What We Believe

Statement 1

We are a Church, a fellowship of people, part of a denomination called assemblies of God, part of the Pentecostal movement, Pentecostal not just by name but by nature.

And so with this in mind I thought it important that we know what we believe as part of a movement

We Believe that the Bible (i.e. the Old & New Testament excluding the apocrypha), is the inspired word of God, the infallible, all sufficient rule for Faith & practice.

So how can we know this, what proof is there that this statement is true, why have so many stuck there neck on the block for what the Bible says about God, Jesus and us.

2 Peter 1:21

For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 Biblical inspiration is defined as the work of the Holy Spirit. God so guided the authors of Scripture as to enable them to write exactly the words which convey His truth to men and in doing so preserved their judgments from error in the original manuscripts.

When we state that we believe in the inspiration of the Bible, we mean that the writers were moved upon, directed and guided by God the Holy Spirit.

If left to man alone we would have had their interpretation of what God was saying and not the word of God but the word of whoever, and we would not be able to trust or rely upon it and undoubtedly it would not be so powerful as to be able to speak into our situations that we face today because it would not have been relevant to us today because man speaks about there own time whereas God speaks for all time.

The Word of God as given to us in the Bible is a product of two free agents and needed to be, human and divine. Through (fallible) human authors, God manifested the infallible and errorless writings, which convey His messages.

We learn from 2 Timothy 3:16 that the entire Bible is inspired by God, not just partially. It is an important concept, for if we choose and pick some parts of the Bible as inspired and others are not, then the entire Bible soon falls apart.

Who has the authority to decide the extent of inspiration, but God Himself

And God made it very clear that all Scripture, is inspired by Him.

What is inspiration?

The dictionary say’s

Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.

The word inspiration from the Latin word ‘inspirare’ means to ‘breathe into’

We talk of an inspired performance. We indicate that the performer seems to be aided by a power other than ordinary.

The Bible defines it’s inspiration as Devine. Given by the inspiration of God.

Therefore those who preach partial and degrees of inspiration are playing God. Since God is truth (John 3:33, Romans 3:4), what’s breathed out by God, must also be true (John 17:17) and infallible.

The process of inspiration is described in 2Peter 1:21, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

 

Statement 2

We believe in the unity of the One True and Living God who is the Eternal, Self-Existent “I AM”, Who has also revealed Himself as One being co-existing in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Deut.6:4,Mark12:29,Matt 28:19,2 Corinthians13:14.

The Westminster confession of faith is without doubt a complete and most comprehensive statement of God’s Being, character and power.

1) There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the re warder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgements, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty….

3) In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.

The Unified oneness of God
So is God one in number or one in unity? Plural personalities within the one God.

James 2:19

“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

This is a most unusual thing to say about the demons who do not question if God exists, having seen Him with their own eyes. Instead, this verse is saying that the demons understand that the three persons of the Trinity are in perfect unity, without difference of opinion, plan or authority. The unity between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is what makes the demons shudder, not the fact that God exists. They know that he exists; the verse makes no sense if the demons shudder merely because they believe in God. Its God’s unity that makes them shudder.

Tritheism

There is only one God but revealed in three persons, the problem is when you look at our journey when we first become Christians, we come to know God as our heavenly father, we come to know Christ as our personal saviour, then we have the experience of being filled with the holy spirit and the danger is Tritheism the idea of three God’s is an easy thing to fall into when you consider this without the correct teaching.

I know I struggled with this when I first became a Christian. To think of three God’s was easy, to think of one God in three was difficult but this is what the Bible declares.

Deut 6:4 “here o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one”.

It’s essential to stress the unity of One God.

Monotheism

There was unanimity among all theologians that God was one. The difficulty arose in the formula, one God in three persons. God is important to Christians because He is the base of out faith. Without Him we fall and our faith no longer has a purpose. The Trinity is God so it is important to Christians.

You have, God the Father.

Matthew 5:45 “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”.

Matthew 6:6  “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father”.

Then you have Jesus Christ;

Our Saviour, Messiah, Redeemer. He died for man, without His sacrifice our faith would be nothing and in vain.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin”.

