Beliefs

As a Bible-believing Christian, I desire to be as forthright and clear about my beliefs and distinctives as possible. The most fundamental of these beliefs are as follows:

  1. GOD: God is one God, who exists eternally in three equal, yet distinct, persons: Father, Son and Spirit. He is unchangeable in holiness, justice, wisdom and love. God is the creator, saviour and judge of the world, who sustains all things according to His sovereign will for His own glory.

  2. THE BIBLE: God has revealed Himself through the Bible, which contains the Old and New Testaments only. All words have been inspired by the Spirit through human authors, so that the original texts are, in their entirety, the Word of God. It must, therefore, be without error or contradiction and thus be fully reliable in both fact and doctrine. The Scriptures alone speak with final authority and are fully sufficient for matters of belief and life.

  3. THE HUMAN RACE: All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the Fall, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him.

  4. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: Jesus is both fully God and fully man. he was conceived by the Holy Spirit to the virgin Mary, and lived a life without sin and in full obdedience to the Father. All of His words and teachings are true. He died on the cross in place of sinners, bearing God's wrath for their sin, thereby securing the redemption of His people. He was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father's right hand interceding for His people until He returns to the earth to establish His kingdom visibly.

  5. SALVATION: Salvation is solely the work of God, and cannot be deserved or earned. It was orchestrated by the Father's will, accomplished by the work of Jesus on the cross and through His resurrection, and is offered to all through the Gospel. Those who believe the Gospel have the work of Christ applied to their lives by the Spirit. God, in His love, forgives sinners whom He calls, granting them repentance and faith. Therefore, all who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, are adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.

  6. THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Spirit was sent by Father and Son to glorify Christ and to apply His work of salvation. His ministry involves the conviction of sinners, giving spiritual life, imparting knowledge of the Scriptures and working in and through us to bring about sanctification. The Spirit indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and works in the church by empowering its members for worship, mission and service.
     
  7. THE CHURCH: The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; as well as for pastoral care, accountability and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.

  8. BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER: Baptism and the Lord's Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church but it does not give or bring about spiritual life. It is ordained by Jesus Christ to be a sign to the person baptised of several things: of fellowship with Christ in his death and resurrection, and of belonging to him, and of forgiveness of sins, and of commitment to God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life. Only those who profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the proper subjects of baptism. The person is to be baptised in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I believe that immersion in water is necessary for the right administration of baptism. The Lord's Supper is a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.

  9. THE FUTURE: The Lord Jesus will return in power, might and victorious glory, and will judge the earth. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever. We are in the church age, and will remain in this age until the Lord returns.

  10. HEAVEN AND HELL: Jesus will raise the dead and judge the world in perfect righteousness, where the wicked will be sent to a real, eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into the presence of God. Hell is a literal place of eternal punishment for those who died in their rebellion against God, while heaven is a literal place in the presence of God, and will be made manifest here on earth in the New Creation and the New Jerusalem, after the second coming of Christ.

  11. MARRIAGE: The gift of marriage is first and foremost a picture of Christ's relationship with the church. It is a gift that existed before the Fall, and therefore was considered 'good' as part of the sinless creation. God has declared that marriage is between a man and a woman only, and that it is the only correct context for sexual intimacy. It must, therefore, be an exclusive relationship, and one in which sacrificial love, confession, repentance and forgiveness are clearly lived out. A married couple are to have left their own family to establish a new, distinct family unit together, which may include, by the Lord's blessing, children of their own, either by birth or adoption.

Concerning the covenant community, I believe that a healthy church should be:

  1. Christ-focused: whether immature or very mature, a healthy church is one whose overarching desire is to love Christ, learn more about Him and to grow in the Gospel daily. This Christ-focused, Christ-centredness would ideally permeate all aspects of service, sacrifice, evangelism and love.
  2. Loving and Service-oriented: looking inward, a healthy church seeks to love the Lord, and demonstrates this by loving the Lord's people, be it spiritually through prayer, practically through service or in any other way as the specific context requires.

  3. Missional: looking outward, a healthy church ought to have a vision for immediate, local and global opportunities of evangelism. This would hopefully allow for the development of a frequent mission trip to encourage, support and assist missionaries that the local church supports, and which would also be part of a larger endeavour to encourage inter-generational discipleship.

  4. Discipling: Discipleship is a hallmark of a healthy church, and I am very interested in developing a discipleship model that cultivates inter-generational relationships and friendships, and that has a place for an internship which would combine both 2) and 3). The focus would be to train men and women from within to go out and be evangelists, prayer-warriors and, specifically for the men, pastors and preachers of the Gospel. This is a specific passion of mine; I've given it substantial thought, and have already composed a basic syllabus and reading list. I, personally, have been blessed to have been part of various internships for almost four years, and have learnt substantially from these experiences.

  5. Baptistic: I believe in Baptist ecclesiology, including adult baptism by immersion, church membership, appropriate discipline (as a last resort, but because of faithfulness to protecting the name of Christ) and the importance of local church authority and governance. This of course means that I believe a healthy church ought to honour the ordinances given by Christ with appropriate frequency and reverence.

Other key distinctives that I hold to are:

  1. Word-Centred: God's Word is the sole authority in how we worship, what we believe and how we live. The Word became flesh is our only hope of salvation: Jesus took on a human nature, to live the life we ought to have lived and die the death we deserve. He is our saviour by becoming our substitute. We are united as believers by submitting to Christ as our Head and He has spoken to us in His Word. The Word proclaimed faithfully is the central focus of the worship service.

  2. Reformed: God is sovereign, and we are not. I believe in the five 'solas' of the Reformation: Scripture Alone revealing salvation In Christ Alone, by Faith Alone, through Grace Alone for God's Glory Alone. Man is utterly depraved and deserving of judgement, and thus we need both the death of Christ and the regeneration of our hearts through the application of Christ's work on the cross by the Spirit.

  3. Expositional Preaching: This is preaching that works through the Biblical texts as they have been revealed, following the structure and style of the text. This ensures that the whole counsel of God is taught faithfully, avoiding the two extremes of either focusing on certain 'hobbies' and avoiding difficult topics. The Biblical text of the sermon, therefore, determines the focus, the structure and the application of the message.

  4. Congregational Singing: The congregation teaches and admonishes one another through song. This means that the primary instrument in our music is the collective voice of the church assembled. The style of music contains both modern songs and older hymns, which are chosen because of lyrical content, and ought to lead us to praise God, exalt Christ, confess sins and have assurance in grace.

  5. Unified Worship: The church submits to our Head, Jesus Christ, by submitting to His Word. I believe that all age groups should worship, learn and fellowship together, whilst also being offered opportunities to grow with their peers.

  6. Corporate Fellowship: The church membership must gather frequently for fellowship and worship. Members ought to be expected to worship as one body on the Lord's Day and be in regular fellowship and discipleship throughout the week. The elders are to facilitate this.

  7. Lordship Salvation: To be a believer in Christ means to submit to His lordship over our lives. This requires us to deny our self in pursuit of obedience to Him.

  8. Complementarianism: All created human beings are made in the image of God and bear the dignity of this creation. We are all created equal in status before God, but have been given different roles in the church and in the home. Men have the responsibility to lead and teach the church spiritually just as husbands have the same responsibility in the home. This leadership is to be sacrificial, not dictatorial, as it reflects Christ's leadership of the church.

If you have any questions or comments, or wish for further clarification, please contact me through any of the offered means on the Contact page.