OUR VALUES AND BELIEFS
These are some of the values and beliefs that we hold dear. They are offered humbly, yet with strong conviction, in the hope that they will reveal our heart and zeal to any interested party. We recognize that other believers may have different values and beliefs from ours and we honor and respect different opinions based on the revelation of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures. We fully accept that we all see and know in part and that we are all on a journey into deeper intimacy with God.
There is one God of three equal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The nature of God is a mystery beyond our ability to fully understand in this present age. God is good, kind, compassionate, loving, and full of grace (Exo.34:6). God’s nature and ways are revealed in the Bible which confirms that Jesus is divine and that Jesus is the perfect reflection and image of God the Father (Heb.1:3). The creed of Nicea (325AD) is a helpful in understanding the early Churches understanding of God’s nature and the relationship of the Trinity.
“God is love” (1 John 4:8) and we (believers) are God’s beloved children (John 1:12). We are able to love God, only because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We are called into an intimate and personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, who is the perfect expression of God’s unconditional love. Love, compassion, grace and a desire for holiness are primary proofs of true salvation (1 John 4:15-21). Love is God’s heart for us and love fulfills all the requirements of the Law (Gal.5:14). We endeavor to love others unconditionally because we are unconditionally loved by our heavenly Father.
GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
Through Jesus Christ we have receive God’s grace (John 1:17) – God’s unearned and undeserved favor, blessing, righteousness and enabling. The New Covenant is established solely through God’s grace (Heb.9:14-15) which comes only through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live in grace (Heb.10:29) which is the only way we are able to rightly relate to God and to others. It is God’s grace that helps us in our weakness to live a righteous, holy life (Titus 2:12). Because of God’s grace those who believe, are completely forgiven, justified and righteous in God’s eyes.
The key theme of the scriptures is the revealing of mankind’s sin of unbelief in God’s goodness, our self righteousness, independence from God , our use of knowledge, good works and religious laws, to justify ourselves along with our resulting fall into moral sin and depravity. God’s original will for mankind was that we were to simply have a childlike trust of Him and abide in His grace, righteousness and faithfulness.
God’s goodness, grace (Gen.6:8), true righteousness (Gen.15:6) and plan of salvation through the cross of Jesus has been progressively revealed throughout the Scriptures, culminating in the fullness of the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus (Acts 20:24) being revealed to the Apostle Paul by the risen and glorified Lord Jesus (Gal.1:12).
Understanding that we are a New Covenant people and that this covenant is founded on the grace that comes through the finished work of the cross is central to who we are. We have prepared an extensive eight part series called the Grace-Love-truth course which you may like to check out for a more detailed understanding of our values. (look in the posts on the side bar —–>).
Through freedom of choice mankind’s pride and independence led to the fall of both mankind and creation into a state of sin. Due to mankind’s rebellion (Gen.3:1-24) everything was polluted by the law of sin and death (Rom.8:1). At the fall Satan usurped mankind’s God given authority to reign over creation. The fall and sin thwarted God’s original purpose of an intimate relationship with mankind and mankind came under the judgment of God (Gen. 6:6-7). Consequently, without exception, every person needs to be saved from this fall into sin and be restored into a personal relationship with a loving and Holy God, who desires a Father child relationship with us (Rom.8:15).
Personal salvation is a free gift of grace, initiated first by a loving God who is sovereign. Salvation is received by faith (Eph. 2:7-10) and is available to everyone who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. Salvation includes repentance, being born again as a new spiritual being (John 3:3-8), being filled with the Holy Spirit (John 4:17), receiving eternal life and a present new life of increasing health, peace and well being, right now, right here. True salvation is evidenced by a passion for Jesus, a transformed person and a changing lifestyle of increasing love and holiness.
We are baptized in water as an outward confirmation of an inner work of salvation and sanctification brought about by the Holy Spirit.
Because of the fall of mankind (Gen.3) every person is destined to sin because all mankind inherited a sin nature from our forefather Adam (Ro.5:12). Sin is destructive, horrible and evil. It is something everyone needs to be set free from. Without being “born again” no person has the ability or will power to stop sinning, in fact we are all born as slaves to sin (Ro.6:6). Sadly the consequences of sin is death which manifests in broken relationships, sickness, a cursed life – and all the evil we see in the fallen world around us. The Old Testament laws of God exposes and reveals sin (Ro.5:20) and confirms that without God’s grace no one is righteous or holy (Ro.3:10). The good news however is that Jesus Christ, through the cross, came to set set us free from the power of sin so that we no longer have to live as slaves to sin. We now live as slaves to righteousness which enables us to live holy (Ro.6:1), blessed and joyful lives that glorify God. Jesus has brought all who believe into a New Covenant of grace that now empowers us to say no to sin (Titus 2:12).