Then you have the Holy Spirit.

He lives in those who have accepted Christ, not in a weird, “I am God too!” way but in an, “I am here with you always way.” The Holy Spirit is our guide and our conscience.

Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children”.

Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express”.

None of the three are more important than the other. They all serve their own purpose without which we would be nothing.

 

Statement 3

We believe in the Virgin Birth, Sinless Life, Miraculous Ministry, Substitutionary Atoning Death, Bodily Resurrection, Triumphant Ascension and Abiding Intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ and in His personal, visible, bodily return in power and glory as the blessed hope of all believers.

 The virgin Birth

We believe that Christ was the word in the beginning with God and that he was God. The Bible is very clear on this John 1:1 says

“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”

John 1:14 goes on to say how He was made flesh so that God’s plan of redemption for Man from sin could come to fruition.

God chose a virgin so that it couldn’t be said that Jesus was born of Man, a miraculous conception and birth.

Jesus birth is different from any other. Adam was created by God himself, Eve came from God and Adam. All of us are created by God but using Men and Women. Unlike Adam & Eve we were born as babies they were adults. Jesus came as a baby and so is like us, but no man was involved in the whole process. His conception being directly from God, through the Holy Spirit.

The Virgin birth was foretold

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.

Sinless Life

Christ’s birth from a virgin gave us a sinless saviour, due to his Holy conception. The difference being Children are born into this world innocent but none are sinless and our defects soon start to show themselves as we start to grow and we become good at sinning.

Childhood Innocence is miss interpreted as sinlessness but all it is, is underdeveloped sinfulness. Christ on the other hand was and is the only child born sinless and his holy conception guarantees his sinlessness and his sinlessness guarantees our perfect salvation. Again the Bible backs this up

2 Corinthians 5:21

For he made Him who knew no Sin, to be made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Miraculous ministry

The Gospels are filled with evidence of the authority which Jesus has as the Son of God.

Authority over sickness, nature, Demons, even Death.

There is never a story in the Bible about Jesus praying over the sick, he simply heals them, he commanded Demons out of people, he never asks.

The same with nature he had but to speak and nature obeys.

When he speaks of death he calls it sleep (Mark 5:39).

And John lets us into one of the most important reasons for the miracles.

John 20:30&31

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Substitutionary Atoning Death

Atonement is the reconciliation of God and Humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus.

The only way that we could be reconciled to God was for Jesus to bridge the gulf that had opened up between us and God due to our own actions.

Jesus gave his life for us voluntarily.

John 10:18

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father”

He took our place, paid the penalty that we couldn’t but should have.

He was our substitute.

2 Corinthians 5:21

 Bodily resurrection

The resurrection is the greatest show of power ever known; it was more than resuscitation, or bringing someone back to life. Such events had occurred before in Bible history. They had been raised again to have mortal life and although this in it’s self is great they were still subject to death> Christ was raised to mortality.

Luke 24:39

 Triumphal ascension

Christ’s ascension was visible

Luke 24:50 & 51

Acts 1:9

It was proof of his kingship

Ephesians 4:9 & 10

And it was necessary for the Holy Spirit to be given.

Acts 2:33, John 16:7

Abiding intercession

Hebrews 7:25

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Christ sits at the right hand of God in the seat of honour and authority and it is from this seat that he intercedes for and on our behalf. So he is always able to save those who come to God through him.

His pre-millennial second advent

The first advent is described as the greatest act in history yet the second is mentioned eight times as much, this great event is:-

Predicted by Christ – John 14:3

Predicted by Angels – Acts 1:11

Predicted by apostles – Acts 3:20 &21

The Second Advent will be followed by the great tribulation spoken of by Daniel & John in Revelation and will be brought to an end by the second coming of Christ.

 

Statement 4

 

We believe in the fall of man, who was created pure and upright, but fell by voluntary transgression.

Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-21

Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created man in his own image,  in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

The creation of man was very different from the rest of creation we read with regard to fishes, birds and beasts that God created them after their kind meaning a typical form of there own. Man was not created like this, God said; let us make man in our own image after our likeness.

