Statement of Faith

The Bible is God-breathed, and the Holy Spirit inspired the authors, revealing to them what He wanted written.

Daily Thought

Your Word for 19 April 2024

Hebrews 4:16
‘So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.’

Statement of faith

This statement constitutes a guide to the fundamental beliefs of ALIVE TO GOD. The conduct and communication of ALIVE TO GOD – shall be based upon and, at all times, be consistent with this statement.

The Scriptures

The Scriptures in their original form, both the Old and New Testament, are divinely inspired and are the revelation of God to man. All Scripture is God-breathed – the Holy Spirit inspired the authors, revealing to them what, He wanted written (Acts 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). These Scriptures are infallible truth, containing no contradiction or error. It is the final authority for faith, doctrine and life. The canon of the Bible is closed. Christians must remain receptive to the illumination of Scriptural truth by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:17; Luke 4:17-21; 24:27, 44; John 5:39; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Peter 3:15, 16).

The Godhead

God is Spirit – infinite, eternal, uncreated and unchangeable in His being or attributes. In Him all things have their source, support and end (John 4:24; Psalm 102:25-27; Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17). There is one true God who has a plural nature – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – all distinct personalities, all designated God (John 1:1,18,14; Hebrews 1:8; Acts 5:3,4). The Bible does not teach that there are three Gods, but upholds the doctrine of the Trinity – one God who reveals Himself in three persons – equal in power and glory (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16, 17; 28:19; Acts 10:38; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is Lord and the Son of God – these titles proclaim His deity. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, not that He is a Son of God in a general sense, but the Son of God in a unique sense. As God He existed eternally and will exist forever (John 1:1-3, 18; 17:5; Hebrews 1:2-12; 13:8). By taking on the form of a man, Jesus is the Word that became flesh. His birth was supernatural and not natural as in the case of all other men. He was miraculously ‘virgin-born’ of the Holy Spirit, without a human father (John 1:14, 8; Isa. 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25). The Bible declares His absolute deity and His complete humanity. He lived a sinless life on earth; teaching, preaching and performing miracles with divine authority (Matthew 16:13,16; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 4:23,24; Acts 2:22). Jesus fulfilled God’s plan in history. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, was buried and descended to Hades. Christ died for all and rose bodily from the dead. He did not only rise spiritually, nor just as a spirit being, but it was a physical resurrection. The doctrine of the resurrection is foundational for Christianity (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, 14-21; Luke 24:6, 39; Acts 4:33; Romans 1:4; 5:10; 8:11). After His resurrection He ascended to the Father in heaven. He is alive forevermore in His resurrected body and exalted position, representing us before the throne of God as our High Priest and Advocate (1 Timothy 3:16; Mark 16:19; Philippians 3:20, 21; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14 – 16; 7:24, 25).

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a divine person, the third person of the Holy Trinity, distinct from the Father and the Son (Luke 1:35; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; 2 Corinthians 13:14). The clear and unmistakable teaching of Scripture is that the Holy Spirit is personal and is God. He is not an impersonal force, nor a mere principle or influence, but possesses full, distinct personality (John 14:16, 26; 16:7, 8; Acts 13:2, 4; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:30).

The creation and fall of humankind

All people have been created equally and in the image of God, irrespective of race, ethnicity, colour, gender, age, language, culture or class (Genesis 1:26-28; 3:20; Proverbs 22:2; Acts 10:34, 35; 17:26,27; James 3:9; Colossians 3:10, 11; Galatians 3:28). God created humankind in His own image, but that image has been marred by sin. Humankind was given a free will and through Satan’s temptation sinned, thereby incurring the penalty of death, both physical and spiritual. All human beings inherit a sinful nature which results, in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, in actual transgression involving personal guilt (Genesis 1:26-28; 3:1-6; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3). All have sinned – therefore humankind is in a lost sinful state, fallen from original righteousness (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:9-12, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22; Galatians 3:22). The Bible describes sin in many ways – missing the mark, not meeting God’s standards, breaking His law, going against His will, disobeying Him, acting in unbelief, failing to do what is good, owing a debt, etc. Sin is humankind’s fallen condition evident in human character, will, thoughts, attitudes or acts. It is proud, self-willed rebellion against God in active or passive form (Daniel 9:5, 8, 9; James 2:8-11; 4:17; Romans 14:23; 1 John 3:4; 5:17; Matthew 6:12).