FORGIVENESS OF SINS
The gospel is good news! God no longer condemns us for our sins (Rom.8:1), He is not angry with us, nor out to punish us. This is because Jesus paid for all sins on the cross and was punished in our place. Because of the cross, our sins are forgiven unconditionally, God no longer remembers our sins (Heb.8:12), nor are they taken into account any longer (Rom.4:8). Believers are now free from the curse of sin and the death it causes. Believers still sin from time to time (Gal.6:1) but the big difference is that we are no longer enslaved by Sin (Rom.6:17-18), nor do we willingly pursue a sinful lifestyle (1 John 3:6). We were once Sinners (Rom.5:19) but this is no longer our identity. We are now we are Saints (meaning holy ones in Gods eyes) through Jesus Christ our Lord(Eph.1:1). When we sin, God’s grace is there to cover our sin.
We are able to forgive others because we first received God’s forgiveness (Col.3:13). It is the kindness of God which results in repentance (Rom.2:4) and the acknowledgment that we were Sinners (1 John1:8-10) who needed salvation ( 2 Cor.7:10). Repentance is a change of mind concerning sin (Rom.12:2), true righteousness and holiness, and repentance is evidenced by a radical change of lifestyle and actions. Forgiving others and receiving God’s forgiveness is a key part of Christian living.
Christian’s are “believers” who have repented of their old way of life and thinking, accepted Jesus as both Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18), have died to “self” (Col.3:9-10), and been “born again”. They have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a religion – it is a relationship with the living God. Sadly, not everyone who calls themselves Christian are necessarily Christian (Matt.7:22) as they may know about God but never have entered into a personal “born again”relationship with God.
In the eyes of the Lord there is only one “Church” and it is made up of all ‘born again” believers across time and space. Despite many man made divisions, there is also only one local “church” in any one location (2Cor.1:1) and again it is made up of all believers of all denominations and church types in any one town. We believe that local church is the answer to a whole and blessed community. Church is based on loving family type relationships that strengthens and empowers Christian family life and marriages. Church and it is made up of believers who fellowship together to worship the Lord (1Cor.11:18) – a church is not a building (Eph.2:21-22) but the people who gather therein.
We recognize that there are many valid styles and expression of church ranging from formal and institutional to organic and free. We believe the Lord to be at work in all types of churches. The church is called to be contextual and cross cultural and therefore it may be made up of many churches that fellowship in different ways and in different places within community.
We are committed to strive for the unity of all “born again” believers (John 17:21) as this is both desirable and possible by the Spirit (Eph.4:3) as Jesus is the sole head of the Church. The Church is also referred to as Jesus’ Body on the earth (Col.1:18), Jesus’ Bride and the New Jerusalem (Rev.21:2).
We are a movement of multiplication and at present we focus on planting small, relational, simple churches (Col.4:15) which can be easily reproduced and who’s focus is evangelistic and missional and in nature.
Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace (Heb.10:29). He always points to and glorifies Jesus (John 16:14). He is active within all of us (Rom.8:5-16) leading us into truth, intimacy with Jesus and confirming our identity as children of the Father (Gal.4:6) and co-heirs with Christ. We are called to live by the Spirit (Gal.5:16) and to respond to His promptings and guidance as He speaks within us (Acts 10:19) and through the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit produces Godly character (Gal.5:22) and fruit in the lives of believers.
Baptism of the Spirit, is the release of the Holy Spirits power (1Cor.2:4) and gifts which are operational today (1 Cor.12:8). The gifts are a means of grace given to bless and minister love to all people (1Cor.14:1). Under the New Covenant we all have a ministry and a calling by the Spirit. We all have access to all the gifts as and when the Spirit determines. They are the spiritual tools of ministry (2Cor.3:6). The Spirit enables and empowers us to worship God (Phil.3:3)(John 4:5) and serve others in a right way. There is a direct link between the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Matt12:28) and the Kingdom rule and power of Jesus.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
To understand the Kingdom we must have a revelation of righteousness (Matt.6:5)(Rom.14:7) and grace. The Kingdom is the reign and rule of Jesus. The Kingdom is firstly within believers (Luk.17:21) and then in the world which believers influence. Jesus is King over all, in both the physical and spiritual realms. The Church is the agent of King Jesus and the means by which the Kingdom is advanced (Eph.3:10). The Kingdom is spiritual (John 18:36) but it affects the physical realm – miracles and the defeat of evil are signs of the Kingdom. The Holy Spirit empowers us to advance the Kingdom. Through the cross Jesus and His Church are victorious over Satan (Col.2:15) who is still in rebellion against the rule and authority of Christ. The Kingdom came, is here and is still coming in all its fullness.