This is shown in Genesis 2:7 where the creation of Man to be very different from all the rest of creation. The body is formed from the dust of the earth but then we read that God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and he became a living being. Man in this way became not only a physical being but a spiritual one as well.

 God made mankind to rule, God had given Adam everything he needed to succeed. God placed him in a fantastic environment and gave him a great job. He was the apple of God’s eye, his greatest work, lower than angels but higher than animals and God had given Adam, dominion over them. God saw that it wasn’t good for Man to be alone and so God provided Adam with the perfect companion. Gen 2:21-23.

When God created man he could have made us like robots to love & obey Him with no free will.

But God wanted more from us than that; he wants us to be part of his family but through choice.

He gave Adam the choice to obey God and have a great life with God or life without him when he said Gen 2:16&17

 So Adam had revelation from God about the tree of good and evil. Eve heard from Adam about it, for her there was no revelation from God about the tree.

When the serpent came to Eve Gen 3:1-5 she was easily deceived and yet in verse 12 Adam puts the blame on Eve, yet he was there with her at her side Gen 3:6.

Adam failed to step up to the plate for his family and Sin entered the world.

They were both given a good telling off and kicked out of Eden. The world has never been the same since bringing sickness and death and it has spread throughout the whole human race for we are all born into sin. But the good news is that we have Jesus and through asking him into our lives we can be set free. If we admit we have done wrong things God will forgive us. And as Adam made bad decisions and the Human race fell we have to make the best decision and follow Jesus.

Statement 5

We believe in salvation through faith in Christ, who, according to the Scriptures, died for our sins, was buried and was raised from the dead on the third day, and that through His Blood we have Redemption.
Titus 2:11, 3:5-7
Rom. 10:8-15
1 Cor. 15:3-4

1) We believe in salvation through faith in Christ

James 2:14–26

We cannot earn our way into heaven; we are saved through our faith by Gods grace, which is a free gift to us. Deeds alone don’t guarantee an eternity with Christ. As good works on their own would be motivated by selfish ambition rather than a response to God.

v 19 says that even the devil believes in God, therefore faith alone is incomplete. A true faith in God would result in us acting out our faith through our deeds. James gives 2 examples Abraham and Rahab.

Abraham was shown to be right with God for what he did because he believed. Likewise Rahab demonstrated faith in Gods purpose for Israel when she hid the spies and helped them escape, which resulted in her and her family being saved when the city was destroyed.

These verses seem to contradict what Paul says in Romans 3 v 28 but instead they are complimenting each other. It’s true that our good deeds cannot earn salvation but true faith always results in a changed life and good deeds. Paul speaks against those who try to be saved by deeds instead of true faith while James speaks against those who confuse a mere knowledge of God with true faith.

If salvation is God’s free gift, what does it matter how we live?

There is not any doubt in James mind, It matters a lot. In fact we can tell if some ones faith is real by how they behave. Genuine faith in Christ always spills over into the rest of your life. It affects our basic attitude to ourselves, to other people and to life in general. There should be no discrepancy between belief and action.

2) Who, according to the Scriptures, died for our sins,

1 Corinthians 15:3

Christ came to this earth  to make a way back to God to restore us to Him God has something in mind, he is deeply and personally committed to restoring humanity, By bringing us back to himself through Jesus, he has established relationship with us.

In Adam the whole human race fell and became subject to sin, therefore we are all sinners. But through Christ we have been rescued, we have been set free from the punishment we deserve.

Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

And it is open for all mankind the offer is on the table for everyone because Christ atoned for our Sin.

3) was buried and was raised from the dead on the third day, and that through His Blood we have Redemption.

When we become a Christian we die to sin because Jesus died for our sins when he was nailed to the cross. We are re-born through Christ when he rose again after three days, we are cleansed made pure in God’s sight because we are covered by Jesus blood and when we are Baptised by full submersion it paints a real life picture of that.

When we go down into the water our old life dies but when we come up we are reborn we were dead to God before but now we are alive to him. Sin was our master but not any longer.

There was a price that needed paying, a price that we couldn’t pay, it needed a pure sinless life and that life was Jesus.

It doesn’t stop there that is just the beginning, not only do we need to die to sin we need live through Jesus, Romans 6:8-14.

