Word, by which also faith comes (Romans 10:17).

God’s Blessing covers every area of life:
a) Spiritual (John 3:3,11; 2Cor5:17-21, Romans 10:9,10)
b) Mental (2Timothy 1:7; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3)
c) Physical (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:17; 1Peter 2:24)
d) Financial (3John2, Malachi 3:10,11; Luke 6:38; 
2Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14). 
e) Social (Proverbs 3:4). When we appropriate these blessings by faith and confession, the Holy-Spirit brings them into manifestation in our life (Mark 11:23,24; Romans 10:8-10).


13. DIVINE HEALING. 
We believe that deliverance from sickness by Divine Healing is provided for in the Atonement of Christ, and is the privilege of every member of the Church today. On the Cross, Jesus bore our sickness as well as our sin, providing healing for all. Healing for the physical ills of the human body is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith, and by the laying on of hands (Mark 16:18; Ps 103:3, 50 Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; 1Peter 2:24, James 5:13-16). 

14. THE CHURCH. We believe in the Church, the body of Christ, who is the Head. Every born-again believer is an integral part and member (Matthew 16:18,19, Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews12:23). Moreover the New Testament teaches it is God’s will for all Christians to be members of a local body (Church) of believers, where they can grow spiritually as they both receive and participate in the ministry of the Church (Ephesians 4:16). 

God has ordained the Local Church to be a channel of grace to the world through spreading the Gospel, and also to be an essential means of growth to each believer through:
a. The Preaching and Teaching of God’s Word.
b. Water Baptism and Holy Communion 
c. The Fellowship and care of one member for another.
d. Corporate Worship and Prayer.
e. Participation in the churches ministry and outreach.
f. Pastoral oversight (Acts 2:42-47)

15. GIFTS and MINISTRIES. The whole Church is called to continue the ministry of Jesus - preaching the Gospel and healing the sick (John 14:12,13). The supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the New Testament (including healing) have not passed away (1Corinthians 12-14) and the anointed leadership ministries of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher have been set by God in the Church for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry (1Cor 12:4-11,28; Eph 4:7-16)

16. HOLY COMMUNION. We believe that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper by eating of the Bread and drinking of the cup in remembrance of Jesus is enjoined upon all believers until the Lord comes (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:20-34). 


17. The RETURN of the LORD and RESURRECTION of the JUST. 

We believe in the Blessed Hope of all believers - the imminent Return of the Lord Jesus, to gather all his saints to  51
 heaven. Jesus said:“Behold I am coming soon, I come as a thief in the night.” “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). When He comes, “the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:16,17; 2Thessalonians 2:1). 

At this time our bodies are resurrected and our sanctification is completed by our glorification (Rom 8:28-30; 1Cor15:51,52).  After this there will be a special period of 7 years on earth called the Tribulation when evil upon the earth comes to its fullness to be judged (Revelation 6-19). Following the Tribulation, Christ shall personally return to earth, coming with his saints from Heaven in His in power and glory, as the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and together with His saints who shall be kings and priests, He shall rule and reign for 1000 years on earth (Romans 11:25,27; 2Thessalonians 1:7; Rev 19:11-16; 20:1-7). After this there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21).

18. ETERNAL JUDGEMENT (LIFE and DEATH)
 
We believe that all human beings are accountable to God and will face a final judgement to determine their eternal state. We believe that even the unrighteous dead will receive a bodily resurrection before they stand in the judgement. God will take His people, who truly believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, to be with Him forever in everlasting conscious bliss. They will be rewarded with different degrees of glory.

We believe that all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life (who die in their sins without trusting Christ as Lord and Saviour) will suffer eternal separation from God, hopelessly and eternally lost in the lake of fire and will have no further opportunity of hearing the gospel and repenting. The lake of fire is literal. The terms ‘everlasting’ and ‘eternal’ used in describing the duration of conscious punishment of 
those condemned in the lake of fire, carry the same meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy of saints in the Presence of God.
 They will experience different degrees of torment depending on their sin (Dan 12:2-3; 1Cor 15:22-24; John 5:28-29; Matt 25:46; 2Thess 1:9; Heb 9:27, Rev 19:20;20:10-15).

19. ISRAEL We affirm the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. God has chosen Israel to bring forth our Messiah Jesus Christ, the son of David, the Lion of Judah, as well as His true revelation to mankind in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy One of Israel. Despite the national unbelief of Israel concerning her Messiah, God has neither finished with Israel, nor replaced Israel by the Church in His purposes. 

