Statement of Faith

Updated September 2018

The Godhead

 

We believe in one God (Deut 6:4), who is Creator of all (Gen 1:1; Neh 9:6; Col 1:16), who has revealed Himself in three distinct eternally existing Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14), yet who is one in being, essence, and glory (John 10:30).

 

 

Father

 

We believe in God the Father, the uttermost authority in all things. He is the One from whom all things came, and for whom we exist (1 Cor 8:6).

 

 

Son

 

We believe in the essential and eternal deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life (Heb 4:15), His death on behalf of all (1 John 2:2), and His physical resurrection and ascension and future return to earth.  Jesus Christ is presently in heaven fulfilling His role as our High Priest and Advocate (Heb 7:25).  He is fully God, and fully man, and therefore His death as a substitutionary sacrifice and His resurrection were sufficient for our full salvation.  We believe He will one day return to judge the living and the dead and establish his physical reign on the earth (Luke 1:32-33).

 

 

Holy Spirit

 

We believe in the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). We believe that the Holy Spirit permanently indwells all believers, and believers alone. His baptism is the sovereign work of God that occurs at the moment of conversion whereby the Holy Spirit places believers in Jesus forever into the body of Christ (Rom 8:9). He is the Counsellor who illumines and convicts believers' hearts and minds as they study the Word of God (1 Cor 2:12).

 

 

The Bible

 

We believe the Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matt 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16-17). We hold the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (2 Tim 3:16-17). While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Pet 1:21).

 

It is because of this truth we believe the Bible should be preached and taught in a predominantly expository style, not avoiding difficult passages but allowing the truth of His written Word to change us.

 

 

Mankind

 

We believe that mankind came into existence by direct creation of Adam and Eve by God, and that mankind is uniquely made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27).

 

We believe that all mankind, because of Adam's fall, has inherited a sinful nature, such that every aspect of our being is corrupted from conception.  Thus we are alienated from God and rightly deserve God’s judgement.

 

We believe that all human beings choose to sin (Psa 14:3), and that all sin is exceedingly offensive to God (Rom 6:23). Mankind is utterly unable to remedy this fallen state (Eph 2:1-5,12), therefore must be regenerated by God in order to have eternal life.

 

We believe that God created human beings, unalterably male and female, equal in value, dignity, and worth (Gen 1:26-28, Eph 5:22-6:4, 1 Tim 3:1-7).

 

We believe that, according to His purpose and design, God created men and women to fulfil distinct but complementary roles in the contexts of marriage, family, and the local church (Gen 1:26-28, Eph 5:22-6:4, 1 Tim 3:1-7).

 

We believe in the biblical definition of marriage: one man with one woman for as long as both shall live (Matt 19:4-6).

 

 

The Church

 

Jesus Christ alone is head of the Church.

 

We believe there is one Church, the body of Christ, ultimately consisting of men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. We believe that each local congregation is an expression of that universal Church. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 12:12-13, Rev 5:9, Acts 2:42-47).

 

We believe that the Church is comprised solely of repentant men and women, who, even though they do still sin, confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and submit to His rule and authority as set forth in the Scriptures.

 

We believe that all Christians have the solemn obligation to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel. They are commanded to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and their neighbours as themselves. We discover what love means in practice through searching the Scriptures, which alone faithfully reveal God’s character and will. Such love includes the responsibility of every Christian to work with the Holy Spirit to grow in their relationship with God, and to participate in the proclamation of the Good News throughout the world.

 

 

Salvation

 

We believe that salvation is a gift of God's grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Eph 2:8-9). Christ's death fully atoned for all sin, and thus, through faith, we can be justified. Christ died in our place (Rom 5:8-9) and bore our sins in His own body (1 Pet 2:24).

 

We believe that all stages of the salvation process (justification, sanctification and glorification), are accomplished through the power of God and for His glory and for the final purpose of bringing believers into a complete, intimate and perfect relationship with Himself.

 

  • Justification: a free gift of God entirely apart from our works since it is solely based on the work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection, and is possessed permanently by all who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and eternal life with God (Rom 3:24; 10:9). Justification is sealed in the believer by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 1:22).

  • Sanctification: the process by which the justified grow in faith under the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and become more Christlike in attitude and behaviour (1 Cor 15:2). Collectively it is the maturing of the Church, Christ’s body on earth (Col 1:22b).

  • Glorification: the final stage whereby the believer goes to be with God forever with a renewed incorruptible body to share in His glory and receive and enjoy his or her inheritance (1 Pet 1:4-5; 1 Cor 15:52-55).

 

 

Creation

 

We believe that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, and rested on the seventh, according to the Scriptures.  He created them, and all that is in them, out of nothing, and created mankind in His own image to steward the earth (Gen 1 & 2).

 

 

The End Times

 

We believe in the blessed hope (Titus 2:13), the personal and imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to catch away His saints (1 Thess 1:10; 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:51-52).  We believe in the visible and bodily return of Christ to the earth to establish His reign here (Zech 14:4-11; Rev 19:11-16, 20:1-6).

 

We believe in the physical resurrection of all mankind – the saints to everlasting joy and bliss in the New Heavens and the New Earth, and the wicked to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire (Matt 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rev 20:5-6, 12-13).

 

 

Angels and Demons

 

We believe in the reality and personality of angels. We believe that God created the angels to be His servants and messengers (Psa 148:2; Heb 1:14).

 

We believe in the existence and personality of Satan and demons. Satan is a fallen angel who led a group of angels in rebellion against God (Isa 14:12-17; Eze 28:12-16). He is the great enemy of God and man, and the other fallen angels and demons are his servants in evil. He and his angels and demons will be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10).

 

 

Israel

 

We believe that God’s gifts and calling to the nation of Israel are irrevocable (Rom 11: 28-29).  Thus all of God’s promises to national Israel will ultimately be fulfilled in national Israel.

 

 

Ordinances

 

We believe that the Lord Jesus established two ordinances for the building up of His body the Church, which He expects us to observe.  They are applicable to all those who have a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

 

  • Baptism: the immersion in water of believers upon their own personal profession of faith.  It is a symbolic act of identification with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has no regenerative power in itself, and is not necessary for justification, but it represents the spiritual baptism which does have this power (1 Pet 3:21). Being baptised is an issue of obedience to Jesus – both in His word (Matt 28:19) and His example (Matt 3:13-17).

  • The Lord’s Supper (Communion): A regular shared meal whereby believers partake together of the bread and the cup, symbols of Jesus’ body and blood respectively.  It is done to remember Christ’s sacrificial death, share in fellowship with their risen Lord and with one another and look forward to his return, and was instituted by Jesus himself at the Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20).

© 2020 by Collie Church of Christ.