What we believe
Christ Church North Coast belongs to a denomination called REACH-SA (Reformed Evangelical Church of S.A). The denomination is simply an institution that serves the interests of the local church, protecting those that belong to it from departing from the historic gospel. We are grateful to belong to an institution that keeps us accountable so that we will not drift away from the truth. The general statement of faith for REACH-SA is the '39 Articles of Faith' that can be read online here. Below, however, is a great summary of what we believe:
We believe that there is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator, the Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
2. The Bible
We believe that the Bible, as originally given, is the inspired, inerrant, infallible and clear Word of God. Christians must therefore submit to its supreme authority and sufficiency, both individually and corporately, in every matter of belief and practice.
We believe that all human beings, made by God in his own likeness, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. However, as a result of the Fall, their sinfulness and guilt has rendered them subject to God’s wrath and condemnation, and has resulted in their alienation from his life, suppression of his truth, and hostility to his law.
4. The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, is fully God; conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; his humanity is real and sinless; he suffered under Pontius Pilate, died on the cross, was buried, was raised bodily on the third day from death, ascended into heaven and is now reigning over heaven and earth at the right hand of God the Father.
We believe that salvation from guilt, penalty, God’s wrath and all other consequences of sin, is solely through the work of Jesus Christ — by his perfect life, penal substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and exaltation as Lord. He alone is truly God and truly man, the only mediator between God and man. There is salvation through no other person, creed, process or power. The entirety of a sinner’s justification, from beginning to end, is by his grace alone appropriated through faith alone, in Christ alone.
We believe that before the foundation of the world God in his mercy chose a people for himself out of the human race. He did not choose them on the basis of their foreseen faith or works, but solely on the basis of his perfect desire to glorify himself in his Son by their redemption.
7. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the person of the Holy Spirit is fully God, sent by the Father and the Son to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He gives gifts to build up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
8. The Church
We believe that the holy universal church is the people of God, the Body of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to which all true believers belong. The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. The Church’s calling is to worship and serve God in the world, to proclaim and defend his truth, to exhibit his character and to demonstrate the reality of his new order.
9. The Future
We believe in the personal and visible return in glory of the Lord Jesus Christ to raise the dead bodily and bring salvation and judgment to final completion. God will fully establish his kingdom when he creates a new heaven and a new earth from which evil and evildoers, suffering and death will be excluded, and in which he will be glorified forever.
To help clarify our beliefs we believe it may also be helpful to declare what we do not believe. In stating who we are not, we do not seek to attack those who disagree with us, but rather distinguish ourselves so that anyone considering joining our network may be aware of who we are, as well as who we are not*.
- We are not Liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe that the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place and people.
- We are not Fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries, faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.
- We are not Isolationists, but seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in establishing church-planting churches.
- We are not Hyper-Calvinists who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelize and do good works through us, his people.
- We are not Dispensationalists, but believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus’ Second Coming is unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return have not been revealed to us.
- We are not Egalitarians, but do believe that men should be heads of their homes and male elders should lead their churches with servant minded love like Jesus Christ. We believe that this is expressed in the public assembly by only inviting godly and gifted men to preach.
- We are not Open Theists, but believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things.
- We are not Religious Relativists, but believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
- We are not Nationalists seeking simply to improve one nation but rather ambassadors of the King of kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of his kingdom to all nations of the earth.
- We are not Moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but rather evangelists seeking to help people become new creations in Christ.
- We are not Relativists, but gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy and other purported forms of revelation.
- We are not Universalists, but believe that those who do not repent and believe the gospel will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.
- We are not Naturalists, but believe that Satan and his demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God. We believe Satan’s work in the moral realm is effectively undone by the work of Christ applied through prayer, preaching the word and calling people to repentance and faith, without the necessity of exorcisms.
- We are not Rationalists, but believe that not everything can be known, but that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things.
- We are not Evangelical Feminists, but believe that God reveals himself as Father and is to be honoured without apology by the names he reveals to us.
- We are not Polemicists who believe that it is our task to combat every false teaching but are passionate about preserving the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We are not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ and believe he died, in selfless love, as a substitute for the sins of all who put their faith in his blood.
- We are not ashamed and proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant, while also saving multitudes with ears to hear the good news.
- We are not proponents of ‘the social gospel’, ‘the prosperity gospel’, or ‘the healing gospel’ – all of which falsely seek to draw into this age the blessings of the next. We also lament how many are in love with this present world and its pleasures, rather than longing for the age to come where there will be prosperity, healing and eternal social good.
- We are not in acceptance of the veneration and worship of, and communication with, the dead, as broadly and specifically practiced within African Traditional Religion and Roman Catholicism, but believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man.
*Adapted from the Geneva Push and Acts29
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