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Doctrinal Statement

 

The following is the Doctrinal Statement of Calvary Baptist Church, Whangarei.  This document summarizes our beliefs.  It is not intended to be a complete explanation of all our beliefs, but is a summary of the tenets of our faith and practice. 

 

Scripture

We believe that the Holy Bible was supernaturally inspired; written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, that it is Truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the ages, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true centre of Christian union and the Supreme Standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.

    By the 'Holy Bible' we mean that collection of sixty-six (66) books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.

    By 'Inspiration' we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and are free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired. (Psalm 19:7-11, 119:89, 105, 130,160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:31, 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47, 12:48, 17:17; Acts 1:16, 28:25; Romans 3:4,15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:2-3; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:19).

    Further, we believe the King James Version is the most accurate and faithful translation of the original manuscripts and constitutes the preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God for the English speaking people of the world. The King James Version of the Bible is the only English translation used by Calvary Baptist Church, Whangarei.

 

God

We believe that there is one, and only one, Living and True God as revealed in Scripture. That He is without beginning or end, therefore, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honour, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three (3) Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in every Divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Genesis 17:1; Exodus 15:11, 20:2-3; Psalm 83:18, 90:2, 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24, 15:26; Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 4:11).

 

Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person; equal with God the Father and God the Son, and of the same nature; that He was active in creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world, He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled, that He convicts of sin,
judgment and righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent of the new birth: that He indwells, seals, regenerates, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer; that He fills for service those yielded to Him. We believe that certain spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to the church, such as Apostleship, prophecy (foretelling) and tongues, were temporary, were needed only in the infancy of the church, and are therefore not to be expected today. We believe that the Holy Spirit testifies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, and never leads any person at any time contrary to the teaching of the Word of God. (Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 3:11, 28:19; Mark 1:18; Luke 1:35, 3:16, 24:49; John 1:33, 3:5-6,8, 4:16-26, 15:26-27, 16:7-15; Acts 5:1-4,
30-32, 11:16; Romans 8:14,16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 13:8-11;Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, 13; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Titus 3:5).

 

Devil or Satan

We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed Heavenly honours, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell, and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be
man's great tempter; the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the anti-Christ and the author of all the powers of darkness, destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God's Son and to the judgment of an eternal justice in Hell, a place prepared for him and his angels. (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3, 13:25-37, 39, 25:41; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; 1 John 2:22, 3:8, 4:3; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10, 13:13-14, 19:11,16,20,20:1-3,10).

 

Creation

We believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness; that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly by God, and His established law was: they should bring forth only 'after their kind'. (Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27, 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24, 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3).

 

Fall of Man

We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but, by voluntary transgression, fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which, all mankind are now sinner by nature and by choice; and, therefore, are under the just condemnation of God without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6,24; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18, 20, 28, 32, 3:10-19, 5:12, 19; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1,3).

 

Virgin Birth

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman; and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son. (Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 5:20).

 

Atonement for Sin

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, honoured the Divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins;'that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place; the Just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the Cross; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven and is uniting in His wonderful Person the tenderest sympathies with Divine perfection; He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour. (Isaiah 53:11-12; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16,10:18; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-25; 1Corinthians 15:3,20; 2Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14, 7:25, 9:12-15, 12:2; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18; 1 John 2:2, 4:10).

 

Grace in the New Creation

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one, dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the Divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with Divine Truth, so as to secure our voluntary
obedience to the Gospel; that is, proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and in newness of life. (Luke 5:27; John 1:12-13, 3:3, 6-8; Acts 2:41, 16:30-33; Romans 6:23; 2Corinthians 5:17,19; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:1, 5:9; Colossians 5:19; 2Peter 1:4; 1John 5:1).

 

Freeness of Salvation

We believe in God's electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel through the drawing of the Holy Spirit, and therefore, it is the duty of all to receive this gift of salvation by a personal and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but their own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves them in aggravated condemnation. (Isaiah 55:1,6-7; Matthew 11:28; John 3:15-16,18,36, 5:40, 6:37; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:29-30, 10:13; 1Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 22:17).

 

Justification

We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life on principles of His righteousness, that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood.  His righteousness is thus imputed unto us. (Isaiah 53:11; Habakkuk 2:4; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 1:17, 4:1-8, 5:1, 9, 8:1; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 10:38).