Jesus is the Word (John1:1) and He is the final word on the Scriptures and their meaning. Ultimately, all the Scriptures are about Jesus, His kingdom, His New Covenant and His Church (John5:39)(Rom.1:2). All Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are the written word of God (2Titus3:16). They have spiritual authority and are free of error. They are literal, prophetic and allegoric, all at the same time. They can only be correctly interpreted by “Born Again” believers guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13)(1Cor.2:14). To be correctly interpreted a scripture must be read in its context. The Scriptures need to be correctly divided between the Old Covenants and the New Covenant (post the cross). When misused in a legalistic way they bring death and condemnation (2Cor.3:6) but when used in the Spirit they bring life and freedom (2Cor.3:3). They are to be used to teach, correct, equip and train in the righteousness of Christ (2Titus 3:16) and to reveal Jesus.
We all need to personally know the scriptures and use them to test all teachings and revelations.
The Law of Sin and Death (Rom.8:1) has been in effect since the fall of mankind. The Law of Moses is intrinsically an amplification of the Law of Sin and Death. The Law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, was given as God’s plumb line of holiness to expose self-righteousness , sin, pride and unbelief (Rom.3:2)(Rom.5:20). The Law amplifies sin (Rom.7:5) and exposes the need to be saved (Gal.3:24).
The Old Testament Law Covenant is a shadow and type pointing to the better New Covenant (Heb.10:1) of Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled all the Law’s requirements (Matt.5:17) on the cross and therefore we are all called to be ministers of the New Covenant by the Spirit (2Cor.3:6-18). We are not under Law but under Grace (Rom.6:15)(Rom.7:4). Love fulfills the requirements of the Law (Rom.13:10). We are New Covenant people and we do not mix the Covenants of Grace and Law as Jesus condemned those who ministered the Law (Matt.23:13-16).
Before the cross, Jesus preached the Law to the self righteous who trusted in the Law and exposed their pride (Luke 18:18-22) and self-righteousness, while to sinners who sought Him (Luke.19:1-10) he showed grace. After the cross Jesus proclaimed that the Law was no longer in effect (Rom.10:4). We are now under the law of Christ (Gal.6:2) and the law of the Spirit (Rom.8:2) – which is the call to unconditional love (Rom.13:10)(John 13:34), grace and freedom.
No one can be saved by their good works or through keeping the Law (Eph.2:9). The work the Lord requires of us is that we believe in Jesus (John 6:29) and strive to enter into His rest (Luke 10:39-42)(Heb.4:10-11). Right believing leads to right living and a holy life. We are co-workers with the Lord in doing the good works that He prepared for us in advance (Eph.2:10). The Holy Spirit empowers us and guides us to testify, to mission and to reach out to the poor, needy, sick, lost and hurting; especially to the widows and orphans among us (James 1:27). All good works must be founded on the sharing the good news of the Grace of Jesus and the call to salvation (Luke 4:18). We are children of God and servants to those around us (Phil.2:5-7).
MINISTERS AND LEADERS
All believers are called be be in accountable relationships. We are all ministers (Isa.61:6) and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be competent (2Cor.3:6) in sharing the good news of Jesus. Our mission field is first to those around us, wherever we have been placed by the Lord, and then to the ends of the earth. Leaders and elders are called to serve, bring believers to maturity as children of God, help deepen intimacy with Jesus, to equip, empower and teach. The ultimate aim of servant leadership is to release those in their care to fulfill the ministry the Lord has called them to (Eph.4:12) in advancing the Kingdom of Jesus and the sharing of the good news. Leaders need to be respected, honored and supported – as equals in Christ, and their calling seen as being crucial to the Body of Christ. Churches need to have dedicated elders in place to help guide and strengthen the fellowship.