The following statement of belief is in three parts. The first part is called The Gospel. This is what someone needs to know and believe in order to become a Christian (a follower of Jesus Christ). The second part is called The Core Beliefs of the Church. Once you are a Christian you begin to learn more about the Bible and therefore about God Himself. These core doctrines have been the main beliefs of the Church for nearly 2000 years. The final part is called Our Local Church Distinctives. Outside of the gospel and core beliefs of the Church, there are many other beliefs that are open to various understandings or views. These beliefs don’t affect a person’s salvation, but can impact the way they live as a Christian. A church’s view on future events is an example of local church distinctives
This church seeks to partner with those who believe the gospel, will abide by the core beliefs of the Church, and who are willing to live in harmony with our local church distinctives.
Becoming a Christian requires repentance from sin and faith in Christ, which is accompanied by a conviction to follow Him. Following Christ is only possible through constant communion with, and the empowering of, the Holy Spirit.
People are separated from God their creator because of their sin Isaiah 59:2, Romans 8:7-8, which at its heart is a rejection of God and His ways.
People cannot overcome this separation on their own merits. They cannot be good enough, or work their way to heaven. People have no desire or ability to get to God on their own Romans 3:9-20, Ephesians 2:1-3. It is God who graciously draws people to Himself John 6:44, Acts 13:48.
God has not left His creation to suffer the due penalty for their sin (physical and spiritual death), but has provided a Saviour, Jesus Christ, His own Son Romans 6:23, John 3:16. Salvation is possible for people on the basis of grace (God granting us something that we do not deserve), and not on the basis of human effort or merit Ephesians 2:4-10, 2 Timothy 1:9.
Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection provide complete and full salvation for sinners, as He satisfied His Father’s holy standard, dealing with the problem of sin. Jesus Christ therefore is the only Saviour and the only way sinners can receive God’s forgiveness John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Peter 2:24.
People receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life through repentance and faith. To repent is to feel remorse over and change one’s mind about personal sin, seeing it as God sees it, replacing self-rule with the Lordship of Christ. Mark 1:14-18, 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10. Faith is placing one’s belief and trust in Christ alone, and His finished atoning work on the cross Romans 3:21-26, John 19:28-30.
The Bible teaches that all who understand the gospel (as described above) and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved Romans 10:9-13.
The Core Beliefs of the Church
About the Bible
The Scriptures, as originally given are without error and written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit 2 Peter 1:20-21. God’s word is the unique, full and final authority on all matters of Christian belief and living 2 Timothy 3:16.
There is only one God Isaiah 45:5-6, the sole creator and sustainer of all things Colossians 1:16-17, infinite Psalm 90:2, perfect Psalm 50:2 and eternally co-existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19.
We believe that He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all those who believe in Christ and who are adopted as His children Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:4-7. God as the Father reigns with providential care over His creation, including the flow of human history according to the purposes of His grace Psalm 145:9-19.
Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human Philippians 2:6-8, born of a virgin Luke 1:34-35, and sinless Hebrews 4:15. He was with the Father from the beginning, and the world was created by Him and for Him Jn 1:1-2, Col 1:16. On the cross He died as our substitute, once for all time 1 Peter 3:18, taking the full judgement of God the Father for our sin Isaiah 53:4-5. He was bodily resurrected Mark 16:6, ascended to heaven Luke 24:51 and will one day reign over all creation 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.
The Holy Spirit
He convicts people of their sin and need for repentance John 16:8-11. At salvation He: washes a person from their sin and imparts new life to them Titus 3:5, permanently indwells every believer, witnessing to their position as children of God Romans 8:16, becomes their guarantee of eternal life in heaven Ephesians 1:13-14, gives them strength to be witnesses for Christ Acts 1:8, and gives them wisdom for daily living John 16:12-15. He gifts each believer with specific abilities for the building up of the Church 1 Corinthians 12:1-7. The Holy Spirit seeks to make Christ and His teachings known to humanity John 16:12-15.