 

Repentance and Faith

We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with
a genuine contrition, confession and supplication for His mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Saviour. (Psalm 51:1-4,7; Isaiah 55:6-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8, 18:13; Acts 2:37-38, 20:20;
Romans 10:9-11,13).

 

The Church

We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized (by immersion in water) believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship in the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are Pastors (Elders) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures.  We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with one another in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline and benevolence, the will of the church is final. (Leviticus 27:32; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 6:5-6, 14:23, 20:17-28; 1Corinthians 5:11-13, 6:13, 8:11, 12:4, 16:1; 2Corinthians 8:23-24; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11,5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1Timothy 3:1-13; 1Peter 5:1-4; Jude 3-4).

 

Ordinances

We believe there are two ordinances given to the local church:

Baptism:

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a born again believer, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to show forth in solemn and beautiful symbol their faith in the crucified, buried, risen and coming Saviour, with its effect in their death to sin and resurrection to a new life and that it is a prerequisite for proper church relationship and a God blessed life. We hereby declare that Calvary Baptist Church will receive into its membership only those who are truly born again, as evidenced by verbal testimony and manner  of life,   and  then,   are  baptized   (immersed)  in  water  in obedience to the command of Christ. (Matthew 3:6,16, 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12).

The Lord's Supper:

We believe the Lord's Supper to be an ordinance of the church in which born again believers, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine, are to commemorate together the dying (and therefore undying) love of Christ, preceded always by solemn self examination. We hereby declare that Calvary Baptist Church will observe the Lord's Table on a regular basis, as deemed appropriate by the Pastor and members, and that all active members of this church who have met the Scriptural qualifications of believer's baptism by immersion in water following a clear profession of personal faith in Jesus Christ, and after self examination, may be invited to partake.  (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:42; 1Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-28).

 

Perseverance of the Saints

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professions; that a special providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the
power of God through faith unto eternal salvation. (Psalm 121:3; Matthew 6:30, 13:19-21; John 8:31-32, 10:28-29, 16:8; Romans 8:28, 35-39; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:14, 1 Peter 1:15; 1 John 2:19).

 

Righteous and the Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked: that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while ail who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse and this distinctive holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 11:31, 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 7:13-14, 25:34; Luke 9:26,16:25; John 8:21, 12:25; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 1:17, 6:16-18, 23, 7:6; 1Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 3:10; 1Peter 4:18; 1John 2:29, 3:7, 5:19).

 

Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of Divine appointment, subject to God for His glory and for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honoured and obeyed, except only in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (as expressed in Scripture), Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth. (Exodus 18:21-22; 2 Samuel 23:3; Psalm 72:11; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 10:28, 22:21, 23:10; Acts 4:19-20, 5:29, 23:5; Romans 13:1-7; Philippians 2:10-11; Titus3:1; 1Peter2:3-14, 17).

 

Resurrection and Return of Christ and Related Events
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily 'the third day according to the Scriptures'; that He ascended ‘to the right hand of the throne of God'; that He alone is our 'merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God'; that this same Jesus which was taken up from us into Heaven 'shall so come in like manner as (we saw) Him go into Heaven'- bodily, personally and visibly; that the 'dead in Christ shall rise first'; that the living saints 'shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump'; that the Lord God 'shall give unto Him the throne of His father David'; and that Christ shall 'reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet'. We believe in the personal, pretribulational, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own, the church, and in His subsequent personal, premillennia! return to the earth to establish His kingdom over the entire earth from the throne of David for one thousand (1,000) years. (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:4-5; Zechariah 14:4-11; Matthew 24:27, 42, 25:13, 28:6-7; Mark 16:6, 19; Luke 1:30-33, 24:2, 39, 51; John 14:3, 20:27; Acts 1:9, 11, 15:14-18; 1Corinthians 15:4, 25, 42-44, 51-53; Philippians 3: 20-21; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 2:17, 5:9-10, 9:28; James 5:8; Revelation 3:21, 19:11-16, 20:1-4, 6).

 

Missions

The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John20:21; Romans 10:13-15).

 

Grace of Giving

Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the faith. (II Corinthians 8:7). We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week. (1Corinthians 16:2). Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe -"Abraham GAVE the tenth of the spoils" - (Hebrews 7:2, 4) and this was four hundred years before the law, and is confirmed in the New Testament; Jesus said concerning the tithe, "These ye ought to have done" (Matthew 23:23). We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the church. (Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10). In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church. (Acts 4:34, 35, 37).