"Keeping the Faith, Sharing the Faith and Praying for Harvests"

  • What We Believe

    I. The Scripture

         The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to humanity.  It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction.  It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.  Therefore all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.  It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true centre of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.  All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.


    II. God


         There is one and only living and true God.  He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer,  Preserver, and Ruler of the universe.  God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections.  God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present and future, including the future decisions of His creatures.  To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.  The eternal triune God reveals himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.


    God the Father


        God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace.  He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise.  God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.  He is fatherly in His attitude to all human beings.


    God the Son


       Christ is the eternal Son of God.  In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities  and identifying Himself completely with humankind yet without sin.  He honoured the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for our redemption from sin.  He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion.  He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man.  He will return in power to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission.  He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.


    God the Holy Spirit


        The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine.  He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures.  Through illumination He enables us to understand truth.  He exalts Christ.  He convicts us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  He calls us to the Saviour, and effects regeneration.  At the moment of regeneration He baptises every believer into the Body of Christ.  He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.  He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption.  His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.  He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism and service.



    III. Man


         Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image.  He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation.  The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation.  In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice.  By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race.  Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his prosperity inherit a nature and environment inclined toward sin.  Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.  Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfil the creative purpose of God.  The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. 



    IV. Salvation


         Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained redemption for the believer.  In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.  There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

            A.  Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus.  It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

          Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God.  Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

            B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ.  Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favour with God.

            C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.  Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

           D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.



    V. God's Purpose of Grace


    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners.  It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all means in connection with the end.  It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable.  It excludes boasting and promotes humility. 

          All true believers endure to the end.  Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall preserve to the end.  Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.


    VI. The Church


        A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptised believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.  Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ.  Each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.

        The New Testament church speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.


    VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper


         Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.  It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.  Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

          The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialise the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. 


    VIII. The Kingdom


        The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over persons who wilfully acknowledge Him as King.  Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which people enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ.  Christians ought to pray and to labour that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth.  The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

     [From "THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE". Adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, May 9, 1962.]


    Brief comments on historic Christian doctrine

Jesus Christ was of virgin birth and He is “God with us.” Both Matthew and Luke attached great import to the Virgin Birth. It is very significant to note that, in the very first words of Jesus Christ, He gently, but firmly, reminds Mary that His true Father is God: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). Similarly, in the last words uttered on the cross, Jesus commits Himself to God with the statement, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). After His resurrection, Jesus told Mary Magdalene to convey this message to His disciples: “I am ascending to my Father . . .” (John 20:17). Jesus Christ’s filial consciousness of this exclusive relationship to God is best grasped in the following words: “All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27). In those citations, we must aver that Jesus Christ is uniquely God the Son.

The personhood of Jesus Christ has been problematical to many authors that have attempted to unravel the nature of this focal point of Christian faith right from the early church fathers to date. This is because in Jesus Christ God confronts humanity. The Apostles’ Creed, scholars assert, was formulated to refute Marcionism. Although the full form in which the creed now appears was traced to sixth or seventh century, many fragments or portions of this proto baptismal formula are found in historic Christian doctrinal writings of the first and second centuries. The opening statement, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,” debunks Marcion’s postulation that the universe was created by a demiurge instead of the loving Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Suffice it to say here that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a litmus test of God’s love for humanity. At Nicaea, the Church had said unmistakably that in Jesus Christ God Himself confronts human beings. At the Council of Chalcedon, the church fathers reaffirmed the Nicene Creed and declared the true humanity of Jesus Christ, with the human and the divine concurring in one Lord Jesus Christ. Despite the polemical views of Arius and Nestorius, the Church emphatically asserted that Jesus Christ was a divine person expressed in and through a human body. 

In all intents and purposes, the church fathers, who sat in council at Nicaea and Chalcedon, were saying that in Jesus Christ, who is truly, authentically human, the very reality (essence) of God is expressed, and the very reality of God encounters humanity in one acting subject, in one person. Therefore, I fervently affirm that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly human. 

At this juncture, I would examine the doctrine of the last things, referred to as Eschatology in theological parlance. Eschatology is related to parousia, the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At the end of history, all things shall be brought into subjection to God. Early in the history of the church, all attention was focused on individual eschatology, the fate of the individual at death. This tendency made the Roman Catholic Church to develop the purgatory system. However, Protestants and Reformers attacked the system and considered it spurious and unbiblical. 

I affirm the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures. The Word of God does not contain any errors regarding the purpose and intent of its subject matter as documented in the autographs. I fervently believe that all miracles and historical narratives of the Bible were factual and actual occurrences. They are not metaphors or allegorical statements. Thus, I dissociate myself from “demythologization” of the Gospels, a la Bultmann. (I regard Bultmann’s existential interpretation of Jesus’ miracles as double-talk and a figment of his own imagination.) 

In sum, the Christian doctrine of the last things is simply the affirmation that the God who created the world, who redeems His people, will inevitably bring His creation and His people to fulfillment and judgment. Human history will come to final consummation by the will and intention of God. 

The important theological truth is the conviction that at last the Christ who is crucified stands as the triumphant Lord and Judge of all. Resurrection is the Christians’ eschatological hope. God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Mark 12:27). The hope of resurrection is that the dead in Christ have an indestructible relationship with God. The power of resurrection is anchored in Trinitarian theology. Thus, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Amen.

 Rev. James Adetoro. An excerpt from my essay, "THE CHURCH AND ESCHATOLOGY", Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio, USA. December 13, 1993.