Statement 6

Baptism by immersion in Water

 We believe that all who have truly repented and believed in Christ as Lord and Saviour are commanded to be baptised by immersion in water.

 Jesus commissions the Disciples in Matthew 28:19 to go make Disciples and baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is not asking His followers to do this, but makes it a command, for all who follow Him to do this.

Jesus set the example in Mark 1:9 when he was baptised by John in the river Jordan.

After Pentecost the apostles make baptism a condition of Discipleship Acts 2:37-38 Peter said “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ”.

Why do we Baptise  

Paul in Romans 6:1-4 illustrates this for us. The passage is referring to salvation specifically and that at salvation we die with Christ are buried with Him and raised to new life. Baptism symbolizes exactly that which took place when we were saved. We are buried in the waters of baptism, and then raised to new life.

It’s not a requirement for salvation but it is a believer’s public declaration that they are now followers of Christ.

How do we Baptise

We have very clear examples in the life of Jesus and form the early church that baptism was full immersion. Mark 1:10 fully supports this showing Jesus at his own baptism and again there is Acts 8:38-39 the account of Philip and the eunuch showing that the apostles baptised by full immersion.

Some believe that baptism means to be sprinkled but the Greek word baptiso means to immerse, to plunge into and cannot be interpreted as sprinkling.

Whose name are we baptised into?

Matthew 28:19 gives us very clear guidance here. What formula we are to use. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

 

Statement 7

We believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit as an enduement of the believer with power for service, the essential, biblical evidence of which is the speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.
Acts 1:4-5, 8, 2:4, 10:44-46, 11:14-16, 19:6

We believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit as an enduement of the believer with power for service. As the angel told Zachariah about his unborn son. (John the Baptist) Luke 1:15. His future son would be “filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.

John the Baptist had prophesied (Matthew 3:11, John 1:33) that Jesus would Baptise with the Holy Spirit and that it was a gift from the Father. Both Jesus (John 14:16-17) and John had delivered that promise. He would come upon them and empower them to be witnesses to Jesus.

The accounts in Acts 2 of the day of Pentecost are of great significance to not only the early Church but also to successive generations of Christians.

The spirit guided all Jesus’s ministry, both his healing activities and his teaching. The power behind his ministry came to the disciples after the resurrection and ascension.

Jesus told his Disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the gift that God had promised in Acts 1:4and not to move until they had been clothed with power from on high. Jesus tells them “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” Acts 1:8.

The Holy Spirit would enable them to complete the great commission. Just as believers today, need the same power to equip them for service.

A believer at the point of conversion experiences the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but there then follows the act of the infilling of the Holy Spirit to provide this power.

In Acts 2:4 it clearly shows that all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and that all spoke in tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Speaking with other tongues was the evidence of the coming of the Holy Spirit and this is a pattern shown in the early Church experiences.

For example Acts 10:44-46 in Cornelius’s house, while ‘Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God’.

Acts 19:6 When Paul was in Ephesus “when Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

In Acts 8 even though it doesn’t mention that anyone spoke in tongues, it seems plausible that they did because Acts 8:18 ‘when Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles hands he offered them money’ and v 19 ‘give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hand may receive the Holy Spirit’  There must have been some outward sign for him to respond in that way, I can only come to the conclusion that it was a full on Pentecost experience.

 

Statement 8

 

We believe in the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of Christ in the Church today.
1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28. Eph. 4:7-16

Speaking in tongues? Prophecies? Healings? Discerning of spirits? These and other supernatural signs and spiritual gifts were commonplace occurrences in the early Church. On that the Bible is clear. But should we expect such spiritual gifts in our churches today?

Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, makes it clear that the infilling of the Holy Spirit was not just for his day but for future generations Acts 2:38-39 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

In Acts 2:17 peter declares that this outpouring was the fulfilment of the prophecy spoken by Joel when he said “In the last days I will pour out my spirit upon all people. Joel 2:28.

