Our Faith

 

Our Statement of Faith
 
The Scripture: We believe the Bible (the original 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) is God's uniquely inspired Word and is the primary means by which God has expressed His instruction for mankind about Himself. It contains everything we need to guide the church and our lives. It is the supreme and final authority for faith and life in every age.
 
God: There is one God — perfect and infinite in power, justice, goodness and love, the Creator of the universe, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of whom possesses all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality.
 
Jesus Christ — His Person: Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all of the divine attributes, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial and coeternal with the Father. In the incarnation (God becoming man), Jesus Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man. The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful humanity
 
Jesus Christ — His Work: God the Father, by His own choice and out of love for sinful men and women, came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ to reconcile sinners to Himself. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life – in obedience to His heavenly Father and voluntarily suffered and died as our substitute to pay for our sins, thus satisfying God’s justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He bodily ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He is the only mediator between God and man and makes intercession for His own. He will return to earth personally, visibly and bodily – to judge all people and establish what the Bible calls "a new heaven and a new earth". God the Father created everything according to His own will, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation.
 
God The Holy Spirit — His Person: The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, the third Person of the Trinity - eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truthfulness. In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son.
 
The Holy Spirit — His Work: The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ, to convict men and women of their sins, of righteousness and judgment, and to impart new life to all who place their faith in Christ. He indwells believers from the moment of spiritual birth, seals them until the day of redemption and empowers them to live a life pleasing to God in this life: at work, at home, in marriage and in all relationships. God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in administering and bestowing spiritual gifts to the Church for the purpose of glorifying Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in their faith. 
 
Man: God created man and woman in His own image. Man and woman, as they were originally created, enjoyed full relationship with God and His creation. When they chose to sin by disobeying God, their sin resulted in separation from God their Creator and resulted in divine consequences, even fractured relationships. Thus all human beings are born with a corrupted nature and without spiritual life, and are totally incapable of pleasing God in and of themselves. 
 
The Devil or Satan: The devil or Satan is the name given in Scripture to the chief opponent and adversary of God and the work of Jesus Christ. He is also given several other names, all of which convey something of his character and activity: tempter; evil one; deceiver; father of lies; Beelzebub; adversary. One of the primary means used by Satan to oppose God and the work of Christ is by the tempting and deception of humankind. He and his followers seek to disguise themselves as “angels of light” and “servants of righteousness” 2 Cor.11:14-15) in order to “blind the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). He opposes and hinders Christians in their service and can inflict physical ailments. His primary strategy is to divide and thwart the ministry and relationships of the body of Christ (the Church). For all his power, Satan is limited by what God expressly permits. He can be successfully resisted, and will flee, but not by our strength — only by the power of the Holy Spirit . 
 
The Gospel: This is the "Good News" that the church proclaims. It has a two-fold emphasis: 1/ The reality of what Jesus Christ did on behalf of sinful humanity when He died on the cross and was raised again, thus bringing to mankind an opportunity for salvation (a restored and redeemed relationship with God) through trusting in His completed work.
2/ The reality of the kingdom of God: Its inauguration through Jesus Christ's coming; it's present reality lived and displayed through God's redeeming and sanctifying work in the lives and relationships of those who have placed their trust in Him; and the anticipation of Christ's imminent return when He will complete His work, thus totally redeeming His creation and fully establishing His kingdom — "a new heavens and a new earth".
 
Salvation: Men and women are freed from the penalty and power of sin, not as a result, in whole or in part of their own works, goodness or religious ceremony, but by the unmerited favour of God alone. God declares righteous all who have repented of their sins and put their faith in Christ and His redemptive work on the cross alone for their salvation. Salvation is the necessary starting point of a restored and redeemed relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.
 
Baptism and Lord’s Supper: Jesus Christ has instructed those who believe in Him to be baptized in water as a symbol of their new birth in Christ. Baptism should be by immersion and is for those who have personally chosen to follow Christ and who have accepted His redemptive work for salvation — to demonstrate their decision, their new relationship to God and their acceptance into God's kingdom. The Lord also instituted the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of His suffering, death and resurrection and as a reminder of His imminent return and the anticipation of the celebration and "marriage feast" that will take place. It has a two-fold function — remembering Christ’s work on our behalf and diligently examining ourselves before God. Neither baptism nor the Lord’s Supper has any merit in helping a person obtain eternal life.
 
The Church: All true believers make up the church worldwide (universal church) and should assemble together in local churches – for worship, prayer, fellowship and teaching – becoming conformed to the image of Christ, manifesting the "kingdom of God" and for equipping to participate in the “Great Commission” that Christ gave His followers in Matthew 28:19-20.
 
The Resurrection of the Dead: At physical death, the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his or her body to everlasting glory and blessing. At physical death, the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his or her body to everlasting suffering.
 
Marriage and Relationships: The Neighbourhood Community Church acknowledges Ephesians 5:18-33. and affirms that marriage is to be a monogamous, exclusive, lifetime commitment between one man and one woman that is a reflection of Christ and His church as they live in loving relationship to one another. 
 
Faith and Practice: Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. The Neighbourhood Community church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.