WHAT WE BELIEVE AT VILLAGE CHURCH
1 The Bible
We believe that the Scriptures, consisting of both Old and New Testaments are inspired by God, and without error in their original form. Through the providence of God, the Scriptures have been preserved and transmitted to us in available versions. The Scriptures have been given for our spiritual growth, personal holiness and practical instruction, and are the supreme, final and adequate authority in faith and practice.
2. The Triune God
We believe in one God, who eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each with a distinct personality but all of one essence.
3. The Father
We believe that God the Father is the source from whom all things come. He is seen as the sender of the Son and the Son comes forth from Him. The Spirit is also given by the Father; is sent by the Father, and proceeds from the Father. Creation was primarily the work of the Father, while Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit were the agent or the means of the existence of all things.
4. The Lord Jesus
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to this earth in order to manifest God to mankind, fulfil prophecy, and become the Saviour of a lost world.
We believe that, on the human side, Jesus became and remained a perfect man; that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and willingly offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people, by dying on a cross. This means that His sacrifice served as a vicarious substitute, by which man can now have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ alone.
We believe that, on the divine side, Jesus Christ retained His absolute deity, and that His earth-life sometimes functioned within the sphere of that which was human, and sometimes within the sphere of that which was divine.
We believe that, after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead bodily and ascended to heaven, and He will come again bodily, at a time unknown to us, but appointed by God the Father to judge the world and reign as King and Lord of all.
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is in every way God, and is Co-eternal and Co-existent with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the chief agent in the regeneration of the soul from death to life, the chief convictor of sin, and the chief comforter of the believer. Simultaneous with regeneration, the Holy Spirit baptises the believer into the body of Christ, permanently indwells him, and seals him in Salvation for all eternity. By so doing He unites all believers into one universal body, which is the Church universal.
We believe that the Holy Spirit distributes “spiritual gifts” to believers according to His own Sovereign choice, and that these gifts continue to be available today for the strengthening of the Church, and for the effectiveness in sharing the message of Christ to the world.
We believe the only possible way to live the Christian life with effectiveness is by the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and that He is the source of all acceptable worship and service. We therefore seek to practice a daily dependence upon God’s Spirit to guide, empower, protect, and enable us to do what is right in His eyes.
6. The Basic Spiritual State of People
We believe that God created man in His image. Adam, the first man, sinned by disobedience incurring both physical and spiritual death. As image bearers of God, people were originally created to live in relationship with, and dependence upon God and that as a consequence of sin (rebellion against God and self-dependence), all people are separated from God and face God’s righteous judgement. As a result, every person, with the sole exception of Jesus Christ, is born into the world with a nature that is essentially and unalterably sinful.
7. Why People Need a Saviour
We believe that, owing to universal separation from God through sin (which the Bible describes as spiritual death), no one is capable in and of themselves, of receiving or earning eternal life and so entering into the Kingdom of God. No degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality and good works, however high, no culture, however attractive, and no ordinance or religious rite, however administered, are sufficient to make a person acceptable to God. Only those who turn from their self-ruled, sinful life (“repent”) and receive Jesus as Lord by faith, receive the New Life and personal forgiveness of sin that are necessary to enter God’s family forever.
8. Eternal Life
We believe that people live forever, and that the eternal destiny of every person will be determined by whether or not they have trusted in Jesus Christ as personal Saviour and Lord. Those who have received Christ as personal Saviour will be judged righteous, and will be united physically with Him after they die, and live with Him forever. The Bible refers to this as “heaven”. Those who have not received Christ will be judged unrighteous, and will be separated from God forever. The Bible refers to this as “hell”.
We believe that when a person exercises that faith in Christ, he or she passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life. Meaning that a judicial verdict has been cast by God toward the believer rendering them innocent, not guilty; heaven bound, not hell bound; righteous, not unrighteous, and God the Holy Spirit begins to indwell that person, forever.
9. The Spirit World
We believe that God originally created a large number of spiritual beings, known as “angels”, and that the greatest of these beings, known as “Lucifer”, sinned through pride, and became known as “Satan”.
We believe that a great number of other angels followed Lucifer in rebellion, and these “fallen” angels – known as “demons” – are active as his agents and associates in stirring up evil in the world, and opposing the work of God.
We believe that Satan and his demonic agents have been judged and sentenced by God, on the basis of the work, death and resurrection of Christ, although for now he rules as the “god of this world”.
We believe that there remain a large number of sinless angels who serve God as administrators and messengers of His kingdom.
10. The Church
We believe that, by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God indwells all believers at conversion and places them into the universal Church, which is described in the Bible as “the body of Christ”. We therefore acknowledge Christ alone is the head of the Church, both universal and local, and while recognising the value of associating and co-operating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local Church should be self-governing.
We believe that every member of the kingdom of God functions as would a member of a body to carry out the Great Commission of God to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
We believe that Christ’s mandate to the Church includes the proclamation of the gospel locally and to the ends of the earth in order to grow His Church universally.
We believe that the local Church should be proactive in sending members of the local body and or other individuals to aid in the accomplishment of this God ordained task and that the local Church should do all within its means to support and pray for such endeavours.
12. Baptism and Communion
We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only ordinances required of the local Church, and that they are a scriptural means of testifying to the power of the gospel and publicly identifying with Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper (“communion”) is a symbolic act of remembrance, by which we identify with and publicly affirm Christ’s death for and on behalf of all people, while at the same time proclaiming the reality of His bodily resurrection as evidence of His power over death.
We believe that the elements used in and of themselves contain no spiritual presence or power, but rather act as a symbolic means of affirming that the presence and power of God resides within the individual believer through the Holy Spirit.
We believe that water baptism is a symbolic act of our identification with Christ (i.e. death and resurrection), and a physical representation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that every believer receives when he/she receives Christ by faith prior to water baptism. We therefore teach and encourage that after a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord , as an act of obedience, they be baptised. Our practice of baptism is by total immersion in water, the way Jesus was baptised.
13. Second Coming
We believe in the personal and imminent return of Jesus Christ for all of His people – the Church. This will result in the final judgment of all creation where those who have received Him as their personal Saviour will be judged righteous, and will live with Him forever. While those who have not received Him, will be judged unrighteous and will be separated from Him forever. The return of Jesus Christ will usher in and bring about the total establishment of the Kingdom of God described in the Bible as the new heaven and the new earth. Believers will receive new glorified bodies and Christ will reign as King and Lord of all.