1 Corinthians 12 v 4-11 God gives His Holy Spirit to His people, so the Spirit Himself is the ultimate spiritual gift Acts 2 v 38. The New Testament teaching about the Spirit and His Gifts is based on the work of the spirit in the Old Testament where the spirit would come on someone giving them a specific gift for a specific time with which to serve God by serving His people.

In the church the Spirit is present with each of Gods people, not just with selected leaders every Christian is a gifted person 1 Corinthians 12 v7. The Spirit always brings one or more spiritual gifts to a Christian’s life these gifts are talents or spiritual endowments which equip the person to serve Christ.

Gifts vary from person to person and there are a variety of gifts to be used for the good of all. Christians are given gifts so that they can serve each other and not for making one person feel proud and another feel left out. Paul listed several gifts, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, gift of faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking with tongues, interpretation of tongues all spoken on in 1 Corinthians 12 v 8-10, but there is no reason to suppose these lists are comprehensive. He did not mention gifts which are widely recognised today, such as gifts of music, of youth work, or of counselling. Whatever skill you have which can be used to serve Christ and His people is a gift of the Spirit.

Paul recognised both miraculous powers 1 Corinthians 12 v 10 and leadership Romans 12v 8. The Spirit give whatever gifts He decides the ultimate gift of the Spirit is the one gift available to all Christians the gift of love 1 Corinthians 13, ‘to have all other gifts and to lack love is to have nothing’.

The Bible also makes it clear that there are gift ministries functioning in the church today namely those found in Ephesians 4 v11. These gifts are to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity and become mature Ephesians 4 v 12+13.

We have been given all that we need to fulfil the great commission given to us by Christ when He said ‘Go into all the world and preach all the good news to all creation’.

Statement 9

 

We believe in holiness of life and conduct in obedience to the command of God.
1 Pet. 1:14-16
Heb. 12:14
1 Thess. 5:23
1 John 2:6

1 Peter 1:14-16

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

God alone is holy, objects or persons can be classed as holy only by participation in His Holiness. When we are brought into relationship with God, His holiness creates holiness in us in a purifying, sanctifying action. God’s holiness makes a stringent demand upon us; we must humble ourselves before Him and become marked with the qualities that mark His own life. Holiness is not an optional extra but as the verse in 1 John says “whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.

Paul emphasises this essential ingredient of holiness in the Christians life when he wrote to the Colossian church in Colossians 3:1-12 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry? Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. you used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

On many occasions we are told in the New Testament that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. The world is in dire need of people who live out a holy life, to see it demonstrated in their everyday lives. Holiness for Christians is not being perfect, but rather a desire to live lives that are pleasing to God. Christian holiness is separation from sin and separation to God.

To be holy is the opposite of being “common” or “profane.” God is holy in that He is utterly different and distinct from His creation. His people must also be distinct, separate from the attitudes and actions which characterized them as unbelievers.

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”.

We need to be in the world but not of it

Statement 10

We believe that deliverance from sickness, by Divine Healing is provided for in the Atonement.
Isa. 53:4-5
Matt. 8:16-17
James 5:13-16

God’s original intention for Man was that the best of his creation would live in a perfect world having a close relationship with Him. But Adam and Eve spoiled it when they ate of the fruit and allowed sin to enter the world and death and deterioration was the result of this disobedience. Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

God’s plan of salvation for us through the death of Jesus at Calvary not only meant provision being made for salvation but also for healing. Isaiah foretold of the suffering servant who would become a servant to mankind and suffer death, in order to bring mankind back into relationship with God Surely he took up our infirmities  and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah pointed to a loving suffering servant whom God would provide as an atonement for sin. The verses indicate that the servant is neither Israel, the remnant nor the prophet Isaiah. The New Testament identifies him as Jesus. 1 Peter 2:21-25.

James 5:13-16

All situations call for prayer of some kind, whether we are troubled, happy or sick. In sickness, the prayer of faith calls forth the divine work. Christians have non exemption from the natural laws of God’s universe. We do get sick. We do have a mission to heal the sick. James described the use of oil, a medical remedy in his day as well as a symbol of God’s powerful presence. Christians should pray for the sick and use all resources available to affect healing. Ultimately we must leave the healing to God. Faith in God should not be lost if the sick person is not healed. Prayer is never a device by which God can be manipulated into doing my will. Christians should accept God’s answer to prayer whatever it may be. What we do know is the great power prayer has in our ministry to the sick.