People are created in God’s image Genesis 1:26. Because of their disobedience to and rejection of God and His ways, physical and spiritual death results Genesis 2:16-17, which is separation from God. All people are born with a sinful nature because of the sin of the first man, Adam Romans 5:12-19.
Salvation from sin and its consequences comes through repentance from sin and faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour Acts 20:21, and cannot be achieved by any human effort. It is wholly a work of God’s grace Ephesians 2:1-9. By it our sins are forgiven through the shed blood of Christ Ephesians 1:7. A life of spiritual growth flows on from the saving work of Christ, made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit 2 Cor 3:18. God’s purpose in this is to transform Christ’s followers into His image Rm 8:28-29.
About the church
It is the body of Christ, of which He is the Head Colossians 1:18, made up of all His true followers, who have been spiritually baptised into His body 1 Cor 12:13, and who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit Romans 8:9. It is not restricted by gender, class, race, colour or creed Galatians 3:26-28. The twofold mission of the church is to reach the lost with the gospel, and to encourage and equip believers to obey God in daily living Matthew 28:18-20.
About Future Judgement
Judgement is a certainty for all people Hebrews 9:27. Those who have received salvation, having already been judged in Christ, will enjoy eternal life with Him in God’s presence 2 Peter 3:7-13. Those who reject Christ will suffer the judgement of eternal separation from God in Hell (Lake of fire) Revelation 20:11-15.
Our Local Church Distinctives
As a local church we do have some distinctives that need to be mentioned. While these beliefs may not have pre-occupied the Church over the centuries, as much as those above have, it is important for each local church to be honest about where they lean in regards to these issues.
How we interpret the Bible
Because the Bible is from God, it cannot be properly understood without the help of God the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 2:9-16. As fallible people we should seek to understand it in humility, being willing to consider the views of others. We do, however, hold to one overall method of Bible interpretation, being the ‘literal, historical, grammatical’ method. We take any passage of Scripture to be speaking of literal and historical people, places and events; unless the genre or context of the passage makes it clear that it is referring to figures of speech, parables, or is to be taken in a non-literal sense. We believe any passage of scripture has only one true meaning, even though God may use it to speak to people in different ways.
How we understand the origins of the universe
We believe that the early chapters of Genesis are to be read literally, which is consistent with how the original recipients understood them Exodus 20:9-11, 31:14-18, and how Jesus understood them Matthew 19:4, 8. This leads us to believe that God created the world in 6 literal days.
How we understand the role of the Holy Spirit
All believers have been baptised by the Spirit Acts 10:44-47, 1 Corinthians 12:13, sealed with the Spirit Ephesians 1:13-14, and commanded to be constantly filled (controlled) by the Spirit Ephesians 5:18. The Holy Spirit’s key roles are to; exalt Jesus Christ John 15:26, 16:14, uphold the truth of God’s Word John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, and transform believers’ characters 2 Corinthians 3:18 and lifestyles Galatians 5:16-25.
How we operate our leadership
Elders are to lead the church Acts 14:23, 1 Timothy 3:1-7. This in no way hinders leadership and input from the congregation Acts 6:2-3. Each local church should be self-governing, yet partnership in the advance of the gospel with like-minded churches around New Zealand and the world, is beneficial.
How we understand the role of women in leadership
We believe that women and men are in all ways equals before God, that both have equal acceptance into God's family without distinction through Christ Galatians 3:26-28. However, the Scriptures are very clear that the office of Elder/Pastor, and with it, the overall responsibility to lead and teach the church is to be taken up by qualified men only 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9.
How we practise baptism
Baptism does not save you, only faith does Acts 16:30-31. Baptism Acts 16:33 is a symbol of our new life in Christ, which we choose to apply as a public declaration. Believers are baptised by being fully immersed in water, reflecting the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Acts 8:36-39. We don’t believe in or practice infant baptism.
How we deal with the practice of Tongues
In light of 1 Corinthians 14:1-19, we choose not to practise the gifts of tongues in our church services or smaller group gatherings. If individuals in our church desire to speak in tongues, we encourage them to keep that communication between them and God.