In the Bible, we have recorded the words of the Apostle Paul when he writes to his fellow worker Timothy who was a leader in the Church of Ephesus. He urges him to ensure that some people do not teach “different doctrine” to what Paul considered to be “sound, and in accordance with the gospel” (1 Timothy 1:3-11). In another letter, Paul writes that Timothy must “follow the pattern of sounds words” and to “guard the good deposit” that he was to then “entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others” (2 Timothy 1:13-2:2).
The word doctrine in the bible is a way of talking about a set of core teachings – things that everyone should believe about God, about the person and Work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and about themselves and how they can know and relate to God. It is the job of every Christian, but especially Church leaders to ensure they carefully guard what they believe and teach. If we are to make any sense of Paul’s instruction to Timothy we must first know and be able to define the central teachings of the bible, so that we can recognise what is not in accordance with good teaching and to reject it.
Therefore, listed below are the core beliefs of our community at Redemption Church. These doctrines are a summary of what the whole bible teaches about itself and its most important topics. This is not a list of all the teachings found in the bible, only the most important ones, and we hold to these truths uncompromisingly in all our teaching and practice.
Beliefs about God
- a. There is one eternal God, who exists in an everlasting loving relationship of Father, Son and Spirit: that is, one God in three persons.
- b. God is sovereign in all things, including creation, revelation, redemption, judgement and the establishing of his kingdom.
- c. As sovereign loving creator and redeemer, he is worthy of all glory, honour and praise.
Beliefs about Humanity
- a. Men and women are created in the image of God, and therefore enjoy a unique dignity in creation and a unique relationship with God.
- b. Men and women were created to share in dominion over the created order.
- c. Human beings are universally sinful since the Fall and each person is guilty of having rebelled against God’s rightful rule. This leaves each person under the just wrath and condemnation of God
- d. We are unable, without the prior regenerative work of God through his Spirit, to turn ourselves to God.
Beliefs about Jesus Christ
- a. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
- b. He is both fully God and truly human. He entered fully into human existence and experience. He endured temptation, and he suffered and died. At all times Jesus has been perfectly obedient to God his father.
- c. Jesus died and was buried, in so doing taking on himself the wrath of God directed towards human sin and rebellion against God’s rule. On the third day he rose from the dead bodily and is now exalted as Lord and Ruler over all creation.
- d. Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and bring eternal life for his people.
Beliefs about the Bible
- a. There is no other way to know God except that he reveals himself to us. God reveals himself to us in Jesus, the incarnate Word of God. We learn about & meet Jesus in the written Word of God, the Bible.
- b. The words of the Bible as originally given are divinely inspired and infallible, and have supreme authority in all matters of faith, conduct and experience.
- c. The Word of God as spoken in the Bible is necessary and sufficient for knowing God, and for salvation, Christian growth and Christian living. The Bible is not only central to the wellbeing of the church but is able to thoroughly equip the Christian community for life and godliness.
Beliefs about Salvation
- a. To be saved is to enjoy the benefits of union with Christ, including escape from the power and penalty of sin and an eternal relationship with God as a child in his family and an heir of his kingdom.
- b. There is only one name under heaven by which a person can be saved: the name of Jesus, who is the Christ.
- c. Salvation comes only through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ as our representative and substitute, who bore the wrath of God on our behalf. In that death, God demonstrates his love for all people most perfectly and establishes his victory over Satan and all his foes.
- d. The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary to make the death of Jesus effective in an individual’s life. The Spirit enables the sinner to repent and to trust in Jesus Christ, so that salvation is entirely of God’s grace and not of human merit or works.
- e. Although we enjoy now the blessings of union with Christ and a secure relationship with God, we await the final consummation of our hope with the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of our bodies and life with God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit eternally.
Beliefs about the Holy Spirit
- a. The Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son, and indwells all who trust in Jesus Christ.
- b. The Spirit speaks only what he hears from God the Father, never of his own initiative, and his role is to bring glory to Jesus Christ.
- c. The Spirit works to illuminate believers’ minds to understand and obey God’s word, producing in them his fruit, granting them his gifts and empowering them for service.
- d. The Spirit grants his gifts to be used in the service of building the body of Christ, not for self-indulgence or personal gain. Use of the gifts is determined by this purpose, and not by personal desire for fulfilment, or satisfaction. Not every gift of the Spirit is given to the church at every moment of its life, only those necessary for building the body of Christ.
Beliefs about the Church
- a. The Church is people who have been saved by God, gathered to meet with God in his Word.
- b. The Church is a familial community of people intended by God to glorify him in all that it does, and to work with God in his mission, bearing witness to him and actively seeking the extension of his rule until Jesus returns in glory.
- c. Within its community both men and women are to seek proper expression of their gifts as they work to build the church and each other in love.
- d. The Bible makes clear that in church leadership the roles of men and women are not interchangeable, reflecting the perfect relationship within the Trinity where the roles of the Father, Son and Spirit (each of whom are distinct persons yet equally God) are ordered and not interchangeable. We are committed to expressing the differences in the roles of men and women through ordered relationships of mutual dependence that seek to reflect the perfect relationship within the Trinity.