The early church accepted that healing of the body was part of there salvation and they instituted a special rite to cater for the sick where believers could receive special prayer.

James in his letter says is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Faith is a vital ingredient in this passage and makes it clear that healing comes from supernatural means.

In verse 16 James makes a link between sin and sickness but Jesus has made it clear during his time of ministry that although sickness is a result of sin, it is not because of personal sin.

A question that comes up a lot is why some and not others. The purposes of God are way beyond us and only God has all the answers, he sees the whole picture our job is to trust in Him.

 

 

Statement 11

We believe that all who have truly repented and believe in Christ as Lord and Saviour should regularly participate in Breaking of Bread.
Luke 22:14-20
1 Cor. 11:20-34

It could be said that the breaking of bread or communion is one of the foundations stones of the New Testament church and along with Baptism with water is an ordinance or command of Christ Luke 22:19 The upper room “this is my body given for you do this in remembrance of me”. And has been an integral part of church life right down the ages.

The taking of the bread and wine, representing the body and the blood of Jesus is a constant reminder of the price Jesus paid for us on the cross and it is very important that we carry out communion regularly.

This is an important appointment In Luke 22:15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. And it is an appointment that we should be eager to keep. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26 It’s not the bread and wine that is important but the remembrance of what Jesus did for us. It is a time for us to worship and express our thanks.

Paul speaks of severe judgment coming on those who eat and drink the body and blood “in an unworthy manner” 1 Corinthians 11:27 saying that they are actually sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. The consequences were serious. Because of the abuse of the Lords supper 1 Corinthians 11:1-22 many of the Corinthians were weak and sick and some had died. 1 Corinthians 11:28-30. This exhortation calls us to serious and thoughtful observance of the breaking of bread. Being sensitive to the needs of others and especially concentrating on Jesus’s atoning death on the Cross and His return.

To take communion regularly keeps our hearts and minds focused on what really matters, sharing the good news of the gospel with everyone and looking forward to Jesus return.

 

 

Statement 12

 

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the everlasting conscious bliss of all who truly believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and the everlasting conscious punishment of all whose names are not written in the Book of Life.
Dan. 12:2-3,John 5:28-29, 1 Cor. 15:22-24,Matt. 25:46,2 Thess. 1:9,Rev. 20:10-15

The nature of the resurrection is first death then life. The resurrection gives life only after what has been physical dies. We are given a spiritual body only after our physical dies.

How can a body that is buried and decays be raised? Paul says we must look at the processes God has created in our natural order. A plant dies and leaves seeds. They produce a plant quite different from the seed but according to God’s plan. Bodily flesh is not the same for all creatures. Not all parts of creation have the same appearance. So God can use the dead physical body as the seed to produce the spiritual body with it’s own outer covering and it’s own appearance. The promise is that God will give all those that put their trust in Jesus a body like the resurrection body of Christ, one that will last through eternity, will have no infirmities, no ugliness will not be subject to the things that weaken and destroy our natural physical body.

Jesus says in John 5:28,29 “a time is coming when all who are in there graves will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned”. Also in Matthew 25:46 just prior to his death, he talks about “eternal punishment and eternal life”.

There is no hope for Man apart from His Mercy and Grace because God is holy and just and cannot allow sin to go unpunished he demonstrated this when he sent his son to be a sin offering. By understanding what has been done for us on the cross, we can escape our due punishment and become part of God’s family spending eternity with Him. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive”. 1 Corinthians 15:22. This is the Good news that God wants none to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Every Christian looks forward to the day when we can enter God’s presence to enjoy the inheritance he has for us, Peter writes about it being an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you 1 Peter 1:4.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 Paul says For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

In 2 Thessalonians 1:9 Paul speaks of those who do not know God. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power. We need to act now be focussed on sharing the good news with people making them aware of their destination if they don’t recognise their need of Christ. God’s plan is that none shall perish once Jesus returns that is over, the opportunity will have gone and only those that trust in Jesus will be saved.