Israel’s standing is based on her ELECTION by God’s sovereign, unconditional grace before the foundation of the world (Amos 3:1,2; Deuteronomy 10:15, 32:8,9; Romans 11:1-7,28,29, Jer 31:3)Thus she remains God’s CHOSEN people. Although only a remnant of believing Jews (‘the Israel of God’) will fulfil God’s calling (the rest disqualify themselves), God’s election of Israel guarantees the preservation of the remnant of Israel and the ultimate repentance, salvation and restoration of the nation of Israel in fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant (see Romans 9-11).

Israel’s standing, existence and future is guaranteed by the Abrahamic Covenant for God is faithful to the everlasting, unconditional Covenant He made with Abraham, and confirmed to Israel through Isaac and Jacob (despite Israel’s sin). This Covenant guarantees the continued existence of Israel as a nation and the fulfilment of all God’s covenant promises to her, as confirmed by all the prophets who prophesied the coming golden Messianic Age of God’s Kingdom on earth (the Millennium), when Israel will enjoy all the promised covenant blessings. 

The Abrahamic Covenant was first stated in seed-form in Genesis 12:1-3 where God promised Abraham and his seed: (1) The Land, (2) Nationhood, (3) Spiritual Salvation. 

Later these 3 promises were confirmed and developed by God in 3 Covenants: 

1. The Land Covenant (Deut 30:1-10, Gen 12:7, 13:14-17, 15:18, 17:7,8, 1Chronicles 16:17, Psalm 105:8-11).

2. The Davidic Covenant, promising nationhood through an everlasting King (the son of David) and Kingdom (2Samuel 7:12-16, 1Chronicles 17:7-14, Psalm 89:19-37, 132:11-18).

3. The New Covenant promising spiritual blessings, prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and established through Jesus Christ. This New Covenant replaced the temporary Old (Mosaic) Covenant and belongs to the seed of Abraham. Now the Church, by virtue of being in Christ (the Seed of Abraham) are partakers of the New Covenant. However this does not change the fact that Israel will receive the fulfilment of the New Covenant, as well as the rest of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Messianic Kingdom Age, when Jesus will literally reign on earth on the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years, with Israel exalted among the nations. 

Israel has unconditional promises that guarantee her future (Jeremiah 31:10,35-37). The rebirth of Israel in 1948, and her re-establishment of control over Jerusalem in 1967 were according to God’s purpose, plan and promises and fulfilled the Biblical prophecies that after scattering Israel to all the nations, God would regather her to her promised land. Israel’s rebirth is the fulfilment of the sign of the Fig-Tree given by Jesus for us to know when we are near the end of the Church-Age (Matthew 24:32-35). This event signified that ‘the Times of the Gentiles’ (of Gentile Dominion over Israel), a time-period imposed by God on Israel as a discipline because of her sin, are now fulfilled (Luke 21:24). Now God is preparing the way to bring Israel to repentance and faith concerning her Messiah. Israel’s rejection of Christ has resulted in tribulation for her, which will continue until she accepts Jesus as her Messiah. Israel’s repentance and faith in her Messiah are necessary for her national restoration in the Kingdom (which is why Jesus did not establish the Messianic Kingdom at His First Coming, but instead postponed it and released salvation to the Gentiles by establishing the Mystery Church-Age).  

But Israel will finally repent and call upon Jesus in faith to save her, and in response He will return (His Second Coming) to judge the nations, restore Israel and set up His Kingdom on earth (Romans 11:26,27). Thus the rebirth and regathering of Israel is a fulfilment of prophecy and sets the stage for all the remaining prophecies of the Bible to be fulfilled. Israel’s miraculous rebirth is now a sign to the nations that God’s Word is true and that the End of the Age is upon us. God will fulfil his purposes for Israel, but if people, nations or religious groups resist God’s purposes for Israel, by cursing her or seeking her destruction, then God will bring them into judgement. But if they bless Israel, they will receive a blessing (Genesis 12:3). 

20. DOCTRINE and UNITY. 
Good Bible teaching is essential for a healthy Christian life, spiritual growth and fruitfulness (see the Parable of the Sower). It is through hearing, knowing and doing the Word of God that a strong, stable Christian life and character is built. We believe in majoring on the majors, and minoring on the minors. In essentials there must be unity. In non-essentials there must be liberty. In all things -charity. We endevour keep the unity of the Spirit in a spirit of humility, prefering one another in love (Ephesians 4:3), but not compromise the truth. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

22. THE BELIEVERS RESPONSIBILTY
 is to obey the Commandment to love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourself (Matthew 22:37-40). Loving God means putting Him first, which includes maintaining and cultivating our spiritual life through our own daily devotional time with the Lord. We should set aside time for personal worship, prayer and Bible-study. We are to love our fellow believers as Christ has loved us, and to love the world by sharing the Gospel of salvation with them.

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OBC Office

363 Banbury Road
Oxford - England - UK
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Cheney School Hall
Cheney Lane - Headington
Oxford - England - UK
OX3 7QH