The salvation of humankind

Jesus Christ gave His life as a substitutionary sacrifice and ransom for all (1 Corinthians 15:3; Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:3-6). His atoning death on the cross and His shed blood fully paid the price of redemption required for the release of sinners. Through His death people can obtain the forgiveness and remission of sins; washing and cleansing from unrighteousness; justification and favour with God; healing and wholeness; the victorious life; and the gift of eternal life (Galatians 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 2:24; Colossians 1:13, 14; Romans 3:22-26; 5:8-11, 17-19; Titus 3:4-7; 1 John 2:2; 3:8; Revelation 12:10, 11). People are not able to save themselves by works; by trying to keep the Law or the Ten Commandments; by personal merit in themselves; by self-effort; or by natural development from within – no one can add anything to the completed atoning work of Christ (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:20, 28; Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:5). Salvation is by grace, the free gift of eternal life from God to all those who believe in Christ. It is received by faith in the crucified and risen Saviour, resulting in the supernatural work of the new birth, which is essential to make the repentant sinner a new creation in Christ Jesus and a child of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Galatians 3:26; 6:15, 10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3-5, 16; 1:12, 13; 1 John 5:1).

The ultimate consequence

The Bible teaches the resurrection of both the just and the unjust, the eternal blessedness of the redeemed and the eternal banishment of those who have rejected the offer of salvation.

Baptism

Baptism is a direct commandment of our Lord. Scripture requires that all who have become disciples through repentance and faith in Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptised in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is by immersion in water and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 39; 8:36-39; 16:31-33). The ordinance of baptism is an act of obedience; a symbol of the Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection; a declaration that the believer has died with Christ and has been raised with Him to walk in newness of life; a public confession of the new believer’s faith in Christ; and the answer of a good conscience toward God (Matthew 3:13-17; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).

Communion

Communion is the regular partaking of the emblems of the bread and the cup as symbolic of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood. In following this ordinance, believers are remembering the Lord Jesus Christ; proclaiming His death; giving thanks for the benefits of His broken body and shed blood; expressing their communion with Him and one another; celebrating His resurrection; and anticipating His return (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 11:23-32).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit

The new birth is the work of regeneration that the Holy Spirit executes, by which He then indwells the believer. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience distinct and subsequent to the new birth (Titus 3:5; John3:5, 6; 14:16, 17; Acts 8:14-17; 19:2). Jesus baptises in the Holy Spirit and according to His command all believers are entitled to and should expect the Promise of the Father – the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This was the normal and needful experience of Christians in the Church of the early days (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1: 4, 5; 2:38,39; 11:15,16). Through baptism in the Holy Spirit believers are empowered and equipped for life and service; and with it comes the bestowment of the supernatural gifts of the Spirit and their uses in the work of the ministry (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6).

Divine healing and miracles

Divine healing was provided for in the Old Testament and is an integral part of the Gospel. The New Testament declares that through Christ’s redemptive work, full provision has been made for the physical healing and health. It is the privilege of believers today (Exodus 23:25; Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:16,17; 1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 3:13, 14; Luke 10:9). Healing is for physical ills of the human body and is wrought by God’s power in different ways, like the laying on of hands; the prayer of faith; anointing with oil; or the gifts of healing (Mark 16:17, 18; 6:13; Acts 28:8,9; James 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:9). Miracles are supernatural works, signs or wonders of the unchangeable God and are possible in the present day (Mark 16:17-20; John 14:12, Acts 6:8; 8:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 15:18, 19; 2 Corinthians 12:12).

The Ministry

Every Christian is a priest – to bring acceptable spiritual sacrifices, by full and equal access, to God through Christ, a minister or servant – to serve God and one another through love; a steward – to profitably use the trust granted by God; and a worker – to fulfil the labour of love in God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6; Hebrews 10:19-22; 13:15,16; 6:10; 1 Peter 2:5,9; 4:10,11; Ephesians 4:7, 12; 2:10; Matthew 25:14). The ascended Christ has given various ministries to the Church – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers – which are essential to equip the saints for the work of ministry and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11,12; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:4-13).

Satan

The devil is a fallen angel being cast down from heaven because of his transgression. He is not an impersonal force, nor the principle of evil personified – personal names and pronouns are used with reference to him, while personal attributes and acts are ascribed to him (Isaiah 14:12-17; Revelation 12:9). He is the real enemy of Christians; and together with his demons seek to deceive, tempt, afflict, oppress and destroy humankind. The believer, however, has been given authority over them in the Name of Jesus Christ (John 8:44; Luke 10:17-20; Acts 10:38; Ephesians 6:11, 12; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8,9; 1 John 3:8).
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